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4 degrees F. January 2004. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©

4 degrees F. January 2004. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click for full view

2004. Ocean Grove, NJ. by Paul Goldfinger © Left click for full view

2004. Ocean Grove, NJ. by Paul Goldfinger © Click for full view

By Paul Goldfinger, M.D.  Editor Blogfinger.net.   Re-posted from May, 2013, post-Sandy.

On May 2, 2013, we posted Part I of our piece about the Ocean Grove fishing pier,  “a historic landmark in a historic town.”  At the end of that article we discussed some of the more recent history of the pier and of the  Ocean Grove Fishing Club, also a historic entity dating back to the late 19th century.

That Part I  2013 article is reposted above.  Part 2 is below:

It would be best to pick up the story in December 1992 when a huge nor’easter destroyed most of the pier and some of the boardwalk. Only a small portion at the end of the pier was left, and the Fishing Clubhouse was carried out to sea.  The Club’s activities were curtailed until 1994 when the pier was rebuilt by the Fishing Club which obtained a Small Business Loan from the Government.  They borrowed $277,000 which was paid off by the Club members.

In exchange for that financial commitment, the only quid pro quo was that the Camp Meeting Association would grant them a 30 year lease extending out to 2024.

The mortgage was paid off a few years ago.  Note that the Club has always paid the property taxes for the pier, even though the property is still legally owned by the CMA.

Fast forward to August, 2011, when a hurricane named Irene damaged the fishing pier causing destruction of 9 pilings and 20 feet of pier. The boardwalk was not harmed.

The Camp Meeting Association applied to FEMA for $150,000 to make repairs to the pier, but the request was denied.

In a Blogfinger article  by Charles Layton (10/22/12)  about this matter, Mr. Ralph delCampo of the CMA is quoted as saying “The rejection was because the Fishing Club area is private.”  Once again the OG Fishing Club proposed to finance the reconstruction work if they could be granted an extension of the lease for another 30 years.

Link to 10/22/12 Blogfinger article about 2011 Irene damage to pier

Negotiations between the two sides moved slowly, and finally a decision by the CMA was to be presented on October 29, 2012, ironically the day that Sandy hit.  That meeting was never held.

Since Sandy, the Fishing Club has met with the CMA, but the CMA has not been willing to make a commitment regarding the future of the Fishing Club which still has 11 years on its lease.  The only thing that they will say with certainty is that they will rebuild the pier.

At this point  (2013,) the Fishing Club has lost some members, dropping down to 100.  Again, it has offered to finance the rebuilding of the pier, but the CMA has expressed concerns about that financing arrangement and will not agree to the proposal at this time. Mr. delCampo estimates that the pier will cost between $750,000 to $1 million, although the Fishing Club members think it could be less.

Mr. delCampo will not discuss the pier situation beyond what he has said already.  If the CMA has more specific plans for the pier, it has not revealed those plans publicly.

At a meeting of the Fishing Club Board of Trustees today  (May, 2013,)  we heard some frustration  expressed.  The members can’t understand why the CMA would refuse their offer to pay.  “Where is the downside of accepting our offer?” asked one member. “We are willing to foot the bill.”  The members pointed out that the 1992 nor’easter was a similar situation, and the club kept all its promises including paying off the loan   “There is a precedent,” said one of the trustees.

The Fishing Club views itself as being “good citizens” of Ocean Grove, always supportive of the town including a $5,000.00 donation to the Phase 1 rebuilding effort.   They say, “We want what’s best for the community.”  Their frustrations can be heard in their comments including: “We’re very disappointed.  We’re  saddened and perplexed.  What are their intentions? They don’t want to engage us. This is a stalemate.”

The Fishing Club trustees refuse to consider their organization as a private club.  They say that anyone can be a member, and the only reason for limiting the membership has to do with size—-“engineering and safety issues.”

Since 2011, the famous “teaching kids to fish program” has been curtailed. The group thinks that their history and their record of being a “community within a community” needs to be recognized.

