Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Storms along the coast

I remember a northeaster that occurred in 1962.  It wiped out several towns along the south Jersey coast.  The government wasn't much help back then because it wasn't expected as it is now.  I'm not sure what I think about all that aid.  In one respect it can be good, on the other hand those of us not fortunate enough to have a home by the sea -- a personal dream of mine, by the way -- have to pay for the rebuilding.

I recall the various towns rehabbing the beaches after that '62 storm.  I remember the Corps of Engineers pouring tons of sand and water mixed onto the beaches to extend them to their former width.  So I imagine the government paid for that rebuilding.  Nothing like what FEMA is doing these days.

I remember another hurricane that occurred in 1944.  I was 1-1/2 and mom, dad, and I were in the kitchen.  Dad said to mom, "There goes a tree."  He went out on the back porch to survey the damage.  The tree miss the house, barely.  Then soon after he came back in he heard another thump and let us know that another tree had hit the dirt, so to speak.  It, too, missed the house, garage, and church building.

I remember the light in the kitchen coming from kerosene lamps.  I remember sitting on my mother's lap in front of the oven which was being used to warm us.  November can be a cold month.  After that my next memory is the day my sister came home with mommy from the hospital-- I was three --  and life was back to normal for 18 months before my first brother was born.  Then there was a brand new normal!


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