Goodbye To A North Avenue Regular
Unless you go to the same beach on a somewhat regular basis you likely won’t understand this. I have been a regular on the beach in Seaside Park for more than 40 years. The first 30 were spent on 2nd Avenue but after Superstorm Sandy that beach got very popular especially with young kids and it was time to move. We relocated to Brighton Avenue for one summer and then settled on North Avenue which ironically is between the other two streets.
During our now 9 years there we have come to meet people who like us are regulars. Some of those beach neighbors are ones we talk with and others are those who we might just nod our heads when seeing one another. What’s also interesting is regulars pretty much set up in the same place so there might be those who go to the beach all the time but we never see because they are on a different side of the lifeguard stand. We go north and some go south and rarely do we meet even though in truth we are separated by only 40 yards or so.
I mention all of this because we learned last weekend that a North Avenue regular had died. To be honest my wife knew him and talked with him but I never had the occasion. So when we learned that Marty had passed away it did not mean anything to me because the name was not familiar. As the conversation continued I not only knew who he was but considered him a North Avenue legend.
Marty had a great tan and a full head of shocking white hair to go along with a mustache. He was among the first to hit the sand in the morning and had a routine in which he would set up his chairs, umbrella and more if the grandkids were visiting. He would often go back to his house or take a bike ride before settling on the beach. Then it was back to his house a bit later for lunch.
Marty was in great shape and one of those guys you pictured would live forever. He apparently suffered an aneurysm while riding his bike and days later died following a procedure in the hospital. I don’t know anything else except it will be strange not seeing him first thing in the morning wheeling his cart loaded with beach “stuff.” Even though we never spoke I will miss him because he was part of the fabric of the North Avenue beach.