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The final quarter: October 2015

Speaking of roller coasters. Ming! October could have been the best month of the year. I got this great new job, the Mets were World Series bound and it was beer festival month. I was asked to speak at a couple of different festivals (including the ShoreCraftBeer festival) and was high as a kite. October also is my birthday month and, although I’m not one of those people who gets really into his birthday, I like cake as much as the next guy. Plus, my father would be in town and we’d planned to go to dinner.

Unfortunately, he took ill and couldn’t make it. He was hospitalized and never recovered. The Mets lost the World Series not long after, we joked that he couldn’t take another Mets loss and bowed out early.

My family handles death the way a lot of people say they would like to. We are Italian and Irish, mostly, so there’s a lot of drinking and laughing and crying and eating. It’s not overdoing it to say that the gatherings that take place in a home just after the death of a family member are among my most treasured. It’s something you either know about or don’t, but it is as real a human gathering as you’re likely to attend.

My father died on Thursday afternoon. He was to be buried on Monday. I spoke at the Shore Craft Beer Festival the Saturday in between. It was a lovely event and a spectacular day. It was a little odd, speaking in front of 600 or so people who had no idea how poorly my week had gone. I’m really glad I did it, because it was nice to get out and talk to people. It also was nice to get the kind of support I got from my new co-workers and my friends in the beer community.

My father and I at the release of my first book.
My father and I at the release of my first book.

Happy Hour: The Adventure Begins

One of the first things I did after taking over as editor was establish the Happy Hour Adventures column, which I still love writing. Essentially, I go to bars at happy hour and talk to the people there about why they’ve come and what they like about Ocean City or the bar particularly. It was from that that I started writing my Ocean City Stories feature, which is a series highlighting people who have a special relationship with Ocean City. In the coming year, I hope to write a lot more of these, because they are fun to write and because they make the people featured happy.

But one of my favorite first stories for OceanCity.com was about why people should visit Ocean City in October. As a local for the last 20 years, I’ve always preferred the beach in the off season. I like to play Skee Ball in the fall and go on rainy day photo adventures. I like being able to park without issue. Mostly though, I love the weather. Even though it wasn’t particularly kind to me, October still is my favorite month. The weather is unqualifiedly beautiful. Even the rain is pleasant.

What I didn’t expect was how much more pleasant November would be…


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