Posts Tagged ‘Who’s an old-timer in Ocean Grove?’

Ocean Grove. Undated. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove. Undated. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor   (Blogfinger re-post from 2010.)

I recently interviewed a gentleman whose family, and whose wife’s family, go back five generations in the Grove. During our conversation, I referred to him as an “old-timer” in town. He asked me, “How long have you been here?”

“Since 1998,” I replied.

“Well then,” he said, “you are also an old-timer.”

His remark startled me a bit, because this town, with its history, seems like the kind of place where you have to go back quite a ways to be an old-timer, and I somehow could not consider myself in the same old-timer category that he was in.  Maybe I am a new old-timer.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with my friend John Wiarda, who was a helicopter gunner in Vietnam. I was in the Navy then, but I fought the battle of Virginia Beach as a state-side Navy doctor. John said that I was as much a war veteran as he was, but I never really believed him.

So who decides who we are? Do we decide to define ourselves, or do others?  I always thought that each of us should decide who we are, and it is best for others to respect that decision.

As for Ocean Grove, with its 140 year old history, if my new five-generation Grover friend wants to call me an old-timer, then I will not protest, but I live in a house that is about 130 years old, so I have perspective and, between you and me, I like the idea that he’s the old timer and I’m the newcomer.

JESSICA  MOLASKEY    from her album Pentimento

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