From the Bamboozle Festival to the Zombie Festival to more personal moments with friends and family, no stinking storm can take away our best memories of the year.

For the fifth year, locals share their best times in 2012 with “The Coaster”…

“One of my best memories happened on the first day of 2012 spent on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.  As Elana and I watched the polar bears plunge into the cold waters, we pledged it was going to be ‘a good year.’  I can’t say it has indeed been all good or all bad, but that day was perfect.” – Lisa Manno

“Pea soup Thursdays at Frank’s with a very special friend and making life a nightmare for Wendy, my favorite waitress there.  I go in like I am going into a funhouse – right in the middle of the very busy lunch hour and she kindly puts up with me.  It is a great time with wonderful friends.” – David Bates

“Acting in a play for the first time at age 66. I had a small role in an original play written by Seabrook Village residents and directed by a resident who is in his 90’s in age.  Memorizing a few lines was a challenge for me, but interacting with people a good deal older, observing their zest, energy and enthusiasm, was a pure joy.  Seabrook is a wonderful place and I am glad I made my debut as a member of the Seabrook Performers.” – David Van Buskirk

Truman the pit bull hunts for a Christmas tree.

Truman the pit bull hunts for a Christmas tree.

“Going to Seaside Heights to wind down summer with me the Kevins (husband and son).  We went for a bit of a last hurrah for 2012 and who knew Sandy would devastate the area so much.  It is so bittersweet but memories are what we always have.” – Wendy Williams

“Many memories come to mind but the one that stays with me was in the eyes of a grateful homeless person that misted over when he heard that the ‘public’ vegetable beds in the city’s new Community Vegetable Garden were his to take food from when he was hungry.  ‘That’s a nice thing for the city to do,’ he said as he picked some tomatoes and peppers.  I am grateful to all the members of the Environment and Shade Tree Commission who built and maintained the new vegetable garden.” – Tom Pivinski

“On a beautiful summer morning, Serena Soffer offered to lead the Villanova Women’s Soccer Team to learn yoga on the Asbury Park beach.  Athletes are strong but not always flexible.  When Serena stood and lifted her leg completely parallel to her body over her head, I heard 25 athletes gasp in awe at her strength.  It was great and very funny.  Then she whispered to me ‘I just had to do that!’” – Janice Molloy

“The birth of my girls Hari Mar and Rubi Dee.  On June 8 my water broke at 1 am on the June 7 kiddingly I said to the doctor our anniversary is tommorow – too bad they could not wait a day.  She said, ‘Uh oh you just jinxed yourself, I bet they wait.”  Needless to say they waited until 12:05 on June 9 – almost 24 hours later to give us the best anniversary present we could ever hope for.  I am thankful every day for the moments with them.  I am thankful Rubi and I survived the very difficult birth.  I am thankful to my family and all my staff for holding down the summer fort.” – Marilyn Schlossbach

“Under the umbrella of lemonade, a truly memorable day was concocted out of sadness this past August.  After my dad’s passing, we had a celebration of his life at Monmouth Memorial Park with Tom Pivinski presiding.  From there, our entourage of friends and family occupied our home, pool, lawn, lake and parking area to seriously celebrate the way my dad would have loved. As the property overflowed, a bit of chaos added to the merriment but luckily all the kids were on hand to help carry a statue into a friend’s car.  The party was only beginning!” – Bob Giangrasso and Bob Frankel

“Returning in March to teach two children’s workshops for the Shore’s Gifted and Talented program during the Garden State Film Festival.  We used Asbury Park’s history to tell a story. Enhancing the educational experience was Ocean Township troubadour Kevin John Allen who talked about making music videos and penning songs for Nashville entertainers.” – Helen Chantal Pike

“My best personal local memory took place at the Garden State Film Festival cocktail party when Ed Asner – who was pinching all the ladies I might add – met and bonded with Wonder Mike of Rapper’s Delight. In fact they did rap together at the Awards Dinner to the absolute delight of all those who attended. It was an eclectic mix only possible at the festival.” – Diane Raver

“This summer, my husband and I went on real Jersey Shore date and finally got to the Beach Cinema.  We arrived too early (we would have been too late in NYC) so we went to Vic’s for a drink.  The theater is so sweet, just like the theaters I went to growing up, not like the sterile cookie-cutter cineplex’s. After seeing a great movie, we returned to Vic’s for dinner; drinks, movie and dinner sound like a real date to me.” – Lori Press

