With the miserable weather we’ve been experiencing you might find yourself spending some extra time on social media in search of something. Anything that will get your mind of clouds and rain.

With that said if you use Facebook I would like to suggest the Ocean County Memories page which has more than 13,000 members and simply put is like a daily stroll down memory lane.

Created and administered by Patrick Leon Asay its sole purpose is to share memories and photos, past and present.  There’s no politics, profanity or personal attacks which separates it from many social media pages and makes it rather refreshing in this day and age.

More than anything it often brings me back to a much simpler time in Ocean County when traffic existed only in the summer months and most people didn’t even lock their doors at night.

I’ll give you an example of a couple of posts on Monday that resonated with me.  One was a print ad for the Ye Olde Cedar Inn which was a very popular restaurant in Toms River just west of the Parkway.

As we get closer to graduation day for high school seniors I was reminded that this was where we had a family dinner after I graduated from Central Regional High School in 1973 as my parents were friends with the owners. Five years later the Ye Olde Cedar Inn was destroyed by a fire and after some 50 years in existence it was never rebuilt.

Center court of the Ocean County Mall circa late 70s (Courtesy Ocean County Memories Facebook page)

Also yesterday was a simple post with a picture of center court in the Ocean County Mall from the late 1970s.  For those who did not live here at the time you cannot imagine the excitement over the mall opening in July of 1976. It was as big an opening as there’s ever been in Toms River and for many people it meant they did not have to travel north to Monmouth County to do their shopping.

The original anchor stores were JC Penney, Stern’s, Sears and Bamberger’s which later became Macy’s.  While it was before my time at WOBM, the Bamberger’s and Mall opening was so big that Mickey Mantle appeared and signed autographs from center court and we broadcast from there. That according to Bob Levy who said hundreds if not thousands turned out.

Especially in those early years the mall was a meeting place for people of all ages and if you hung out in center court you probably didn’t have to wait too long before you ran into someone you knew.  So if you’re into nostalgia check out Ocean County Memories on Facebook. It sure beats a rainy day.