Hunt’s Pier – Chapter 10 – End of an Era

Philadelphia, PA to Wildwood, NJ – 2009

I awakened in my apartment in Philadelphia with my girlfriend Allison. We had been together for over a year and had moved in together. Christmas was over and it was the end of January.

We got some breakfast, hopped in my car, and drove to Wildwood on that bitter cold January morning. January 30th to be exact.

After the hour and a half drive, we parked on Schellinger Avenue in Wildwood. We bundled up and headed for the boardwalk. Being from Delaware, I don’t think Michelle had ever gone to Wildwood in the summer growing up. 

We trudged up the ramp that led to the boardwalk and a flood of memories came back to me. We stepped onto Hunt’s Pier. It no longer looked like it did back in its heyday. Granted, it was winter and the pier was shut down until summer, but it was a stark model of a once-thriving, living entity. 

The angry cold sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky as we met up with my sister near the back of the pier near what was once a place I described as the greatest job I ever had. It was an emotional day. Nearly 2000 people had gathered to witness the event.

We had long lines of people waiting to get on the ride back in the day, but I wasn’t expecting this.

People gathered in front of, and on the old platform where I held so many rich memories. As I stood looking upon my paragon, I felt like an anachronism. 

The proclamation from the City of Wildwood that officially declared January 30th “Golden Nugget Day” cited the estimated 1.7 million adventure-seekers who enjoyed the landmark over its nearly four decades of operation.

The iconic centerpiece of Hunt’s Pier, the Golden Nugget Mine Ride was a hybrid dark ride/steel roller coaster attraction that changed the landscape of the Jersey Shore’s amusement scene when it debuted in the Spring of 1960.

Designed by John C. Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and produced in conjunction with the renowned outfit and the skilled Hunt’s staff (led by general manager Vince Kostek), the Nugget evolved into a bona fide landmark over time.

It would thrive during the “Oceanic Wonderland” and Wildwood’s glory years of the 60s and 70s, then survive through several post-Hunt’s incarnations and a dinosaur-theme adoption, running for the final time in 1999.

Its impressive frame, built to resemble a western mountain with a mining outpost and shafts built-in, was hollowed out to accommodate a farewell ceremony hosted by the Morey Organization on Saturday, January 31, 2009.

A sad day indeed.

The weathered structure was demolished shortly after. Its track system and trains were acquired by Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA, where its legacy lives on in the form of the Black Diamond.

 

Things in this life come and go. Friends, family, and loved ones appear in our lives and eventually, our time here is scattered by the sad wings of destiny.

Hunt’s Pier.

Twilight is upon it now.

Night will fall, and with it… The Golden Nugget Mine Ride.

It seems fitting…

Slipping into oblivion to the lilt of rippling waves.

All that remains are the memories of what once was. It’s really all we have as people. Memories we can wrap ourselves in for the rest of our lives.

But sometimes, you’ll hear that familiar cry of a lone seagull… and as those memories return…

You smile.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

If you think this is over, it’s not. I have one more thing to say next week.

15 Funny Questions To Text Your Crush When You Want To Make Them LOL

Getting a funny text from a crush can cause a surge of joy that puts a pep in your step for the rest of the day, especially if their texts are so laughable and cute, you end up re-reading them over and over again. But having a successful convo with your crush via text isn’t just about making them chuckle. It’s also about keeping the conversation going long enough to build a connection that could turn into a date. So, if you’re trying to shoot the perfect shot, having funny questions to text your crush on deck will help you make a great impression. Here are some funny conversation starters to get you off on the right foot.

1. “I thought happiness started with an H. Why does mine start with U?”

2. “If I were a triangle, would you say I was an ~acute~ one?”

3. “I had a dream that you asked me out on a date and I said, “No.” Can I please take it back?”

4. “How much money does a pirate pay for corn? A buccaneer.”

5. “Are you up for making a trade? How about a date for a kiss?”

6. “On a scale from one to 10, you’re a nine… So, will you let me be the one you need?”

7. “You’ve been everything I’ve been searching for… Hey, are you Google?”

8. “What did the rice say to the teriyaki chicken? Honestly, IDK, but would you be down to grab some this weekend and investigate?”

9. “What do you call an everyday potato? A commentator.”

10. “Well, here I am. What are your other two wishes?”

Glad overemotive dark skinned lady with curly hairstyle, laughs happily, expresses sincere emotions, being amused by friend, dressed in orange casual jumper, models in studio alone with mockup space
Shutterstock

11. “Hey, my name’s Microsoft. Can I crash at your place tonight?”

