A typical dangerous curbside situation in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. Aug. 2018

…..and the sidewalks are often in bad shape.


So here is the question:  If someone falls due to these dangerous sidewalks and curb-sides  (including grassy  strips which have plants or holes in the ground)  and has an injury, who will the  “slip and fall lawyer” sue?  Who will be the defendant:  Will it be the township, or the CMA, or the homeowner—or all three?

Just wondering.—from Grover Frank Sumatra.


“This public property……”   Read the sign! Blogfinger photo at Firemen’s Park. 8/18


So why is this “public property” locked in the center and surrounded by iron spikes and brambles with sharp needles?

This park is historic. It used to be Woodlawn Park.  There were stables nearby, and folks could walk through while watching horse drawn carriages roll by.   And then it was Alday Park, dedicated to Dr. John Alday in 1915, and there was a beautiful bronze fountain placed  there in his honor.  It was not locked in—-anyone could go up to the fountain and dunk their hands or feet into the cool water.  Whatever happened to that fountain and why was it never restored as is occurring in Founders’ Park?

In 1959  (not so historic)  it became Firemen’s Park.  Why did that happen?  Why was a public park shut down in the center?   Why did it become less public than before?   The result is a barricaded bell in honor of deceased firemen.  But why is the center closed to the public?  There are benches inside. Why can’t the public sit down there?  Is it not “public property?”  Why can’t the kids come in, run around, and touch the bell?  Why are those dangerous shrubs and iron spikes allowed to remain?   Is this the North End version of the private place at the end of the pier?

This not a criticism of firemen, whose heroism in this town has saved lives and property; it is about the unfair misuse of a public park.

The Township Committee should reevaluate the dedication to firemen.  After all, the park is poorly kept.  Go check out the miserable plantings, the uncared-for trees and the toxic “grass.”  Give the park back to the people and appoint a citizen’s commission to take care of it and put it to better use.   How about this  park being  dedicated to all of America’s heroes, including firemen, and have events there such as poetry readings, art shows, military bands, small concerts, picnics for kids, nighttime gatherings in the summer, Wiffle ball tournaments, and dog shows—for example.

This park is on the new Christian Walking Tour of Ocean Grove.  What will those walkers think about the entombed bell in the middle?


ELLA FITZGERALD:   by Cole Porter:


BLOGFINGER staff report:

The historians at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of Ocean Grove  researched the history of the church located at 80 Embury Avenue and decided to create a self-guided walking tour of the town of Ocean Grove.

They published a booklet  (cover above) which offers a fascinating content of places and people, including photographs,  that defines what they describe as a “faith-based way of life” in the Grove. The writers are Karl and Pam Schweizer of Ocean Grove.

The booklet says that “Ocean Grove is a vibrant example of ‘living history,’ or more precisely, ‘living Christian history’ much of which can be visually recaptured by meandering through the town and exploring its extraordinary landmarks and scenes.”

As such, the tour provides 24 sites to visit including a number of homes as well as places such as the Great  Auditorium, Thornley Chapel, and the Beersheba Well among other locations.

#5 on the list is “The Beegle House” at 113 Mt. Hermon Way which was assigned this new name by the St. Paul writers.

According to the St. Paul’s historians,  the Rev. Henry Barnett Beegle (1818-1895) lived at that address.  The booklet shows a photograph from that era along with today’s 2018 version.  Beegle was appointed Superintendent of the OG Camp Meeting Association after Osborne resigned in 1871.    He also served as the first pastor of St.  Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church which was originally located where the Arts Center currently stands.

Photograph used in the walking tour booklet can be found in Ted Bell’s book of Ocean Grove Images. Bell’s photo is not dated, nor is the image in the walking tour booklet.

The tour booklets are available at the Historical Society of Ocean Grove and at St. Paul’s Church.

As for the Beegle House being assigned a historic name, that’s fine, but given the current demographics, we can’t help but call it  “The Bagel House.”

Here is a link to our article about the 19th century recordings of music in the Great Auditorium.

Waxing the Gospel

IRA SANKEY:   1890-1900 Great Auditorium:  “Nearer My God to Thee.”   From Waxing the Gospel



By Charles Layton, ex-Blogfinger staff.  Re-posted from 2012.  Still relevant.

I eastwooded today. It was totes cray FOMO. But, really, YOLO, right?

Oh, I forgot, I’m writing for Blogfinger. Gotta switch to the king’s English here.

Today we’re going to travel into the turbulent world of in-crowd slang. Please stow your baggage securely in the overhead compartment and make sure your tray is in the upright position.

