Went for a walk this afternoon from Second Street up to the Ferris wheel. I usually go on the street and then on the dirt alongside the bike path because it’s easier on these old groaning knees, and then go on the Boards to the Ferris wheel and back.
Today, for some benign reason, I decided to go on the beach alongside the ocean. Maybe it’s because you can’t even see the ocean on JFK Drive with the dunes that have been erected to save the beach.
Anyhow, I had a nice walk in the sand, which has a nice give to it, even better than the bounce of the Boardwalk. I was listening to a classic station on my Walkman – yep, I still have a Walkman … sort of, the Radio Shack version – and when I got up to the Ferris wheel I looked south at what looked at first like a bunch of people way off in the distance. There were some people, but then I saw the silhouettes of two horseback riders, which made me grin because riding a horse on the beach is such a cool thing. Then, lo and behold, I saw two more riders. The four horsemen (I’m just using the vernacular … there might have been women) looked like Javanese shadow puppets in the dim distance, and I started walking toward them, anxious to see who they were and maybe talk to them for this Blog entry, but they kept receding away from me, like in a waking dream, and I finally gave up and turned to go back.
So there are, indeed, horseback riders on the Wildwoods beaches now that it’s legal within certain blocks (there’s a prior Blog entry that gives the blocks, but I’m too tired from my walk to look it up.) And I never see or think of horseback riders on a beach that I don’t think of Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern riding on the Atlantic City beach, their long overcoats flapping in the wind, in Bob Rafelson’s 1972 movie “The King of Marvin Gardens,” which captured the essence of poor, bust-out Atlantic City before the town was rescued by the casinos (I wish).
So keep your eyes skinned for pale riders on the Wildwoods beaches. They’re there.