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Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times Advertisement Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyShare This Page Email Share NY Times

Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times.  2016

 

Ocean Grove by Paul Goldfinger.  Imagine the Grove after OGNED gets done with the North End. Why won’t they reveal who they are??

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   Jan. 2016.     Re-post 12/22

 

In a front page article in the NY Times*, it is reported that the Justice Department is looking into secret investors who are behind high end real estate deals. They are especially interested in professionals such as real estate agents, bankers, and lawyers who are involved in developing such entities.

Oftentimes shell companies are formed such as LLC’s**  (limited liability corporations)  that shield the identities of investors. Frequently foreign buyers are involved using cash payments as they seek real estate deals to hide or launder their money.

Currently the investigators are focusing on New York City and Miami.

There is an LLC that is involved in the North End Redevelopment Plan. It is called WAVE, and we posted an article about it in April, 2015.

Since 2007. the identities of the WAVE investors have been hidden, even though they have been doing business with Neptune Township, the governing entity that is in charge of the North End Area in Need of Redevelopment.

You would think that any group doing business with the Township would be required to disclose the identities of its investors, and if it refuses, the Township should open bidding for others to be redevelopers of the NERP.  But the Township continues to be involved with WAVE.

This is not to say that there is any evidence that WAVE’s principles are doing anything illegal,  but any entity doing business with the Township should be totally above board  and transparent, or it should be excused from participating in this project. This is about appearances, and the Township ought to make sure that its business associates are squeaky clean.  As far as we can tell, the Committee does not know whom it is dealing with.

**”Simply put, an LLC is the least complex business structure. Unlike an S corp or C corp, an LLC’s structure is flexible. It also gives you the perk of pass-through taxes, limited liability (obviously), and legal protection for your personal assets; plus the added benefit of looking more legit than the other guys.” ( Internet definition.)

NY Times link:*

www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/us/us-will-track-secret-buyers-of-luxury-real-estate.html?_r=0

CAROL HANEY   from the Pajama Game.

 

Editor’s note:  It is now nearly 7 years since we expressed concern about the identities of those who are part of WAVE, the “re-developers” at the OG North End.

The identities of every member of that secretive group should have been demanded by Neptune Township because such a re-development zone comes under the direction of the Township Committee according to Land Use Law in NJ.   But amazingly, the curtain was never pulled back.   What were they hiding?

We should have been informed of every name in order to know about conflicts of interest in the Grove and Neptune governance.

Recently  the issue was once again raised here on Blogfinger, but this time the secretive group has been renamed OGNED—Ocean Grove North End Developers.

Before this project is allowed to place even one shovelful of  Grovarian dirt onto a dump truck, an HOA lawyer,  or the Attorney General,  should make sure that all secrets are revealed to the public before the character of this town is allowed to be transformed by big-money interests.

 

Paul Goldfinger, MD ,  Editor Blogfinger. net

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Organ curator, John Shaw preparing the new harmonic flute pipes for installation at the Great Auditorium. Photo by Mary Walton

 

By Mary Walton, Blogfinger staff.  2012.

     Back in the 1960s, in what organist Gordon Turk deplores as “an unfortunate attempt to modernize” the magnificent organ in the Great Auditorium, 44 large open wood pipes were removed, cut up and used for wind ducts.
     Their absence robbed the organ of its heft and rich, deep-throated tone. The person responsible “claimed to be an organ specialist but really should have been a plumber,” said Ocean Grove’s organ curator, John Shaw.
     But when Turk puts the pedal to the metal for the opening concert of the 2012 summer season at noon Saturday, the Auditorium will once again fill with the sound that organ designer and builder Robert Hope-Jones intended listeners to hear.
     Earlier this month replacement pipes made of poplar, constructed by A.R. Schopp’s Sons of Ohio and ranging in size from four to sixteen feet, were shoehorned into the tight quarters behind the choir loft by a team of Philadelphia riggers. To gain access, a wall to the building superintendent’s office had to be removed and then replaced.
     There’s more. For some years Turk had longed for a set of harmonic flute pipes such as those found in the organs of certain French cathedrals. The Ocean Grove organ has many flute pipes, but harmonic flute pipes are distinguished by a small hole which reinforces certain overtones, giving them a clear “ringing” quality.
     Until recently Turk believed they would render superlative sound only if  housed in stone cathedrals. That is, until he played the organs at halls in Zurich and Vienna with acoustics similar to the wood-lined Great Auditorium. Could such pipes be installed here?
     Turk consulted, among others, Jean-Louis Coignet, the organ curator of the City of Paris, who had once visited Ocean Grove and pronounced the auditorium’s organ “magnifique.” Over the winter they worked via e-mail to establish specifications for 306 harmonic flute pipes ranging in size from one and three-fifths to eight feet, divided into five “ranks” played from the organ’s five keyboards. John Shaw installed them just this week.
     The two installations bring the organ’s total pipe count to 11,558.
     The cost of the additional pipes is $65,000, made possible by gifts from two donors, James G. Howes of Clearwater, Florida, a transportation consultant, and Dr. Liselotte Schmidt, a retired music professor who lives in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

