Monday, April 27, 2009
It's the icon of the beach and summer in southern Maine... the Pier at OOB. Along with this tourist image, goes quite a history. The first 1,770 feet was built of steel in 1898. At the end was the Pier Casino, a ballroom with room for 5,000 dancers, that welcomed the likes of Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, Xavier Cugat, and Frank Sinatra. Over the years, storms reeked havoc on what was left. A huge fire, in the summer of 1969(as I remember, it was near the time of Armstrong's stroll on the lunar surface), took Noah's Ark, the two carousels, and the Jack and Jill slide. The Casino, at the end, was demolished in 1970, and a storm destroyed what was left in '78. The Pier, as we know today, was rebuilt in 1980. The Beach is still a happening place on summer nights with many of our Canadian friends, obnoxious t-shirt shops, Lisa's pizza and vinegar fries, over-flowing bars, fortune tellers, the constant ringing of games of chance from the large arcade, roaring motorcycles and those crowded sidewalks. Ah... summer in southern Maine. Can it really be coming?