Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove tent village’ Category

Tent Village on Move-in Day. Ocean Grove. Saturday, May 30, 2020. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©. Only a few people were there. One family was sitting together on a porch.   Fear of COVID.  Ocean Grove, NJ.


JUDY KUHN.  from  Just in Time.  Judy Kuhn Sings Julie Styne


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Mysteries abound in Tent Village. Ocean Grove. September 2, 2018. Paul Goldfinger ©   click to enlarge



BEN WEBSTER (tenor sax)  AND OSCAR PETERSON (brilliant jazz pianist):  “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”




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Tent Village, Ocean Grove. July 29,  2017. By Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net


It must be great fun to be a kid living in a tent during an Ocean Grove summer.  Instead of bicycles to zoom around the sidewalks of the Village,  there are now skateboards and scooters.

I saw a teenager coasting down Mt. Hermon Way on a skateboard, in her gravity defying short shorts, maintaining her decorum all the while speaking on a cell phone.  It is certain—-someday she will have a tattoo, and her parents will approve.   This is the new look of femininity.

But the Village girl, on her scooter, shows no sign of becoming anything but a proper young lady.


JUDY GARLAND    from The Wizard of Oz.


“Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh, why can’t I?

“If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow.
Why, oh, why can’t I?”

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Kymme gets ready to vacate. Photo by Jean Bredin. © 9/10/20.

Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff:

Whenever I take a walk, it seems a story is in my path.  Being curious about the tents and the end of the season, I wanted to see how things were:  I was greeted by Kymme VanCleef, a 62 year tent resident.

She will be leaving in a week.  She shared  generational stories and how her three grandchildren enjoy visiting.  She wishes she could take her flowering climbing vine home with her.

“Grow For Me.”      From the original motion picture soundtrack of A Little Shop of Horrors.

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Ocean Grove by Paul Goldfinger ©. October, 2018.  Click to enlarge


MEN’S CHOIR  from Sex and the City movie soundtrack.



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Tent Village in Ocean Grove. July, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Blogfinger.net.  Click to enlarge.



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Tent Village, Ocean Grove. Jean Bredin photograph. July 18, 2020. © Blogfinger.net.


By Jean Bredin.  Blogfinger.net reporter/photographer. 

Bob and Bonnie Harley have been tenters all their lives.  Bob’s father and mother, Jack and Helen Harley, were the occupants to this tent over 60 years ago.

I asked them how has it been in Tent Village this year?

“Very quiet, ” Bonnie replied.  Maybe 85-90% occupied, but mostly weekenders.  They reminisced about many things. There is much history to be found among the tenters.

Bob said he learned to swim in the Ocean Grove Pool at the North End.


Ocean Grove Choir Festival in the Great Auditorium.   Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net ©


Jean noted:  “Jack Harley was the maestro  of the Teaneck Bergen Chorus many years ago.  My father was a member.  Jack encouraged his singers to join the Ocean Grove Choir Festival, which my father did.”

“The next year I came down to sing.  The rest is history. I am a year round resident of Ocean Grove.”


Here’s an arrangement that Jack probably would appreciate.  It’s Max Raabe with the Das Palast Orchester performing in Carnegie Hall:   “Singing in the Rain.”




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Ocean Grove tent village. Labor Day weekend. Sept.  2018. Paul Goldfinger photograph.©  Click to enlarge.


BOBBY SHORT.   “Penthouse Serenade.”  From his album  Songs of New York.


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“Tents at Nighttime.”   A lovely painting by Theresa Troise Heidel, New Jersey water-colorist. Re-post from spring 2018.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.  Re-post from spring 2018.

Theresa Troise Heidel is a New Jersey water color artist who has done many paintings at  the Jersey Shore, including Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. As a youngster, she got to stay for awhile at a family friend’s tent.  Her parents “sang in the Great Auditorium.”

She was enchanted by the tents. She said, “There was something magical about the way the rain sounded pattering the canvas above me, not to mention the aroma of fresh coffee being perked—-such atmosphere.”

