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School’s Out For Summer – Hometown View

It is always interesting to me how much the daily routine of many changes once the school year comes to an end which it has for most in the shore area.  Teachers, Bus Drivers and many others are off for summer recess which means alarm clocks are out and extra sleep is in.  Parents face new challenges from needing additional help with day care for young ones to finding things to occupy the time of their older children.  That’s especially challenging when both parents work fulltime jobs which is more often the case in today’s society.

Central 1973 Championship team
Central 1973 Championship team. Richard is #14, second from the left in the front row. Kevin is #8 in the middle of the back row not wearing a cap (

Another change that is noticeable had to do with traffic as it’s a bit easier to get around locally without any school busses on the road, especially during the morning commute and later in the afternoon.  However drivers in local neighborhoods need to be on the alert that kids are now at home during the day which means more playing in the streets or riding bicycles around town.

While we are still five days away from the official start of summer for many it’s already here.

One of my lasting memories of Dick Gabriel is that of him pitching Central Regional High School past Toms River North in the finals of the 1973 Ocean County Baseball Tournament.  That sticks out for me because I was a classmate and teammate of his and winning that OCT under legendary coach Al Kunzman was very special.  Dick was an outstanding player and later he would become one of the area’s best softball players…he also had a passion for golf as well as fishing.

Dick Gabriel & his son Richard
Dick Gabriel & his son Richard at Yankee Stadium (

Like so many cancer took him way before his time but family and friends now perpetuate his memory through the Dick Gabriel Memorial Fund and their 2nd annual Golf Outing will be held on Thursday, June 28th at Sea Oaks.   Golfers will tee off at 1pm and there will be a dinner and gift auction afterwards.   All proceeds from the outing will go toward scholarships and for local families in need of financial support.

There are still some openings for golfers and it should be a great day and all for a great cause.  For information you can visit

By the way Dick’s children share his talent and passion.  His son Richard earned 2nd team All-American honors as a pitcher at Brookdale this spring and daughter Danielle had a record-breaking season as a junior softball pitcher at Toms River South.


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