Dedication ceremony in Auditorium Square Park.   Jean Bredin photo. Blogfinger.net 8/2/15

A Sunday kind of love:   Dedication ceremony in Auditorium Square Park. Jean Bredin photo. © Blogfinger.net 8/2/15  Click to enlarge.

Text and photos by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff.

Today’ s recognition ceremony, officiated by Dr. Dale Whilden, was to thank those who volunteered after Hurricane Sandy…The Together Campaign, consisted of over 2,000 volunteers,  and numerous donations. A booklet has been put together, and was distributed for everyone to have. This includes photos and names of volunteers and donors.  Lemonade and cookies were enjoyed by the attendees.

The ladies who munch. A Grover lemonade stand. Pucker up an smile for the camera.  Jean Bredin photo. Blogfinger staff. 8/2/15  ©

A Grover lemonade stand. Pucker up and smile for the camera. Jean Bredin photo. Blogfinger staff. 8/2/15 ©

A girl in her summer clothes.  Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies?   Jean Bredin photo  8/2/15  Blogfinger.net ©

A Grover girl in her summer clothes. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Jean Bredin photo 8/2/15 Blogfinger.net ©

The cupola is a historic structure which once stood on top of an OG hotel.  John Case of Ocean Grove did a meticulous historic restoration

John Case, craftsman .  April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Blogfinger.net ©

John Case, craftsman . April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net ©


Ocean Grove lifestyles series. August 2, 2015.  7 pm.   Asbury Avenue. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove lifestyles series. August 2, 2015. 7 pm. Asbury Avenue. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net   Click to enlarge

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

The Ocean Grove porch culture often includes dinner on the porch.  It is very common, and some people set up candles or have a chandelier.  They entertain company this way. It is most charming and very historic. Before air-conditioning people would eat outdoors to catch the ocean breezes and they would even sleep on their porches.  This practice also allows for conversations with passers-by. It’s a good way to make new friends.

These al fresco diners are from Germany although they are actually Dutch. The  lady in blue is a neighbor.  The young man is with the international contingent among these porch denizens; he is their son, but he also is an American citizen. The house belongs to these Europeans who used to live here, but now they come back in the summer for a dose of Americana and Victorian charm.

I didn’t ask them what they were eating, but, of course, there was a bottle of wine to make the meal complete.  Come to think of it, I don’t know what they eat in the Netherlands.   I asked their permission to do the photo.  They heard of Blogfinger, so I didn’t have to explain why I wanted their picture. I didn’t ask their names because Blogfinger is a place where people comment without names and where the photographs usually speak for themselves.

I showed them the Netherlands gold coin that I wear from 1604.  It brings me luck.  That was the year that the Hundred Year war ended.  Let’s all make a toast to the end of wars.

These porch people didn’t have any dinner music  but they seemed perfectly happy without it, although I, on the contrary, have to have a soundtrack,  so we will add some music  for this photo.  Let’s see…hmmmm. After dinner we can watch the stars over Wesley Lake:


Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Blogfinger.net © Undated

Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Paul Goldfinger photograph. Blogfinger.net © Undated

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.

Ocean Grove United foolishly bowed out of the ceremonies in Auditorium Square Park today. The event was to thank everyone who participated in the Together Campaign. The word Together in the title was chosen for a reason—–all components of the Ocean Grove community joined together to work towards a complete Sandy recovery, and that included the OGU membership and leadership.

Now, because one man said certain things in a religious service seven days ago, this group was willing to cast aside a relationship that has been three years in the making. Why is that a good idea? Do you OGU members really want to divorce yourselves from your town over this? Do you really believe that Ocean Grove is a place that is anti-gay?   Is that your message to a town that has embraced the gay community?

I know more gay people in this town than I ever knew in my entire life. I have learned so much about that community and I am happy to be in a place that is exemplary in its tolerance.

OGU members: How about finding a different way to deal with the current situation, one that will continue to bring everyone together and to focus on what’s right and good in this very special town.

CHRIS MARTIN   “Us Against the World.”

Garrison Keillor in Michigan, 7/29/156 by Alex McDougal. MLive.com ©

Garrison Keillor in Michigan, 7/29/15 by Alex McDougal. MLive.com ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor   @Blogfinger.net

Last night in the Great Auditorium, a large crowd watched a 72 year old man in a seersucker suit with red shoes talk and sing for nearly 3 hours straight.  Garrison Keillor has been doing his famous radio show Prairie Home Companion for 41 years and has entertained millions of people.  He stopped in Ocean Grove as part of his nationwide America the Beautiful 41st Anniversary Tour, traveling the country in a bus with 5 fabulous musicians, an  impersonator who can do anything including a chicken playing a banjo, and some technical workers.