12. “I think there’s something wrong with my phone. Could you try calling it for me to see if it rings?”

13. “What do I have to do to get on your drunk dial list?”

14. “On a scale of one to America, how ‘free’ are you tonight?”

15. “What songs do you usually sing in the shower?”

Try not to take a flirty, friendly conversation with your crush too seriously. Enjoy the lightness that comes with witty, back-and-forth banter and see where it takes you. You never know — this could be the start of something great.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Hunt’s Pier – Chapter 8 – Living The Dream

“Nobody ever says, “Remember that Spring?”

But people do say… “Remember that Summer?”Chaz

Wildwood, New Jersey – 1980

One night we were all working. It was early, maybe 6 pm. Each shift was from 5 pm until 11 pm when the pier closed. As one of the cars came in full of people and they exited the ride, someone left a camera on the ride. Danny brought it to me, and I remembered the guy and his family. I was like, “Wait…there he is over there with his wife and kids. I’ll run over and give him back his camera.” But then an idea came to mind. I went over to Louie and told him what was up and handed him the camera. He gathered the whole staff together on the platform and took a photo of all of us guys with the man’s lost camera. He handed it back to me and I ran down the ramp and tapped the man on the shoulder. “You left this on the ride, sir.” The gentleman was very grateful and relieved.

It was one of those jokes you do where you’ll never see the outcome, but you know when he gets home from vacation and gets his photos developed, he’ll find a mysterious photo of the whole Golden Nugget team among his pictures! Great idea, right?

When the pier closed at 11 pm, they always put up a big wooden fence to close off the area. There were guards and dogs always present at night to protect their assets. But the fence was in large sections and each piece was really heavy. After working all night on our feet and taking care of thousands of tourists, the last thing we wanted to do was carry big sections of fence and set it all up each night. So all the flunkies (as Louie called them) who worked all the rides up at the front of the pier were the first ones called upon to help put up the fence. We at the Nugget and the Log Flume would take our good old time closing our rides and walking up to the front of the pier to help. I can honestly say I have maybe only helped with one small section of fence on only three occasions. We were the elite weasels on that pier.

One of the amazing benefits of working for the Hunt’s Corporation was that they also owned every movie theater on the island. So as a perk for being an employee, each Saturday night at midnight, they would have a private screening of one of the latest movies playing in the theaters.

It was awesome. You’d finish your shift at 11 pm, and then had an hour to get something to eat, hit the liquor store to buy some beer, and then head over to one of the theaters and watch a movie with your coworkers. It was glorious. The cool thing was, you could bring a guest. So I could bring my buddy Wolfie with me and we could check out a cool new movie for free. (And drink beer!) But most of the time if one of the guys and I had met some girls that night on the ride, we’d take them to the movies with us. That was fantastic. Free movie with a new girl. Unless it was something we didn’t want to see, we would go every week all summer long. (Even back then, 40 years ago I was providing the hookup to the ladies in my life!)

Seeing The Empire Strikes Back in an empty theater with just my buddies with me was an unforgettable experience. The film as we all know was a long-awaited blockbuster and seeing it for free for the first time was amazing. I remember taking my buddy Wolfie with me to see the film, Airplane! And at the time it was the funniest film I had ever seen. It’s still in my top five of the funniest most creative and madcap movies I’ve ever seen. The Cannonball Run also comes to mind as one of the more memorable films we saw that summer. Just great times!

I even got my friend Pitchy a job up on Hunt’s working at the Log Flume. He was my summertime best friend who lived around the corner from my house. He and I had been friends since the early ’70s and had a rich history of summers together. He had worked as a stock boy at a local grocery store at 9th and Ocean avenue and was looking to do something different for the summer. I got him a job on the pier. He liked working on the flume and got along with all of the guys over there. One night he started chatting up a really cute little Italian girl from South Philly and later made a date with her. A few years later they kept in touch and he eventually married her and they have three great grown kids now. Met his wife on the Log Flume!

I remember it was the 4th of July weekend which is an enormous time at the shore. The island is packed with tourists and the boardwalk is mobbed every night. I went on my break and walked over to the snack bar across from our ride and got a soft pretzel and a fountain coke. I went back to the Nugget and went in the back and up the fire escape to the top floor of the ride. The ride was obviously going non-stop so you had to be careful up there navigating the tracks so you didn’t get run over and killed by the ride. On the roof, (you’ll see in some of the attached videos) had several dead man’s gulch attractions on it. Tombstones, skeletons, prospectors, etc. There actually was a replica of a gallows up there. I climbed the rickety wooden ladder up to the top of it and had a seat at the hangman’s pole.

