Carl Hoffman has appeared on Blogfinger in the past.  He likes to see his picture on line, and this time we wanted to show him posing with his cute Mt.Tabor Way cottage where he has done some nice floral decorations.


We asked Carl to step back a foot, and this is what he did.  It's hard to find good models any more.   Ocean Grove, August 30, 2014. Paul

We asked Carl to step back a foot, and this is what he did. It’s hard to find good models any more.
Ocean Grove, August 30, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©



Mike (L) and Frankie at Mt. Hermon Way on Delaware  All photos by Paul Goldfinger © August 30, 2014

Mike (L) and Frankie at Mt. Hermon Way on Delaware All photos by Paul Goldfinger © August 30, 2014

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

The last time we saw Mike Pallotta the knife sharpener, it was the summer of 2011.   We posted a story then about Mike  (see link below)  who is from Brooklyn but comes to this part of the Shore each summer with his old truck, his grandson Frankie Pallotta, and his dog Danny. 

Mike says that Ocean Grove is his favorite shore town to visit with  his mobile sharpening service. He drives into the towns around here and rings his bell.  Then he pulls over to the curb and he is open for business.

Today we spotted that famous truck on the corner of Delaware and Mt. Hermon Way, right near my house.  Eileen grabbed her kitchen knives and we ran across to welcome Mike and Frankie back. They both seemed happy to be here.

The neighbors quickly started to line up with their knives including Joyce, Meredith, Melanie and Joe.  Sandy was busy slicing an eggplant when Joe heard the bell. He stopped her in mid-slice, took her knife  and raced outside to have Mike sharpen that knife.  Joe  probably looked like the demon barber of Fleet Street as he hurried across the street, knife in hand.

Joe Varone holds up the truck while waiting for his knives.  Mike works in the rear.  ©

Joe Varone holds up the truck while waiting for his knives. Mike works in the rear. ©  If Joe drops a knife on his bare feet he will be Toeless Joe from Kokomo.

Frankie will soon start college at Hofstra and he will commute from his home in Brooklyn. Meanwhile he has continued the family tradition of working with Grandpa Mike in the knife truck. Frankie carefully collects the knives from the customers and then, when the grinding is done, he wraps the knives in paper and gives them back .

Mike sends the sparks flying as he grinds away.

Mike sends the sparks flying as he grinds away.

I stood in the back of the truck where you can watch Mike work at his grinders. The truck engine roars to a start, and the grinding wheels begin to turn.  His work area is carefully lit, and Mike is totally absorbed in his task.  Sparks fly. This is a craftsman that you don’t want to distract.  Mike liked the article we did on him in 2011, so he allowed me to move slowly and quietly into position at the back in order to get some photographs of him at work. It’s like photographing a sentimental piece of history. One neighbor recalled seeing trucks like this on the streets of Brooklyn where she grew up.

Mike said that the toughest town for him is Spring Lake because the houses are so big that they can’t hear his bell.  I offered to announce any future OG visits on Blogfinger, and he promised to email us when he plans to return.  He is careful to make no promises, but he thought maybe before Thanksgiving—definitely a day where a sharp knife is essential.

Mike and Frankie are two cheerful guys. Frankie’s a good natured, good looking kid with a natural smile. Mike seems to be a man who loves life. He is kind, likable, and competent.  If you meet a guy from Brooklyn, the talk generally turns to food, but, imagine this, Mike thought a Bradley Beach bagel was excellent.  Talk about putting a reverse spin on the ball  (Don’t ever play softball against a Brooklyn windmill pitcher).  So Mike was going to stock up on Jersey Shore bagels before heading home. There must be a NYC ordinance against that.

Danny the chicken dog.

Danny the chicken dog.

Danny the dog is a pit bull who is afraid of his own shadow.  He hid under the front seat and wouldn’t come out for a photo, but I managed to get Danny to smile before he changed his mind.

We urged Mike to return to the Grove. He grinned and agreed to return.

link to Mike the Knife Sharpener  2011         Mike the Knife

ANNETTE HANSHAW with an old song  (“That’s You, Baby.”)    which seems to be about Mike.



One Sided Conversation

NYC.   By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff.

NYC. By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff.


“I hear them whispering when I walk by….…I know it’s me they’re talking about.”


