A dark episode in New Jersey Shore History. The Luxury Liner Morro Castle tragedy; ship burned at sea with great loss of life. Similar ship below.
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “DINNER MENU [held by] Cie Gle TRANSATLANTIQUE [at] “PAQUEBOT “”LA BRETAGNE””” (SS;)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-85b7-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Summer; summertime when we were young; so many memories; mostly care free. First romances. Friends. Exciting times. For me The Jersey Shore, New York’s Greenwich Village were significant. Running away from home immersed in an artistic time I call my “Paris Experience”; love and lovers; great opportunities lost and gained. All this before realities: Army, danger in decadence, vulnerabilities . . .
Hidden contaminated land and unfortunate home buyers. You may be too young to remember the infamous “Love Canal” polluted land debacle (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Canal ) but it and similar stories inspired my song “Livin’ on a Landfill”. Here in New Jersey there are many stories of contaminated land some known some rumored. I do know some were identified as :Superfund Clean up Sites. (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Superfund_sites ). This song is about an undisclosed contaminated fictional housing development.
With The Fourth of July one week away here is the legend of Molly Pitcher. Some research indicates she was a real person who served during the American Revolutionary war, others say it is a myth and still others claim the story is of a composite character. In any case as a young boy living in New Jersey my Uncle Ben (RIP) took me for a ride to the Monmouth Battle Field; he showed me a stone walled well there that he said was Molly’s source of water. Later I found out that was a well monument and not an actual well. More about the battle field park here:
It is beyond Memorial Day weekend and droves of people will be coming down to the Jersey Shore to sunbath, swim, use their boats, go fishing and go crabbing among other shore activities. Years ago my family would gather once or twice during the summer and travel in a small caravan to Barnegat Bay in New Jersey for a day of crabbing for Blue Claw Crabs this song is the story.
Time to go Crabbing: Song Crabbing on the Barnegat Bay
I wrote and recorded two albums (digital downloads only at this time) Sea, Sand and Pines and Silver Sands and Dark Pines; the topics are associated with The coast of New Jersey (industries, shipwrecks) and historical figures, events and embellished by mythology in some cases. The projects were researched and developed over a decade (1995 – 2005).
The song I have chosen for you this week is “She Walks on Moonless Nights”. The daughter of a “Wrecker* leader” (land pirate) fell in love with a young man who became a seaman; on the cargo vessel he was on the New Jersey Wreckers on Long Beach Island (LBI) did their trick on a moonless night and lured the ship onto the beach where the waves wrecked it. Among the dead was the young woman’s lover.
*The Wreckers set fires along the coast to lure unsuspecting ships into what they assumed was safe harbor. When the ships wrecked the Wreckers confiscated the cargo.