I spent a majority of my life living in Brick. Since I was a little kid, part of the holiday tradition included a visit to a house on Van Zile Road.

Paul Hayes would decorate his entire property, from his house to the front yard, side yard, and backyard. Things ranged from the classic Santa & Mrs. Claus, the old school plastic sculptures, up to more modern inflatables and practically any pop culture icon you could think of. Disney movies, Pixar movies, The Simpsons, Star Wars, Sesame Street, Looney Tunes, Peanuts, and so many more could be spotted.

The Hayes family would allow people to walk around their whole property, and every time I went I would see people of all ages. The decorations are still up this year, and I plan on continuing the tradition by bringing Baby Varacchi to see the display for the first time.

Sadly, Paul Hayes passed away last week. He was born December 20th, 1938. He was a petty officer in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and a captain of the Brick First Aid Squad. He also served on the Brick Township Planning Board, including as its chairman, for a number of years and then became a commissioner on the Brick Housing Authority, where he served for 27 years, many of those as its chairman.

Condolences can be sent to the family at Colonial Funeral Group.

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