Sunday, September 18, 2005
Beach Blanket Bingo, New Millennium Edition
Greetings to everyone I met today at Asbury Park Howard Johnson's for the Glen Jones broadcast. Glen & X-Ray were "on." The closing "Liquor Dance" was highly entertaining. Great swimming weather. It was my fourth consecutive trip to the shore when there wasn't any sea breeze. Riding my bike down the boardwalk to Ocean Grove later in the afternoon, the ocean only a few steps away yet it might have been 5 miles for the cooling effect it had. So I headed to OG's Main Avenue, there's ice cream on that shady street. & there was bike storage space & empty seats on the trains home. A late Sunday train during the summer can be an unpleasant experience; crowded with squawling babies, children doped up on sugar, luggage & diaper bags in the aisles, & people very grumpy over the next day being Monday. Thanks also to DJ Joe "Three Chord Monte" Belock for complimenting my Jonesy fillin' show of a couple weeks back. Good to be reassured by one of the masters that I can still roll over the Beethoven. I told Joe - cause I knew he'd unnerstand - how Fats Domino flipped my little kid lid back in the mid-20th Century as a total package of class, cool & talent (also Buddy Holly & paradisical doo wop) & how relieved I was that Fats had made it through the storm.
Today was the Greek Orthodox Holy Cross celebration in Asbury, a major event for that Jersey religious community. Hundreds came by bus & car. A long procession paraded past Howard Johnson's during the broadcast, across the beach on temporary boardwalk where a wood Cross is tossed upon the water & adolescent boys & girls dive in to retrieve it. The swimmer who comes back to shore with it is especially honored, but it's a good-natured competition & happy day, all are blessed. More pix of the event here (scroll down) .What the tradition is all about is something I need to learn. I thought it was done at Epiphany, in January, with only male swimmers. September with both sexes is much more reasonable & fair. It was a strange vision, the robed priests, religious banners, old ladies carrying flowers, & a few feet away, observing it all, kids building sand castles, bikini'd women tossing frisbees & buff gay men lounging beneath beach umbrellas. If this is the future, I like it.