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Perry Young. Sept. 4, 2016. Ocean Grove near the boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo. . ©

Perry Young. Sept. 4, 2016. Ocean Grove near the boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo.  ©

I struck up a conversation with Perry when I spotted his Planotones shirt. We chatted near the large American flag.   Perry is from Milton,  New Hampshire.  Originally he was from Queens, NY, but he left there in 2003.

Perry was at the World Trade Center on 9-11, and in his words, “I was fortunate to escape the falling north tower.”   Perry was a member of the Painters Union.

Perry Young has been visiting Ocean Grove for nearly 40 years.  He says that it is a very special place for him,  and he  is drawn to it and loves to come here each summer. His favorite hotel is the Shawmont. He knows a lot about the town and this area, and I invited him to share some anecdotes with our viewers.

Perry and his daughter Christine are Blogfinger fans. In a subsequent  email he said, “I along with my daughter Christine will always be following Blogfinger.net.  I enjoyed looking at all the photos you have posted on your website.  I also thought your history in the medical field was awesome.   Your friend, Perry.”

We became fast friends, and Perry asked me to pose for a picture, but I agreed only after he said I could take his picture in the Planotone shirt. We sent a copy of the photo to Christine, and she was thrilled.

He and I are both fans of Kenny Vance and the Planotones.  We miss seeing Kenny and the boys at the OG Doo Wops.  Kenny had an illness, but now  he is reported to be in good condition.   Kenny  has not, so far, returned to touring.   He is working on publishing some unrecorded tapes of music from that era.

Kenny Vance and the Planotones. Undated Internet photo.

Kenny Vance and the Planotones. Undated Internet photo.

We talked about Kenny and his marvelous falsetto and close harmonies with his group.  I should have asked Perry to do the Planotone Walk.  Maybe next time we could find two porkpie hats and some shades to do a video.

We agreed that one of Kenny’s most marvelous songs was “Gloria”—–a beautiful and sad love song that all the fans of that era know to be the gold standard for excellence from that musical genre.   Here is a link to our 2013 post about Kenny and this song.

https://blogfinger.net/2013/06/26/a-doo-wop-litmus-test-gloria/

Perry confided that his favorite Planotones song is “Oceans of Time.”  I never heard that song before, but you can appreciate why Perry favors it:

Hopefully we will see Perry back again in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whitfield Hotel.  Blogfinger file photo c. 2013.  ©

Whitfield Hotel. Blogfinger file photo c. 2013. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, editor @Blogfinger

It was in the summer of 2013 that a hearing was held by the HPC to decide about demolishing a wreck of an unsavory 130 year old hotel in Ocean Grove. The Whitfield  sits on 4 lots at the intersections of Surf, Beach and Bath Avenues.    Testimony about the Whitfield Hotel, a 54 room residential facility, revealed that all criteria for demolition were met. In addition, experts testified that the property had no historic significance. After that hearing, Code Enforcement issued a demolition permit.   We wrote a detailed article about the history of the Whitfield and about that hearing (see link below). 

https://blogfinger.net/2013/08/30/the-hotel-whitfield-a-nightmare/

The neighbors were ecstatic to hear that the hotel would be torn down, hopefully to make way for four single family homes. Many called it a “seedy flea bag.” It was said to be a place where people who had criminal records lived.  Social agencies often sent offenders of various types to stay there for short periods, but sometimes those characters were sent back again and again.  The police were often called to the location.

The HPC hearing dealt with the demolition application, but it was not going to get involved with the fate of the tenants.  Some Blogfinger readers expressed concern about that. There are 37 comments there, and they make very interesting reading.  Here are two:

Doubting Thomas said,  “It is sad because of what it represents. Every derelict building represents the lives of people, and we should view tear-downs (as with the Sampler) from that perspective.

“And speaking of that perspective, where was the Home Owners Association special committee on derelict housing? Why weren’t they there offering an opinion? What exactly do they do besides not showing up for a demolition hearing?”

Wisher said,  “Most, I love the move-ahead, clear, and most-certainly Germanic tone of this post. It is as though no humans lived in the structure, and it is an abstract real estate construct. Maybe that is appropriate for New Jersey – dead communities. Spring Lake – dead, Deal – dead. Ocean Grove?”

After the Code Enforcement awarded the demolition permit, the tenants received assistance to find comparable affordable housing.  NJ law requires that tenants be given 18 months eviction notice, and that was done in March 2014.

So the demolition of the Whitfield cannot be implemented until at least September, 2015;  however the end is in sight.  After that, the owner will be able to develop the property, but condominiums will not be permitted.  Evidently only single family homes will be allowed to replace the Whitfield Hotel.

When that happens, the neighbors ought to have a block party, because their home values and quality of life should go up.

We hate to see authentic historic buildings torn down, but sometimes it is necessary, and Ocean Grove has lost many such buildings over the years due to fire and/or neglect. The idea is to solve the problem of derelict and deteriorating historic houses in town.  It is an uphill battle, but one that requires a team approach by those who care in Ocean Grove.

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III  (from Boardwalk Empire)

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