For our purposes, an “in-crowd” is any group of people that wishes to distinguish itself from the likes of you. To do this, an in-crowd will develop its own language. If you’ve ever been in the armed services, you know what I’m talking about. The sergeants used to tell us recruits there were three ways to do a thing: the right way, the wrong way and the Army way. And God knows the Army has its own way of speaking. Ten hut!

African Americans developed a way of speaking that was intended to be private from whites. This dates from slavery. It obviously served a needed purpose. And the black community has been a fertile source of language engineering ever since.

Jazz musicians have always had a special way of speaking. Back in the day, one of my favorite jazz-musician/hipster turns of phrase was the playful attachment of the suffix “ville” to almost any word. Instead of being weird, something would be weirdsville. Instead of being cool, it would be coolsville.

In my wandering youth – in the very early 60s — I once found myself riding on a train with a young musician who was just full of jazzy slang. He was almost a caricature of the type; he actually said “Daddy-oh.” When our train passed through the village of Hicksville, on Long Island, he asked me, “Hey, man, where are we?”

I said, “We’re in Hicksville.”

He said, “I know, man, but what’s the name of the place.”


Criminals and gangsters have always constituted the quintessential in-crowd. In the 1930s, the movies acquainted the general public with such colorful gangster lingo as “stool pigeon” (or “stoolie”), referring to someone who was a “snitch” or a “rat” – someone who “squealed” or “sang” to the cops and therefore needed to be “rubbed out.” I seem to remember Edward G. Robinson uttering the wonderful phrase, “My rod will speak,” meaning he was going to shoot some people.

Drug users have given us a ton of slang terms, such as “horse” for heroin and “pot” and “grass” for marijuana. You know those terms. But do you know what an “Alice B. Toklas” is? It’s a marijuana brownie, named for the woman who was the partner of the writer Gertrude Stein. (It may not be a coincidence that a puff of marijuana is sometimes called a “toke.”)

And then, of course, we have teenagers and pre-teenagers who use slang to create a separate place for themselves in the world, a distinct culture, a wall between themselves and adults. That’s why a teenager says “It’s totes cray” instead of  “It’s totally crazy.”

A simple and common way to alter language is to cut off the ends off words. It’s why “radical” became “rad” some years ago, and why “reverend” got shortened to “rev.” Molly Ivins, the late columnist, used to call the Texas legislature “the Lege.” Now it’s the common term down there. In Washington these days, people call the Oval Office simply “the Oval.” It’s kind of fun to do this. The military raised word shortening to an art. Psychological operations became “psy ops.” Signals intelligence became “sigint.”

Connie Eble, an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been collecting college slang since 1972 and writing about it. College is a Petri dish for new slang. In the past, it has given us such expressions as “cut class,” “cram” and “rocks for jocks.” A “turkey dump” is when a college student returns home at Thanksgiving to dump his or her hometown sweetheart. “Dormcest” is hooking up with someone who lives in your dorm.

Eble’s list now includes two popular new terms that are acronyms: FOMO, which means “fear of missing out,” and YOLO, which means “you only live once.” These terms seem to have drifted downward into high school, junior high school and even lower. A kid who isn’t on Facebook can develop FOMO. Such a kid might say, “I’m having a FOMO attack,” converting the word into an adjective.

YOLO is even more interesting. It became popular this year after the rapper Drake included it in a song. “YOLO, and we ‘bout it every day, every day, every day.”

YOLO is what you say when a friend suggests parking in an illegal spot. People also speak of a boozy night on the town as YOLO-ing – “I went YOLO-ing last night.”

It’s not just a word, it’s a philosophy. This past spring a streaker – wearing nothing but a pair of sneakers – sprinted across the field at a Boston Red Sox game with YOLO written across his chest.

An example of eastwooding

By the way, we witnessed the birth of a brand new word just last week: “eastwooding,” named for the actor Clint Eastwood. To “eastwood” is to have a conversation with a chair, or to post a picture of yourself on the Internet in conversation with a chair. This has been happening on both left-wing and right-wing websites in recent days. It’s an activity all of America can enjoy, regardless of party affiliation.

Keep this thing out of your sister’s bedroom.

I think my favorite new slang word – phrase, actually – is “honey badger.” The honey badger is an animal native to Africa and Asia. It is known for its fearlessness and tenacity. According to Internet legend, honey badgers steal food from bigger animals, such as leopards; they attack and eat cobras, and they break into bee hives and eat the larvae even while getting stung thousands of times. Urban Dictionary states that “when they kill something they crack open their victim’s skull with their teeth and eat their brain and digest their thoughts.” It is even claimed that a honey badger will climb into bed with your sister and impregnate her while she sleeps.

