November 1, 2012

Blogmeet, Hurricane Sandy Refugee, Spouse Home Without Power, Stranded Daughter, Gas Lines, Closed Stores, and an Oak Tree Falls on Son-In-Law – Oh My.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:25 pm

As for me and mine, we are all safe and, as of very recently, we have power, although it was pretty hairy there for a while. I had left on Thursday to attend a blogmeet in Tennessee (see previous post), which would run from Friday through Sunday morning. It was great seeing so many bloggers and former bloggers, all of whom have become good friends over the years.

During the blogmeet, I had been keeping an eye on the weather forecast for New Jersey, and when Sunday rolled around, it was clear that any thought of driving from Tennessee to New Jersey during a hurricane was just plain nuts. Elisson and his bride graciously offered me and Erica (who, along with her camera, was riding with me) an invitation to ride out the storm at their home two hundred miles south, in Georgia. Their warmth, friendship and hospitality (and that of their lovely and charming daughter) were beyond excellent. I shall never forget how wonderful they were to us.

So, while I was safely tucked away in Georgia eating well and doing cocktails, Mrs. Parkway was home at the Jersey shore while the hurricane was pounding the Jersey Shore and knocking out the power. Daughter had driven to Pennsylvania to attend a business meeting and ended up with a canceled meeting and being stranded in a darkened hotel (Hotel staff: “Don’t worry; we have glow sticks.”)

When daughter learned that a large oak tree fell on a portion of her roof, two fences, the generator and her husband, she scrambled to make the trip from central Pennsylvania back to New Jersey, encountering road block after road block. What should normally have taken four hours, took eight hours. The emergency room docs have confirmed that son-in-law is OK, albeit a bit banged up and sore. Communication between Georgia and either Mrs. Parkway or daughter during all this was initially spotty and eventually all but non-existent. It made for some serious pacing and nail biting.

On Wednesday, when it appeared that the worst was over and that gasoline outside of New Jersey would not likely be a problem, we struck out for the now-battered Garden State, and 940 miles later I was home by midnight. I had a couple ample slugs of bourbon and spent a few hours catching up on all that I had missed.

Frankly, it’s all been a bit much to get my arms around, particularly when it comes to the breadth of the destruction in New Jersey. Most of the media attention has been given to the Jersey Shore area, where the storm made its landfall, but people all over the state are under water and/or without power, dealing with closed stores and critical gas shortages. The worst cases are, of course, people who have completely lost their homes to the storm.

New Jersey is a small, but densely populated state with lots of communities. As such, it is not uncommon, even in this small state, for us to never have visited or even know much about many of its communities. There is one huge exception to the rule, and that is Seaside Heights. I don’t know a soul who is unfamiliar with Seaside Heights, and most have many, many fond memories of the iconic shore town.

Working class families (such as my parents and extended family) would save all year for a week or two “down the shore,” which inevitably included either a rented bungalow in or near Seaside Heights and endless hours on the boardwalk enjoying the games, the rides and the food (I’m thinking sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches). Maybe it’s the atmosphere and salt air that makes the food on the boardwalk taste special. I never figured it out.

Anyway, it’s gone. Taken away by Hurricane Sandy.

To see numerous heart-breaking images and videos, Google “Seaside Heights Hurricane Sandy”.

One place in Seaside Heights that seems to have escaped any damage is the “Jersey Shore House.” It’s ironic, given the damage that that Snooki and that collection of reprobates did to the image of the real Jersey Shore.


  1. Damn man, y’all are in deep shit up there. I feel for you. No power, no fuel, food is scarce, looters, cold, price gouging, and just generally a mess. I kinda know how you feel, I been through some extended power outages before, in both cold and hot weather, lost everything, and I mean everything, in a fire before. Hang in there, and watch your back. People will do anything when they’re desperate.

    Comment by Yabu — November 2, 2012 @ 8:03 am

  2. Glad you made it home OK & all is well for you & your son in law is fine.
    Incidently ….We seen a few photos of a graveyard somewhere in Jersey where caskets were disinterred by the Hurricane ….Any chance one of them has Hoffa as a resident? Just Wondering!

    Comment by dudley1 — November 2, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  3. Glad to hear that your and yours are (relatively) safe and sound. Hope y’all stay that way, and that things get better quickly.

    Thoughts and prayers…

    Comment by CenTexTim — November 2, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  4. Glad youse guys made it back OK, especially given how messy those last few miles must have been.

