I hope that everyone who reads this weathered last week’s storm with as little trouble as I did here at home in Canton. As you can tell, WTMD didn’t go off the air and suffered no damage. Luckily, Maryland, in comparison to New York and New Jersey, came out of this pretty ok.
However, as most of you know, I grew up in New Jersey; Maryland is my second home state. You’ve seen the picture of that roller coaster in Seaside Heights, NJ sitting in the ocean. That ride means a lot to me. You see, I was pretty much a cowardly kid when I was 10 or so. But I decided one day that if I could make myself get on that coaster I could conquer my fears about anything. It’s one of those things I remember all my life and taught me a lot.
The Jersey Shore is where my love of music took root in many ways. While the other kids where tossing quarters on the wheels to win bikes and footballs, I was playing the record stands so I could win albums from Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and countless others. Each Summer, as the second eldest grandson, I was allowed to spend a week in Seaside alone with my Grandparents. I blew through the money I had saved up trying to win Paul McCartney and Wings’ Band on the Run. I had to beg my grandmother to buy it for me at the local record store on the Boulevard, the same Boulevard where Springstreen played an early show. It’s a big memory for me — musically and of my family.
I am terrified that future generations may not have that thrill, that experience in New Jersey or here in Maryland. The beach is where we grow up in so many ways and where music imprints itself on us as listeners and inspires the artists who create it.
I’d like to ask you to donate whatever you can to the Red Cross to help make sure the Jersey Shore, the Maryland and Delaware beaches and New York come back to life. If you’ve seen the pictures of the homes that have been destroyed, I know you share my thought “There but for the grace of God …” Well, if Sandy had come on shore just 2o0 miles to the south, that would have been us. We’re lucky. I hope you’ll share that luck by making a donation to the Red Cross today.
You can donate by texting redcross to 90999 to make a $10 donation to your cell phone bill. You can go to iTunes and make donation there ( itunes.com/redcross) or you can call 1-800-HELP NOW .