October 20, 1992|
Our social life was at it's peak in the 50's and 60's. The shore became our way of life during the summer and we extended the season as I added heat and other improvements to the house.
We became very active in the Yacht Club. The membership started having annual shows, The Follies, and we had good bands and had a great place to dance outside under the stars. Members of other yacht clubs on the Bay would bring their boats into the Marina and join our parties.
Mary Liz was active with the children's school activities and with the Hannah Penn Group, The Republican Women of Pennsylvania. Hannah Penn and the Yacht Club increased our circle of friends and social engagements dramatically. At the shore it seemed every one wanted to have a party and it got so that there were two or three for the same date in order to get them into the limited summer season. The Applegates, Sayias, and Switliks became very close friends and we became known as the "asses".
Mary Liz and eleven close shore friends had a bridge group that met once a month. After awhile they gave up playing bridge but they are still meeting once a month in the 90's. Some points I'd like to chronicle are listed as follows.
The only unusual event was my weekend on a submarine. Bob Worthington was skipper of the Tusk and it was in the Navy Yard for a major overhaul. I was invited to go out for a weekend test run on April 22nd. It was a great experience. We went down the Delaware River to the Bay and did deep sea dives and made other maneuvers to check the work. It was the first time I ever saw Radar and it was amazing to see the Delaware River open up in front of the sub. I wasn't much on protocol and enjoyed myself exploring everything and eating well. It was a snorkel type and we made a quiet run off Cape May.
Eddie expressed a desire for a little dog. It happened to coincide with a friend's announcement that their Cocker Spaniel had just had puppies. Fortunately we were able to get one and it was a big occasion when I brought her to the shore after work one day. We named her Spray and she became an important member of the Card and Sutton families.
Mary Liz has been active in the Hannah Penn Republican Women and this year there were several social affairs plus the usual Holiday Market at the Bellevue Hotel.
Carolyn started kindergarten.
We had a great time with our shore friends the Sayias, Bammans, and Applegates at a Princeton Dartmouth game and we all enjoyed a good tailgate party. It ended with the group getting lost on a drive to New Hope and for some reason getting stuck and muddy in the middle of some farmer's field. We wound up for dinner at the Tow Path Inn. It was Mary Liz and my introduction to New Hope and Bucks County.
The treasurer of the Yacht Club was called to the war in Korea and I was appointed to take his place.
In February we spent a long weekend with the shore group at Split Rock Lodge in the Poconos. We had a nice cottage and a very active three days which included Ice Boating and much partying.
I was getting interested in sailing and crewed with Bob Bamman on his Lightning. During the year I joined Bob and Don Sayia in the purchase of an old 28 ft. "B" Cat. We fixed it up with caulk and fiberglass and the three of us had a ball working together. The "Boystoy" was the basis for much fun on sails to Enos for dinner and to the Yacht Club Rendezvous'. One time, when we were sailing to Forked River and we came about, Mary Liz and Barbara Bamman, who were sunning themselves on the cabin top, went flying overboard.
This year I was elected to be both treasurer and financial secretary.
We were spending more time at the shore and with our Seaside and Hannah Penn friends. The Yacht Club members put on their first of many annual Follies in August. The members would get together on Friday night to rehearse and by the end of the season they would put on the show.
I was elected Rear Commodore under Tom Brooks the Commodore. The Yacht Club operated in a very business like manner with meetings at the Union League and major expenditures had to approved by the Executive Committee, comprised of the past commodores. As Rear Commodore I made several major improvements. We enlarged the bar, put in a sound system, enlarged and improved the kitchen, modernized the upstairs room, and rewired the marina. I was involved in buying things wholesale for the club and usually had to truck everything down in our station wagon. The bar was one of my responsibilities. I had Dan Clayton as my chairman and he turned it into a paying operation. The Club operated on a very tight budget.
The Switliks brought their 95 ft. Waloris to the Club and we enjoyed many good times on board. One time the "Asses" all went down the Inland Waterway to spend the weekend in Atlantic City. We felt like millionaires having breakfast served by the steward on the stern deck.
