Friday, September 2, 2016

675 Ocean: Further Comment on Elberon

After writing about our old house, comments on my Facebook Hometown Long Branch page and getting feed back for Nancy I think I'll add on.  Nancy mentioned a Mrs. Wolf living in the house.  I'm betting that was Florence Wolf.

She owned a house where Harbor Island Spa was built. Here's a great article about the house.

That was there when I knew her and her son Sammy Wolf.  They were friends of my Aunt Jean and uncle's crowd.  That included  Marty Schneider.  He delighted in taking off his wooden leg to shock folks.  At his parties the kids would collect champagne corks.  He was rumored to have been a rum runner in the old days.  "Boardwalk Empire" anyone?

There was Jack and Gwennie Wagner who lived in the "servants" part of 1023 Ocean.  He sold ambulances and hearses and she was a special friend of our friend Bam.  It was complicated.  Bam used to entertain at lunch with cocktails and gourmet food (my introduction to poached salmon) on his patio.  I think of him every time I poach a fish.

Frank Holmes was also in the group.  In 1946 as Director and Sec. of the State Department of Conservation, Division of Commerce and Navigation Council in Trenton.  he was partly responsible for the "T" jetties being built on the Elberon ocean front.  This group were heavy drinkers all, on the order of  "Mad Men".

Any whoo...Sammy gave great parties.  Barbecues on the beach.  I've never had better hamburgers.  They were really not kid parties by anyone's standards.  His mother Flo was strange even then.  She would appear on the third floor balcony that circled the central hall of the house, what ever the weather, in a bathing suit or the all together, a sight to behold either way.  Sammy always wore a bathing suit, even to go to the store in winter.

From what I can gather Flo had a falling out with her son over the house.  Here's a Red bank Record article about the fire in her house.  This link goes to a great issue, have a read.

And here's a second article.  Having lost the house to the mafia I think she was living at 1165 Elberon with her cats in August 1963.

I wish I had pictures from this era. I love digital.  This would have been some group to record.
Read the whole six part series about Harbor Mansions.

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