 

Howes, the grandson of  Methodist minister G.E. Lowman, a noted Baltimore radio evangelist, contributed $45,000 for the construction and installation of the open wood pipes in memory of his grandfather.  “I thought this would be a wonderful way to memorialize my grandfather and make a contribution to Ocean Grove that everyone could enjoy,” he said in an interview.

     Howes learned to play the organ in his grandfather’s church, the Baltimore Gospel Tabernacle, now an historic landmark. “I’m just good enough,” he said, “to know how much more I need to know.” He has also played and sung in the choir of the interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City.
     Howes’ grandparents were frequent visitors to Ocean Grove, as was his mother. Howes himself has been coming here since childhood and never misses a Choir Festival. A pilot who forged a career in airport management, Howes is also the president of Atlas Communications, which offers a weekly radio program, Sacred Classics, and produces CDs and concerts.
One CD recorded in 2001 features Gordon Turk. Titled “Sacred Classics at Ocean Grove,” it has sold more than 3,000 copies, which Howes says is “very good for an organ record.”
     He will be in the audience Saturday when Gordon Turk will debut the organ’s new additions.
     Turk will also offer a July 4 recital (“Storms &Thunder, Stripes & Pipes”) and will play at a July 5 Summer Stars performance with the Philos Polished Brass Ensemble. And featuring, of course, the Auditorium organ.

One of the new 16-foot open wood pipes under construction earlier this year in Ohio


Editor’s note.   September, 07, 2022.
  Below is a comment from OG historian David Fox dated today.

 

The Auditorium organ was purchased at a supposed discount in return for having, “Hope-Jones Organ Co. Elmira, N. Y.” emblazoned in gold on the base of the central display pipes. This ceased to appear on postcards in the 1920s.

While the company went out of business in 1910 and the present instrument is mostly not Hope-Jones, I feel it would be a nice historical touch if the name were restored.

It also had some now vanished “U”-shaped wooden ornaments running along the slanting tops of the pipe screens.

 

CANTILENE.      This is a Gordon Turk recording on the Ocean Grove organ.

 

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Ken and Annie plan to make Ocean Grove their home. Founders Park. 7/31/17. Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff. ©

 

Annie and Ken, from Inwood, New York City, are singers.  They first met on the OG beach a few years ago when they came to town to sing in the Annual Choir Festival.  But it turned out that they harmonized in ways that they hadn’t planned, and now they are married and they will  soon leave NYC and move full time to Ocean Grove.

Our reporter Stephen struck up a conversation with Annie and Ken in Founders Park where they hit the right note with this spontaneous pose.    (Re-posted from July, 2017)

 

THE WESTERN SWING AUTHORITY:

 

 

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Summer tents. August 22, 2015. ©

Summer tents. August 22, 2015. ©  By Paul Goldfinger.  Click to enlarge.

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor, Blogfinger.net

The OG summer tents are sought after by painters, photographers, tourists, renters, historians, strollers, bikers,  and others. Our tents are unique.   From a photographer’s point of view, we look for new ways of seeing the tents;  we try to be creative with lighting and composition.  It’s not easy to come up with something different, but that is what we require at this Ocean Grove website where photography is used more than words to describe our town.