There it is. Three stories above the boardwalk. 100 feet up from the beach.

The mine cars full of tourists would actually pass under it. So, I parked myself up there and munched my pretzel, and sipped my soda. The view was incredible and I suddenly felt an incredible level of exhilaration sitting up there. Here I was on the roof of a three-story dark ride I once rode terrified with my father and sisters. I lit a cigarette and looked out at the entire sea of people below me. The pier was packed with people, and that flowed out onto the boardwalk that was in full swing. Amusement rides going, people screaming, laughing, and filled with joy. Happy to be at the seashore and away from the heat of the city and work. They were all on vacation and having the times of their lives here in Wildwood.

The smell of french fries, caramel popcorn, funnel cake, cotton candy, and pizza filled the air. The sights and sounds of summer. I sat under the stars and watched as fireworks exploded in the sky in the distance.

I knew in this perfect moment that I was in the most pristine place in my life. I sat atop my castle as the self-proclaimed King of Wildwood. Finished with high school, tan, fit, clear skin, healthy, and immaculate. My painful past barely visible now. I had game and could talk to girls and they liked me enough to date and kiss me. I was in a rock and roll band, and didn’t have to be anywhere I didn’t want to be.  The island and this ride were mine.

But I could feel as I finished my cigarette I wouldn’t come up here again.

This moment would vanish and never return.

Like a child’s balloon that had escaped their grasp. You watch as it rises higher and higher into the night sky. But you’ll never get it back.

All you can do is make a wish…

The sax solo in this song (4:00 minute mark) by the late, great, Clarence Clemmons, and Bruce’s howl at the end of the song is about as close as I can get to what my heart felt like on any given summer night in Wildwood.

But, even as I write these words, I feel I just can’t do justice to those summers at the seashore.

You had to be there.

Hunt's Pier At Night | "Watch the tram car please!" 1970s Po… | Brian | Flickr

I’ve lived and worked in many places throughout my life.  But I still say to this day, working at Hunt’s Pier on the Golden Nugget Mine Ride was The Greatest Job I Ever Had.

 

This is sort of what it sounded like to be on the boardwalk in Wildwood.

Here are a link and some videos I found to give you an idea of what the Golden Nugget Mine Ride was like:

http://www.funchase.com/Images/GoldenNugget/GoldenNugget.htm

This series is not over yet. There’s more to come every Thursday through July.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

13 Secrets To A Happy Marriage

  • Being in a relationship brings an equal share of moments that are joyous and others that are difficult.
  • As the honeymoon phase inevitably comes to an end, there are many ways that you can work with your partner to keep your relationship exciting and fulfilling.
  • The most successful couples share equal responsibility for household chores, have similar financial habits, and support each other through the ups and downs.

Romantic relationships are challenging, rewarding, confusing, and exhilarating — sometimes all at the same time.

Should you take things slowly at the beginning or dive right in? Can things stay hot in the bedroom even after years of being together? What happens when one of you wants to use a holiday bonus to invest in Bitcoin and the other wants to go on a vacation?

The answers aren’t always clear, but when it comes to marital satisfaction, science has some interesting things to offer.

According to research, the happiest couples are those who:

1. Don’t fight over text
texting working late

What seems obvious is now backed up by science: A 2013 study out of Brigham Young University shows that couples who argue over text, apologize over text, and/or attempt to make decisions over text are less happy in their relationships.

When it comes to the big stuff, don’t let an emoji take the place of your actual face.

2. Don’t have kids
kid playing with parents

Children are one of the most fulfilling parts of life. Unfortunately, they’re hell on relationships. Numerous studies, including a 2014 survey of 5,000 people in long-term relationships, show that childless couples (married or unmarried) are happiest.

This isn’t to say you can’t be happy if you have kids — it’s just to understand that it’s normal to not feel happy sometimes. Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have what they’ve always wanted (a long-term partnership with children), but the reality of kids is that they’re very stressful on relationships.

3. Have friends who stay married
friend crying

If you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you’re also just as married as them.

According to research out of Brown University, you’re 75% more likely to get divorced if a friend or close relative has already done the deed. When it’s someone with one more degree of separation out (the friend of a friend), you’re 33% more likely to get divorced.

Researchers had this to say on the ramifications of the results: “We suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship.”

4. Fight at the beginning, then not a lot
couple man woman dating friends married talking sad beach water

Psychologists like Herb Goldberg suggest that our model for relationship is backward — we tend to expect things to go smoothly at the beginning, and for problems (and conflicts) to arise later. In fact, Goldberg argues that couples should have “rough and ragged” beginnings where they work things out, and then look forward to a long and happy incline in the state of the relationship.

