The Seaside Heights I Grew Up In
The following is not an original and is a scaled-down version of something I posted a few years ago courtesy of Mike Caputo. While walking the boardwalk over the weekend I thought about the town I grew up in…one that had three gas stations, hardware stores, two bakeries, a barbershop, department stores, movie theatres plus the boardwalk and beach.
I was raised in 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, going to Dairy Queen or hanging out on the Casino Pier was also cool.
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. We had to actually get up to change the channel and most of us only had one TV.
We surfed (year round) played man hunt, mother may I, hopscotch, Cowboys & Indians, cops and robbers, hide & seek, truth or dare, tag, dodge ball, kick ball, wall ball and rode bikes all over town without a cell phone. We played football in the street or the church parking lot, baseball on a beat-up stretch of grass and gravel behind the Barnegat Ice House where we went inside 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 on the boulevard. We ate what Mom made for dinner or we ate nothing at all. There was not bottled water as we drank from the tap, the garden hose or any 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!