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Gospel service in the Boardwalk Pavilion. Ocean Grove, NJ 2009. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Gospel service in the Boardwalk Pavilion. Ocean Grove, NJ 2009. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

THE CARTER FAMILY

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Flower delivery for the Beautification Project, Ocean Grove. Photo by Jean Bredin. May 20, 2016 Flower delivery for the Beautification Project, Ocean Grove. Photo by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff.   May 20, 2016

The Beautification Project receives flower funding via donations made by the OG Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, OG Ladies Auxiliary, and a Neptune Township grant of $500;   but the bulk of the money comes from donors .  The flowers are planted in urns, plots, boardwalk containers, and public gardens.

Many of the  volunteers signed up at the Spring Fling.

Planting begins each year in time for the Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the Great Auditorium.

 

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB  “Dos Gardenias”

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PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND “The Bucket’s Got a Hole in It.”

“Yeah, my bucket’s got a hole in it
Yeah, my bucket’s got a hole in it
Yeah, my bucket’s got a hole in it
I can’t buy no beer.”

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Cello soloist in the OG Great Auditorium. Photo by Paul Goldfinger

Cello soloist in the OG Great Auditorium. Photograph by Paul Goldfinger. 2017.   Click to enlarge.

 

* Quote from Radar O’Reilly in the TV series “M.A.S.H.”

 

MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH:   BACH’S CELLO SUITE #1 in G major, prélude:

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A rainy May day in Ocean Grove. Photograph of parrot tulips  by Eileen Goldfinger and Paul Goldfinger © 5/5/17  Blogfinger.net  Click for the “Jack and the Beanstalk” effect. Title lyric quote*  from “April Showers.”

 

“Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love
You must have showers
So when you hear it thunder
Don’t run under a tree
There’ll be pennies from heaven
For you and me”

 

BILLIE HOLIDAY    From the album:  Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia. “Pennies from Heaven” is from the 1936 movie of the same name. Music by Arthur Johnston; words by Johnny Burke. First performed in the film by Bing Crosby.

 

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Auditorium Square Park. Ocean Grove, NJ. October, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

 

 

FRANK SINATRA     (First heard in the 1946 film “Three Little Girls in Blue.”)

 

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Founders’ Park. April 24, 2018. Paul Goldfinger ©. Click to enlarge. The yellow forsythia are reliable markers of the arrival of spring. The flowers come before the leaves.

 

ART GARFUNKEL:

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Nagles. July, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

Nagles. July, 2014.  Nighttime in Ocean Grove. Bewitched and bewildered. Paul Goldfinger photograph. © Click to enlarge.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

A little girl in a long red t -shirt is standing in front of Nagle’s clutching an ice cream. She seems a little bewildered by all the people, especially in a nighttime setting when she might normally be in bed; and then Mom leans over and scoops her up to safety. Another magic moment in Ocean Grove.

 

MARVIN GAYE:

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Spring fling, May 14. Neptune township closed a large part of Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo. ©

Spring fling, May 14, 2016.   Neptune township closed a large part of Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo. ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   2016.

 

Saturday, May 14, 2016.       Today at 10:30 am I returned from the bank and found the town to be overrun with a large crowd of tourists who were here for a “Spring Fling” sponsored by the OG Chamber of Commercials.    Parking was very difficult.  Main Avenue was closed along the entire commercial district and down near the beach. Pilgrim Pathway was clogged shut, and a loud rock band was shaking the rafters.

Who exactly benefits from this Spring Fling? Of course the CC does, and so do the many vendors who have set up booths, almost all of them from out of town. The tourists love it, while the locals ignore it and groan.

 

Pilgrim Pathway for the Spring Fling. Is this Seaside Heights? Blogfinger photo. ©

Pilgrim Pathway closed for the Spring Fling. Should we be Seaside Heights or Rhinebeck?  Blogfinger photo. ©

 

This is not the only such happening. How about the Chamber’s  Spring Giant Flea Market which will involve nearly 300 vendors on June 4. Then there is the British car fling, the vintage car fling, the giant fall flea fling market and the fall autumn fling festival—– all town clogging events produced by the CC.

And don’t forget the large gatherings sponsored by the Camp Meeting Association, including their giant craft show in mid June.

How much of this sort of event is good for the town?  How much is enough?  When does the Chamber, the CMA, and the Township start to think about nurturing this town, its history, its culture, and its residents. It seems like OG is merely a stage set for those who want to commercialize it.

