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Al Poane

If you grew up in Seaside Heights you know Al Poane. And depending on how many times you’ve circled the sun you may have even known Al’s mother and father. His family came to town sometime in the 1930s. His mother operated Mom’s Spaghetti House on Sumner Avenue and his father owned the nearby Butterfly Hotel.  When Al wasn’t busy working tirelessly for the Seaside Heights Police Department he operated Al’s Car Wash on Blaine Avenue. Needless to say, Al and his family are a special part of our local history, and I can’t wait for all of you to hear Al talk about his love for Seaside Heights in the film documentary that Joe Verderosa (Greenrose Media), Peter Smith, and I have been working on. (“The Future Is In The Past” – to be released Spring 2013).

Like most residents of Seaside Heights, Al and his wife Sue have been temporarily displaced from their home by Hurricane Sandy. They’re staying at a motel until January. When I talked with them two nights ago as they were leaving Bobby D’s funeral service, I was overcome by the strangeness – surrealness – of what everybody is going through. Our vocabulary has changed since October 29th. Words like “disaster,” “FEMA,” “flood insurance,” “surge,” “water line,” “mold,” “base elevation maps,” “debris,” and “temporary shelter assistance” are a part of every conversation now.  Most important though, when a guy like Al, with a small tear in the corner of his eyes, says that he’s never seen anything like this, it really hits you. No matter how many times I’ve stood on the beach since October 29th and gazed at the Star Jet roller coaster sitting on the ocean floor or Funtown in ruins, it’s a conversation with someone like Al that brings Hurricane Sandy into focus – conversations based on that invisible but very strong personal connection between locals and the town – memories from better times, today’s pain and anger, and fear and doubt about tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to Al & Sue, and all of my friends and acquaintences from town who are spending the holiday season on the mainland.

“Al’s Car Wash” and “Mom’s Spaghetti House” are from The Terry Groffie Collection.  News article images are from The Dr. Anthony E. & Mary Ellen Vaz Collection.  The images can be enlarged with your mouse. The first color photograph was taken by me last December at the annual POSH Christmas meeting. The second color photograph was taken by me last December at the annual Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Company Christmas Banquet.

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Poane Martinez

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Al's Car Wash_2  Mom's

Easter (1971)

Easter 2012 is only two weeks away.  Here are some Easter images from the early 1970s. You may enlarge each thumbnail photo with your mouse. 





Operation Santa Claus

The Seaside Heights Vol. Fire Company tradition continues tonight…More vintage Fire Company photos are available at the Fire Company Museum website.  And here’s the link to last year’s Operation Santa Claus post.

  Photo taken in my childhood home at 119 Franklin Avenue probably in 1975 or 1976. Tony Poane, Frank Albamonte, and Phil Carrozza are standing at the door.



Christmas 1943

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 1943 style…

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Seaside Heights School Christmas Show 1941

I can only imagine the sense of melancholy and tension that must have hung over the schoolhouse two weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Yet, I can also envision the efforts of parents to steer the attention of their children away from the reality of war toward the joy and happiness of the holiday season. Some of the names of school children who are mentioned in this December 19, 1941, news article and personally familiar to me 69 years later: Tamburello, Cocci, Bunting, Koch, Tilles, Gabriel, Hopson, Kessler, Casler, (Mayor Ken) Hershey, (Sheriff Bill) Polhemus, (Al) Poane, Endres, Belamarich, Loundy, (Phil) Armstrong, and (Jerry) Graichen. You can use your mouse to enlarge this photo.          

Christmas Show 1941

Christmas 1941

These advertisements and greetings appeared in the Ocean County Review in 1941 twelve days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. You can toggle (freeze, reverse, forward) the slide show by placing your mouse over the bottom center of the frame. 

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