What if the Fishing Club is not reinstated on the pier?  This is something they do not want to consider, but if it happens, they will continue as a surf-fishing club, but without the kids—it would be too risky and there would have to be lifeguards, rescue boats, etc.

President Al Dawson points out that Asbury Park and Bradley Beach have fishing clubs, but no piers.  However, continuing a fishing pier  tradition in the Grove that is at least 115 years old is the only way to satisfy these OG fishermen and fisherwomen.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  May 21, 2013.  Besides the members of the OGFC and the management of the OGCMA, I don’t know how many of you actually care about the intricate details of this situation.  However, after another interview with Mr. Ralph delCampo of the OGCMA, I have to clarify a few points.

First, the FEMA denial for funds to restore the fishing pier after Irene (2011)  was not due to the presence of a private club at the end of the pier.  That is what the October article in BF said, but Mr. delCampo believes there was a misunderstanding.

Instead, the denial in 2011 was because the pier was defined as a recreational facility owned by a private nonprofit organization.

The only difference now  (2013),  post Sandy,  is that financing for  both the pier and the boardwalk were denied by FEMA because they are deemed recreational and owned by a private nonprofit.

Second, regarding the OG Fishing Club, Mr. delCampo says that he cannot accept an agreement now with the OGFC until he has “clarity” regarding the FEMA appeal.  He says that there are “four or five scenarios” which could develop regarding financing  which could  influence decisions about the Fishing Club.  He said, “Once we have clarity we will talk to the Fishing Club and entertain all options.”

He reminded me that in 1992, when the OGFC financed the reconstruction of the pier, the collateral for that financing was the Camp Meeting Association itself. This is the first time that fact has been mentioned in this dialogue.  So here is yet another variable to consider.

Mr. delCampo says that he is working on “parallel sequential decision trees” which make a final decision impossible at this time. One variable that he acknowledges is that he has not seen a formal, concrete financing commitment  from the Fishing Club.  If one were to materialize now, he says that he would consider it. His working understanding, based on engineering analysis, is that  the job will cost $750,000-$1,000,000.

I think I have laid out the facts, so at this point, May, 2013, the two parties need to talk to each other.  Either party may, of course, comment below.—–Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.

Editor’s note January 20, 2018:     *Eventually FEMA approved boardwalk funding in 2014, but they did not approve the request for public funds to rebuild the pier, and there was no appeal because the CMA did not want to rattle the cages in Washington once again.

The CMA has placed the pier reconstruction at the bottom of their priority list, and currently the North End boardwalk work is about to begin. At no time has the CMA bailed out on their promise to eventually restore the pier.

As for the Fishing Club’s current status, we have no information, but if that group still exists, they are welcome to comment below.

JOHN COLTRANE  “Say It Over and Over Again.”

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Paris, c. 1994. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Paris, c. 1994. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Blogfinger.net

REBECCA KILGORE and the Hal Smith California Swing Cats and Tim Laughlin:

 

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Reposted from BF 2012:

We have been posting so much dreary nostalgic music lately—old Pachelbel himself is feeling down—-that we must lift everyone’s spirits.  So, from the “new Asbury Park” we bring you our first centerfold edition.

The Blogfinger Girls were photographed on the AP boards during Bamboozle 2012.  (Note: The festival will not be returning to AP next year—economic issues)–

Next centerfold will be from Ocean Grove.  Anybody interested?   (Men can volunteer also—we are an equal opportunity blog).  Just submit your jpegs rated PG-13 or less.     —Paul Goldfinger

The Blogfinger Girls getting bamboozled on the Asbury boards. By Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger centerfold photographer

The Blogfinger Girls getting bamboozled on the Asbury boards. By Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger centerfold photographer

SOUNDTRACK:   There’s something about these girls—They’re into the groove. Here’s Madonna–she wants to dance:

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Chaim

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Click on the images to make them bigger.

