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Ocean Grove, NJ is so peaceful.

Ocean Grove, NJ is so peaceful. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of quaintest things in Ocean Grove was the Fishing Pier with its Fishing Shack and of course Ralph, the resident (dummy) fisherman who perpetually cast his line in hopes of snagging the big one.

Ralph has been a fixture on the pier off and on since 1993.  He was created by Carol Boniello and Bob Borders as a symbol of hope for the future of the pier which was in the process of being rebuilt.  In December of 1992 a nor’easter took the fishing shack and part of the pier down.  Ralph has been a bit of a transient.  He fell into the ocean in 1994 only to be rescued by two Grovers.  He lived for a while on Carol’s porch, he even marched in a local parade. He’s been the subject of paintings, sketches and hundreds of photographs.  Children loved Ralph, giggling and pointing at him from the beach below.

Well that was then and this is now.  Hurricane Sandy wiped out the Fishing Shack, part of the pier and alas, Ralph disappeared into the angry swirling sea.  Perhaps he heard a mermaid calling his name.

Losing the Fishing Shack isn’t the worst thing that happened to Ocean Grove during Sandy, the Frankenstorm.  BUT, now looking at the ruptured landmark breaks my heart.  It’s almost like “Serioulsy? You had to take the shack and Ralph AGAIN?” “Isn’t destroying the boardwalk enough? Didn’t tossing the lamp posts and benches across the road and down side streets enough” ?  “Wasn’t flooding basements, depositing tons of sand along Abbott Avenue and Broadway enough”? “Isn’t the fact that we’re 5 days without power and cold enough”?  “And we had to throw out all the food we couldn’t eat in 48 hours bad enough”?  Guess Not!

Watch the videos; Short one shot during the Hurricane and then post Sandy. 

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