Contact Us

OK, UK

In a matter of 10 minutes or so, Prince Harry managed to restore something that Superstorm Sandy nearly drowned among people in Seaside Heights, bigger than all the new lumber on the boardwalk – their optimism.

Prince Harry on the Seaside Heights boardwalk
Prince Harry on the Seaside Heights boardwalk (Tim Larson, Governor’s Office)
Tom Mongelli meets Prince Harry
Tom Mongelli meets Prince Harry (Facebook)

Oh, sure, there’s the bombast and bluster of “The Shore Is Open.” And all the attention lavished by Governor Christie and a cadre of celebrities has surely captivated people who have lived in anonymity while visitors trooped in and out through the years.

But British royalty added a completely different, global dimension. The hum of busy construction died away, replaced by the growing drone of Sikorsky choppers overhead and the rumble of V-8s inside SUVs, and the yips and growls of K-9 sentries.

People replacing windows and wood, clearing mold, and pulling the forlorn Jet Star coaster from the surf saw that their will to overcome adversity had reverberated across the Atlantic and beyond. After the humiliation of seeing their ruins splashed across the planet, the Prince’s brief visit was validation.

Small business insiders in Seaside  know that summer will be different than in years past. “Local people would normally just stay away while tourists fill up the boardwalk,” one told me. “Those are exactly the people we hope to attract this year. Folks who don’t see the progress don’t know how much has been done. They’re looking elsewhere. It’s the ones who usually stay away who stand to get the most out of it.”

Huddled groups standing beside barricades a block away from the boardwalk erupted in cheer after cheer with every glimpse of the Prince in the distance. He didn’t hurry through his handshakes.

Prince Harry and Governor Christie play a game on the boardwalk
Prince Harry and Governor Christie play a game on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights (WBZ TV via Twitter)

He seemed intent on reading each face he encountered, filing each greeting in some mental database. He left the impression that his visit, there and in Mantoloking, was no simple photo opportunity. It seemed to be as pivotal an experience for him as it was for those he met. Today, for many, was finally the end of a long, nightmarish winter.

In the aftermath, treading the boardwalk, taking in the aroma of fresh wood and French fries, listening to the din of buzzsaws and hammers, it was hard to find someone who wasn’t beaming.  Prince Harry moves on to the next chapter of his life, but this one is just between him and the Jersey Shore.

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wobm.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 92.7 WOBM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on 92.7 WOBM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!