Research agrees: A Florida State study found that couples who are able to be openly angry in the beginning are happier long-term. According to lead researcher James McNulty, the “short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation” is healthy for the relationship over the long haul.

5. Are comprised of one first-born child and one last-born child
young couple walking

There’s an entire body of research on how your birth order impacts your life, including your relationships as well as professional success. One of the happiest pairings for couples? Someone who was the youngest child with someone who was the oldest.

Researchers hypothesize this may be because the relationship has one person who enjoys being taken care of, and one who’s used to taking care of others.

6. Know who does what when it comes to housework
cleaning chores

According to a 2013 UCLA study, couples who agree to share chores at home are more likely to be happier in their relationships. An important caveat: Couples who have clearly defined responsibilities are far more likely to be satisfied.

In other words, when you know what to do and what’s expected of you, you tend to be happier both yourself and with your spouse. This might be a good thing to sit down and discuss in the new year, especially if you’re newly cohabitating.

7. Are gay, or straight and feminist
gay couple hug

In a 2014 study of 5,000 people, researchers found that gay couples are “happier and more positive” about their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. Straight couples made less time for each other and were less likely to share common interests and communicate well.

Straight couples are better off being feminists. Research out of Rutgers shows that both men and women with feminist partners are more satisfied in their (hetero) relationships. The name of the 2007 study? Feminism And Romance Go Hand In Hand.

8. If heterosexual, when husbands view wives as more attractive of the two
wedding present

Levels of attractiveness within couples have long been the subject of debate (not to mention song lyrics). According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when husbands view their wives as the more attractive of the pair, not only are they more satisfied in the relationship, but the wives are, too. The opposite was not true — when husbands thought they were better-looking, they weren’t as happy.

9. Are best friends
couple holding hands

The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study demonstrating that marriage, on the whole, leads to increased levels of happiness (they controlled for premarital happiness).

Perhaps more telling was the finding that people who consider their spouse to be their best friend are almost twice as satisfied in their marriages as other people.

“What immediately intrigued me about the results was to rethink marriage as a whole,” researcher John Helliwell said. “Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life.”

10. And have a lot of friends in common
friends laughing smiling

In 2013, Facebook released a report that analyzed 1.3 million of its users, looking at, among other things, relationships. The conclusion? Couples with overlapping social networks tended to be less likely to break up — especially when that closeness included “social dispersion,” or the introduction of one person’s sphere to the other, and vice versa.

In other words, the best-case scenario is when each person has their own circle, but the two also overlap.

11. Spend money in similar ways
Couple money talk from shutterstock

The two biggest things couples fight about are sex and money. When it comes to the latter, it’s well-known to psychologists as well as social scientists that for some reason, people tend to attract their spending opposite. Big spenders tend to attract thrifty people, and vice versa.

A 2009 University of Michigan study corroborated this. Researchers found that both married and unmarried people tend to select their “money opposite” — and that this causes strife in the relationship. The happiest couples tend to spend money in a similar way, whether that is saving or indulging.

12. Have sex at least once a week
couple bed

Probably the best statistic of the bunch comes from a 2004 study, which showed that upping your sexual activity from once a month to once a week can cause happiness levels to jump by as much if you made an extra $50,000 a year.

The study, entitled “Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study” sampled 16,000 adult Americans. One of its main conclusions: “[S]exual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations.”

13. Celebrate each other’s achievements
couple champagne balcony

Anyone who has been in a relationship can attest to this one, but now there’s research to confirm it: A 2009 study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when couples celebrate their partner’s accomplishments as if they were their own, they’re more satisfied in the relationship.

“In good times and bad” includes the good times — something it can be easy to forget. And it’s true; there’s nothing quite so satisfying as having your partner be loudly and enthusiastically in your corner when you do well.

Joy, after all, multiplies with love.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

10 Key Flirting Signs from a Woman Every Man Should Recognize

Not sure if she’s showing you major signs of interest or just excessively friendly? How many of these flirting signs from a woman can you tick off?

Here’s another post from one of my female readers. I thought it was worth sharing. Take it away, Prudence!

Women are not as obvious as men when it comes to flirting. Of course, that’s a huge generalization, but on the whole, you can’t always be sure of the flirting signs from a woman.

I am a woman, so I feel well equipped to give you the reason why. You see, we think men can read our minds. Of course, it’s obvious! Why shouldn’t you be able to tell exactly what we’re thinking?

