Let’s Feel The Wind In
By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
This past weekend the Jacobs side of my family gathered in Atlantic City to celebrate the 80th birthday of my grandfather. 80 is quite the memorable birthday, as was the fact that the Jacobs’ were all under the same roof for a few hours (since I live in Manhattan and my brother lives on Long Island, we tend to spend most of our family holidays with the New York-based Roseman side of the family).
It was a nice weekend away from the city. I was able to get some gambling in, walk the boardwalk, eat my fill of salt water taffy, etc.
But for me, being back on Absecon Island (that’s where Atlantic City is located) brought up some other memorable moments from a time long, long ago known as the early 90’s. You see, I had not been back to Atlantic City for a very long time – I want to say since before high school.
Between the years of about 1987-1994 my parents owned a beach house in Ventnor City, New Jersey, which is one town south of Atlantic City on Absecon Island. Every summer during that time we would pack up our things and drive from Delaware to Ventnor for beach weekends – a fact that perplexes me to this day as I don’t remember either of my parents being particularly fond of the beach. Still my mother’s parents had (and still have) a condo next door in the town of Margate, so it was much like a family outing year after year.
I have a lot of memories from that time: The kite I won free while at JCC Summer Camp being taken out to sea by the Atlantic wind. My mother losing her diamond tennis bracelet and us retracing our steps until I found it lying face-down in a storm gutter. The koi fish in the lobby of my grandparent’s building.
But what I remember the most is sitting in front of the TV. There was some local news report about how the term “Information Superhighway” was too long so they took a poll of viewers for an alternate name, and the winner was – no joke – “Shirley.” Clinton choosing Al Gore as his running mate. But what I mostly remember was watching this:
Could only find a video of the closing credits. That's some a cappella realness right there. Why has this not been released on DVD yet? Just sayin’...
Oh yeah. That’s right. Fuckin’ Roundhouse on Nickelodeon. For those of you who missed out, Roundhouse was arguably the best kid’s sketch show ever aired (complete with fake commercial sketches and all), and if you can’t tell from the clothing (costumes) in the above clip, it was incredibly early 90’s. I would plop my nine-year-old self down in front of the TV and watch mesmerized, wishing I could own that spinning chair in which the dad was always perched, or at least be a member of the cast. I think it was during those summers that my desire to perform as well as write sketch comedy was hatched.
Anyway, in 1994 or 1995 when the pipes burst and flooded the house for the third time my parents decided to sell it. A wise move on their part because we were getting less and less use out of it, the maintenance was a hassle (not that I knew from experience, I just heard my father bitch and moan about it all the time), and again: they weren’t really beach people to begin with.
Still, it was nice to spend my childhood summers by the Jersey Shore. Or rather, it was nice to spend my summers on the Jersey Shore doing what my family does best: watching TV.
Reprise the theme song and roll the credits.
GREGORY JACOBS-ROSEMAN is a composer/lyricist and theatrical sound designer currently developing Save The Date: A New Musical Comedy. www.gregjr.com
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