“Two kittens no more than two or three weeks old were found a few weeks apart at the Casino Building.  A good samaritan bottle fed them and took them to the veterinarian to get rid of the fleas and worms.  Then I was so happy when another angel adopted both kittens.  It was nice to be a part of a story with a happy ending.” – Marjorie Conn

“Spending a morning visiting school classrooms in Asbury Park. The young people that I met were so energetic, enthusiastic and creative. They helped me to remember what all the hard work and effort that we put out is for – a better future for all of them.” – Mayor Ed Johnson

“My favorite Asbury Park moment this past year was attending the rally to save Bradley Cove in Asbury Park’s north end in April.  It offered hope that the city and its waterfront just may not lose its soul as redevelopment continues, thanks to its engaged and passionate citizens.” – Steven Froias

“I remember how impressed we all were when the very unique marquee was lifted into place on the new ShowRoom Cinema building.  All the months of hard work seemed to be tied together with that one decorative element, signifying that the new edifice was modern, named and here to stay.  Everyone couldn’t stop taking photos!” – Nancy Sabino

“2012 was a year for change, growth and self-expression. After eight years in business we felt it was time to treat ourselves as we would treat any one of our clients. M Studio took on a rebranding exercise – developing a new logo, website, marketing materials and a fresh new business card. Adding this new take on our creative company gave us the ability to truly express were the company have grown too.” – Jenna Zilincar

“This has been an amazing year.  It’s the year I got to DJ at nearly every venue in Asbury Park, including two I had only dreamed of spinning at: Paradise Dance club and Convention Hall.  As added perks, I was, for the 1st time, nominated for “Top Club DJ” in the Asbury Music awards.  Being so into music since the 80s, this truly was one of my more fun and productive years, I feel quite blessed and thankful for it all.” – Mick Hale

“I had the pleasure of having lunch with a National Guardsman soon after Hurricane Sandy passed through.  While on line at a restaurant, I started to chat with this soldier in front of me.  I thanked him for his service and wanted to buy his lunch.  He being the perfect gentleman insisted he buy my lunch to thank me for my appreciation of what he does.  We sat together and enjoyed a lovely time of two strangers just sharing a random act of kindness.” – Nancy Ehrlich

“I remember the day after Hurricane Sandy, the amount of people in Asbury Park. I saw people trying to see the extent of the damage on the boardwalk, helping neighbors move large trees that had fallen, drinking at Georgie’s by candlelight, and even fishing in the street when Wesley and Deal Lakes had overflowed.  Our town has always had a strong sense of community; I think it’s only been strengthened by this tragedy.” – Michael Cook

“My greatest memory was to hear the train horn from my porch after Sandy shut down the trains for weeks. Normalcy was coming back to life.  Now the Boardwalk is coming back to life. How we never enjoy the little things!” – Jim Powers-Hill

“It is simple, Sandy and its devastation on the shoreline and Governor Christie’s tenacity to fight for this state in need.  Jersey strong!”  – Linda Beauchamp

“I remember coming from a fire after Sandy and stopping at Mr. C’s in Allenhurst to look at the beach.  All of a sudden there was a huge thunderstorm and then a double rainbow came out and washed away the sadness.  I hope the fire victims can rebuild along with the rest of the state soon.” – Antonia Silver

“Hooking back up to the web via Wegman’s to find an email from a friend in London: ‘Are you alright?’  Saw your governor on the BBC being interviewed. Also loved, sharing my cooking gas and hot water with a friend from Spring Lake.” – Maureen Nevin

“Wanamassa Point Road had been without power for about a week after Sandy. I was cleaning up in the house and noticed the light was on downstairs. Light!  I ran outside and told the neighbors next store.  We all did the happy dance. I then went down the street telling other neighbors- Spreading the joy.  The smiles were priceless.” – Carol Scollay

“Standing in my kitchen after Hurricane Sandy and after days of no power seeing my range hood light come back on.  Actually took a second to realize our power was back!  I ran into the street and cheered along with my neighbor Carol down the street.” – Janet Manni

Cheers and best wishes to you and your family in the New Year.  Thank you always for your readership.