About the painting of the tents at night, she said, “I invented the night life look.”

The Jersey Shore article featured a well-done story about several of the OG tent interiors which the writer got to visit.

But in this magazine, in its index section, where brief profiles of Jersey Shore towns are posted, we find that once again the media got it wrong about Ocean Grove.  They portray the Grove as a summer religious enclave where the main aspects consist of the Camp Meeting Association, the Tent Village, and the Great Auditorium.

The article extols the Hope-Jones organ;  “spiritual birth, growth and renewal;”  “worship;”  “praise events,”  “the world’s greatest preachers on Sunday, ” and “God’s Square Mile.”

And  again, there is little  recognition that our town is  a diverse place where a wide variety of people live, play and enjoy life.

Is it too much to hope for that the media might actually open their eyes and look beyond the religious trappings and stereotypes and recognize a town with many secular and historic aspects as well as evolving demographics?

Certainly the religious underpinnings of OG  are real and admirable, but other dimensions need to be recognized.

The last writer to successfully address these aspects was Ted David in his 2002 book “The Other Side of Ocean Grove.”*

At Blogfinger we make it one of our main themes  to portray our town and its lifestyles  as they really are.

The song below performed by Beverly Kenny captures the feel of this town.


*Ted David has an updated version of this book coming out this year.

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Jack Green Construction Company opens tents for 2020 season. NJ.com photo 5/12/20.


Paul Goldfinger photo. Summer 2019. Tourists visit Tent Village at night.


May 12, 2020

Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor@Blogfinger.net

President Michael Badger and Henry Will, CMA trustee who spends the summer in a tent, were interviewed  today for an article in NJ.com about the opening of the 114 tent enclave despite the risks of the coronavirus. The author of the piece is Avalon Zoppo.

Will acknowledged that life in the tent colony was dense and close, but Badger was certain that spending 4 months in a tent there would pose no risk.

Yet Badger said, “Space is tight.”

This tightly packed Tent Village is a classic “congregate setting” which the CDC frowns upon as unsafe.

Will said that some life style adjustments might be needed to reduce the risks.

“We’ll have to modify some things,” Will said, “But I think we’ll still have community.”

“Badger said he’s confident dwellers will be safe vacationing at the shore for four months.”

He said that the canvas was better than a mask indoors and that his renters would follow all precautions outdoors as set forth by the state and the CDC.

The article quoted Badger as being  reassured that if 6 foot distances were  not possible then his renters would wear masks.

He said that he will also instruct people how close they should place their towel to others at the beach and how close to walk on the boardwalk.

But no one was interviewed who might have differing opinions about viral transmission in this “tight knit” environment.

As usual for the media, the reporter resorted to stereotypes and lack of careful research when describing the Grove. He said, “Ocean Grove is a largely religious community of about 4,200 year round residents founded by a group of Methodists…”  He doesn’t have a clue as to how people live who rent in Tentland.

And he did not ask a single probing question about the viral dangers amongst the tents or about the risks to everyone in town due to huge unrestrained tourist events coming up, many sponsored by the CMA.

Is it possible that the reporter is unaware of the terrible pandemic currently enveloping the state of New Jersey?

This decision to go ahead with putting hundreds of people into a space that is as close as a refugee camp seems to be astonishingly irresponsible.

Badger said that 250 people will live there for the 4 month $7,000 summer rental. He didn’t mention all the visitors and tourists which are part of that active compressed social scene.

Even if Badger gets lucky and has no viral casualties, his reasoning is naive and dangerous. He is gambling with the lives of everyone who stays in or visits the Tent Village and secondarily with the lives of the many summer residents in the Grove proper.

And, by the way, this sentence was in the article:  “Two workers tested positive for COVID-19 and were quarantined, pushing the opening back two weeks.”



Here is a link to our recent post about health risks in Tent Village:


Is Tent Village a health hazard? Click here.

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