When I submitted a “plain vanilla” portrait of the tents for the book “New Jersey 24/7” I was surprised that the image was one of the winners, but then I realized that those of us who live here are a bit jaded, like New Yorkers who take the Empire State Building for granted.

But for you OG photographers, Blogfinger will continue looking for fresh ways of seeing our historic and beautiful tents.

ADAM LEVINE   “No One Else Like You .”  From the film Begin Again

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xxxx
Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor  Blogfinger.net 

 2020 re-post  (The original question posited in the headline is still valid.)

There are multiple factions in the small town of Ocean Grove (pop  3,700,) and these organized groups are largely isolated from each other. Woven into the fabric are homeowners and renters who live here but do not belong to any organizations, thus becoming, by default, a faction of their own.

According to social scientist Steve Valk, whose family has lived here for several generations, it would be important for these factions to find ways to appreciate and cooperate with each other. For example he cites the religious groups and the secular groups which ought to find common ground for the benefit of the town. One example of such cooperation is the recent interaction, since Sandy, between Ocean Grove United (OGU) and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association  (CMA); however we have recently seen how tenuous that relationship is when we recall the  recent clash about Sunday sermons.

The CMA ran the town from 1869 to 1980 as a tax paying part of Neptune Twp.—-111 years.

Neptune Township  treated OG as a sort of gated community.  The CMA made the rules and imposed blue laws until the N.J. Supreme Court put a stop to that in 1980 when Neptune  took over active governance in the Grove  (although the Neptuners were technically the governing body almost since the town’s founding.)  Since 1980, the CMA has continued its mission and  it has largely kept out of the way of Neptune Township.

But we now see the CMA and the Township working together on the North End Redevelopment Project, but suspicious elements have been revealed, and that project does not seem to be designed primarily with the town’s best interest at heart.  By 2021, the CMA, OGNED, and the Neptunites seem to be on the verge of going ahead with the NERP.

As for the Neptune Township governance, you have seen the results of our recent poll which shows that 80% of respondents mistrust  the Neptune Township Committee. Interestingly, over the years, there were times when the citizens rose up against Neptune control resulting in law suits and even a failed referendum to allow the Grove to become a separate town which it did for one year in 1925.

The other organizations here also tend to have their own agendas and to be run like private clubs. Such groups include the Homeowners Association, the Historical Society, Ocean Grove United, and the Chamber of Commerce.

They don’t work together very much for the good of the town.  They are busy with their own agendas.  For example, the Chamber of Commerce runs big events to try and drum up business for the merchants.  But what do they do for the benefit of those who live here?  We asked them to take over sponsorship of the Town-wide Yard Sale, but they refused.

 When we introduced a new idea for the town—the Blogfinger Film Festival—a benefit for the boardwalk—-only a few of the members would be sponsors for the program, and hardly any attended the event.

When we think of factions in town, we can see the visible ones, but how about the invisible ones such as families that have lived here for generations and are part of networks that act in concert with each other, with the CMA,  and with the Township governance, especially where land use, zoning,  and parking are concerned.  Let’s call that “the OG network of special interests.”

For them the town of Ocean Grove seems like a gift that keeps on giving. This network never speaks publicly, shows its face, or identifies itself, but what it does and has done will impact all of us and will determine what the town will be in the future.  Take a look at all the Grovers who are involved with OGNED and will gain financially from that North  End project; to the detriment of those of us who live here and pay taxes.

We have seen the results of favoritism for those special interests in the Greek Temple and Mary’s Place.  The North End Redevelopment Project is a good example to keep an eye on.  Who will be the winners, and who will be the losers?

Because of indifference by the public, organizations, and special interests, Ocean Grove may become an at-risk town which could end up a failed historic  place without focus and character, such as is seen in other shore towns—unless the public pays attention and the organizations here begin to work together for the overall benefit of the town and not just on their narrow pet projects, like the Homeowners Association which is currently circulating a simple-minded parking survey while ignoring the improprieties and illegalities around town regarding land use issues.  The HOA has teamed up with the Neptune Committee ever since 2008 when it supported 165 residential units, mostly condos, at the North End.

In 2002, a professor* at Monmouth University published an academic paper about OG history, emphasizing the powerful way that the activist HOA of 25-30 years ago  fought for the town and saved its life.  Below  is a quote**  from that research about that era.

