One of our Long Beach Island symbols for many years has been the Fisherman’s Shack. More properly a hunters’ shack it was said to date from the 20′s and to have been on the marshes adjacent to Route 72 since the 50′s. It became a traditional signal that one had arrived at the beach and, passing it on the way home, a farewell to happy vacation memories. Unfortunately the years took their toll and the shack deteriorated. There were outcries for preservation, and volunteers installed interior bracing. When I last photographed it three years ago the roof was gone and the internal bracing 2×4′s could be seen.
I had photographed it earlier in 2005 when its character was still on display.
The 2005 winter image became the basis for a Christmas Card, and many prints of it have since been sold at craft/art shows.
There have been hundreds of Shack scenes, photographs and paintings, but only one with a Christmas Tree in a gentle winter’s night snowfall.
Well, Hurricane Sandy came and went last fall, and the Shack went with it. It was completely flattened and its timbers were disbursed to the meadows. This was a very sad event for residents and the thousands of annual visitors to LBI. A strange thing, however, happened to me this past week. I was returning to the island on a sun-filled, puffy cloud day. Held up by traffic I momentarily looked over at the Shack’s former site.
Wonder of wonders…..a phenomenon….. some weird diffraction of the sun’s rays…..a shimmering mirage. Whatever… it was briefly there and saying softly,
“Please don’t forget me.”