Category: Boardwalk Stories

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A Christmas card from Canada with a bigger story!

People always ask me why I promote the island I love mostly on my own time with a lot of help from other who also do it for free. This is the reason.. please read!

So, today I went to a great annual Christmas party at Gigi and Barbs house and when I came home my wife gave me a Christmas card someone sent us.The postmark said Canada and inside was a beautiful card from someone special.

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This summer I received a call from my good friend Shelia from Summer Nites B&B saying a fan of The Boardwalk Blog was staying and renewing their marriage vows and wanted to meet me and join them at the ceremony and maybe I could take some photos. So I went and meet Carmen Champagne and her husband Vince and their family, they had a beautiful ceremony and complete with a wedding cake. I meet one of their relatives John who I found out went to West Catholic in Philly and we were in the same class.

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Today I received a Christmas card from Carmen and Vince.It’s so nice of them to think of us during the holidays. What a wonderful feeling it is to know that we are reaching people from another country who love Wildwood like we do. I am still amazed and humbled by the loyal fans I meet who love following us! Thank you!

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Winter in The WIldwoods – Still a Thrill

The summer is the time most people visit The Wildwoods and enjoy fun in the sun. The boardwalk is packed with tourist while you hear “watch the tramcar please” as the world famous Wildwood tramcar passes by and the air is filled with the smells of boardwalk food.

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But the winter is my favorite time in “The Woods”. I was born in May of 1960 and in June my family took me to our summer home here. I spent every summer in “The Woods” until I was 15 when we moved here. That was the first time I experienced the winter in a place I spent every summer as a kid.

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The first time I saw snow on the boardwalk I was amazed, I remember just standing there thinking I was dreaming, “this cannot be real, I must be dreaming this” I said to my self. I could not believe my eyes, snow covered beaches, roller coasters and rides coated in snow and of course the boardwalk like I have never seen it before, perfectly snow covered and no footprints.

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That was 38 years ago and I still love spending my winters in “The Woods”  I do not want to go to Florida for the winter and sit on a hot sandy beach, no need for me to go to visit friends in St Thomas, South America or Aruba. I love Wildwood in the winter, it is favorite time of the year and always will be. I still get a thrill every year as the summer ends and the winter begins. See you snowbirds next summer!

 

The Girl With the Tramcar Tattoo

  My blogmate, Tony Deutsch, is indefatigable, a long-striding seeker of all things related to this blog. He tells me on the phone and on our nightly Boardwalks, of his adventures that day in Blogland and other digital kingdoms like…

Meet “Mr Tramcar”

Everybody on the Wildwoods boardwalk knows “Gigi” (pronounced “Gig-ee” with the accent on the first syllable).
Gigi is John Gigliotti, the 78-year-old majordomo of the tramcars, those slow-moving, royal blue and bright yellow little trains whose warning mantra of “Watch the tramcar, please!” is, arguably, the most famous catch-phrase in New Jersey.
Gigi’s actual title is supervisor and safety coordinator of the “trams,” as he calls them, although their proper name is the Boardwalk Sightseer.

Gigi on the Wildwood Tramcar

Gigi gets so tan during the summer, spending 15 hours a day on the boardwalk, seven days a week, he looks as though he was dipped in a vat of chocolate.
And has the energy of a teenager. If he’s not hooking up a re-charged tramcar engine—they’re battery-operated—he’s scooting the boardwalk from end to end in his new beige golf cart, which bears the license plate “Gig-1.” The dude is astounding.

He’s also the friendliest guy on the boardwalk, the perfect man in the perfect job. He comes by his personality from spending 40 years on the old Reading Railroad as a conductor before retiring in 1992.
This writer actually remembers him coming down the aisle on the Chestnut Hill Local into Philadelphia, smiling and with a good word for everybody while he collected the tickets and punched them.
“Gigi is an indispensable part of the Boardwalk Sightseer Tramcar team,” says Patrick Rosenello, managing director of the Special Improvement District, Management Corporation, which basically runs the Wildwoods boardwalk.
“Not only does he serve as our training and safety officer,” Rosenello goes on, “but he is our primary supervisor and a readily identifiable figure for business owners and visitors alike.”