Contrast the conclusion below with the current HOA which now is failing Ocean Grove through impotence, inaction, and lack of focus towards the issues which currently threaten our town the most.

The Home Groaners need to step up and save the town once again,  but this version appears to so far be hopeless in that regard.

** 2002:   “The HOA has maintained or reconstructed the carefully planned infrastructure of the founders, and even as Ocean Grove is being reborn as a contemporary tourist site, the HOA has worked with the CMA to preserve its sacred foundations. Just like the CMA, the HOA has been outstanding in its ability to secure what it wants and what it believes the community needs. Property values have risen, the community is again a safe place, tourism has been revived, an enormous amount of social capital has been generated, and the Victorian charm of the town has been restored.”

By Karen Schmelzkopf*  in the Journal of Historical Geography, 2002

 

BLOSSOM DEARIE:

 

 

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Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger photo. 9/22/15 © Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms, oriented north and south,  providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger.net  photograph. 9/22/15 ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

Here is a re-post of part I of our research about the Embury Arms Condominiums posted in September of 2015. Time to re-read it now in 2020.  The dots between it and the current North End Plan can be connected.

Recently a reader wondered about the Embury Arms condominiums. Her concern came about in the midst of our real-time discussions of the North End Project and Mary’s Place zoning. She asked how that large condo project came about and whether there were issues then similar to the ones that we have been considering recently.

Embury Arms condominiums on Whitefield Avenue consist of 112 units. It was built in the 1980’s. Old OG newspaper reports say that the CMA approved the project in 1978, and then the ground breaking ceremony was held in 1980.  Those news reports never mention approvals by Neptune Twp. nor do they mention any concerns about historic preservation.  They do talk about energy conservation measures that won awards for the developer.

These condos are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments within four large 3 story buildings. The complex sits in the middle of the Grove, surrounded by Benson, Delaware, Heck and Abbott Avenues. Embury and Webb Avenues stop short as they go west to Delaware Avenue, right at the border of the Embury Arms  condos, and Whitefield Avenue goes straight through the middle, with private parking spaces on the perimeter of a public street.

Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978. Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978.

An ad in a 1982 local newspaper  describes “authentic Victorian designs.”  The apartments were starting at $49,900.00.

These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ © These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ ©

The official 2015 CMA summer guidebook map shows Webb and Embury going straight through  to Lawrence Avenue, but they do not and they never did because west of Delaware, where Embury Arms now sits, there were stables, used mostly for storage by the Camp Meeting Association. Apparently some of the buildings were rented out for parking, but it was not an area for public parking.

It is not our intention to review the detailed history of this  condo project, but anyone walking by has to wonder how the heck the developer got permission to do this distinctly un-Grovian style condominium complex. It not only is contrary to the Master Plan as we know it, but it takes up space that could have been filled with single family Victorian style homes in order to match the appearance of the rest of the Grove.

Embury Arms provides PRIVATE parking by allowing head-on placement of vehicles on Whitefield Avenue that is partly on private property (using the theoretical front yards of those lots) but it also allows the cars to stick out over where the public sidewalks should be. In other words, that parking lot violates the public pedestrian right of way.

 

Note how Note how the sidewalk (pedestrian right of way) ends to allow parked cars to protrude into that right of way.  This is Whitefield Avenue taken by walking from Heck Avenue.  Blogfinger photo ©

Normally the right of way along a public street is 40 feet wide, consisting of the road (auto right of way) and the sidewalks (pedestrian right of way) measured together.

Yes they put some recessed sidewalks there, but that is private property, and public access could theoretically be shut down at any time. The Whitefield Ave. auto right of way is intact for cars driving through, but is not inviting for autos to drive through, and warning signs threaten anyone who would dare park there.

In addition, the project deprived Ocean Grove of many potential public parking spaces if private homes had been built on streets. Instead, all those curb cuts created a giant parking lot. Where else in town is a public street (in this case Whitefield Avenue) used for private parking?

The property was originally used for stables, so no private homes were demolished to make room. Undoubtedly the CMA, the Township, and the developer were in collusion to create this massive mistake, but the history of the time* indicates that OG was not as proactive in historic preservation then. It was a time when governance here was in a state of flux**, and the public did not protest much.  There was a suit that delayed completion, but eventually the Embury Arms condominiums were finished.   At least the condo developer of Embury Arms provided parking, even though the law was stretched to make that happen.

