For the past 30 years, a group of 20-plus ladies have been playing tennis every Tuesday followed by dinner. This members of this group, called TAGET (Tennis and Gourmet Every Tuesday), host dinners from mid-June through mid-September.
Sue Jordan, a member for many years, who no longer plays tennis, invited me to a recent dinner. We arrived at Gwen and Jack Trautwein’s home shortly before tennis players showed up after two-hour tennis matches. While Gwen served hors d’oeuvres, Jack created delicious sandwiches for the ladies, then made himself scarce the rest of the evening. Roseann Kiszely has been driving up from Sea Isle City since ’85 to play with this group. Carol Kelly has summered in Ocean City for 30 years and she and her daughter ran the Beach Break Café at 12th and Asbury from 2000 to 2005. Kathleen Reilly enjoys playing golf, tennis and cards in Ocean City and Jupiter, Fla. in the winter. Carol Finley used to summer in Wildwood before she and her husband discovered Ocean City 20 years ago. Carol said her husband yells “hello” to me when I pass him on the boardwalk even though I don’t know him.
Pat Maggitti divides her time between Ocean City and Center Valley, Pa. Marie Roop discovered this group years ago while her son was taking tennis lessons and she would watch these ladies having great matches on other courts. Cindy Becker has three children and three grandchildren with one on the way. Cindy doesn’t like rain on Tuesdays as she’s the one who makes phone calls as to whether the matches are on or not. Eileen Samtmann recalled working at Dunk-em In on the Boardwalk between 11th and 12th streets in ’56 when Jim Penland and Harry Engelmeyer were her best customers. Leslie Weber worked at Surfside Inn at 34th and Central in the early 1960s.
Marie Abarno reports she and husband Jerry are thrilled with their first grandchild, Giavanni Dominick Johnson, who arrived Christmas Eve 2012. Ro Rixon has been a member of TAGET for 35 years and is the current chairwoman. Ro recalled starting Shore Memorial’s Thrift Shop Luncheon and Fashion Show 20 years ago and coordinated it for 10 years while her husband, Paul, served as host. The Rixons have been busy hosting their five children, their spouses and 19 grandchildren this summer.
While not one of the original tennis players, Joan Rozanski is the longest of those still active. Pam Bowen, who loves to body surf on the 26th Street beach, is fairly new to the group with seven years under her belt. Sorry I missed Lorainne Prescott, Ellen Lenz and Dana Price who had other commitments.
TAGET is not all playing tennis and eating, as members have donated over $50,000 to many charities over the years with this year’s donations from members being divided among ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in honor of Mary Joan Robertson, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and The Will to Live Foundation in memory of a member’s grandson.
We started the summer at the Jessels’, so it was fitting that we end it at the Jessels’ at their annual End of Summer party. Many had mixed feelings about summer’s end, but most were delighted to be getting their town back as tourists headed home.
While Gary and Denise Jessel had a busy season at Fox Realty, they are looking forward to getting away on vacation this winter. Phil Perri had a full house at The Forum, but found time to get to the party with his wife, Barb. Denise Jones showed pictures of husband Ken getting a hug from New Jersey’s lieutenant governor at Yianni’s. Cathy and Joe Rebl are headed for Hawaii at the end of October.
Bob Marzulli joined wife Joanne at the party after a busy day serving a pancake breakfast at the American Legion, then working at the municipal golf course in the afternoon. Jan Meehan arrived solo as husband Jack went to his class of ’61 reunion. Jan had lots of company this summer with as many as 28 guests one weekend. Jim Burns celebrated his 68th birthday at the party with his “good neighbors.” Michael DiComo recently retired and plans to do nothing in Ocean City while wife Mona commutes to Philadelphia to work. Michael said we have “24 shopping days until his birthday.”
Susan Strempack had to locate husband Ted, a retired state trooper, for a picture with the “good neighbors.” Carol Burns and Barbara and Richard Simpson report the “good neighbors” have 17 grandchildren between them. Jennifer and Charlie Bowman had to leave early as they had to get to Kim Weiland’s 60th birthday party.
I enjoyed meeting Susan and John Cracovaner, who moved to Ocean City from Morristown, purchasing their home and starting renovations a week before Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore. Susan spent summers in Ocean City with her family when she was growing up. When Susan and John moved back east after residing in Dallas, Texas, they continued the tradition with their family. The home the Cracovaners purchased happens to be the home where Gary and Denise raised their daughters before building their home overlooking the beach and boardwalk.
Sue and Tim Murphy brought their 9-month-old daughter, Victoria, to the party and everyone including this columnist took turns holding her. I spotted Mare Frei sitting between the Marine (Jim Finnegan) and the admiral (Ron Denney) at the dining room table enjoying the buffet and desserts. While Ron and wife Beverly have enjoyed their place on the beach this summer, Ron anticipates their new home being built on the bayfront will be completed next spring, but Beverly isn’t quite so sure.
Cathy and John Flood arrived late, but it didn’t take guests long to discover the Jewish apple and carrot cakes Cathy made. Of course, my husband insisted on a slice of Joanne Budnick’s apple pie. DJ and Clay Rossiter and Tricia and Paul Audino missed getting their pictures taken as they were too busy looking after their kids. When Brian Broadley stopped by, he caught up with our host, Gary Jessel, on the back deck hanging out with Tony Wilson, Bob Becher, Billy Moffett, Joyce Hooper, Ed Wisham and Jon Werley. My husband took a 30-second break from talking with Jim Kerrigan to pose for a picture with our hosts.
When Peggy and Larry Doyle arrived, they joined Gail and Bob Blevin, Marion and Ned McCaughey, Alice Wolf, Carol Heenan, Eric Wakabayashi and Jim and I on the front porch as we all caught up on what we did during the summer. When Jim and Ned decided it was time to head home, Marion, Alice and I told them to go get the car parked two blocks away. They left, but we soon discovered they were standing downstairs in the street waiting for us to come out when Jim called Marion on her cell phone. With friends like Becky Friedel and Denise Jones cleaning up and loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher, our hostess finally got to sit down and catch up with old friends while another late arrival, Keith Hartzell, kept an eye on the cleanup.
|< Prev||Next >|