Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Down The Shore With Lucy

Building Sandcastles
Suelynn Cotton

When I was a little girl, summertime mean't,
 "going down the shore"
 as we say here in southern New Jersey.
 Dad and Mom took us on a day trip
 to swim and play 
on the sandy shores of Avalon, or
sometimes to Margate,where the 
lonely relic of Lucy The Elephant, 
once a major 19th and early 20th
century, Atlantic City area tourist attraction
stood weathering just off the beach.

 Vintage Postcard Featuring
"Lucy The Elephant"
Margate, New Jersey

 I  can clearly remember
 Mom occasionally and loudly reminding us kids,
"Stay away from that elephant!"
as we played on the beach.
Wading in the ocean and allowing the waves 
to carry us back to the shoreline was fun,
  but so were the endless hours of
making sand castles and collecting sea shells.
 I always had such a good time.
 I never wanted to leave the beach!

On The Beach
Margate, New Jersey

Although I remember her standing
 in weathered condition near the beach,
 Lucy was the innovative brain child of
a man named James Lafferty, who in 1881,
 designed the elegant elephant by the sea,
complete with her ornate howdah,
as a novel approach to sell real estate,
and to attract tourists spending their
summer vacations down the shore.

While she was never used as a hotel, as
she was sometimes portrayed on
shore postcards, over the years
 Lucy served as a restaurant,
 business office, cottage, and a tavern.
By 1969, however, the forlorn 
elephant structure had fallen into
such a state of serious dilapidation,
she was scheduled for a date 
with the wrecking ball.


Fortunately, that same year,
in an effort to save this historic landmark,
 a group of concerned Margate citizens 
banded together and formed the
  the Margate Civic Association,
which would later become known as
the Save Lucy Committee. 
In 1976, Lucy was designated
a National Historic Landmark. 

Through much time, effort, and perseverance
on behalf of many dedicated people,
today Lucy has been fully restored to
 her former Victorian era glory.

The iconic pachyderm once again proudly stands as
 a popular tourist destination near the beach.
Lucy even withstood a brush with
Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when the
storm made landfall near Margate.
Lucy The Elephant will always be
 a special part of the unique history
of the New Jersey shore,
a memory of simpler times,
and the happy, carefree days
of my childhood summers.

Lucy Today

Monday, June 6, 2016

June Brides and Blooms: Featuring The Legendary Beauty Of Elizabeth Taylor

June roses are blooming,
and wedding bells are ringing...

"Father of the Bride"
Movie Poster

Gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor
"Father of the Bride"
 Barbie Doll

The spectacular
Elizabeth Taylor Rose

Beautiful Elizabeth in the movie, 
"Father Of The Bride"

Another look at the beautiful
Elizabeth Taylor 
"Father of the Bride"
Barbie Doll

Voices From The Wilderness

Annie Dillard

“I am a frayed and nibbled
 survivor in a fallen world, 
and I am getting along...

Tinker Creek, Virginia

...I am aging and eaten and have done
 my share of eating too.
 I am not washed and beautiful,
 in control of a shining world
 in which everything fits,
 but instead am wondering awed
 about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, 
whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, 
whose bloodied and scarred creatures 
are my dearest companions, 
and whose beauty bats and shines
 not in its imperfections
 but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” 
-Annie Dillard

 Walden Pond
Concord, Massachusetts

“Be yourself- 
not your idea of what
 you think somebody else's idea 
of yourself should be."

Henry David Thoreau

“What lies behind us 
and what lies ahead of us
 are tiny matters 
compared to what lives within us.” 
Henry David Thoreau 

Eleanor Pruitt Steward

 “To me, homesteading is the solution
 to all of poverty's problems,
 but I realize that temperament
 has much to do with success 
in any undertaking,
 and persons afraid of coyotes
 and work and loneliness
 had better let ranching alone.
 At the same time,
 any woman who
 can stand her own company,
 can see the beauty of a sunset,
 loves growing things
 and is willing to put in
 as much time at careful labor
 as she does over the washtub, 
will certainly succeed;
 will have independence,
 plenty to eat all the time,
 and a home of her own in the end.” 
-Eleanor Pruitt Steward 

 A Herd Of Wild Horses
Sweetwater County, Wyoming 

"Fried potatoes, onions and fish. 
You can't beat that!"
-Dick Proenneke
Alone In The Wilderness

Richard Proenneke

  Richard L. Proenneke National Historic Site
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

“If I'd been afraid
  I never would have started out
 in the first place." 
-Emma Gatewood

Grandma Emma Gatewood
At age 67, she was the first woman to hike the 2,168 mile
Appalachian Trail, solo, from Georgia to Maine, in 1955.