Chaim Kanner (1943-2000) was born in Nice. He studied in Europe and photographed in France and Italy. In 1967 he spent a year photographing in the US and Mexico. He worked as a professional photographer, first in the commercial field and then later in the fine art realm. He moved to the US in 1981.

I met him only once. It was in the 1980’s in mid-town Manhattan. He was a strange sight: an orthodox Jew in the traditional black garb and black hat, but what was unusual was that he was exhibiting photographs on the steps of a brownstone, selling prints to passersby.

I was drawn to the image of the French girl hanging clothes out the window. It was the sort of black and white “street photography ” that I prefer — very much like the work of so many great European artists. His prints were sophisticated and beautifully done and they didn’t seem to fit with his persona, especially the part where he was selling his work on somebody’s stoop. I only now found out that he was a pro and that he died in 2000.

I bought two photographs from him that day. They were inexpensive, perhaps $10.00. I still treasure the image of the girl from Nice — because it is wonderful but also because of how I acquired it.  — Paul Goldfinger    (note: click left for a larger view)

ADDENDUM: The above article is reposted from January, 2013, but now  (below) we show the second Chaim Kanner photograph which I have. It, like the other one, is a silver gelatin print which he made himself.  It is a gorgeous urban landscape which I love,  taken in Paris of the River Seine at the Pont Neuf.

Although the subject is rather trite, that is irrelevant because his result is so beautiful.    The strikingly clear lighting, the composition, and then the print itself make this version special.   I photographed the same scene when I went there, but his is so much better.  I can’t believe I bought this on a mid-town stoop.

The name Chaim is of Hebrew origin and means “life,” Just like the toast “L’chaim” means “to life.”  You may recall the song from Fiddler on the Roof.  My grandfather’s name was Chaim, but the anglicized version was “Hyman.”  Looking back on it, I wonder which one he preferred. I called him by his third name—“Grandpa.”  In fact, I wanted to name our oldest son after him, but Eileen objected to having a son named “Grandpa.”

Eugene Atget, a French photographer, became famous photographing old Paris.  Here is a link to our 2013 post about Atget including an example of my own work trying to emulate the master:   Blogfinger on Atget

Paris, 1980. By Chaim Kanner. ©

Paris, 1980. By Chaim Kanner. ©

 

SIDNEY BECHET.  The music video is from Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Kaufmann residence in 1935 for a family from Philadelphia.  It is a marvelous place to visit. Located in a woodsy location  in southwest Pennsylvania, it has recently undergone restoration. Read about it. See link below.

When we went there, there were many photographers. It is considered one of the most important works of American architecture. We learned that Wright designed all the furniture inside and he even wanted to design the clothes for the lady of the house.    Wikipedia on Falling Water

Falling Water. Photo by Paul Goldfinger. © Click left for bigger view.

Fallingwater. Photo by Paul Goldfinger. © Click left for bigger view. Reposted from 2013.

AL JOLSON.  He might as well be singing about Fallingwater in the morning. Butterflies, morning dew , buttercups and morning glories–they’re there too.

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Boardwalk Casino, Asbury Park, as seen from the Ocean Grove side, c. 2011. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

Boardwalk Casino, Asbury Park, as seen from the Ocean Grove side, c. 2011. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

The name Casino conjures up life in 1950’s Havana.  This song is from the Casino Life album featuring  Don Azplazo and the Havana Casino Orchestra with “Amor Sincero”  (true love)

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Tuscany, Italy. 1996. By Paul Goldfinger.

Tuscany, Italy. 1996. By Paul Goldfinger. ©  (re-posted from April 2013)

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.  This is a pas de deux from Act III of Swan Lake.  It is very difficult for one swan to do a pas de deux,  but this Italian swan is capable.  After all, he (or she?) is the only component in this photo which is in sharp focus.   Recently we posted a photograph of a seagull in a boat, misidentified as a duck. But a swan?—–never mistaken for a duck.

