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 by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, July 12, 2016

You see the sign before you see the motel most times. It’s a big neon one of the type of place that still advertises air conditioning and television as if these are recent inventions and worthy of bragging about. The Shady Palms Motel is not the worst place I’ve ever stayed, but I can see it from here.

The carpet has cigarette burns and the hangers don’t come loose; the televisions are bolted to the wall, the Spanish guys blast their music till all hours some nights. People fight and scream. Drunks vomit. Truth be told, the place could use a decent scrubbing and a coat of paint, but it’s cheap and quiet in the offseason, plus the owner lets me live rent free so long as I handle the handyman work. I’m not quite sure who’s getting the better deal, but I suspect it’s not me.

This town used to be quite something back in the day. The boardwalk was the place to see and be seen, with rich folks walking the boards in their finest duds. It was a quaint seaside resort for the rich. I’ve seen pictures over at the Convention Center. A real fancy place it was.

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