Anyway, a guy named Randall made a YouTube video about the honey badger. It was crude, it was hilarious, and it went super-viral. Randall then, in 2011, published a book called Honey Badger Don’t Care. And now, voila!, “honey badger” has entered our language, and probably other languages, with several different meanings. A person might say, “I hate that girl; she’s such a honey badger.” The term also has a rather specific sexual definition, which Blogfinger propriety forbids me to reveal. But, actually, its meaning seems to be migrating in several directions, and if it should survive long-term, it’s unclear what it will finally come to mean.

Such is the nature of language. It is adaptive, supple, inventive and thoroughly unpredictable. In other words, it’s totes cray.

New York City. Undated. silver gelatin print by Paul Goldfinger ©

New York City. Undated. Silver gelatin print by Paul Goldfinger ©


HOLLYWOOD STUDIO SYMPHONY    “Fly a Kite” from the movie The Kite Runner.


FullSizeRender (1)Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff, was walking Chico around the Grove at 6:00 pm, December 23, 2015.—-rain, no snow. A wet winter wonderland.


Dennis Burlingame in Ocean Grove. Jan. 12, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Dennis Burlingame in Ocean Grove. Jan. 12, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger , Editor @Blogfinger  (re-posted from Jan, 2014)

Dennis Burlingame was born on Mt. Tabor Way in Ocean Grove. The 58 year old school-bus dispatcher has been seeking treasure on the beaches around here for over thirty years. Now he lives in Neptune City, but today, like some sort of Jersey shore archeologist,  he was on the hunt with his metal detection gear on the beach in Ocean Grove.  You can find people who enjoy this hobby in different places such as old battlefields or historic camp grounds.

Dennis mostly hopes to find either coins or jewelry on the beaches of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Today he didn’t find much. I asked him if the prospect of tons of fresh sand on our beach might produce some  surprises like historic  coins or jewels from some sunken ship wreck, like Mel Fisher found when he discovered the wreck of the Atocha, the Spanish treasure ship, off Key West.  But no, I couldn’t fire up Dennis’ imagination . He said that all that sand from far out* would produce nothing that he would find interesting.

According to Dennis, the best beach for metal detecting  around here is Belmar because the beaches there are  big and attract large crowds. He does have fond memories of a diamond bracelet that he once recovered from the sand.  He also recalls the clammer in Barnegat Bay who lost overboard a gold bracelet with diamonds and rubies.  The man took a bottle and created a marker.  He then hired Dennis to find the bracelet, and Dennis was able to return that expensive item to the owner.

We met Dennis as he was walking off the beach to return to his 4-wheel-drive truck.  He said it was time to give up the quest for today. His roof at home was leaking, and that was #2 on his to-do list.

* FYI   The sand used for replenishment is being brought from out in the surf of Sandy Hook.

Dennis  does spend a great deal of time by the beautiful sea, as do some characters  depicted in this video from 1919 into the 1950’s in Atlantic  City.  If a certain bathing beauty catches your eye, just put your cursor on the image and click the pause symbol.  Then click the play symbol to resume.  —–PG  (a man once asked another, “What do you think of bathing beauties?”    The response, “I don’t know, I never bathed one.”)

And here is Jessica Molaskey with a more modern version:


During two recent  Township Committee meetings, it became apparent that the Mayor and others  have been engaged in some sort of secret negotiations with North End “developers.”

During the July 9 Committee meeting,  Mayor Williams was  presiding.

Blogfinger recorded and posted this item regarding the North End Plan:

“Joan Venezia, representing the HOA North End Committee, …..once again asked, during the public portion, if there was any progress with the North End Plan.

“Vito Gadaleta, the Township Business Manager, responded and said that although a meeting involving the Township had been held with developers, no progress was achieved, and that he and the Mayor were clashing with those developers regarding who gets to decide what will be built.”      

BF:   This revelation is crazy, because only the unchangeable approved plan (2008) should define what should be built.


At the August 13 Committee meeting  (Carol Rizzo presiding,) During the committee reports  Committeeman Brantley said, ” We are moving on redevelopment but we are not getting what we want.” He did not say which redevelopment projects they were “negotiating” about.

