At the end of Avenue of Two Rivers and a short distance out in the water is what we called Beer Can Island. I remember it well. We would hang out there having fun or doing stupid stuff. If the tide was low enough, you could walk to it from the boat ramp with a small swim across the channel.
The ramp became my fathers’ favorite place in his later years. He went almost every day until there was no one to go there with or to visit. My mom resented the ramp, probably because she knew my dad was saying something she wouldn’t approve of. So she stayed home—the Farber form of social distancing.
It is essential to have a place to go to. To be with others, get away from some or just be. A place to see, not be seen. The crew at the ramp faced East towards Sea Bright like the peninsula town was some kind of biblical place. A short two miles got you there. Somehow it seemed closer because of the history of the crew at the ramp and farther away because there was no going back for these guys – in any form.
I genuinely believe in life’s milestones; they represent the passing of time but, more importantly, mark a point in time, right now, before it fades in another’s future. And that, I believe, is what a small ramp adorned by an island once strewn with beer cans and driftwood can be.