A passion for travel
There wasn’t much of a question whether the old couple with the metal detector were New Yorkers. The “Yeah, sure, okay,” the pair stated collectively when they responded to my photo and interview request was enough to identify them as such. What I wondered was whether they were still New Yorkers, like, did they have an address there. People don’t really stop being from New York, or from anywhere for that matter.
But the couple (who turned out to be called Martin and Eileen Goehringer) were on their last 72 hours in Ocean City before they were to head back to Long Island. They were enjoying an off-season time share. And why not Ocean City?
Eileen said it had been 15 years since they last had been to the beach. This beach, anyway. They own one of those virtual timeshares, where you buy in with one company rather than one property. You own that week wherever you can get it.
It was hard not to assume, because of his age, bearing, and the fact that he was the one holding the metal detector, that Martin was the beachcomber. In fact, Eileen was the enthusiast and he was the tourist’s tourist, following along gamely participating in his wife’s hobby.
“We made 27 cents,” she told me, laughing at my question. I had asked whether they had done well.
“I think they use screens [to sweep the beaches],” Martin said. “We did better last time.”
“Last time we made $5,” Eileen said, clarifying his statement ironically.
But the pair didn’t come to Ocean City in the hopes of paying for their vacation in found nickles. They came for a little quiet beach time, a brisk walk, and to enjoy the fact that they were getting away.
It isn’t about casinos alone
As timeshare hoppers, the Goehringer pretty much look for a beach and a time when it is quiet. Interestingly, they try to avoid places where there are casinos. They fail as often as they succeed.
“Nowadays, there are casinos everywhere,” Martin said.
It isn’t that they don’t like gambling or don’t go to casinos; they had a nice enough time at Ocean Downs. It just is they often look for places where there is enough to do that they don’t feel as if they have to just go to the casino.
“I’m not big into the casinos,” Martin said. “My wife will find them no matter what, wherever they are.”
As much as summer might be for making memories, fall on the boardwalk has its own special place.
Ocean City Stories Mission:
Millions of people visit Ocean City each year. All of them come for one reason, but not for the same reason. In fact, even though many people would loosely categorize the reasons for their visits under the relaxation, getaway, or nostalgia umbrella, every experience is different and every person takes something new away from each day in Ocean City. Here, we tray and capture some of their stories, to make a collage of the people in the places and thereby get a better sense of the larger tale. If you’re coming to Ocean City and want to tell your story, contact us and we’ll arrange it.