Back in the day, we didn’t need social media to find everyone.
The only phone we’d call would be the pay phones up at the boards to see who was up there hanging out.
We’d get on our bikes and pedal the 08742 circuit, checking driveways and lawns for piles of bikes. That was our text message, our notification of where everyone was.
Sometimes we’d ride double, and the friend on the handlebars would hold on for dear life. Helmets? Please….
Past Brue Video and Vesuvios. Perhaps we’d rent a movie for later (our “On Demand”), or get a slice and a sarsaparilla.
Swing by the Rec Center and fields to see who was playing basketball, baseball, football, soccer. Over the bridge, down to Beacon to check out the beach.
Up to the boards. See who was working, and who was on their break from their ride or game shift. Around the Inlet a few times, stopping here and there to talk to friends. If it was Thursday, we’d look up to catch the fireworks.
The smell of salt air, cotton candy, and boardwalk fries simply intoxicating us.
Maybe we’d stop at the OB for something to eat, of course before it burned down…or try to win some candy at the Heart of Gold game stand, of course before it burned down…or get a slice at Cici’s, of course before it burned down…
Check the Bay Head beaches, starting at Osborne to Karge, Harris, and Bridge…stopping at the Bluffs, and maybe going all the way down East Ave.
Sometimes we’d drive, but our bikes were sacred. Sure, they’d get stolen at times, but we’d be at Point Bikes or A1 the next day for a replacement.
Good memories. Good times. Laughter. Fun. An innocence all of its own during the time of Milli Vannili, Pretty Woman, Bel Biv Devoe, New Kids, Pepsi Clear, and cheap gas, to name a few.
As we reached the legal age, we traded bikes for cabs and designated drivers. Checking out the local watering holes. Catching up with other Boro kids.
One by one, each of us became an adult and got jobs, served our country, moved away, got married, had families, and some of our kids are the new generation of…Boro kids.
Somehow, the calendar fast forwarded 25-some-odd years.
Each of us making a life. Each of us moving forward on our own path.
But what bonds us all are those Boro ties, connecting us to the other Boro kids.
Forever strong, forever there, forever friends.
When one succeeds, we all succeed. When one suffers, we all suffer. When one needs us, we got their back.
No. Matter. What.
There’s nothing better in the world than being one.
This is written for all of the Boro Kids out there, but especially for my friends, Roscoe and Stacey. The bond tying us all together is strong, no matter what year may be on the calendar or when we last saw each other in person.
Roscoe and Stacey, you are forever loved, forever special, and forever Boro kids.
Author’s Note: Life dealt Roscoe a bad hand and he is in the fight of his life right now. As he battles the terrible monster known as Cancer, please join me in praying for a miracle, and in praying for strength for his wonderful wife Stacey and two children.