Monday, January 30, 2006

JERSEY SHORE (Part I)

Summer of '85 :
THE DIAMOND AND THE BONFIRE

Every summer, my family would spend at least a week at Surf City, down the Jersey Shore. My parents always allowed my brothers and me to bring friends along on our summer vacation. This particular year, Tommy brought along his friend Jet, and Jerry brought Freddie and Chico. Jet was an adorable 17-year old with luscious blonde curls who, like Tommy, excelled in baseball; Freddie was a lame guy who couldn't get a date to save his life, and Chico was the only one of my brothers' friends who acted civil towards me, the younger sister. I brought my super-cool twin friends from Pennsylvania, Sylv and Liza.

It was customary for my cousin CC and her family to go on vacation during the same week as my family. All four kids in her family were allowed to bring a friend along each year, as well, which meant, all tolled, there were roughly 4 adults and 15 teenagers running around amongst the two rented houses on 12th Street. It was a pretty exciting time in my life.

For some reason unbeknownst to me or anyone else, my parents allowed Tom, Jerry and their friends to drive all of us young'ns down the shore the night minus adults. My Uncle T would already be down there, but he was planning on going fishing with Uncle Jay, so he'd be no trouble for us at all.


We arrived down the shore at approximately 6 PM on Saturday night. Since there were no parents around, we did the only sensible thing: we communed on the beach. I played songs on my guitar while everyone sang and flirted and had the time of their lives. I imagined that this must have been what it felt like to be a character in the book The Outsiders. No parents, no rules; everyone for themselves.

Jerry and his friends went cruising in their hotrod cars while the rest of us decided that we were going to spend the entire night on the beach. I had my acoustic guitar and played Dylan, Zeppelin, and Stray Cat songs. Sylv, Liza, CC, and I were singing Stray Cat Strut while some of the guys went and gathered wood for a bon fire. I thought for sure that Beach Patrol were going to bust us for using the dune fence for kindling wood, not to mention the illegal bonfire and the hell that we were going to pay from our parents for sleeping on the beach.

It was a charged atmosphere as my friends flirted as never before. It seemed that all of the friendships between the males and females were entering a new era. Everyone was so flirtatious. It was great, innocent fun!

I sat there and played my guitar as Puff (one of my cousin's friends) tried to pull the bandana off that I had tied around my neck. He didn't manage to get the bandana, however, he did manage to pull off the new diamond studded necklace that my grandmother and grandfather had bought me for my Sweet Sixteen birthday earlier in the year. I was mortified--my new necklace! How am I going to explain this one to Grandma?!

Puff, CC, Sylv, Liza, and the rest of the crew starting digging for my necklace. Someone grabbed a piece of burning wood and used it as a torch to scope over the entire area where I had been sitting. By this time, I knew Puff had accidentally buried the diamond. It was gone. I thought my life was over. I had managed to lose the necklace the first time I wore it. I thought it would be smarter to actually wear it, than to just have it sit in the gold-leaf box it came in!

My parents wouldn't care that I slept on the beach with a bunch of teenagers while basking in the glow of a burgeoning bonfire: once they found out I lost the necklace, everything else would seem like child's play. The guilt could have crushed me, but somehow I managed to let it go. Perhaps it was the rhythm of the ocean that swept it away.


We spent the rest of the night sitting by the fire, just enjoying each other's company. I still remember the maroon kindling wood crackling in the fire; the red bandana that was tied around my neck, and my battered acoustic guitar with the image of Jim Morrison painted right there on the front. I recall how laboriously Puff tried to get everyone to sing Puff the Magic Dragon while he simultaneously shouted out the chords to me. I'll never forget how giddy I felt when Puff flirted with me by trying to grab my bandana. This was the first time I ever remember truly living in the moment. I knew this was a very special moment in time that I would remember forever. My friends and I were loving life while the moonlight shimmered on the ocean and waves crashed upon the shore. What more could any sixteen year old have asked for? Everything else became extremely trivial at that point in time. I was sure some lucky fool with a metal detector was going to score big in the next day or two when he happened upon my sweet sixteen gem while scoping out the beach.

I can't visit the Jershey Shore without thinking about that night with my friends. I often wonder if my necklace has ever been found.


To be continued...

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©2006 Marcy_Peanut. All rights reserved.

14 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Althouse said...

That is a great story. I have memories like that too... they seem almost a lifetime away though. As we grow up, we seem to forget those simpler times of our youth - the discovery, the spontaneity, and the eternal moments that, in retrospect, are so fleeting.

I can picture Richard Nixon in his big ol' shorts with a metal detecter (shamelessly borrowed from Steve Martin... full disclosure!) finding your necklace.

Can't wait for part 2,

~Mike

4:12 PM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

Thanks for the feedback, Mike!

This essay started out as a mere lead in to the funny story I wanted to tell that happened that week at the shore, but I realized that I couldn't possibly expect anyone to read a 2,000 word essay in one sitting...so I broke it up into two (or three!!) parts!

I'm so glad that people find my life as entertaining as I do! ;)

6:29 PM  
Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

What? I never liked TV episodes that ended with the words "To be continued.." on the screen. And now, here I sit, insomniac, with nothing to do and I am feeling like I just ate a banana split without the banana! Incomplete. Arrrrggghhh!

Ok. Fine! :) I'll keep checking your blog every hour at work tomorrow in the hopes that I will be satisfied.

Good post, Marcy.

Peace

3:22 AM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

NO NO NO! Don't waste another moment of your precious time!

I only post here about once a week (these are my memoirs....we can't rush these things!) ;)

I can promise you this...the next segment is a very funny! This is just a mere lead in setting up the scene...

Cheers,
Cliff Hanger

10:22 AM  
Blogger uglygirl said...

hullo!!!!!!!
where is the second part?
i checked like twice alraedy.

12:49 PM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

UGLYGIRL: LOL! Your new profile picture is hilarious!!

I'll try to type up the rest of the story soon. Please be patient...it'll be worth the wait!

7:29 PM  
Blogger uglygirl said...

come over to my blog and read my fav sory about me, i think i will follow your example and chronicle my life too in some ways. thanks for the idea.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Rick Anonymi said...

Bind the sea to slumer stilly.

9:35 PM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

UGLYGIRL: Okay...will do. I haven't been online a lot in the past few days...just trying to let my good ol arm and neck heal. I'll check you out right now, though!

RICK: What's up, Blood??

11:11 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

Brain-washed Robot!? What the hay?
I love U.G.
Come on you know that stuff ain't real & so does she.

BTW what is all the verifacation about? More letters in verifacation then my whole comment. :)

12:25 AM  
Blogger Miladysa said...

I love this... my favourite post so far :)

4:52 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

P.s. nice story. It's taking time to catch up. I loved your last post 'Kiss, my arse' I suspect a lot on online romances end like that.

looking forward to the ending.

9:58 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Urgh! I tried to post yesterday and apparently it didn't post. I think I said something clever too. :(

You have cool parents if they let you bring your buddies.

I was always nice to my buddies' little sisters. In fact, the first time I ever made out with a girl was with my buddy's little sister.

As for the neckless, that's exactly why I don't wear jewelry. I don't even wear my wedding ring.

I bought some cool silver necklesses in Mexico and they're all gone.

11:54 PM  
Blogger mizfit said...

it's funny how the loss of an expensive gift/item can bring rage that surpasses love our parents' love for us. jokes aprt, ur blog made a very interesting reading.

ur profile is what i can relate to easily. needless to say, same pain here.put great humiliating shows of jealousy with my gal even when we weren't a couple.

1:30 AM  

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