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 by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back before the accident we’d always go surfing on Sunday mornings. He called it going to church.

“Come on, let’s go to church,” he’d say. “I’ll call you in the morning. We don’t want to be late.”

Then he’d laugh and slap his knee like he hadn’t said that a thousand times before. He was big knee slapper.

I can still see him, riding along in the passenger seat of my old pickup, drinking a Red Stripe, the wind in his hair, the wrinkles in his face from years in the sun even more pronounced when he smiled and he was usually smiling. He always said Red Stripe was a breakfast beer.

“It’s a little fruity,” he explained. “You know what I mean?“

The thing is, I did know what he meant. It is a good breakfast beer.

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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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by David Todd McCarty | Saturday, April 23, 2016

It’s a strange thing to lose a town, especially one in which you are currently living, but that seems to be the case for the town I’ve called home for almost 20 years. Many of my neighbors have been here for as many as eight generations.

The village of Goshen, New Jersey was first settled in 1693 by Aaron Leaming who raised cattle on the land. By 1710, there was a settlement and sometime around 1725, my home was built. It’s called the Tavern House and was a tavern and stagecoach stop during the mid to late 1800’s. At the end of my road, which dead ends into the marsh, the Garrison and Harker shipyard stood. Between 1859 and 1898, twenty five ships of record were built as well as a much larger number of smaller crafts.

In addition to the many old homes, Goshen is home to The Goshen Schoolhouse, which was built in 1872 and is in the process of being saved from destruction, as well as the Goshen Methodist Church that also happens to contain an historic cemetery. The church is currently up for sale.

It’s not one thing that’s caused this slow demise. One could argue that it’s simply progress. But after 300 years, you’d like to think there would be enough to keep it going.

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