Sunday, September 25, 2011

Takananssee Beach

Takanassee Beach was our beach for many years.  This photo is from Facebook group Takanasee Memories.
"Tak" is/was a 5 acre site with three historic U.S. Lifesaving Service buildings dating from 1878-79, a beach and a lake.  See some of the history here.  It has been in the hands of a "developer" since 2007.  Star Ledger article here.

I rode my bike down Elberon Ave to the lake.  There were two horses along the lake front road, across the lake from St Michael's, and I always stopped with carrots.  In those days we had a cabana on the back inside row so I didn't have to carry towels on the bike.
There was no pool at that time.  Our swim lessons were in the very vegetative lake along side the Peter's house.
We really envied the folks who rented the apartments in the old life guard station for the summer.  They got the first pool that was installed.  Later a larger pool went in on part of the parking lot.  The same faces manned the entrance booth for years.
There was a lively group of families who ate many meals outside the cabanas in the evenings.  An elaborate tailgate almost every night.
We were generally on our own as kids since mom worked full time.  We had to be home by five.  It was so much safer and easier then for kids to roam.  Creative post cell phone use of the public phones.  I used those pay phones a lot as a kid.
After we moved to Garfield Terrace we had a private beach to play on. When mom moved to Reid St she went back to Tak.  We were all gone from Elberon by then but the best part of summer was coming back to Tak.
Here are some pictures from the summers of 2004,5 and 6.
Big pool, little boy.



Favorite spot

July 4th


It must have been late in the day, just us on the beach.

Lunch from the snack bar.
 Life guards, ever alert.  "Get off the ropes."
Dick Martin , Captain 1961-82 
His wife is Nancy Steadman, daughter of Dick Steadman, long time swim coach at Monmouth College.  He taught swimming and diving to my 6 year old  daughter in a summer program at Monmouth.   She's 4th from the left.
 Nancy now heads the Surf Lifesaving firm her late husband founded to teach life saving skills.  Here is a bit from their website about Tak life guards.

In 1961, he became the lifeguard captain at Takanassee Beach Club, where he stayed until 1982.  His lifeguards at Takanassee were legendary for their victories in many lifeguard tournaments.  His guards at Takanassee included Jonty Skinner, world record holder in the 100 m. free and currently head swim coach at University of Alabama; Mark Tonelli, silver medalist in the 1976 Olmpics and currently Wide World of Sports Sportscaster in Australia; and John Cannon, nine year veteran defensive end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Tak lifeguard team's victories include the Nassau County Championships, as well as the East Coast Championships.  Moreover, Dick was the captain of the 1983 Monmouth County Team that won the National Lifeguard Championships.  This was the only time a New Jersey team met with victory in a National Championship.
I remember taking these pictures.  This was the most lovely, glorious, perfect beach day.   

Mom's last summer at Tak.
In all the wisdom of citydom and development this is Tak today.  Check out Robert Siliato's Photography site to see what it has become. And these are some more  of the photos posted on Facebook Hometown Long Branch,NJ.
The back pool for renters in the apartments.
 Makes me cry.

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful post Pat and it brought back such warm memories of Takanasee. The friendships and the memories of those days will never be erased. I am so sad to see it as it is now.


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