It is quite possible that what once was a road with 1 dinosaur for 80+ years, now the home of 2 dinosaurs, could be the home of more dinosaurs.  How?  Mark.  Why?  "kids love it."  Enjoy this growing story and the photo gallery at the bottom.

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When I moved to Bayville, I quickly discovered Bud The Bayville Dinosaur on Route 9.  Every time we drove past it my son said, "Dad, what's that?"  Finally, I did the google search.  It brought me to Roadside America where I learned that Bud marks the halfway point between New York City and Atlantic City and was built in 1935.  Fascinating.  Interesting.  And...eye-catching.

This week on a community Facebook page, I saw a post about repairs being made to Bud.  It included some pictures and was posted by Mark Stanfield from Empire Masonry.  Intrigued, I reached out to Mark and was able to get on the phone with him.  A bigger story quickly unfolded.

Despite how great Bud looks today, the repairs were not new.  Mark and his crew donated cement and finishing work to revitalize Bud in 2018.  Surprised, Mark blew my mind again.  He's the man behind ANOTHER local Dinosaur...less than 3 miles down the road in 2019!

After all the great feedback for his work with Bud, Mark thought he'd work on another dinosaur to "add a little character to the area."  And Mark was the one with the "kids love it" quote.  So, he sat down and started sketching his idea to bring a new dinosaur to Ocean County.

In just an hour, Mark sketched a simple drawing of an unnamed dinosaur.  One day at the Sand Castle Diner, Mark pitched the idea of a dinosaur to the owner.  He gave the thumbs up and Mark got to work.  Over the course of 2 weeks at his home, Mark constructed the dinosaur.  He then brought it to the diner, filled it solid with concrete, added the electrical for the eyes and lights, and Sandy was born.  Mark says that it wasn't his name, but that's what it's become.

What's next?  Lookout, a dinosaur could soon be coming to your town on Route 9.  Mark tells me he hoped to create another in 2020, but COVID-19 hit.  2021?  That'd interest Mark and that'd excite many at the Jersey Shore, including me!  Where do you think the next one should be?  How big should it be?  What color?

Creating Dinosaurs for Ocean County, New Jersey


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