Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’


Lovely old house along Bridlemere Avenue. It is likely to be worth a mere million Interlaken bucks. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013.  Click to enlarge.



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger


This is the third time we have posted something about Interlaken, New Jersey, a .4 square mile borough near Asbury Park and just about 10 minutes from Ocean Grove.

I like to drive through that town. It is picturesque and feels like the English countryside. It has a quiet elegance, and there is water on two sides  (north and south)—branches of Deal Lake.

Interlaken is north of Asbury Park

Interlaken is north of Asbury Park.


Its history is fascinating.  It was bought from the Lenni Lenape Indians and became a farm. A well-traveled doctor (probably a plastic surgeon)  purchased over 300 acres of the farm and proceeded to turn it into a town in the late 1800’s.

At first it was part of Ocean Township  (like Ocean Grove), but in 1922 it seceded and became an independent borough.  Curiously, Ocean Grove became a borough in 1925, but it lost its designation because of the”blue laws”—talk about the blues in the night.  Ouch!

Interlaken means “between lakes” and is named after a town in Switzerland which is between two lakes. For that matter, Ocean Grove is between two lakes, but somehow the ocean trumped the lakes in naming OG.

The street names are fascinating, because the avenues are named after English lakes, while the cross streets are named after—-you’ll never guess—islands in the Hebrides (in the Irish Sea.)  So if you drive through that town, you will see street signs that say, “Buttermere, Bridlemere, Bendermere, Grassmere and Windermere.”  I guess “mere” means  “lake.”

But if you think that the homes there are merely Victorians or Colonials, guess again. They tend to be beautiful grand manor houses like they have by the lakes in Switzerland or, perhaps like some along the Irish Sea.


Another cottage for two along Bridelmere Avenue

Another cottage for two along Bridlemere Avenue. Blogfinger photo. click left


The town in 2010 had 820 people according to the census. It is more white than Ocean Grove having 0% African Americans. But it does have .49% Native Americans which means half of a Lenni Lenape—so it’s a guy named Lenni who lives on Buttermere.  Actually it seems that there are 4 Native Americans in Interlaken, so those 4 should demand a casino in that town.

Below is a link to a prior BF post  about Interlaken, which amounts to a total of one Blogfinger post for every 270 Interlakers.  I wonder if they have a town musical instrument called the “Interlakenspiel” which you play with a mallet while standing between those two arms of Deal Lakenmere while the Interlakers engage in beer drinking and merrymaking.


Here is the Jagersburger March from an album called:  “German Beer Drinking and Merrymaking Songs” by the Munich Meistersingers


Blogfinger Interlaken link one


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Ocean Grove Fishing Pier. A wreath was tossed into the ocean from a small boat. 2011.  Paul Goldfinger photograph.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger  (text and photos)

It was a gloomy, rainy day Wednesday, December 7, 2011.  A small crowd had assembled at the end of the fishing pier for this annual event. But this time it was extra special. Not only is it the 70th anniversary of  a vicious attack against our country, which killed over 2000 people and nearly destroyed the Pacific Fleet, but very few of the veterans are still around to participate. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association will be disbanded at the end of this year.

We spoke with Bob Hodges of Neptune. Bob is the Senior Vice Commander of the Monmouth County American Legion (see photo below). He is 83 years old and he spent 20 years in the Army, being involved in three wars. He was an 18-year-old “kid” from Chicago when he entered the service in 1946. His first deployment was in occupied Japan. He is an official WWII vet because, although the shooting stopped in 1945, the war was not officially over until 1946. He participated in the Battle of Pusan  (Korea) when UN forces, including Americans, successfully fought off a North Korean Army advance. He also was in Vietnam. He limps a bit due to some knee problems, but he seems quite vigorous, and he has a great sense of humor.

Today there were representatives of veterans’ groups, individual veterans in their special hats, politicians, and citizens. Because of the rain, a brief ceremony was held inside the OG Fishing Club house. A wreath was tossed into the ocean from the deck of a small boat that was bobbing vigorously in the water. We shot the photo gallery in black and white because the vast majority of WWII photography was done monochrome.

Bob Hodges of Neptune: 83-year-old Army vet, Senior Vice Commander of Monmouth American Legion.

Albert Hairston, Quartermaster of Neptune VFW Post 2639. Served in the Army 1945-1975

After the event: chatting on the pier.

The rain didn’t bother the visitors. They were proud to be present.

2020 update:  Sorry for being one day late.  It was unavoidable.  Never forget is an often used slogan, but we, as a society, must remember as well as look forward.  WWII was an event that overwhelmed the entire world, and the danger was a take-over of democracies like ours by two maniacal countries which murdered many and which would have killed even more if given the opportunity.