We have no information as to how the zoning was finessed to allow this, nor do we know what the Planning Board had to say. At any rate, it is a done deal, and nothing can be done about it at this point.

It is interesting that there is an earlier precedent.  In 1964, across from Days, a large hotel burned down, and in its place rose the Arlington Court Co-op.  consisting of one bedroom apartments for which no mortgages were allowed.   This was a new idea for the Grove, and evidently no one cared that single family Victorian homes were not built.  The CMA was in charge then and they must have supported the idea.   (? sound familiar)

However, now we are in a position to do something about the largest condominium development in the history of Ocean Grove—the North End Redevelopment Project.  But there is concern that public apathy will once again allow a wrong-headed condo project to go ahead. We have seen this illegal process before.  If no one takes  legal action when work begins or sooner, then, as with other projects in town, nothing can be done after the fact.

The CMA and the Township are counting on public inaction.  Will we let them do it again?

CREDITS:

Ted Bell*, Ocean Grove historian

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger researcher

Tom Constantino, Blogfinger researcher

** In 1980, governance of Ocean Grove was turned over to Neptune Township by the NJ Supreme Court. That transition must have taken years to work out, but the Embury Arms project took hold during that delicate time.

 

Here is a link to Part II of this Embury Arms historical review.

 

Embury Arms Part II. Blogfinger.net

 

NANCY WILSON  “Please do it again.”

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Ocean Grove is a “dog town.”  Where’s our dog park or beach?   Go to Asbury.  Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   Re-post from 2017.

Cindy Stiles, the proprietor of Pet Boutique* on Main Avenue in OG, has collected 1,000 signatures on petitions and she has gone before the Camp Meeting Association at least twice to ask them to permit a “private” dog park facility on their land near the tennis courts, but each time she has been turned down.

Ocean Grove could be called “Dog Town” because it’s loaded with dogs—residents and visitors.  But evidently there aren’t too many dog lovers on the CMA Board.

Today, at the Annual CMA Labor Day Report, Cindy went to the microphone to try again.  And try she did:  Cindy even told them that “God spelled backwards is dog.”  She seemed a bit desperate when she said that “some dog owners would like to pray with their pets in a dog park.”  Her main argument was that many visitors to town are dismayed when they learn that there are no dog runs for their pets.

However, regardless of how many persuasive arguments Cindy could muster, Dale Whilden, CMA President, could not be moved saying that the Board had a variety of reasons for rejecting the idea including concerns about animal “spats”, diseases, poop, security issues and more.

But the idea was checkmated when Dr. Whilden disclosed that the CMA had its eyes on that property for a possible parking lot or a place to store off-season life-guard chairs and/or more beach lockers.

And  the final coup de grace was when he said that the CMA needed to focus its attention on its “vision and mission”and that they had a “long list” of new ideas to get to, and a dog park was not on that list.  Priorities trump pets.    He did mention that the OG beach was open for dogs during the off-season, and many Grovers with dogs take advantage of that courtesy.

But Cindy was still not backing down, until someone shouted,  “Let’s move on,” followed by a smattering of applause.

So Cindy had to step away—-clearly she was barking up the wrong tree.

* Cindy lost her business in the Grove due to unaffordable rent increases by her Main Avenue landlord.

HARRY NILSSON:

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To the Editor:

“Below is a link to an interesting article about Pitman, NJ.   Ocean Grove is specifically mentioned:

Pitman, New Jersey. From their web site.

‘Originally a Methodist camp town, similar to Ocean Grove, its streets were once lined with tents. Now, quaint cottages fill those spaces. An alcohol-free town until 2014, you can now purchase wine by the bottle at local wineries and beer by the glass at breweries. Very much a family friendly town, the borough is big on community events. ‘”

“I know you write about how OG can adapt in changing times to reflect the needs of its residents. Thought this was a valid comparison of how a similar town has adapted.”

Pitman, NJ. Internet photo.

