Yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s not summer yet but it sure felt like it.  The Memorial Day weekend was mighty fine.  I said to the family that it was as though we had been in a winter time warp;  then someone pulled the switch and we fell out into last August.  Bagels from the Bagel Shack; three trips a day to Murphy’s to get the food items we forgot to get earlier; fisherman and crabbers at the foot of the street;  flip-flops lined up at the beach entrance; surfers and beach walkers; the ice-cream guy’s bells; roller blades on West Avenue…

We enjoyed it while looking anxiously over our shoulders, half expecting the nice weather to be pushed away.  But, it didn’t happen even though we all remember wet, cold, Memorial Days in the past.  Clearly, the season has begun and we’re pleased that neither spring nor summer have forgotton how to do it right.  The Purple Martins know it; they returned to their condos a few weeks ago.

The celebration day was beautifully clear at Beach Haven’s Veterans’ Bicentennial Park, ready for the ceremony at the gazebo. 

The parade was “down-home” with the Mayor, our friend Professor Commissioner Nancy Davis, the Boy Scouts, the antique cars, Missy and John Maschal in their early 20th C., wood-sided Fudge Truck , the fire engines and first-aiders, and a super marching band.

During the service, veterans were invited to gather before the podium.  Feeling inadequate in the presence of those who had been in harm’s way I went up anyway, proud to have served my country.  I never fired a shot in anger but I served, helping to maintain our defense establishment with the Atlantic Fleet Seabees in Morocco, Spain, and Puerto Rico.  Here’s Bergie and his construction company of Seabees in front of a completed vital defense structure (a base commissary ;-))  (For this I had to master navigation and seamanship??)

The Memorial Day Pig Roast was fun and filling.  Fun also to see old friends again to begin the season.

Other signs of the seasonal change are here.  There’s usually a tiki of some sort nailed to the top of a post along the boardwalk from the street to the beach.  Here’s this year’s…whimsical and endearing.

And, just by that walkway are the beach roses, Rosa Rugosa, sometimes called Nantucket Roses, which are most lush and prolific at this time of year:

This is also the season for the exotic, beautiful mountain laurel blossoms.  The reddish cast, a departure from the usual light pink, is rare for the area, and is seen mostly in the nearby pine barrens.

And, finally, the regal,delicate ballerina, the iris.

The G&T?  Oh, yeah, we had a couple.

27 Responses to “SUMMER’S FIRST G&T”

  1. fiebs Says:

    Lovely, Ralph. Both the images and your writing. I always look forward to your posts.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Fiebs. How are things? Will we be seeing your photo-a-day resume?

      • fiebs Says:

        Things with my mother are stable, though it’s still a bit of a complex situation. Surgery may be soon. Praying for a positive outcome. Thank you for asking. I do anticipate getting back to the project probably soon.

  2. Jeannie Carullo Says:

    Ralph, I enjoyed reading this. The Memorial Day celebration was 1st rate. The pig roast delicious and fun!


  3. Roz Williams Says:

    Commisaries were/are important!! Where else would one get the G &T?

  4. Jay Cranmer Says:

    Terrific Ralph, I especially enjoyed the purple Martin bird house picture; wonder how many people know how long it took “Cap’t Bly” to encourage their summer residency, and his meticulous record keeping of their annual affairs?

    Best, Jay

  5. Frances Hopkins O'Neill Says:

    Beautiful pictures, as always! Welcome summer!


  6. Pat Says:

    Ralph, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your weekend. Great images and a wonderful story. Enjoy!


    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Pat. I value the feedback. We can neither speak, write, paint nor photograph in a vacumn. I even wish for negative comments as it might help me improve. I think people are reluctant to do that in the first place, let alone on a public forum, but I’ve done it with private emails. Don’t think I’ve lost any friends so far but you never know.

      I’d also like to publicly compliment you for your iniatives in the SJCC’s field trip programs. You resurrected them and made them interesting and fun again.

  7. Linda Hollinger Says:

    Nice images Ralph! Happy summer!!

  8. Ken Curtis Says:

    I too enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the beautiful photos. It’s nice to have words and photos together – gives so much more meaning to both. I look forward to your next post.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Ken. It has been a rewarding addition to my life if not my photography. I’ve read your brief commentaries in Facebook posts (most recently at the Water Gap) and I think you should think about blogging.

  9. Linda Colgan Says:

    I loved your beautiful images and wry comments, as usual. I’m so happy to have you on our committee this year.

  10. Jo Ann Morris Says:

    We left Beach Haven yesterday, leaving 20+ bags of weeds and clippings curbside. Mystic is glorious on this beautiful morning, but we already miss Beach Haven. Thanks for bringing a bit of it back to us.
    Biddle and Jo Ann Morris.

  11. denisebushphoto Says:

    Great story and photos and glad to see you had a good start to your shore season!

  12. Kirsten Sessinger Says:

    Wow, the Iris picture is stunning Dad! It’s such a crisp clear up close shot. Wonderful.

  13. Kathleen Lapergola Says:

    So enjoyable to see and read. Looking forward to more from the Shore Ralph!!!!!!!!!

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