During the Public Portion:

Diane Harris, a Neptuner who once ran for Committee as an Independent  said to  Brantley:    “They are not giving you what you want?  What do you want?”

Brantley responded , “I can’t say because we are negotiating.”

Nancy Clarke, representing the HOA, asked Brantley “What redevelopment areas are you negotiating?”

Brantley:  “The North End, Mid-town, etc   (the Township is engaged with a number of redevelopment projects.)


Blogfinger commentary:   Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin, Reporter and researcher.

Secret negotiations lack transparency and are thus suspicious. The Township Committee is the “Redevelopment Entity” for the North End Redevelopment Plan. As such, they should not be having secret meetings.

They have failed to reveal what these meetings are about and whom they are negotiating with.  We know that there is supposedly a new re-developer, but no redeveloper can be named or met with unless they have been formally approved and identified by the Township.   And how can there be a new redeveloper without bids being offered and reviewed publicly?

Michael Badger, President of the CMA says that there is a new plan, but no new plan has ever been formally adopted.

This business reeks from the perception of impropriety.  Local governments may not engage in any actual impropriety or even a perception of such.

This process, as revealed above, must be investigated by the State Attorney General because there is a foul smell emanating from the Neptune Township Municipal Building.    We challenge any of the current Committeemen to do their duty, as elected officials, and make a public statement to explain what is going on here.

In 2015 we heard from a local developer who tried to have his plan for the North End presented fairly to Neptune Township during the initial processes of 2008.  This is his email to us:

We are suspicious of all this, and rightfully so.


FIORELLO: Original Broadway cast:


Dissecting aneurysm of the aorta. Internet image.

Dissecting aneurysm of the aorta. Internet image.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC  (Re-post from 2014 on Blogfinger.net)

The simple answer is yes, and it often has to do with fear of harming a patient either through what we do to treat a disease or through missing a diagnosis.

A basic tenet of medical practice is, “First do no harm.”   During my career I thought of that warning many times, because a physician is often tempted to do something that might be risky. Oftentimes that concern is more than balanced by the potential to help a patient—-even to save their lives.

I think that certain diagnoses also strike fear into the hearts of doctors.  In my years as a cardiologist, the condition which worried me the most was dissecting aneurysm of the aorta. This is a life threatening emergency which usually affects men, ages 60-70, but anyone could be a victim. The aorta is the large blood vessel that leaves the heart to carry oxygen-rich blood all over the body and especially to vital organs such as the brain and heart.  A tear develops in the aorta, for a variety of reasons, and the wall of this large artery begins to split apart lengthwise and may even rupture. The condition usually develops suddenly and evolves quickly,  resulting in high mortality rates.

Aside from the obvious risk of such a catastrophe, one of the fearful  elements of it for the physician is that the signs and symptoms can be varied and difficult to figure out, and the chance of survival improves when treatment is initiated as soon as possible.   For example it can mimic a heart attack or a stroke.   Very often it produces excruciating mid or upper back pain, and whenever I would get a call from the ER about someone with such pain, a knot in my stomach would quickly develop. Oftentimes the varied presentation of a dissecting aneurysm would fool the doctor and send him down the wrong path.  My greatest fear was to miss the diagnosis.

Occasionally this dangerous condition would present with no pain at all—-just other symptoms like nausea or sweating or shock. I recall one patient whose sole initial symptom was fainting accompanied by a very slow pulse, initially causing us to misunderstand the situation.

If a doctor experiences fear, it is often alleviated by the certainty of  experience, knowledge, a correct diagnosis, and a hopeful treatment plan.

Another source of fear is when the doctor is involved in a surgical procedure which goes wrong. But experienced  surgeons often don’t have fear during such situations because they are trained professionals who react reflexly to correct a problem. I worked with a surgeon at Dover  (NJ) General Hospital  and Medical Center who had been in a front line surgical unit in Viet Nam. There was nothing that would scare him.

The best defense against fear is competence  and character,  and that is why a solid education during medical school and during post-graduate training at quality institutions is so important and why patients need to look at their doctors’ credentials.

Gen. George Patton said, “All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood .”  

And so it is for physicians who must put aside their fear and go ahead and protect their patients.

As for dissecting aneurysm, new diagnostic imaging methods and new treatments now available, including non-surgical approaches, provide reassurance for the doctor and the patient during this dangerous problem.


CARTER BURWELL   “The Deer”  from the movie “3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”


Noah Michael can bearly contain his glee, celebrating with a blue bear (a close friend of the Blogfinger blue cow.)    Goldfinger family photo. 8/16/18


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