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Author Archives: christopher j vaz

Sandy Auction Winner

Heidi A. Macfarlan Johnson of Rhode Island was the successful bidder.  I made a $355 donation this morning to the official Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund that was formed by First Lady Mary Pat Christie. Thank you to Heidi and everybody who bid!





Heidi sent me this e-mail message. I was touched by her parents’ love story…

Hello Chris,

I am SOOOO glad I looked in my junk mail folder and found this e-mail from you.  I was actually going to buy a card and send it to you, but I will write you here in case you want to use any tidbit of this information on your website.  I could not have been happier with what I received from you.  I was happiest about the book you wrote about Seaside Heights, as illustrated in post cards over the years.  It exceeded my expectations as far as giving me information about the community in which to immerse myself.

Let me tell you why this purchase was important to me.  I think this is the first purchase I’ve ever made for myself on ebay.  Years ago, I may have bought my daughter some shoes she saw on the site, but that’s probably the last time I even looked at anything on there.  Hearing about what happened to Seaside Heights during Hurricane Sandy personally affected me, even though I have never been there.  After I bought the People magazine which showed the picture on the front cover of the rides under water, I was haunted with constant thoughts about the seaside town.  You see, my parents met in Seaside Heights, and I lost them two Christmases in a row, in 2008 and 2009.  I still miss them terribly. They were the best of parents and also became people I’d choose as friends.  My mom was born in Glen Rock and my dad, although born in NY, spent most of his years growing up in Jersey.  My dad was a Rutgers New Brunswick grad as was my mom’s brother, my brother and me.  My father was five years older than my mom, but both of them were working one summer at one of the hotels/motels in Seaside Heights (I’d say in the early 50’s, as they were married in 1953).  As they both described it, they met during nighttime activities after work (I think dad worked in the kitchen and mom waitressed), playing a game of charades (I think it was even on the beach!).  My mom had a clue to act out and didn’t know how to do it, and my dad was teasing her.  The rest was history.  They were married 55 years.  I wish there was some way I could find out what hotel or motel they worked at back then.  Before all this I happened, I remember trying to see if there were any hotels or motels that had been in Seaside that long, but I couldn’t find that kind of detail.  So I wanted the postcard package to give me information about the beach community which was the origin of my parents’ love.  I didn’t plan on spending as much money as I did, but someone had one of those “max” bids in, that kept outbidding me, and the competitive spirit my dad taught me kept me bidding until I FINALLY found the appropriate limit!

One last note…I am a believer in our loved ones speaking to us from beyond or giving us confirmation that they know what we are doing.  As I started to look through the postcards, the oddest thing happened.  First there were a few that had no writing on them.  Then came a few that had been sent to people.  The first one that was written on was signed, “Love, Maude.”  Maude was the only mother figure my father ever knew, who died when he was 12.  She “took over” for his biological mother who died of cancer in my dad’s first year of life.  My father always talked about Maude and after he passed, I found some beautiful photos of her, which I had framed.  On my dad’s last day of consciousness (he died at home), I brought him down the picture of Maude that he had on his bureau, because he was talking about the people he wanted to see in “the promised land.”  What are the chances that the first postcard I looked at with writing on it was from someone named Maude?  Oddly enough, the second one with writing on it was signed “June,” which was my father’s sister’s name.  She, too, is gone, and loved and adored my dad and me.  I think all signs say they were happy I made the contribution to such a significant cause.I am so glad you wrote that book and offered this for auction.
Heidi A. Macfarlan Johnson

Online Christmas Shopping Benefit For Fire Company

This holiday season please consider adding a brief extra step to your online Christmas shopping by visiting and making your online purchases through their website. Most major stores (Macy’s, Walmart, Lowes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bass Pro, Harry & David’s, Best Buy, Discovery Store, Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor’s, Sears, Target, and many more) offer a portion of each sale (up to 5%) to participating museums. We registered the Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Company Museum, so now you can contribute to Station 44 by only adding a brief extra step to your process. You will receive the same online deals as you would otherwise receive by visiting the retailers’ web sites directly.

You can also buy specialty items directly from the Seaside Fire Museum Online Store.  You can purchase IPad sleeves, mousepads, magnets, coffee mugs, and beer steins. Each item contains an historical photo, and the proceeds benefit the fire company.

Thank you and Happy Cyber Monday!

Sandy Auction Last Call

The third and final addition to my Sandy Relief EBay auction lot – a copy of my Seaside Heights Postcard History book.

So, the auction lot in its entirety includes 70 vintage Seaside Heights postcards, 110 “other New Jersey” vintage postcards, a copy of my book, a miniature postcard book, and a Mouse Ride postcard  with an original T-A-G Amusements Mouse Ride ticket.

All proceeds will be donated to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund.  Thank you to everybody who visited my EBay auction and bid!

Hurricane Sandy Auction – Added Items

This is the second item that I am adding to the existing auction lot. A third/final new item will be added tomorrow night. All proceeds of this auction will be donated to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund that was formed by First Lady Mary Pat Christie.

Click here for the link to my EBay auction.

Added 11/18/12:


Hurricane Sandy Auction – I Am Adding Items

Over the weekend I am adding a few items to the existing auction. Click here for the link to my EBay auction. I’ve donated the items, so all proceeds (every nickel) will benefit First Lady Mary Pat Christie’s “Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund.” Thanks to those who have bid and will bid!

Added today 11/17/2012. The ride ticket is from The Terry Groffie Collection. “T-A-G” Amusements was owned by Terry’s father,  Ed Groffie, and former Mayor William Pat Tunney. 

Hurricane Sandy Relief Postcard Auction

Hello Friends…Please consider bidding on this postcard lot containing 70 vintage Seaside Heights postcards and approximately 110 “other New Jersey” vintage postcards.  All proceeds (every nickel) of the auction will be donated by me to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund that was formed by First Lady Mary Pat Christie.

EBay Listing




Re-Entry Update 11/11/12

From the town’s official web site this afternoon:

After tireless efforts and planning, I am happy to let you know that we are making an attempt to allow certain private vehicles into Seaside Heights starting tomorrow, November 12. Please, I must stress that if we do not get massive cooperation, this plan will be ended as soon as it was started. Starting tomorrow, any Seaside Heights property owner as well as all of those residents who were scheduled for the bus on Monday may go directly in to town with their own vehicles between the hours of 8am and 3pm. Be sure to bring identification, and you may also bring a friend, contractor, insurance adjuster or other person(s) who may be helpful, in the same vehicle.

While in town, you must only stay at your own property. There will be no access to the beach or boardwalk, and you may not leave town. Attempting to enter Ortley Beach or Seaside Park will subject you to arrest. There is a temporary speed limit in town of 5 miles per hour and you must consider every intersection a 4 way stop. There are no traffic signals operating and many of the street signs are missing or mis-directed. Again, please show respect and consideration while in town so that this program can continue and everyone can start the re-building process. The curfew of 3pm will be strictly enforced and everyone must leave town by that time.


Mayor Bill Akers