 

The Harlem Globetrotters Meet Gigi

 

 

“I was born and raised in the Poconos in Stroudsburg, Pa.,” Gigi relates. “I left the Poconos when I was 18, joined the Army, and when I came out I got a job on the railroad.”
“I saw these two old railroaders shifting cars at an industrial plant and I saw the caboose attached to the train, and I thought it would be a nice job, so I asked them, and they told me to go to 12th and Market in Philadelphia and that’s where I went and got the job. I moved to Philadelphia and worked on the Reading for 40 years.
“The tramcar job was a miniature scale of what I did all my life, so when I retired, I applied for the job and on the application I put that I was a conductor for 40 years and they gave me the job.”

Gigi feels that the best part of his job on the trams “is seeing people every day, and acting as an ambassador by answering questions and helping people out and getting the trams on the road.”
He says that his biggest challenge is “teaching these kids how to drive and work safely and collect the transportation fees. Nighttime is hectic up here and it’s a big challenge for the drivers. Eight-five percent of the kids are from Bulgaria and we have a lot of retirees now from different places.”

The Bulgarian workers are part of a student exchange program under the auspices of the Special Improvement District, and, unlike many shore businesses this year, which are suffering from stricter immigration policies, Gigi says, “We have no trouble getting them.”

Commenting on his role as safety director of the trams, Gigi says that most so-called “accidents” involve someone being nudged or walking too close to the cement tramcar path and being brushed by the elbow of a rider.
Once in a while, when a boardwalker doesn’t respond to the “Please watch the tramcar!” warning, the tram will simply stop and wait for them to come to their senses.

Gigi has the following of a rock star on the boards. People make it a point to check in with him every year on their vacations, and he is also the point man for the school field trips that the Boardwalk Special Improvement District sponsors.

Gigi’s primary home is in West Deptford, N.J., and he and his wife of 41 years, Barbara, who works in the tramcar office, also have a residence on 23rd Street in North Wildwood. They have two children and five grandsons.

“Sometimes we go to Florida in the off-season,” he says. “Otherwise, I stay home and sleep until 10 o’clock every day.”
Gigi obviously loves his job. “I hope that the tramcars remain up here for a hundred years—and me with ‘em!” he crows and bursts into deep laughter.

Love on The Wildwood Boardwalk

Lauren and Adam Krabbenhoft—Photo by Visual Variety

Lauren Spuhler and Adam Krabbenhoft were married on June 25, 2011 at First United Methodist Church. The reception was held at Lighthouse Pointe Restaurant.

Laura recalls…

Everyone asks how Adam and I met. In this day of Internet dating, we joke and tell people we met the old-fashioned way — at a bar.

But during that first night, we learned we were both out-of-towners living in Knoxville, Tenn. — a city full of lifelong residents. We both moved here after school for jobs. We both lived less than a mile from one another. And most importantly, we were both single.

For our first date, Adam took me to a sushi restaurant. I would have never dreamed of one day liking sushi when I was a student at Wildwood High School. But after that date, we never went two or three days without seeing each other.

When it came time for making holiday plans, Adam told me he never wanted to travel again without me. So I visited his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and he came several times to mine in Wildwood. We also traveled to Colorado, Wyoming, St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta and Nashville.

Many of these trips were for weddings and it was fun to finally have a wedding date. Then on July 16, 2010, Adam took me for a walk on the Wildwood boardwalk. He popped out a ring right as the tramcar passed and asked me to be his wife. Tourists stopped to watch as I said “yes.”

I feel so blessed to have had our wedding in Wildwood, my hometown and the place of so many happy memories for us both. We had many states represented on our wedding day, with his family from the Midwest, our mutual friends from the South and lots of special people from South Jersey.

We never could have imagined seeing them all in one place! The wedding day was beautiful, and our reception was the dance party of a lifetime. Our memories include photos taken on the beach, boardwalk and Ferris wheel.

Cape May County Fire Company’s Head North to Fight Seaside Park Boardwalk Fire


According to Gov Chris Christie fire company’s from Cape May. Atlantic. Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, Ocean, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Somerset. Union and Hudson counties are on the scene.The fire is being fought by approx 400 firefighters.

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At least 6 blocks of the boardwalk have been totally destroyed, the fire started at the Kohr Bro Ice cream building about 5 hrs ago.

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Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends 90 miles north of us in Seaside where only 11 months ago hurricane Sandy destroyed the same boardwalk, it was rebuilt for the summer of 2013.

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