We lived on the corner of Black Point Road and Avenue of Two Rivers. The rivers that were at either end of the street are long, traveling about 8 miles inland where they connect with Swimming River. Flowing East, they combine at Sea Bright then pour into Sandy Hook Bay. They are a story in and of themselves and affect everyone who lives near them. Whether you like it or not, the rivers are a part of your life around here. Like the ocean they feed, there is no avoiding them, and I would say no reason to.
Barely a day went by in our house when there wasn’t a discussion about the water. We were water-people who lived on a hill overlooking both from our roofs vantage point. Our house was high relative to the surrounding area and would have been perfect for a light tower or the cupola my dad built but never positioned on the roof. One of my greatest pains in cleaning out the house where I grew up was deconstructing the dome he spent so much time, money, thought, and effort to build. It weighed a ton and was in disrepair short of the copper. I had no place for it and am not skilled in a way to fix it. Out it went into one of my old friends’ dumpsters. (Thanks, Bob Wellner, for all your help.) Deciding what stays and what goes is about as easy as choosing which river is your favorite. For me, while I lived only a short distance to the boat ramp, the Shrewsbury is my favorite. I never liked the bustle and pollution of Red Bank, which the rich and famous seem to enjoy along the Navesink. Funny, my sister was one of them.
My maternal grandparents lived on the Shrewsbury. I spent a lot of time with them on the water, having fun, which is why I am partial to that river. It was never a pain point for me but a joy, exploring and spending time with my grandparents.
Life around water is as much about perspective as it is experience. We all know water can be dangerous and have its own agenda when stirred by larger forces. For me, it has always been a welcome constant. Water proves the point that the greatest source of uncertainly we have is other people.
Times pass, people do too.