austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

A nation turns its lonely eyes to you

Saturday I got up before noon so I could drive to the Ocean County Parking Garage. This wasn't simple eccentricity. One of my elder online friends, Morticon from spindizzy_muck, was making his occasional progress along the Eastern Seaboard and this would be our first chance to meet in many years --- since I got my new car, for example, and stopped being fat. We hoped to just hang out and do something, and particularly to get woodlander and Luaie in together. Nyni jumped in at the last minute too, getting a parental ride in, and I picked the garage as a fairly good meeting site, hard to mistake, where we could assemble and consolidate into a single car to head eastward to Seaside Heights. woodlander was the first person to get lost, since he got to the Ocean County Mall instead.

Nyni was there when I arrived, though, and Luaie never appeared; he didn't connect to spindizzy_muck for a week after committing to the gathering, and his e-mail was full. We resolved to wait a reasonable time for him and then go on anyway. Morticon, coming from the surprisingly packed hotels in Bordentown, on the far western end of the state, was a little late getting to the far eastern end, but no serious harm was done.

What we did want to do before riding small but exciting amusement-park rides was eat since it would be bad form, should you choose to, to have nothing to throw up. We found an International House of Pancakes right away, which worked well since Nyni had got breakfast at another International House of Pancakes. Ultimately I don't think any of us had pancakes.

My father believed there was a public parking lot just as one enters Seaside Heights, one which would save the charges (roaming up to $20 or so for beachfront parking), and that there was a shuttle running from the lot to the boardwalk. Mind you, my father believes in many things, among them that he lives somewhere around the Amboys and therefore north and central Jersey are about an hour closer than they truly are. In this case he was perfectly right, though: there was a remarkably empty lot with a few large puddles and some of those seagulls with the raven-black heads puttering around. We had to walk across the town to get to the boardwalk, but that just gave everyone the chance to suffer heat stroke before the day proper started.

Trivia: Baseball pitcher Rip Sewell dubbed his underhand pitch the ``eephus'' ball: it would arc as high as 25 feet. Sewell gloated for years that no one hit a homer off it. In 1946's Major League All-Star Game, Ted Williams did. Source: The Rules of Baseball: An Anecdotal Look at the Rules of Baseball and How They Came To Be, David Nemec.

Currently Reading: Exploration And Empire: The Explorer And The Scientist In The Winning Of The American West, William H Goetzmann.

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