Keillor is a raconteur, a professional singer with an engaging  bass-baritone voice, a comedian, a writer, and a philosopher.  He brought us news from the fictional Minnesota town where he was raised (Lake Wobegon) along with his “spontaneous” musings (scripted, but so what) about everything from computers to music, to  religion to sex. His ideas flow from topic to topic so fast that you really need to pay attention.

I knew that his music would be wonderful and it was.  He leans heavily on old Christian hymns, patriotic tunes, traditional old songs like “Red River Valley” and country/western pieces served up by 2 mandolin/guitar/fiddle players, a string bass, a versatile keyboard musician and a percussionist.  Most of the musicians also sang, creating beautiful harmonies.  This ensemble has been polishing this show for years, but always with Keillor at the center.

Below is a link from a Michigan web site which does a superb job in reviewing the July 29, 2015 outdoors sold-out concert which for them was essentially identical to ours. This review is by Jeff Kaczmarczyk of MLive.com.

But the thing that blew my socks off was when intermission time arrived;  Keillor did not leave the room.   Instead he grabbed a mike and began to slowly stroll up and down the aisles, with a spotlight on him, singing old hymns while urging the standing audience to join in.   By some miracle, beautiful voices emerged from all over the Auditorium including the upstairs sections, magically knowing the words to all the songs.  If I didn’t know better, I would think the whole thing was staged, and Keillor bussed in a professional choir of 500 people.

No one actually left the hall at “intermission.” The sound of that “out-of-the blue” choir, softly singing, with their voices gently echoing off the wood walls and ceiling of the Auditorium was captivating. It was a musical surprise that captured that large audience and kept them on their feet for the entire mini-concert within a concert.  Keillor seemed mesmerized himself.  He clearly was enjoying this special musical moment in a very special venue which did not require much more than people sharing a musical wave of emotion and  beauty. There were at least two Jews in the audience who found the hymns to be moving. I wish I had this choir at my bar mitzvah.

The Prairie Home Companion is a show that has held up over time because it is so unique and so excellent. We must mention a beautiful young woman, Sarah Jarosz, an accomplished  musician who plays several string instruments, but especially a mandolin.  She is on stage the whole time, and  her most special contribution is when she sings harmonies with Keilor.  Just lovely!

REVIEW FROM MICHIGAN:          www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/07/meijer_gardens_sees_beginning.html

Wassup 2

1. .  Camp Meeting Week now in session

2. Organ recital by Gordon Turk 7:30 pm onWednesday, August 5

3.  Yvonne’s restaurant, which burned down in the Main Avenue fire of Feb 6, 2015 has reopened in Neptune Township at 311 Route 35 south.   They serve “popular food” with “reasonable prices.”  They do not serve breakfast, but they have a weekend brunch from noon to 2 pm.  They will reopen in Ocean Grove also and will offer a shuttle bus between the Neptune restaurant and Ocean Grove on Saturdays from 6-10:30.  Call for more information 7321 775 9004.

4.  No Saturday show in the GA this week  (see our Paul Anka post. )

5. Asbury Park Jazz Weekend will be held at a variety of locations on August 7,8 and 9.  Link:   Asbury Park Jazz weekend


6. Blogfnger stats:   Yesterday, August 2, we had 2000 visits including some from 9 foreign countries. Most of the visitors who were going to specific posts were interested in the CMA/OGU issues.  After that came Paul Anka, the cupola dedication,  Garrison Keillor and the lost cat.   We had 17 visits from Canada and 12 from Great Britain.

So hello Canada.  Here are the Canadian National Orchestra Singers with their national anthem:

By Paul Goldfinger in September, 2014.   ©

Jersey Shore.  “Is it yes, or is it no?”     By Paul Goldfinger in September, 2014. ©  Blogfinger.net.    Click to enlarge

THE ELDORADOS     “I’ll be Forever Loving You.”

“She is bigger than she looks here, about 13 pounds, with black, brown and gold markings, and an X tattoo in ear.” Photo by Lynn.