America, a beautiful and honorable nation, set aside isolationism and paid a huge price for its part in saving the world.  We must not forget those who sacrificed but also we remember in order to learn lessons for our country.  The price was paid, and we must be conscious of what needs protecting in the USA.  Never forget.

Paul Goldfinger,  JWV Post 125, Monmouth County.

MUSIC:  The main title theme from the HBO miniseries:  The Pacific: “Honor”

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Deal, New Jersey. 2012. By Paul Goldfinger.© Click image for full view.

SOUNDTRACK  Evoking the era of the Great Gatsby: The Colonial Club Orchestra with Scrappy Lambert



20’s music.

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Cranbury, New Jersey. c.2010. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Cranbury, New Jersey. c.2010. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©



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October 30, 2012, 7:45 am. Rear of Great Auditorium.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

October 30, 2012, 7:45 am. Rear of Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

GA roof on the morning of  Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Great Auditorium  roof on the morning of Tuesday, October 30, 2012, one day after Sandy hit. The photo does not show the front side damage.  This portion of the roof is on the north side.     Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

BF roof story Nov. 5, 2012

BF roof story Jan 14, 2014

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is ready to complete work on the Great Auditorium roof, but they have had daunting problems deciding about which material to use.  Their plan had been to obtain zinc coated stainless steel material, but manufacturing challenges have prevented that.  JP Gradone, COO of the OGCMA, sent us the comment below in response to a Blogfinger inquiry yesterday.

“Our insurance company has recently agreed to pay for the installation of a temporary EPDM rubber roof on the damaged area while we continue to work closely with the insurance company to find a permanent solution to resolvethe situation with the roofing material.  The temporary roof was completed this week  and gives the Great Auditorium an excellent short-term solution while we carefully determine the best material for the permanent roof.”

EPDM rubber roofing on the south side.  Blogfinger photos

EPDM rubber roofing on the south side. Blogfinger photos

EPDM rubber roofing on the north side.

EPDM rubber roofing on the north side.


One year ago we wrote about the Woody Allen movie “Stardust Memories.”  Here is a link to that article because it shows the Great Auditorium decked out as the Stardust Hotel for that 1980 film which Allen considers one of his best.


And for this article about the GA roof, here is a version of “Stardust,” a song by Hoagy Carmichael,  that was performed by Louis Armstrong in the movie.

But now, in 2015, we present a contemporary jazz version of “Stardust,” an instrumental, by Warren Vaché on trumpet  (a Jersey boy,)  Derek Watkins, and the Brian Lemon Quartet.




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Ocean Grove.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Left click


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At the border of AP and OG. May, 2012.  By Paul Goldfinger

At the border of AP and OG. May, 2012. By Paul Goldfinger   ©

JEFF GUERNSEY   “La Zenda Waltz”    (one-two-three, one-two-three….yes, it is a waltz. May I have this dance?)

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Ocean Grove, NJ.  Paul Goldfinger   ©

Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger ©  *

HSOG press release:   “The Historical Society of Ocean Grove is sponsoring a Tent Colony Tour on Tuesday, July 30th from 11-3, rain or shine. Tickets are $20 to visit ten tents. Participants will choose ten tents from a list of participating tents.

“Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 as a religious camp meeting ground where people brought tents and furniture for a vacation. At one time over 700 tent and tent cottages were on the grounds of the Camp Meeting. Today only 114 tents remain. They are cherished by the individual tenters. The tents are rented from the Camp Meeting and occupied from May 15 to September 15. Each tent is decorated and furnished by the tenters so all tents are different

“Proceeds from the tour will go to the Sandy Together Fund. Tickets may be purchased at the Historical Society’s Museum at 50 Pitman Avenue in advance or on the day of the tour. Call (732)774-1869 for more information.”

* Paul Goldfinger’s signed folding photocards of Ocean Grove have a metallic finish and come with a matching envelope. They are sold exclusively at Smuggler’s Cove.  Ask for Richie who, he will tell you himself, was once a Barbary Pirate.  All photographs from the Blogfinger Photo Department are available as enlargements for framing.  Just email Blogfinger @verizon.net.

THE BEATLES .   Don’t you think this tent street should be called “Penny Lane?”

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Joanne Cotton, Co-Chair of the Together Capital Campaign.Town Meeting. 4/6/13  Youth Temple. PG photo.

Joanne Cotton, Co-Chair of the Together Capital Campaign.Town Meeting. 4/6/13 Youth Temple. PG photo.

