Growing Up In Seaside Heights
Many don’t view Seaside Heights in a very positive manner today but I can tell you it was not that way many years ago when I grew up in the mile-long borough.
I just happened to bump into a former police officer on Wednesday and we began to wax poetic of what it was like back in the 60’s and 70’s and it brought back some great memories.
I moved from Rockaway Beach, Queens to Seaside Heights in 1967 just before my 11th birthday. It was not a move I was happy about even though I had spent several summers there and like any move at that age it was tough at first. However it did not take long to adjust. It also did not take long to know everyone in my 6th grade class as there was only about 15 of us.
Hugh J. Boyd was my teacher and the school’s principal and I smile when I think about him. That year was the last before they opened a brand new school that would bear his name so I always felt like I was part of history. That old school was located in what is now a parking lot behind the Aztec Motel and across the street from Breakwater Beach Water Park.
Growing up in Seaside Heights at that time was simply the best. We hung out at Terry’s Sweet Shoppe on the Boulevard (long since gone), played touch football in the parking lot of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and baseball behind the old Barnegat Ice House. My best memories of the ice house were on hot summer days walking into the large cooler and buying a bottle of white crème soda.
Old-timers will remember that people used to drive from miles around to fill bottles with water that came from the tap in the front of the building. Everyone said it was some special spring water. I don’t know but they could have made a fortune if they charged for it. Of course we also had the beach and boardwalk which by itself was pretty cool.
Good or bad Seaside Heights is a far different town today which I guess you can say for just about every place. Time does that. However I still have the memories of what it was like to grow up there and they’ll last a lifetime.