Lynn, a new Grover, lost her cat.  Shoobie Doo escaped a few nights ago.   Lynn says, “Perhaps some kindly person took her in.”

The cat vanished near the corner of Benson and Mt. Hermon  (i.e. the north west end of town)

If you have any info, contact LYNN  203 536 7982

By Paul Goldfinger in Paris. ©  This image appeared in an ad in the Euro Zone.  Blogfinger.net

By Paul Goldfinger in Paris. © This image appeared in an ad in the Euro Zone. Blogfinger.net

HAVANA CARBO   “Paris” from their album Luna de Varadero




Singer/Songwriter Will Resume Concerts in the Fall – Tickets To Be Refunded


The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) announced today that the Paul Anka concert, scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2015, has been cancelled due to emergency surgery.

ICM Partners, agents for Mr. Anka, released the following statement: “Paul Anka experienced an emergency visit to the hospital this past week. His doctors have stated that the required surgery was completed successfully and he is at his home in California resting comfortably. Unfortunately the recovery period is three weeks and will render him unavailable to complete his scheduled performance. Mr. Anka will resume his concert schedule in the Fall.”

OCGMA Program Director Shelley Belusar said that the Camp Meeting explored alternative dates, but could not find a solution due to previously scheduled events in the Great Auditorium at the end of its season. “We wish Mr. Anka well and hope that he will come back to Ocean Grove in the future.

Previously purchased tickets for the concert will be refunded to all ticket buyers.  The refunds will be automatically credited to the purchasers account. Watch for the credit within the next two weeks max.  Any questions about refunds call Shelley at the OGCMA  732 775 0035  Ext. 108

OGCMA’S summer concert series will continue on August 15 with “4 GIRLS 4, starring Randy Graff, Andrea McArdle, Maureen McGovern, and Faith Prince; The Beach Boys (August 22), Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals and the Lovin’ Spoonful (August 29); Doo Wop Finale (September 5) and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea (September 12).

To order tickets, visit www.oceangrove.org or call 800-590-4064

Editor’s Note:      We’re going to miss Paul Anka here in Ocean Grove. Last time he was here he put on a fabulous show.  Blogfinger wishes him a speedy recovery, and no doubt all his Jersey fans feel the same way.

I heard him interviewed on TV, and he’s a guy who will be greatly disappointed that he can’t perform in the Great Auditorium with his big band.   Here is a  two song medley from his Live in Vegas album:

Blogfinger photographer Prosper Bellizia spotted this array of flags in Ocean Grove's tent colony. July 2015. ©

Blogfinger photographer Prosper Bellizia spotted this array of flags in Ocean Grove’s tent colony. July 2015. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Ocean Grove is a patriotic place as judged by American flags flying all over town. It seemed to me that the flags had become less numerous around the Grove,  and now are more evident, although our population probably at least doubles each summer.  We always fly the flag at our home, and so do some of our neighbors.

And of course there is the electric flag in front of the Great Auditorium behind the choir loft.  I have observed the crowds at Saturday night concerts  look around in wonder as the electric flag is lit and several thousand people sing the National Anthem inside that acoustically glorious building. When the flag lights up there are looks of amazement on many faces, and you can almost feel the goose bumps bumping around the hall.

I guess OG was always like that.   If you read about the Presidents who came here including Teddy Roosevelt who assembled the Rough Riders on Ocean Pathway, and the speeches given by President Grant, Wilson and others, you can appreciate that the flags flying around town are a part of the town’s patriotic history. It represents certain roots that many of you value, judging from our piece about Sunday beach closures.

FYI there is a wonderful flag store where you can find a huge selection plus all the poles and hardware you could need. Their flags are made in America.  It is called Kempton Flags at 2800 Ridgewood Road in Wall Township.  (it is on Rt. 34 north side)   http://www.kemptonflag.com.   It is not far from OG.    They will dispose of your old flags, but you can also do that at the Municipal Building in Neptune  (the town, not the planet.)

AARON WEINSTEIN.   “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”  from his album A Handful of Stars. The reference to a handful of stars reminds me of the 13 original ones on our nation’s first flag.

Aaron Weinstein made this first album when he was nineteen years old and still in music school. He was so talented that the  publishers gave him full discretion to choose musicians, etc in the making of the album.

I saw Aaron perform live at the Axelrod Art Center in Deal in 2013.  He had just turned 28.

And below is a link to a jazz post on BF from last year where Weinstein is mentioned.

jazz article link


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