This year, our gang went to Skytop in the Poconos and enjoyed the Country Weekend celebration. There was a turkey shoot and I never had better time at a picnic and the pea soup was super.
It was the Yacht Club's practice for officers to hold office for two years. I continued as Rear Commodore and continued improving the facilities.
We joined a group of friends and took lessons in the novelty dances.
We bought a new Ford station wagon and took the children on a short trip to Niagara Falls.
The 25th anniversary of my Germantown High graduation was celebrated and we made a day of it. It started by joining the Bammans and Sayias at the Princeton Dartmouth football game. Then we attended the wedding of Mary Jane Bertolet and continued our activities finally at the reunion.
This year I moved up to Vice Commodore for another two year commitment and was responsible for the Juniors and the sailing programs.
The big event this year was a motor trip to Key West in our station wagon. We had a good trip South although the children couldn't have cared less about our efforts to point out the points of interest. We stayed with the Cards in Key West, enjoyed the beach, and were invited to a party for the Admiral. Too soon it was time to leave and we made a stop at the Switliks on the way North. They have a lovely home jutting out into the Gulf near Marathon, FL. When we were ready to leave, Spray got out of the car and we drove off without her. The Switlik's handyman took off after us and had a tough job catching up.
When we reach Orangeburg S.C. on Easter, the transmission failed and we were stranded. The Ford dealer was tremendous. He found lodging for us and took steps to have a transmission brought in by bus so that the car could be repaired on Monday. We always say that "Orangeburg is a Peach of a Lemon".
We took a short trip to visit Aunt Dot near Washington and took the children on a tour of the Washington area.
The Sneakbox (sailboat) we gave Eddie and Carolyn for Christmas was ready to be picked up and we towed it the Seaside Park and it became an important part of the 1957 season. They took sailing lessons and became interested in the BBYA and entered the weekly races. We named the sailboat "The Slick Willie".
The Swiliks now had the 60 ft. Sapphire and, since our friends all had children in the races, we all met on board on Saturday mornings to follow the races while enjoying refreshments.
The Yacht Club had their second annual reunion at the University of Pennsylvania Club in Philadelphia. The weather was poor, the Club lost money, and the membership was unhappy.
This was a big year for me. I was elected Commodore, the youngest one up to that time. The Club had been built up by the enthusiasm of the younger members and by the improvements during the mid 50's. and it was the focal point for the social life in Seaside.
One of the first things I did, was to promise that we would not commit the members to an expensive reunion. Mary Liz, through her Hannah Penn contacts, obtained permission for the group to hold the 1958 reunion at the Seaview C.C. in Absecon N.J. It was great because we could spend an extended weekend playing golf etc. or just attend the dinner. It was a major success and we repeated the arrangements for a few years.
The weather at the shore was severe during this period. There were several hurricanes and the winters were cold enough to freeze Toms River. I think it was this year that I did a crazy thing. We had a new Ford Country Squire and I drove it out on the ice of Toms River pulling the kids on their sleds.
I don't know when this started but it was sometime during the follies period. On Labor Day weekend the Yacht Club season was over and we had a closing party. We called it "Bye Bye Seaside" and had a song to the tune of "Bye Bye Birdie".
Gene Urbaniak added entertainment in the form of a couple of elderly female, bar room type, piano entertainers. They were joined by some of our friends that had taken up the "Gut Bucket" and by the members singing old time songs. This became an anticipated annual affair.
Carolyn and her friends Gail Owens and Lynda Clayton had been putting on little shows. This year Irene Switlik got them together with most of the club children and arranged for a full scale production. Carolyn was Peter Pan and Eddie was a pirate. It was a great show put on by the side of the marina with the boats all decorated with lights.
Aunt Carolyn's husband Bob Maida died of heart failure this year. Later in the year, Carolyn introduced us to John Calderwood another lawyer and friend of Bob's. On December 27th they were married much to the displeasure of the Maida family. John was in the big time and they moved to an affluent area of Manhattan.
Ed Jr. was thinking about college. We made a trip over the Thanksgiving holiday to the Boston area, did some sight seeing, and visited Harvard and MIT.
next: The Sixties