Who got older Seaside Heights, you or me?

You were the place for fun when I was a little boy. Before I even went to school I went to you. I remember being so young and staying one night in a cottage my uncle let us use. My mom and brother had already gone to bed. I think too much boardwalk sugar was keeping me up. My dad was sleepy as I talked his ear off. I finally told him he didn’t have to stay up with me. I would watch “Creature Feature” or something then go to bed.

“Someday I won’t be able to sit up and talk to you like this, so no, I’m here.”

I’ve never forgotten what he said to me. The words meant more as the years went on and I experienced fatherhood myself. They meant so much more still when he died.

Seaside Heights, you were my childhood. My special summer days. In my 20’s you were where I honeymooned in my first marriage, flat broke and too young to know we were better off as friends. When it was ending we went there too, off-season, dead of winter. The notes to Santa from little kids as young as I was when I first found you were hung on those decorated walls in that place on your boardwalk. They were the perfect representation of how naive she and I had been and how sad we’d become.

When I brought my own children to you I saw you through new eyes. Places were gone that had been staples. There was no Sodl’s restaurant to take my kids to the way my dad took me. Your haunted house ride was long gone. So many changes you and I have both gone through. You had a bad reputation. So did I. But we both have always wanted better for ourselves and we always seem to fall short.

Well, now I hear you have yet another change coming your way. You’re finally parting ways with that old club Bamboo that gave you such a proverbial black eye in the “Jersey Shore” days.

Remember the epic fight JWoww’s ex Roger had with Ronnie and club-goers? MTV called it “the biggest fight in 'Jersey Shore' history.” Yep, right there at Bamboo.

Well the Bamboo Bar has been closed for two years. Now you Seaside Heights in a moment of maturity have decided to move on. The building at 201 Boulevard is being demolished. It should happen in the next four to six weeks and will eventually be replaced by luxury condos and retail units.

I admire you Seaside Heights. You’re trying to revitalize your strip and improve your overall image. Just like you wisely chose to demolish that steel skeleton which sat unfinished for years on the same street. I feel we’re kindred souls the two of us. Only I wish I could make changes as easily as you do.

We’ve both suffered our losses. I’ve had my own Jet Stars lost to the sea and my own boardwalk fires. I hope you keep your rooftop golf and your sky ride. If you promise to keep those I’ll try hard to hang onto some good that’s left in me.

Because changes are hard. And as I face some of my own I think man, you and I really have been through the wringer at times. Hang in there. I want to grow old with you Seaside Heights.

You may be the only one who’ll have me.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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