I'm in, he said
4th of the 7th month

Under the boardwalk

MyuncleswildwoodOh, to take a trip back to 1950s Wildwood / Wildwood, NJ / June 2008

I told my uncle that I'd been down to Wildwood for a few days.

Wildwood, my uncle said with a smile. I used to sleep on the beach there. Under the boardwalk. We would get off work at 6 on Saturday and get in my car and drive down the shore through Jersey on the "deer paths" -- the roads that went through the woods and were smooth and had little traffic. Those road were so nice that I got three speeding tickets and had to go to a class so my license wouldn't be suspended. Ask your aunt about Wildwood.

Aunt, tell us about Wildwood.

On Friday mornings I'd get on the El with my suitcase, work all day, and then get the bus from Philadelphia to Wildwood. We stayed in Mrs. Wagner's Rooming House. $2-3 dollars a night. Girls only. In a dormer room at the top of the house. Two double beds and four girls and a bathroom in the hallway. I wasn't old enough to drink so I altered the date on my baptismal certificate from a 7 to a 5. I didn't drive so I didn't have a license to use as ID. That baptismal certificate got me into all the bars. If we had a little more money we'd stay in a hotel next to the Bolero club. During the day you could hear the stars, like Tony Bennet, rehearsing for their nighttime shows -- the sound came through the walls.

Now that's a Wildwood that lives up to its name.


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