Most know the historic building in Sea Bright as the excellent restaurant Tommy’s but fail to recognize or remember what was there before the fine coal-fired pizza establishment (I think the chicken wings are even better and over the top). The building housed a surf shop, post office, Oceanfront, and Chubby’s Pub.
I became legal in December of my senior year at RFH. This meant we could drink legally in great local places like Val’s and Briody’s, but the hit of that winter of 78/89 was Chubby’s. We poured into the place and often got carried out as we were as experienced with drinking as online traders are today on Robinhood.;)
Here is a remnant from back in the day.
We drank as much beer as they would serve us and ate from the indoor version of Mrs. Rooney’s Hot Dog cart. We declared there was a “Hot Dog War In Sea Bright.” It didn’t last long, and the undisputed winner was and still is the venerable Rooney. I remember watching many Rangers games there while I figured was a future actually was. Hmmmm.
Next time you stop in for pizza and some wings, thank back to those hot summer nights after graduation. We all left for college but left a piece of us at Chubby’s
My parents had a lot of stuff they acquired over a 62-year marriage. They didn’t throw anything out, literally. That was left for the last one standing, me.
This fall will be a year since we sold the house on Blackpoint Road in Rumson. After 13, 20-yard dumpsters were carted off; we were left with a basement of things that had meaning or value. That has been reduced to a couple of handfuls of items that will stay in our family. One is an Elgin Watch I found at the bottom of a box. It didn’t look good, but after I had pieced together its history, I decided to have it restored and repaired.
The watch was given to my grandfather by his wife in 1926. Her initials inscribed next to his inside the case near the guts of the watch and serial number. The case has his initials, VT, a Freemason symbol, and the number 32 etched on the back. Freemasons are a kind of secret society, and one of the most significant fraternal orders still active today. There are several Freemason Lodges here in Monmouth County. Think of help and fellowship. The number thirty-two has Freemason meaning and connotes a Master Mason – which means something to Freemasons but not to those of us not initiated.
I paid a king’s ransom (pun intended) to have it restored. It works well and looks good for a hundred-year-old trench watch. It was used and abused by a veteran, who was a plumber with a curiosity about life. I had a strap made from a shop in Finland, which is perfect. The dial has the 12 facing towards my elbow, which was the style of the time. The design from a time when watches were made more user friendly for those fighting wars.
When you settle an estate and dig through the stuff someone else thought was important enough to keep around, it is good to give pause and try to figure out why. The watch was my grandfather’s, passed to my mom, and made its way to me from the bottom of a dusty metal box. It was never intended for me, or it would have been given to me when everyone associated with it was still alive. But it made its way from an old man’s arm to his favorite grandson. That’s cool.
I can’t watch tv news anymore. The competing networks are just too over the top. Deciphering the truth eventually leads me to believe nothing is the truth. There is probably a fancy word for that, but for now, let’s just call it bullshit.
The bullshit is basically that everyone either has or will get the virus. The whole world is protesting (Trump supporters don’t wear masks because they are immune from their last vote) looting and burning. Cops are killing people at random, and being black, white, or gay is worse than being a woman.
But I think I have found a bright light at the end of the tunnel. I saw an ad last night for a lawyer looking for people who have been abused by priests. This tells me at least one person in the CNN ad department thought it was a good idea to take this lawyer’s money so he can help those poor people and put a bad guy in jail.
I remember fishing with my dad out beyond the tip of Sandy Hook near Romer Shoals. There is a lighthouse that helps captains navigate the waters into New York Harbor. It was also a great fishing spot, and I would imagine it still is. (The lighthouse story is a good one, the tale could be a book or movie. Google it for some fun reading.)
The trip began from Pauls Boats in Rumson. We could make the trip out, fish, and get back after work and before dark in the summer. I remember bouncing around in our boat as we passed over the shoals several times with our lines in the water. Trying to maintain your footing in a heaving boat with a fish on the line was always an extra challenge. Mom would make Chicken Kiev and wrap it in tin foil to maintain the heat. (Who the hell eats Chicken Kiev fishing on a boat, near capsizing, on a shoal outside NY Harbor? My mom was an excellent cook, and Dad liked to eat). I recall watching him biting the Kiev balls right out of the tin foil wrapper, butter running down his face and onto his shirt, the other hand steering the boat.
My dad’s absolute fascination with the water came from his relationship with his father. The latter was a global captain he hardly knew. Bad relationships and distance kept them apart. For me, it was just a bad relationship. And I only had a mild interest in boats, they require effort well beyond any I am willing to expend.
As the sun started to lower to the west, we turned for home. I always liked looking at Highlands as we made our way under the bridge heading South. Then the right turn up the Navesink. This meant home.