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Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Being in our old home area, we took a drive to visit some of our old haunts.  Some things have not changed at all, others have changed for the better.  Then there are some that time has not been kind to.

One such place that time has wounded is a place I spent four good years of my military career.  Coast Guard Station Shark River in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey.

In May 1989 I became a "plank owner" when I was part of the crew of twenty that re-commissioned the station after it had been closed years before due to budget cuts.

I was the senior engineer, responsible for maintaining the two search and rescue boats homeported there as well as all the vehicles, trailers, equipment as well as the building and grounds.  Plus I held qualifications to command those boats on missions.

It was a very fast paced, interesting four years.  I made many long term friends and had quite a few adventures there.

Marti and I took a ride over to see the station and found it completely empty, locked and nearly abandoned.  The boat slip was also empty.

Memories came flooding back, even times when Marti and our kids came to visit me at work.  My old shop and office was locked and empty.

One thing that I built still remained, it brought a smile to my face.

It is a weapons clearing station.  Just a simple pipe cemented into the ground with a cover.  When we would return from a mission, we would unload our weapons and to make sure they were empty, the pistol or rifle would be pointed into the barrel and the trigger squeezed.  If the weapon was empty, you'd hear a click.  If it wasn't and the weapon fired, the round would travel down into the ground instead of hurting someone.  I know it worked on one occasion when we had a defective pistol and the round fired harmlessly into the ground.  Plus I have all ten of my toes as proof.  :c)

The reason the station is empty is due to budget cuts to the Coast Guard.  All the boats and equipment have been sent to the next station South along the coast.  During the summer boating season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, a boat and crew will be stationed here just during the weekends. 

It was sad to see what once was as it now is.  Fortunately I have many happy memories, treasured photographs and awards from my time there.  Better yet is the many people alive today that we rescued.

The sadness didn't last long, we visited granddaughter Anabelle and got our baby fix.  All is well in our world.

Here is Anabelle and mom Amanda having a little girl talk.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Sadly sometimes, nothing remains static. Move on...

  2. Never heard of a weapons clearing station. Low tech yet effective - imagine that!!

  3. I think it is true that you can never go home again. It is never going to be as it once was. Could be better/worse, but never the same as it was:(

  4. I was thinking you were going to tell us that it shut down once you left. Places don't stay the same as we remember them. As we change so do they. Some of that is sad and some not so much.

    Anabelle is a sweetie. Keep those pictures coming.

  5. Ahhh yes, as they say, you can never go home. We did the same thing, returning to see our old house in FL, only to find it and the neighborhhod demolished.

    The little one is too cute!!!

  6. visiting the old neighborhood is a good thing..sometimes..sorry to hear that the station has been shut down..all in the name of government changes!
    Anabelle gets cuter everyday!!

  7. Nothing stays the same, does it? Hopefully things change for the better while we're gone and we enjoy seeing those changes. All too often, however, it's the opposite. I guess there's a reason why they say you can't go home again.

  8. I know exactly what you mean about memories flooding back. Sorry that it wasn't like you remembered it.

  9. We've always found changes disappointing as well. Good thing we have our memories. That's all that's important. Well, that and grandchildren :)

    Anabelle just keeps getting cuter :)

  10. Would love to know your opinion about the closing of it. Is a good cost saver since it's functions really can be done somewhere else? Or is it not a good thing because its functions are important but now undone.