    The Mistress of Sarcasm and I overnighted with Elder Daughter in Philly Wednesday night. The next morning, we made our way to her place by way of the back roads of New Jersey. Even as far west as we were – nowhere near the shore! – things were pretty chewed up. A lot of power still out, long queues at the gas stations. Up here in the Hudson Valley, no problems.

    It was great having you at Chez Elisson, albeit for a not-so-good reason. We may need to do this again… except without the farookin’ hurricane!

    Comment by Elisson — November 2, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  5. I have distant family in the Edison area. I’ve heard they’re ok, but that’s the only thing I’ve heard.

    I’ve wondered how you fared. Glad to hear you’re ok. I’m sure you’re glad you don’t have alligators swimming in your streets because of this!

    I think you’re near Kenilworth. How’s that area looking?

    Comment by wRitErsblock — November 2, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  6. I’m wrong, my distant family is in Newark, not Edison.

    Comment by wRitErsblock — November 2, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  7. Man, I’ve been worried sick about Erica and you both! (((Hugs!))) Hope all gets back to normal soon.

    Comment by Joan of Argghh! — November 2, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  8. welcome home jimbo…We still love the jersey shore and can’t wait till we build it back even though it will not be the same. we all had some great times there when we grew up.

    Comment by chef of da future — November 2, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  9. Geez, is a cataclysm what it takes to get you to finally write a proper blogpost? Dooshbag.

    Comment by Erica — November 2, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  10. What a mess. We keep saying we can’t even imagine if it hit you as a Cat 3. This whole thing has been awful. And I was so not in tune with it… I’m looking at it at Eric’s thinking ‘tropical storm’. My husband told me when I got home how it was all this weather churned together at high tide. holy smokes.

    Our family is fine. They are amongst the blessed stressed. My sil told me of seaside heights among other places.

    Comment by Bou — November 2, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  11. And… just another thought. I don’t think Sandy was a Cat 1. It took 10 years for the weather ‘experts’ to realize that Hurricane Andrew was a Cat 5 hurricane. Ten years. We all kept saying, “No way, was that a Cat 4… and if that’s a 4, what the hell is a 5?” We all have a HUGE appreciation for the 4’s, but the fact they told us it really was a 5 made us not feel so insane about it.

    So I think when the weather people finish their data churning, more is going to come out of this. And not that it matters, death and destruction is death and destruction, but we all need to realize when they say, “It’s a Cat 1… ” sometimes it’s a 3. That happened to us once. We went to bed hearing, “It’s a 1, it’s a 1” and woke up and it was a frickin’ 3. So we don’t trust the weather wonks anymore. I seriously would not be surprised if they up it to a 3. The damage you have is just so damn… extensive.

    Comment by Bou — November 2, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  12. Good to hear you and the family are okay, albeit a bit knocked around.

    What Bou said… you may have been told Cat 1 but sometimes it’s a 3.

    Comment by pam — November 3, 2012 @ 7:27 am

  13. Glad you made it back, Jimbo, and glad your Son-in-Law’s misadventure wasn’t worse. As for me, I’ve been in this area over 70 years (Avon, Freehold) and it’s the worst I’ve seen including the March 62 storm and the 4 or 5 direct hits in the 50s. Wind was gale force when Sandy’s center was over 400 miles away. A truly huge storm.I would enjoy watching the politicians’ discomfort (talkin to you Bloomie) and cluelessness if it weren’t for the misery so many were and are still in, and the death and injury count.

    Comment by Charlie — November 3, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

  14. Few images have fucked with my head over the past few days like the way that roller coaster, toppled over in a twisted heap like some cheap, Chinese-made toy, has. And the massive acreage of homes burned to the ground in the Rockaways. Every place is horror and devastation… and people are resorting to Lord of the Flies-type tactics to ward off the looters, although I cannot image WTF they would be looting, since everything everywhere has been destroyed. It’s extremely hard to keep seeing this stuff.

    Comment by Erica — November 3, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  15. Hugo, South Carolina – recovered
    Andrew , Florida – recovered
    Katrina, New Orleans – will never recover
    Sandy, New Jersey- will recover

    think about it.

    Comment by James Old Guy — November 4, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  16. James Old Guy… let me add:

    Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan, Wilma, Florida (all in one year)- recovered

    Katrina, Mississippi- recovered

    It is a state of mind…

    Comment by Bou — November 4, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

  17. Jimbo,
    Glad you made it back safely!

    Comment by Jerry — November 8, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

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