September 26, 2022. Paul Goldfinger photo. Ocean Grove, NJ. Blogfinger.net ©.  Click to enlarge,



MARIO LANZA. from “The Student Prince.”

From the Stokes autobiography. Blogfinger scan.


Ellwood H. Stokes bronze after the “Founding Father’s”  power wash. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger.photo, 9/26/22.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor.  Blogfinger.net.   Ocean Grove, NJ


Rev. E.H. Stokes  was the first president of Ocean Grove’s Camp Meeting Association .  He served from 1869-1897–when he died.   “Stokes was a man of letters:  poet, composer of hymns and an author. He was beloved by the people of Ocean Grove.”*

He wrote an autobiography called  “Footprints in My Own Life” which was published in 1898 by M.W. & C. Pennypacker of Asbury Park.

When the Auditorium was completed in 1894, Stokes gave the first sermon.

His bronze statue which  sits on a granite base in front of the Great Auditorium was sculpted by Paul W. Morris and was unveiled in 1905.  The total cost was $10,000.00

Stokes almost completed his autobiography when he died.  The last chapter, “A Tribute, ” was written by his colleague Rev. Dr. A.E. Ballard.  The last paragraph reads:

“Whatever may come in the future—however much the forms and customs may change as they have already changed—the names of Ellwood H. Stokes and Ocean Grove will stand together while time has a history or eternity a record.”

Yesterday, September 25, 2022, a crew of workers arrived to clean the Stokes statue. They used power washing and “chemicals.”

The statue looks great, and it never winces or looks askance. The bronze Stokes has withstood Superstorm Sandy, thousands of shoppers milling around at the Giant Flea Market, and a beautiful young yoga instructor who just moved into town and stood on her head, motionless,  near his statue.  Nobody chased her away.  (Remember “yogagate?”)



This is Grace, a new Grover, putting on a yoga exhibit near Stokes. August 2021. . Paul Goldfinger photo.  EHS didn’t mind.   After all, as noted above, change in OG is inevitable, and Grace is part of the” OG Underground.”–a new  young secular demographic in town.


* This information is from the Rutgers University library.




9/26/22:   We have learned that the Historical Society has received complaints about the statue’s appearance.

Our source tells us that “one person was told by the workers that the problem was caused by the painting of the statue many years ago.  This apparently caused a different chemical reaction in parts when the patina was applied.”

The situation is in the hands of the Camp Meeting Association.

Here is another view with a lighter photo exposure:

Stokes statue: another view post chemical treatment. 9/26/22 Paul Goldfinger photo.  Click to enlarge.


MIKIS THEODORAKIS.  “Zorba’s Dance” From the movie. Zorba the Greek:


1881 Fishing Pier in OG, Embury Avenue. Submitted by Rich Amole, BF staff.

Photo:  1881 Fishing Pier in Ocean Grove. Submitted by Rich Amole, BF staff.


By Rich Amole— Blogfinger historian and reporter

The photo above shows the original pier built off  Embury ave. in 1881.

Back then the sewer line went out to the shoreline and the pier was built to protect it.  Next thing you know someone wants to fish out on it so a charge of 5 cents is collected.   Strippers were far and few between and it turned out to be a bad year for fishing as they made only $650 in the July to September season.  Of course those folks just wishing to take a stroll down the pier had a nice unobstructed view of the Atlantic and there is something to be said about this simple pleasure.

Editor’s note:    Rich, you can be darned sure that “strippers were far and few between”   in the 1881 religious community of Ocean Grove.    But stripers are another story—— a fine kettle of fish.  —-PG

ps. What’s going on?—just today we had “pubic pier” sent to BF and corrected by our man in Havana  I.M. Radar.







At the Met.

Moe Demby photo, Blogfinger staff. November, 2018. Metropolitan Museum of Art. NYC.


Original Broadway Cast Recording of The Light in the Piazza.  “Statues and Stories”  by Adam Guettel.  Set in Florence, Italy.

“On a central square, in a city of the sun rose a palace.
It was high and handsome gleaming like the crown of a king.”
“There were princes, painters, noblemen of logic and art.”



Late November garden in Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©




By Charles Pierre

From a rusted nail
on the south wall

of an old boathouse
weathered to gray,

a small pail of
red impatiens

swings in the mild
November sun,

where the rush
of stark sea wind

has yet to dim
the arc of lush color.




From her album Songbird.

Paul Goldfinger photo on the OG boards. Can anyone explain the macadam?  9/22. Click to enlarge. ©


OSCAR D’LEON.     “Frenesi.”


For the good times….

Paul Goldfinger photo. ©





Loud amplified rock on a Saturday afternoon on the OG boards takes a toll. Blogfinger photo. 9/24/22


Noisy amplified religious music on the OG boards on Saturday. 9/24/22. Not everyone there is interested. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Does the CMA prefer such an event on Saturday since they prefer peace and quiet on a Sunday?


Paul Goldfinger,  Editor. Blogfinger.net. 9/24/22. Ocean Grove.


On the third  day of autumn, Saturday, September 24, a musical religious celebration was happening at the boardwalk pavilion at Ocean Grove. The audience was modest, but the amplification was outrageous.  Why does the CMA have to share their religious activities with everyone in town–secular residents and tourists alike?

Why wasn’t this noisy event held in the Great Auditorium?  And why wasn’t such a happening held on Sunday?   As it is, Sunday is reserved for religious programs.  Can’t we get some  Saturdays in the Grove devoted to peaceful secular pleasures for everyone to enjoy?

It was a lovely afternoon; the sun was shining, and people were walking and talking.  It was the sort of day when a stroll  on the boards promised ocean breezes, sunshine, laughter, squawking seagulls, and an overall  noise-free peaceful  atmosphere.

When I went there late in the afternoon, there was a very loud  band, amplified, performing religious rock/ hip hop music and loud preaching  inside the pavilion but echoing all over, and the audience was spilling out onto that whole area, not only in the pavilion.   For me it was an  unpleasant sound and an intrusion into my having a peaceful Saturday walk on the boards.

I tried to find a place to escape the sound-attack,  but even near the pier the raucous noise was bothersome.  I had to leave.

Why should the CMA be permitted to have such a program  on a Saturday?    I grew up in a New Jersey small town with many churches, and we never had such events on Saturday or any other day.

Can you name any other Jersey towns that impose outdoor religious services on its citizens?

The boardwalk is a “public thoroughfare” as designated by the CMA, FEMA, Neptune and everyone else, so where is the separation of church and state?

Neptune supposedly governs the Grove, but what we have here is a theocracy by default.  And this religious service is  too much even though the CMA owns the pavilion and the boardwalk.  They don’t own the air or the right to fill the air with deafening sound.

The ambition of the CMA to become a dominant “year-round OG Christian seaside community”  will come true unless the secular community rises up to request consideration for those who are not into the CMA’s “mission.”





Photo by Paul Goldfinger . 2022.

Water is buoyant if you let it buoy you-- else you're sunk

George Held, poet, won a first prize for this haiku: Performance Poets Association Haiku Contest 2022, First Prize.

"The Shape of Water".
By Alexandre Desplat. From the movie soundtrack of the same name.

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