 

The Small Town In New Jersey That Transforms Into A Magical Harry Potter Wonderland http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-jersey/nj-small-town-harry-potter-festival/

STACEY MAISCH

September 13, 2017

Editor’s note:  Pitman is in Gloucester Country and has a 2010 population of 9,011.   Its history is remarkably like ours including a governing Camp Meeting Association, but Pitman Grove (it’s historic name) jettisoned  that plan and became an autonomous borough in 1905 with the approval of the State of New Jersey.   It is on the State and National Historic Registers.

Unlike OG, it has continued to evolve as a community.  In 2014 it became an ex-dry town. Two years ago it  added an annual art stroll to its activities.

It is known for two major craft shows per year, spring and fall,  but that’s it as mega-events go.

This year it will begin a tradition of an annual Harry Potter Festival and, as part of that, will be a theater event.   They have a Pottery Festival in October and, of course, Christmas festivities.

This sounds a lot like what Blogfinger and others have been hoping for in Ocean Grove.  Thanks Stacey.

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

ANITA O’DAY AND CAL TJADER    “Thanks For the Memory.”

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Blackbirds sit along the front downstairs railing at the Quaker Inn in Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Re-post from 2012.

By Paul Goldfinger, wildlife editor @Blogfinger

Carl Hoffman was startled when he walked by the Quaker Inn on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. There along the front railing was a row of blackbirds. So Carl tipped us off, and over we went to get some photos. Sure enough, there were 13 blackbirds sitting there unperturbed. I decided to interview one of them and to get a quote. He wasn’t shy — quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” After that there were no more quothes.

It seems one of the innkeepers at the Quaker found the birds and put them up for Halloween. While we were there perusing the blackbirds, a young man named Nick Scott, age 14, came flying out of the house trying to make a getaway on his bike. Nick, a personable 14-year-old student at St.Rose, is the son of Liz Scott, one of the innkeepers. She preferred not to be in the picture, but Nick agreed to pose with the birds; that’s not to say that he is for the birds — only with the birds. Not that there’s anything wrong with being for the birds.

Nick Scott, Ocean Grover who was fearless in posing with a fake flock of finely feathered flying blackbirds. PG photo

The Quaker Inn dates back to 1877, making it an old hotel. It’s terrific if you are from out of town and feel like packing up all your cares and woes. There are no woes at the Quaker. So, if no one seems to love or understand you, this is the place.

The Quaker Inn sans blackbirds. Website photo.

SOUNDTRACK: From the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” by Joe Cocker (who sure sounds a lot like Ray Charles, but they cannot be brothers).

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Dave Shotwell emerges from the Atlantic after a Thanbksgiving dip. Ocean Grove, 2015. Blogfinger photo. © Click to enlarge and look for goosebumps.

Dave Shotwell emerges from the Atlantic after a Thanksgiving dip. Ocean Grove, 2015. Blogfinger photo. © Click to enlarge and look for goosebumps.

Chico and the man, Grover Moe Demby, enjoy some Thanksgiving games. © Blogfinger photo ©

Chico and the man, Grover Moe Demby, enjoy some Thanksgiving games. © Blogfinger photo ©

Quite a few folks in Ocean Grove were out today for a sunny nearly 70 degree Thanksgiving  day in the Grove.  This morning  there were a few people downtown on Main Avenue, walking around or having a coffee at the OG Bakery.

Two workers were operating heavy machinery at the 50 Main Avenue building site. That was an insensitive and disrespectful thing to do, especially when people were already downtown early on Thanksgiving, trying to enjoy small town America in the historic seaside village of Ocean Grove, a community with a unique personality and style that doesn’t normally include construction work on Thanksgiving morning.  Fortunately the workers  didn’t stay very long.

Downtown the OG Bakery was serving coffee and…..outside their tables were still set up.  Some people were on their feet watching the workers. The flower shop was open.

At the beachfront, folks were playing with their dogs by the water’s edge, and Dave Shotwell, a Grover, was taking a swim in the 50 degree frigid water. He didn’t spend much time in the surf, but he emerged refreshed, and he wasn’t even shivering. Evidently he has done this ritual in the past.  The boardwalkers were active, and we met some who were from out of town.

In Firemen’s Park, a spirited game of Wiffle ball was going on. (see below.)

 

ELLA FITZGERALD  with a big band:

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