Why I Loved My Childhood in Seaside Heights
In full disclosure what you are about to read is not an original but rather something I saw on Facebook from longtime friend Mike Caputo, who like me grew up in Seaside Heights. Turns out he got it from someone else and tweaked it to reflect what it was like to be a kid in Seaside and I’ve tweaked it a bit more. I have told my children often that they will never know the town I grew up in, one that had three gas stations, hardware stores, two bakeries, a barbershop, department stores, two movie theatres, plus the boardwalk and beach.
I was raised on the Jersey Shore, Seaside Heights. We didn't have to wear designer clothes but wore jeans (Levi's & Wranglers) or we wore what mom bought us. Converse, Adidas, and Keds were cool!!! Catching a movie with friends or going to Dairy Queen or the pier to hang out was also cool.
You took your school clothes off and put your play clothes on as soon as you got home and we had to do our homework before being allowed outside to play. We ate dinner at the table as a family almost every night except Friday and maybe Saturday and we ate what mom made or we ate nothing at all.
We had to actually get up to change the channel and most only had one TV and it was in the living room.
We surfed (year-round), played Man Hunt, Mother May I, hopscotch, Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, Red light-Green light, Hide & Seek, Truth or Dare, Tag, dodgeball, kickball, wallball and rode bikes all over the neighborhood without a cell phone.
We played football in the street or church parking lot, baseball on a beat-up stretch of grass and gravel behind the Barnegat Ice House where we went later to cool off and buy soda. In the winter we skated in the flooded playground.
We would put our money together to buy gum, candy and sunflower seeds at the Sweet Shop. We watched cartoons and ate cereal on Saturday morning. There was no bottled water; we drank from the tap, the water hose, and the playground water fountain.
We weren't afraid of anything. If someone had a fight, that's what it was and we were friends again a week later, if not sooner. The street lights were your curfew and you better get home before they turned on.
Teachers and police were people who you could TRUST. We watched our mouths around our elders because they all knew our parents and we didn't want them telling mom or dad that we misbehaved.
These were the good old days. Kids today will never know how it feels to be a real kid. I loved my childhood!!!