But it’s not that obvious. It can be confused with friendliness, coyness, and sometimes, depending on the type of flirting, downright disdain!

Flirting signs from a woman to look out for

Perhaps we should be a little more obvious when it comes to whether or not we’re flirting or simply being friendly. But on the whole, there are some flirting signs from a woman you can look out for and help you decide whether or not you’re reading the situation correctly.

#1 She looks at you, then she looks away. Is there anything more confusing than someone who looks at you and then looks in another direction? I mean, do they mean to look at you? Was it a mistake? Are they disgusted? What’s going on?

However, a woman who looks at you and then looks away, and perhaps sneaks another glance, is probably flirting with you a little.

#2 Playing with her hair. The twirling of the hair around the finger move is as old as time, but also generally playing with her hair and fidgeting a little. If you see this accompanied with any of the other flirting signs from a woman, it’s a pretty hard signal towards flirtation city!

#3 She tilts her head towards you and looks interested. Okay, so she could be genuinely interested in what you’re saying, but if you notice this sign and it’s accompanied by any of the others, it’s likely to be flirtation. She wants to show you that she’s fascinated by what you have to say. She’s flattering you with her attention.

#4 Mirroring your body language. If you sit with your legs crossed, she might do the same. If you lean against the wall, she will probably do it too. She’s mirroring your body language. This is a big subconscious move. It’s also one of the clearest flirting signs from a woman.

#5 She smiles in a coy way. Coyness means that she wants you to notice that she’s interested, but she’s not ready to go all out and show it clearly. She’s testing the waters and see if you pick up on the signs and reciprocate. It’s also likely that the coy smile move is accompanied by her looking at you and then turning away move. Classic!

#6 Biting or licking her lips. If she’s talking to you and looking at your lips or biting/licking her own lips, there is a very good chance that she’s flirting with you. She might be doing this on purpose or subconsciously. It’s a very flirtatious move. When you think about it, the lips are quite sexual, so she’s drawing attention to them and hoping that you show interest back. [Read:

#7 She angles her neck towards you. Again, this is likely to be a subconscious move, but the neck is a vulnerable part of the body. If she’s angling her neck in your direction, she’s actually flirting, especially if accompanied by any of the others on the list. If she’s biting or licking her lips when she’s doing this, well, she’s either a vampire or very interested!

#8 She playfully touches you. Light and playful touches are a great way to gauge someone’s interest in you. If she’s laughing and playfully nudges you, or you notice that she seems to be generally touching your shoulder or your arm and doesn’t do the same things to other people around her, it’s quite likely to be her flirting with you.

#9 She tries to find out if you have a partner. She might come right out and ask you. But if she’s inquiring about your relationship status, she’s flirting and trying to work out whether she can get in there instead! She might also ask your friends to find this information out. Of course, they’re also likely to tell you!

#10 She’s all over your social media. Are you new friends on Instagram or Facebook? Are you noticing that old photos are being ‘liked’ and she’s commenting or ‘liking’ your general posts a lot? This is a clear sign that she’s trying to figure you out and working her magic on you. When you notice any of the other signs alongside this one, it’s obviously flirtation with a capital F!

How many of these signs can you tick off? You might notice just one and still wonder whether or not she’s giving you signs. Of course, it’s best to say ‘yes to several signs before you come to a clear conclusion, but most of these are quite clear on their own too.

Most women won’t come right out and tell you that they like you. I wouldn’t. However, some will. If you have a girl around you who isn’t quite so forward, it’s down to you to try and figure out where you stand from the signs she’s giving you.

Some signs are obvious. Some are subtle. As I mentioned, she is likely to expect you to read her mind! So, work out how many of these signs are coming your way and figure out what you think about it.

What is your next move? If you like her back, show her some signs in return. Show her some attention and let her feel comfortable enough to really let down her guard. You might be lucky enough to have attracted a woman who really doesn’t mind letting you know that she’s interested. In that case, skip the flirtation and the ‘does she/doesn’t she.’ Simply figure out where you want to go.

The more likely scenario is that she’s going to make you do the work because she’s not entirely sure whether you’re flirting with her either!

Dating is confusing, and attraction before that part is even more of a mind-mess. We don’t want to come right out and say what we feel or think. We fear the other person will recoil in horror and run away. Of course, it’s unlikely, but it’s a risk we all take. Such is the joy of love and attraction!

If you’re not sure if a girl is looking your way with intent or simply glancing over your shoulder, look out for these flirting signs from a woman to figure out what she wants.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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