Stephen Goldfinger of NYC sent us this guest DJ submission.  He says, “A modern day 50’s sound that I like.”    SG


Editor’s Note:  This London based group is sometimes called “For the Foxes” or just “The Foxes.”  This acapella song is “Easy Way.”   It is from their album Summer Nights.

The Foxes

The Foxes





1.  Labor Day: Monday Sept 1  There will be the annual Camp Meeting Association  “End of Season Town Meeting.”  It will start at 9:00 am in the Bishop Jane’s Tabernacle.  As before, the public will be able to ask questions at the end.

2.  Doo Wops on Saturday night.  The Drifters, The Coasters, The Classics with Emil Stuccio, and the Belmonts.

Here are the Drifters.  Cool off with this one:

3. Beach schedule.  This info is from the CMA

“You will not need badges Sept 2-5 as the beach is ‘officially’ closed. There
will be no lifeguards on those days, therefore you go on the beach and water
at your own risk. The signs are posted as such.

“You will need badges on Sept 6 & 7th. There will be lifeguards on those
last two days.

“After that the beach is closed for the season. You will not need badges,
there will be no lifeguards.”

4.  Monday,  Sept. 1: Holiday encore with Gordon Turk and Michael Stairs; with special guest.  7:00 pm

5. Monday, Sept 1: Neptune Munic. Building closed.

6. Saturday, Sept. 6: Giant fall flea market.  9 am to 4 pm

7. Saturday,  Sept 6:  Concert in the GA:   St Peters by the Sea with Father Alphonse Stevenson.  Reserved $25.00;  general admit $20.00.   8:00 pm

8. Beware: Exploding Fruit:  If you leave a watermelon on your counter, it might explode due to buildup of fermentation induced gases.  If it does, it can send red,  wet, blobbish missiles  up to the ceiling and around the room. Your  floor will become diffusely sticky.

9. The Jersey Shore Arts Center has announced the opening of a new 3rd floor theater. It has 80 seats and will offer a “more intimate setting” for productions that would be better viewed in a small venue.  The first event will be from September 12 to 21. It is “Lies and Legends: The Musical Story of Harry Chapin.”  We will have more to say about this show after we interview Herb Herbst.  We will also post the schedule for 4 shows there through December.—PG

10.  We need volunteers for our video segments  “Grovers on porches telling jokes” Let’s go  ladies and germs. Meanwhile we will do some blog jokes submitted by people in OG.  This one is from the comedian Gary Mule Deer who spelled Johnny Mathis two weeks ago:

Q:  What did the dyslexic atheist say?

A:  “There is no dog.”



The assault on Battery Wagner near Charlston.  Ocean Grove beach. c.1990's.   Paul Goldfinger photo  ©

The assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston. Ocean Grove beach reenactment. c.2002. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge

During the Civil War there were few African-American regiments, but one, the 54th Massachusetts, was honored by the people of Boston, and a movie called “Glory” was made to tell the story of that courageous unit.

Col. Robert Shaw.  From the Civil War Trust.

Col. Robert Shaw. From the Civil War Trust.

Robert Gould Shaw , an idealistic white officer, came from an abolitionist Boston family. He took charge of that black unit and was determined to prove that they could be as courageous  as any white unit. They didn’t have the chance to fight early on, but finally in 1863,  they were ordered to leave Boston and head to South Carolina.  There they were given the opportunity  to attack one of the Charleston defenses which was held by the Confederates.  The 54th took the lead and led the charge.  The 25 year old  Colonel Shaw was killed in the battle.

An  African-American reenactment unit used to be featured in Ocean Grove, NJ each year when the battle of Fort Wagner was reproduced on the OG beach. The soldiers would camp overnight on the Pathway and they would chat with Grovers and other visitors who came by.  It was wonderful and very authentic–living history.

Unfortunately, the reenactments in OG were ended because of  fire risks due to the camp fires.

Honoring the men of the 54th Massachusetts

Honoring the men of the 54th Massachusetts

JAY UNGAR AND MOLLY MASON   “Marching Through Georgia”  from Civil War Classics:


Ocean Grove.  August 28, 2014. By Ted Aanensen. Blogfinger staff reporter and photographer.  ©

Ocean Grove. August 28, 2014. By Ted Aanensen. Blogfinger staff reporter and photographer. ©



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