People say that the parking issues are only during July and August, but this town has congested events of this sort for  6 months of the year, hardly a trivial amount of time. We need relief for resident parking.

We are a lovely artistic and historic town, and it is wonderful to have events outdoors here, but how about small themed programs that improve the quality of life of those who actually live in Ocean Grove. I’m thinking chamber music, art shows, collectors events, film festivals, historic reenactments, food truck nights, farmers markets, plays in the parks, poetry readings, focused  literary festivals, etc.

Two summers ago we had an Illumination Night for the townspeople. It was a beautiful small historic event with overtones of OG’s past.   It was held by Auditorium Park adjacent to the bookstore—sponsored by the CMA. Lights were twinkling, kids were skateboarding and biking, a guitarist played, and the rest of us chatted and had refreshments. We need more of that. but without the religious component.

 

Illumination Night August 20, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Illumination Night near the Great Auditorium. August 20, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo

 

What exactly does the Chamber do for the Township itself? When was the last time they spoke out regarding OG issues such as historic preservation, land use controversies, or parking?     How about elevating the cultural experiences here instead of just promoting commercialism?

Why should we who live here be thrilled with the Chamber’s  “flings?”   Do they care about the tranquility, spirit, quality of life and comfort of Ocean Grove’s citizens? Do they care about the future of this town? They want our business, but what do they do in exchange besides show up. And as for the town, this is just another example of Neptune Township ignoring the  tax paying “townies” in favor of other interests.

So, if OG continues on a path where there are takers but few givers, then it will decline into something less. Too pessimistic?  If we want to be unique instead of similar to other shore towns, then committed citizens need to pay attention.

 

Editor’s note  2022:  This topic is about the life of our town…what is it and what should it be?  Ocean Grove  needs to define itself because helter- skelter will be its ruin.

If you read the comments for this post from 2016 you can see that we were all over the map in trying to understand the Grove.  There needs to be a movement —-a community of residents .

That community is the single most important  group in town and they should organize to keep OG from being weighed down by too much too much too much: commercialism, tourist crowds, religious dominance, zoning abuses, Neptune neglect, cultural deficiencies, and mindless wheel spinning giant events.  Let’s balance the scale with more positives and less negatives.

 

NEKO CASE  with the Nighthawks in Boardwalk Empire

 

 

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Great Auditorium. Music of the Spirit concert. August 26, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photograph ©  Click to enlarge.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net   Crank up the volume for the video below.

 

The video below is from the final part of this 6 part composition—Songs of Faith.   It is called “Where Moses Stood.” This section includes choir, organ, brass and percussion.  The words from the last two stanzas are:

“Oh, Mary, oh Mary, oh Mary. No! No! No! No! No! No!

“Don’t you weep and don’t you mourn.

“If I could, I surely would stand on the rock where Moses stood.

“Pharaoh’s army got drownded, oh, Mary, don’t you weep, don’t you mourn.”

 

 

 

August 26, 2018.  Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  Concert Review:

 

The Songs of Faith is like an exciting 6 chapter short-story book that unfolds with beauty, grace, emotions, unexpected plot twists, and wonderful melodies.  Each part captures your mind  in a way that as each one draws to a close, you wish it would stay a bit longer but you also anticipate the next surprise.

Composer Gwyneth Walker borrows from time-worn hymns and gospel tunes while punctuating them with lively and modern hooks and tempos.

It is a great privilege for the audience last night that this piece was performed in the Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, and the OG Camp Meeting Association deserves high praise for their willingness to sponsor such an original commission, in association with the Summit Music Festival in Summit, New Jersey.  And to present this production at no cost is remarkable indeed.

The presentation included the 120 voice OG Choir, the MidAtlantic Brass Ensemble with percussion, Gordon Turk on the Hope-Jones Organ, and soloists including Monica Ziglar (soprano) Katherine Pracht (Mezzo-Soprano,) Justin Beck (Baritone Soloist) and Ronald Naldi  (Tenor Soloist.)

Jason Tramm conducting.

They were all marvelous, and JoAnnn Lamolino (trumpet soloist in Part 4) was so good with her rendition of “Were You There” performed with Gordon Turk that she received an expansive round of applause–well worth the acclaim.

After the concert, I bumped into soloists Ronald Naldi and Justin Beck walking briskly outside, on the dark tent side of the Auditorium.  Beck was already in shorts, while Naldi had loosened his tie.  They were chatting amiably and smiling as they downed some well-earned soft drinks.

As they breezed by I  told them that their concert was terrific, but their smiles and pace indicated that they knew the event was a success—and so it was.

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