Sitting in front at the Youth Temple on Saturday, April 6, at the Town Meeting, were members of the newly formed “Together Team.”  Led by co- chairs Joanne and David Cotton  of Ocean Grove, this CMA capital campaign will seek to raise $1.5 million for the Ocean Grove Sandy recovery.  Both co-chairs spoke to the audience and expressed their optimism that hard work and innovative fund raising would result in success. They reviewed “where we are now” and discussed some of the programs that are planned.  They mentioned that the CMA trustees had already given or pledged $332,000.00,  but they stressed that donations, large or small, would be welcomed.

Joanne Cotton said, “This is a great start, but we have a long way to go.”  The complete restoration of the oceanfront is projected to cost over $3 million.  She also said,  “We value, honor and appreciate even the smallest donation.”  She mentioned the “Raise the Roof” concert on June 15, the Blogfinger Film Festival on May 5, and a fund raising ball projected for August 9 (better get your tuxes and check books ready for that one.)

The new “Team” has already set out to plan a variety of “activities and ideas.”  They have designed T-shirts  (see below) and they plan to set up tables at the June 15 Craft Show and at the Spring Fling later this month.  There also will be an opportunity to pose for pictures with Ocean Grove lifeguards, male and female.  Maybe they’ll bring their dinghies.

They have a new web site     TogetherOG.com link  where you can find more details.

A nagging concern about segregation of donations was broached head-on by Rev. Cotton and by OGCMA Pres. Dale Whilden.  Both of them pledged that any earmarked check would go into  individual accounts (“buckets”)  for the specified categories of the boardwalk, the Great Auditorium roof, or the Thornley Chapel. Or you can just write “Together fund”  on your check.  Dr. Whilden said that “these are absolutely restricted accounts with no commingling–as is required by law.”

Rev. Cotton said, “We will always honor specific donations.”

Also, related to finances, Mr. delCampo said that they were “optimistic” about the FEMA appeal which they expect will be decided within the next 30 days.  Their hope is that FEMA would pay for 75% of the beachfront recovery.  He said that consultants recommended that the appeal include letters rather than petitions, so the application includes 200 letters from citizens. Mr. delCampo also indicated that the appeal focuses on the opinion that “our boardwalk has been wrongly classified as recreational.”—–That was the basis for the FEMA denial.

But if that FEMA appeal fails, the CMA can apply for other Federal grants such as from HUD.  New regulations require that the FEMA process be exhausted before applying for other programs.  The CMA also plans to apply for $700,000 from the “Sandy Recovery Fund” which is run by Gov. Christie’s wife Mary Pat Christie.

If the monies come through, the CMA will be ready to begin the next phase of recovery after Labor Day.

—Paul Goldfinger,  editor @Blogfinger

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Urns and benches stored at the North End. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Left click for large view.

By Paul Goldfinger

Ralph delCampo, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) was thrilled with the public’s response to his request for volunteers to help with the beachfront cleanup.  An estimated 700 people showed up including Ocean Grove townspeople and outsiders. He said that the response “exceeded our expectations” and that it was “gratifying”  to see how young and old were willing to work to accomplish 80% of the job. It was essential to recruit volunteers,because the CMA has only 14 employees.  The workers labored all day long and filled up 3 dumpsters with debris.  He noted that Ocean Grove is a very special town where “we have seen the best in people.”

delCampo was especially impressed with the young workers who appeared “like out of the woodwork” in response to announcements on social networking websites. He said, “What I saw spoke to me about the future of the greatest country in the world.”

What was accomplished was the respectful removal of a large number of heavy benches and urns which are memorials that are important to so many people.  Those objects had to be removed because heavy equipment would soon be brought in to dismantle the boardwalk. Huge amounts of sand were shoveled back onto the beach.  Bulldozers are moving that sand into mountains at the north and south ends of the Grove.

Boardwalk looks different afterwards with the removal of benches, urns and much of the sand. PG photo

The destruction of the boardwalk is not covered by insurance, so that will be a huge strain on the budget of the CMA. The boardwalk restoration “will cost millions.”

The benches and urns were moved to the North End near Spray Avenue and they looked a bit like a regiment of the Chinese Terracotta Army standing at attention next to Wesley Lake.

delCampo said that there was the possibility that a certain Christian ministry might be able to offer skilled framers to help take the boardwalk apart. That idea is still under consideration, but it would obviously be a huge help with the project.

He also thought that another Saturday event might be scheduled, but that idea is still being discussed. Further cleanup is required at the north end. There are more benches near the shuffleboard courts, and there is a lot of sand still in the streets in that area.

The question of “what’s next” is not yet answered.  This project is a work in progress, and the plans are being designed as they go.  If all goes well, delCampo said that the CMA ministry would like to reach out to help other towns in the area.

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