The weather in Ocean City on our graduation anniversary, June 11, was not the best for a day at the beach, but the way this spring has been it was better than we could have expected. The rain was spotty and light and did not interfere with our activities, such as windsurfing, jetty-diving, and lifeguard wrestling—that is, if we wanted to do them. A bright and sunny day would have only made us feel guilty about neglecting the backed-up yard chores at home.
We left Wilmington a a half-hour later than expected to let a fast-moving rain cell pass by and did not see any more rain until evening. I even stopped at a boardwalk dollar store for an emergency pair of sunglasses. The wet beaches were almost deserted, but many families were on the boardwalk in high spirits. This was the last day before the season unofficially began, and I suspect many were getting a quick vacation before the higher prices kicked in. No wonder they looked happy.
This year’s class attendees were myself, Nancy Musser, Ed Fitzsimmons, Leon West, and Jerry Jerome (in his traditional garnet-and-gray, number 54 soccer shirt). The spouses were Missy Walck, Helen Fitzsimmons, Nan West, and Faith Jerome. We all met as usual at 2 PM at on the Music Pier, caught up on the year’s events, told lies about classmates who were not there (whoo-hoo, what I learned!), reviewed the latest of Nancy’s never-empty Cornucopia of high school memorabilia, and posed in front of the boardwalk webcam (http://www.oceancityfootball.com/otb/pages/cam_jump_newoc.php?id=31), which must have puzzled some viewers. (We need to make a sign.) We ate a simple dinner at a boardwalk outdoor food court, opting for convenience over opulence.
This year several of us stayed overnight at the Tahiti Inn located at 12th Street, just half a block from the boardwalk. (No, not the Tacky Inn. Any suggestion of Tahiti thankfully stopped at the tiny lobby.) It was quiet—only a few other rooms were occupied. The price was right ($80) and the convenience was terrific. The rooms were average-motel, but that was all we needed. The Tahiti’s attitude was battle-scarred defensive ($20 deposit for the TV remote, many signs warning against unregistered visitors, stern instructions to wash the sand off of your feet, etc.) but we understood it came from years of dealing with guests less perfect than we. The following morning gave us a taste of real sunshine before a light shower passed through during breakfast at a popular nearby grille. The breakfast had enough calories to stoke an elephant, so we returned to the motel balcony to digest them and criticize Obama for a little longer, and left at noon when they wanted their parking spaces back.
We have been meeting each year on the June 11 graduation anniversary date, but that is right on the borderline of the season’s higher prices, sometimes falling on one side, sometimes on the other, so we were thinking we should change the reunion to something like the first Wednesday in June to always be on the cheap side. We haven’t decided yet, but we could call it the “Lansdowne-Aldan High School Class of 1954 Annual Reunion, Early Bird Special.”
In the group photo below, my wide-angle lens makes Jerry Jerome, sitting just slightly back, look like the progeria grandson of Nancy Musser. The boardwalk shot shows his real size. He is on the right, walking with Missy Walck (the photographer for the first photo), and Ed and Helen Fitzsimmons. The last photo is to prove we did see the the sunshine. (Double-click on them to enlarge.)