Has professional ballet ever been presented  in Ocean Grove?  I’ve never seen it mentioned in the OG history books. We certainly had a lot of opera and choral music, but vocalizing was always emphasized here thanks to Tali Essen Morgan who’s buddy was Caruso.  There is no mention of Tali hanging out in the Grove with prima ballerinas.

Swan Lake made its debut in Moscow in 1877 by the Bolshoi. Tchaikovsky wrote it, and it  has been almost constantly on tour ever since. Maybe someday we will have Swan Lake on the stage in the magnificent Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

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Camp Ground c. 1870. Rev. Stokes is in black. Rev. Cookman is in white. Why is no street named after Stokes? Photo courtesy of W. T. Bell*

Camp Ground c. 1870. Rev. Stokes is in black. Rev. Cookman is in white. Why is no street named after Stokes?    Photo courtesy of W. T. Bell*   Reposted from June, 2013 on Blogfinger.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In an article in the New York Times, published on July 12, 1873, their “special correspondent” said,” On the eastern coast of New Jersey, from Sandy Hook to Cape May, there is not a more lovely spot, nor one better adapted for a Summer’s resort than Ocean Grove. The grove proper is situated six miles south of Long Branch, and contains 300 acres of forest land, bounded on the north by Wesley Lake, on the south by Fletcher Lake, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the turnpike road to Long Branch.”

Even though Ocean Grove was only four years old then, there were already 300 cottages built or under construction. That week of July 11, 1873, there was a beehive of activity getting ready for the week long “Union Seaside Convention” which was being held for the dedication of the Tabernacle, which was a “monmouth tent” open on the sides and able to seat thousands. The event was not only for Methodists. It was clearly for Christians, but a variety of sects were welcomed and were in attendance including Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Friends and Methodists.

“Crowds” were pouring into the Grove from Philadelphia and New York by train. “By noon the place was fairly overrun.” The tourists had to be resourceful in finding a place to stay. There were to be 250 tents erected, and workmen were rushing about trying to get them finished.

The article mentioned that 1,500 people lived in OG for the summer season, and 600 of those lived in tents. The tents were set up all over town—there were no special tent places. It was noted that there was a “bare strip of grassland” running near the beach, and many tents were erected there. Setting up was a family affair, and the process was considered great “fun” as people were moving furnishings and supplies around all over town.

In the Grove were a few boarding houses and “several very good hotels.” You could stay for a week in an “excellent” place for $10.00. The “season” extended from June through September, but the huge camp meeting week was held in August. People would come from the train and go to the post office to find out where they could get a room.

The Times observed that “there is no hurry about anything. Everybody takes his time.” No intoxicating beverages could be sold in the Grove or for 3 miles around. The main activities were “boating, bathing and fishing.” Some of the “boys” played baseball. Others played croquet, although it’s not clear if girls could join in.

Most visitors and townies showed up for the dedication of the Tabernacle where there were prayers and speeches. Note that the Bishop Janes Tabernacle was constructed in 1877.

A couple of interesting items were mentioned in the article. One stated that homeowners received a 99 year lease, but at the end of that term, the family heirs could “buy the lot unconditionally.” That sounds like something to look into.

Finally, a very special event was to happen that week. Rev. Osborn, the founder of OG, was to be presented with a $3,000.00 cottage on Wesley Lake.

It sounds like Ocean Grove became quite famous very quickly after the Founders first got together in a park over by Long Pond (later, Wesley Lake) in 1869.

JOAN MORRIS:

CREDIT: Photo from Images of America: Ocean Grove.* Thanks for permission from Wayne T. Bell, author.

See the Blogfinger article about the birth of Ocean Grove: ” Who’s Your Daddy?”   The true story of the founding of Ocean Grove. (Scroll down a short distance)    link:

Who’s Your Daddy?

