“The government is broke.  We are deep deep deep in debt – broke.  We are M.C. Hammer broke.” Comic Wanda Sykes

The news is pretty dismal right now however we don’t focus on the negative here.  So, I spoke with four innovators in our community and learned what they do to become re-energized and inspired.

Marilyn Schlossbach, Langosta Lounge:

I am influenced by my travels.  I immerse myself in the culture of a place and its people and learn from individuals who carry the customs and history of a region with them. 

Asbury Park’s vibrant community and personalities inspire me everyday.  To give back and immerse myself in positive actions locally, keeps me going through the ups and downs in life.  As my mother said, “Be kind, everything else will find its place.”

Father David Stout, Trinity Church:

Hands down, it is in the people with whom I minister in my congregation.  I see people who choose to focus on the good, on the blessings.  I see the way they rally around one another when in need.  I see the times they choose to forgive instead of hold a grudge and the times they seek forgiveness instead of holding on to pride.  

I am not only a better Priest because of them, I am a better Christian.  They teach me what it means to strive to be faithful in being the person God knows I can be.

Dennis Carroll, photographer:

Inspiration comes from observing the world around me.  No matter what the subject is: a landscape, a portrait, a scene on stage, I am primarily interested in the space and its relationship among the forms themselves and the interplay of light and shadow.

In Asbury Park, my inspiration is the beach, the ocean and the sky and the way they are broken up or framed by the historic buildings.

Nancy Ehrlich, Organic Style:

I get my inspiration from like-minded people and organizations who share my concerns for the environment and animals. 

The people of Farm Sanctuary – a farm animal rescue and sanctuary – recently saved dozens of pigs that were drowning and stranded because of floods in the Midwest.  People who do things like this inspire me.  Each life is worth saving. 

Locally, I get inspired from my wonderful customers and the stories they tell me about what they are doing are doing to help the environment.

Cheers to everyone whose inspiration and drive continues to move our community forward. 

Briefly:  How about being inspired to visit the beautiful country of Poland with a bunch of your friends from Asbury Park?  The Asbury Park Historical Society, in conjunction with Seton Hall University is sponsoring a tour of Poland next year, May 13 to 23.

A fun group of Asbury Park residents – from every corner of the community – are already on board for the trip, which will include stays in the most beautiful, interesting, culturally full, architecturally opulent, spiritually dynamic, historically rich cities in Poland.

If you ever wanted to visit Poland, the organizers – one who has authored scholarly books about the country – have created a first-class travel package.  Years ago, I went to Poland with my mom and it was an amazing trip that I will always remember. 

Email Richard Hunter at