Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seaside 2

Last week I took a short sojourn with a group of friends, and one of our stops was the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, NJ. Whenever I hear the sound of a calliope, it always sends me back to the World of Mirth. It was a traveling carnival that stopped a couple of years in the city in the days of my youth. We always got excited, because although the setup grounds were on Riverside Street, all the animals, rides and inhabitants would be parked along Bishop Street for a few days leading up to the show. It was exciting to walk down a neighborhood street and hear the large animals in the trucks and see the rides folded up but ready to provide plenty of fun and screams. The woods and area at the end of the street however were off limits. This was where the workers and the performers stayed in their wagons and tents. One night five of us guys headed down to check out the goings on and to see if we might find the 'home' of the hoochie-coochie girls or exotic dancers. We had this hair-brained idea that they might want to show a few teenage boys their wares. The night was short. We were met at the gate by a couple of seedy characters who just laughed at our request. They said we could get to see 'it' at the show the next night. How much did we see? Not much. Unable to come up with the separate admission to the exotic dancer tent, we had to be satisfied with standing out back, listening to the music and seeing the ladies enter and exit. It must have been a good show, because there were plenty of outbursts of screams and clapping.
For us, that night was close but no cigar!

25 comments:

  1. Funniest thing...you guys with the raging hormones weren't satisfied with the carousel?!

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  2. So close yet so far Birdman, still you were probably saved from a horrible experience haha! Funny how the fair and the circus seem such a magical place, I've certainly had a few 'run away to the circus' moments along the way!! BTW loved your giraffe....!

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  3. I gotta' say I have the exact memory, sort of- is it possible I was one of the 5 guy's? My exact memory was that I was alone, having slipped out of the joint(home) to see what was going on, but I got scared away by the whole scene and snuck back into the woods and back home, dreaming about what I imagined I saw behind that odd silhouette...- but I bet it was the same night, only for me it seemed a more adolescent memory, not teen- anyhow, thanks for the re-memory

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  4. Cute! I love a spin on the carousel.

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  5. oh i've always loved the carousel! i really enjoyed your memories too!

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  6. Another great memory to go along with a great picture! I took my grandson riding on the carousel during our vacation this summer and he loved it.

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  7. Don't know a lot of kids who would resist!

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  8. What a lovely shot this is to go with another great flashback.

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  9. Not so easy to find one of these nowadays...

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  10. Love the carousel. We called them hobby horses when I was child.

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  11. Excellent color in this shot!

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  12. It's Seaside Jack! Does this solve yesterday's riddle?

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  13. What nostalgia you can conjure up in my mind. The carnival folks always seemed like such free spirits to me. Almost made me want to choose carnival life as an occupation. Almost that is -- barbara

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  14. Great story to go along with this classic image. When I was young, I lived near Cincinnati Gardens, and when the circus came to town, it was a thrill to see them setting up and practicing. And the show, the presentation, always left me wide-eyed an giddy :^)

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  15. Oh what a cute story... Those young kids probably enjoyed just 'thinking' about what was going on inside!!!!!! ha

    We had the traveling carnivals come to our town also. Back then, we loved to go to the carnivals mainly to ride all of the rides and see if our boyfriends could win us a teddy bear..

    I don't remember a 'hoochie coochie' show though at our carnivals. BUT--guess that was because I am a girl!!!!! ha
    Betsy

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  16. Another great flashback to go with a great pic!

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  17. oh, you boys. ever after the golden ring.

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  18. I was first struck by the observation that the carousel at the St. Louis Zoo goes in the opposite direction. I think the one in Central Park does, too. After reading your text, I was reminded that there are some experiences in life that are much more intense when they are imaginary.

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  19. Colorful carousel, Birdman. Isn't it interesting how much effort teenaged boys with raging hormones will put into trying to see a little female skin? Of course, I never engaged in shenanigans like this. I was studying.

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  20. I love your story. Boys will be boys with their "amazing" ideas :D

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  21. Nice story being shared. Men story. :)

    By the way, that photo makes me remember my younger days. My mom used to let me ride.

    Cassy from Classical Guitar Lessons

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