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DEA and ATF federal officers at a surprise raid to capture an alleged drug dealer. 8/16/17. APP photograph.   Manchester, NJ  is in Ocean County, near Toms River.  APP.com has more photos and an action video.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

This drug trafficking ring has been supplying death dealing poisons to citizens of Monmouth and Ocean Counties where opiate related mortalities have been going up sharply.

From NJ.com in March 2017:

“Authorities are working with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Medical Examiner’s Office and other health officials to figure out why the northeast coastal communities are “disproportionately impacted” when compared to the rest of the state. ”

Below is the official document dated Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, by the Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.   Special to Blogfinger from official sources, August 15, 2017.

 

“Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Carl J. Kotowski, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging 12 defendants with participating in a drug trafficking organization that distributed large quantities of heroin in and around Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey, and obtained the heroin from Washington Heights and the Bronx, among other places. In conjunction with the unsealing of the Indictment, search warrants were executed at several locations in New Jersey.

“Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim stated: “As alleged, this organization transported large quantities of heroin from Washington Heights and the Bronx across the Hudson to Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey, helping to fuel the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation. Today’s arrests of twelve alleged members of this heroin distribution organization is part our sustained commitment, along with our partners at the DEA, to stop the flow of heroin into and out of New York.”

“DEA Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski said: “Today’s arrests should send a clear message to the drug traffickers that DEA and our partners are committed to keeping our neighborhoods safe. Those arrested are facing significant time in prison and will no longer be pushing their poison.”

“Mr. Kim thanked the DEA Monmouth Ocean HIDTA Task Force for their outstanding work on the investigation. The Monmouth Ocean HIDTA Task Force comprises representatives from the DEA, the ATF, the New Jersey State Police, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and the Neptune Township Police Department. Mr. Kim also thanked the Howell Police Department, the Freehold Township Police Department, the Lakewood Police Department, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for their assistance in this investigation. He added that the investigation is continuing.

“This matter is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Hanft and Michael D. Neff are in charge of the prosecution.

“The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

(note: italics are ours at BF)

 

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Swimwear from Victorians’ Secrets. Reposted from November, 2012. Maybe it’s fake news.

By Paul Goldfinger, history editor @Blogfinger

In 1869, the Founding Fathers founded Ocean Grove in Larry’s Park (later, the name was changed to Founders’ Park). Soon thereafter, many visitors came to this popular resort. Some people wanted to live here, but sleeping in tents began to wear thin, so a building boom began, and along with that came realtors in 1872.

They opened an office on Main Avenue and called it Century 19. Many of the realtors were young ladies who wore billowing dresses with hoops and crinolines that made them extra wide. It was fun watching 2 or 3 of them squeeze inside a tent. They drove their clients around in shiny buggies that said “20% down” on the back.

The sales pitch for selling houses here must have been a challenge because of all the limitations: no horses in town on Sunday, no alcoholic drinks, no tossing pie pans on Sunday, no carousing on Saturday night, and no hanky panky. (Well, that last one was quickly tossed out due to overwhelming opposition by the folks in the choir, especially the basses and the sopranos. Besides, Grovers did need something else to do on Sunday.)

Another reason why there was no “blue law” for sex is that a baby was born in the tent colony,  and that is where the term “Founding Father” was born.

One of the problems was that Rev. Stokes had organized a lot sale. People came from New York City and Philadelphia to buy land in this unique town. Then, somehow, it turned out that they had purchased a lease. “What the heck avenue,” they complained. But even today, no one knows why their house is sitting on somebody else’s land. Luckily, lawyers followed the realtors into town and they made it all official.

It should be noted that you couldn’t go to Asbury Park for fun back then, because it was a sedate place having just been founded in 1871. The Asburians tried to emulate the example of Ocean Grove, but good luck with that idea.

Watch for our next installment of OG Historical Snapshots when we will tell the story of Jewish Grovers and how they introduced bagels with cream cheese to God’s Square Mile.

And here is Dinah Washington, who knows what to do on Sunday:

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