When we were let out of jury duty about 2 pm, I realized, I've got the afternoon free, I'm none too far from Seaside Heights, why not go down there? There'd be no rides open (there weren't), but the arcades would be (they were) and I could probably get photographs of the not-yet-open parts of the pier. I'll talk about the other things I did later, but here's the abnormal event:
Now, I wandered to the FunTown pier expecting it all to be fenced off. There was a fence warning that the pier was closed, but, it was just one panel of fence that in no way obstructed anything anywhere. The rides were closed, and fenced off, but there was this large unobstructed area, and no apparent work going on; I figured, well, let's see how far I can go before something really stops me and take pictures of what I could.
I got as far as the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Public Domain Cartoon version of Yogi Bear when someone trotted up to me and explained that the entire pier was closed and it was nothing against me personally you understand but insurance needs dictated that people not be just wandering around like that. I understood; I really was surprised I'd got that far. And he explained that this weekend they'd be open and they'd be glad to have me come in take photographs. I thanked him.
Then came the surprise. He took out a business card and told me that if I wanted to take artistic photographs that they could arrange an accompanied tour sometime when the pier was closed but under insurance-company-safe conditions and here was the number. I was awfully gratified by this, and started to look in my wallet for my own business card except I almost never have them, and besides my business cards read ``Mathematician''. I couldn't imagine anything they might need less than a professional mathematician.
That wasn't an offer I'd have ever expected to get and I'm curious whether this is standard blather given to people who don't appear to be reckless/idiot teen/young-adults. Maybe it's given to people wandering around with cameras like mine which would qualify for the semi-professional market (or would, eight years ago when I got the camera; now it just stands out as one that's got a good-sized optic lens and has clearly been used a lot). I also was still dressed for jury duty, in the pants bunny_hugger gave me and my strikingly professional-looking red dress shirt, so I could probably have passed myself off as a photojournalist.
I wonder what should happen if I try taking up the offer.
Trivia: Milton Hershey called the flat roof covering one wing of his home, High Point, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, his ``Atlantic City''; he called the walkway leading to it his ``Boardwalk''. Source: Hershey: Milton S Hershey's Extraordinary Live Of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams, Michael D'Antonio.
Currently Reading: Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s, Frederick Lewis Allen.