Walking on the boardwalk watching teens and young twentysomethings alone, coupled and grouped – seemingly from every race and background – spontaneously break into dance to the music across the street from the Stone Pony’s outdoor stage made me smile in 2010.

 What made your 2010?  I asked our friends and neighbors.

Ruthanne Harrison:

“Making a snowman and playing in the snow for hours on Cookman Avenue with my dear friends Lynn Wyckoff and Dolly Sternesky.  We didn’t let the blizzard keep us inside.”

Katie Scullay (15 years old):

“Working on the Asbury Park boardwalk this past summer has been one of my favorite experiences of all time.  I have become friends with and met people who I will never forget. My one friend even calls us the ‘Splash Park Sisters.’ There was never a dull day at the Splash Park from those rainy days when we turned up the radio and goofed around to the crazy chaos that occurred with excited kids during the countless birthday parties.  Although I love the winter, I look forward to another summer on the Asbury boardwalk.”

Patsy Resnick:

“Every year (our 9th in 2010), my husband Billy and I celebrate Gay Pride on our porch.  Fourth of July follows, etc., etc., and etc.!  It always makes us so happy to share good times with friends and neighbors.  We are a very lucky couple to live and love this city.  Thanks to all of the people responsible for making this town shine.”

Susan McCarthy, realtor: 

“One sunny fall afternoon I was showing houses to a new customer.  After an hour he said to me, ‘Do you know that one of your lenses is missing?   I was leaving for Florida the next day and paid way too much for my prescription sunglasses and was totally embarrassed.  Later that day I was at Yappy hour and relayed the story to another realtor. The next day while visiting my friend she suggested saying a prayer to Saint Anthony.  Without much hope, I did.  One hour later I received a phone call from the realtor that I met at Yappy Hour saying he found my lense on the front lawn.  Ah, the power of prayer.”

Linda and Bob Beauchamp:

“After coming to Asbury each summer since 1947 and living here since 1985, the old saying ‘build it and they shall come’ is never truer.  They all came last summer, young and young at heart, families and friends to experience the return of an out-of-the ordinary resort by the sea.  2010 proved to many Asbury Park could rebound and in its wake brought memories of its glorious past, its progressive present and potential strong future.”

Sophie Virgilio:

“Besides magnificent and glorious sunrises almost daily as I walked the boardwalk and allowing me to meet gentle dogwalkers and their pets, Asbury Park has given me the joy of Frank D’Alessandro’s Stephen Crane House.  Also, I loved being a dancing fool to the E Street Shuffle Band at the Fourth of July celebration on Cookman Avenue.”

Tom Pivinski:

“The visual memory that continues to appear in my mind’s eye was the group of volunteers who came together week after week to build Asbury’s first Rain Garden near the Transportation Center. They smiled and laughed and worked very hard to solarize the 4000 square foot garden, lay a wending pathway, and plant well over 200 perennial plants. To me these volunteers are the real backbone of Asbury Park. Without them, we’re just another place where people happen to live. With them, we are a home where people stand by each other, lend a hand, and do it all because they are proud of the wonderful city in which they live.”

James Kaufman, Flying Saucers:

“Most compelling 90 minutes this year for me was Revision Theater’s production of “The Who’s Tommy”.  The most memorable was hanging out with Bruce Springsteen for a few minutes at my store.  Equally memorable was seeing Dan Bern and his band perform at the Saint – they used the bar as their stage.”

Jim Modica, Asbury Bark:

“One of my fondest memories of this year was the Halloween Pet Costume Parade Asbury Bark organized and sponsored along with Greyhound Friends of New Jersey.  It was bigger and better than ever — more contestants, great costumes, more spectators.  It was great fun.”

Marj Conn:

“I met a woman – I don’t know her name – on the beach early one morning, long before the sun had risen.  She cares for the stray cats at the southern end of Asbury Park.  Her compassion and dedication was an inspiration to me.  She not only feeds the cats daily, but also traps them in order to spay and neuter them, finds homes for the cats and kittens that are adoptable, or puts them back on the beach. The kittens have no voice, they have no choice but at least there are some super caring people out there.”

Maureen Nevin, Asbury Radio:

“My most memorable moment of 2010 was seeing audiences fill Chico’s House of Jazz to watch my first play, Ocean Mile. There is nothing quite so thrilling as hearing my lines performed by characters you created – except of course bringing into the world two new real-life characters, my daughters.  Not a bad second act!”

Howard and Virginia Richmond:

“The most memorable event of the year for us was The Ocean Township Historical Museum being voted the “Best Museum in Monmouth County” for the second year in a row.”

Fr. Bob Kaeding, The Center:

“On the Saturday before Thanksgiving a continual stream of people came to The Center to donate food, to help ‘build’ Thanksgiving baskets for the 300 people we were providing the essentials of Thanksgiving for. This outpouring of love and support just underscores the goodness of so many people in our community – people who share, love and make a difference in all of our lives.” 

Clark Shannon, The Center:

“Having a meaningful place to work and a safe place to live is paramount for anyone’s well-being.  I am fortunate to be able to work at The Center in Asbury Park, an agency that provides social support services for those living with HIV/AIDS.  The work the volunteers and staff have accomplished gives us a great sense of gratitude for not having to look for a place to give back at the end of the year… as the value of our work is today… and the lives we influence now, will insure that Asbury Park continues to have a bright future.”

More local memories, click here.