Late Summer Serenity in Ocean City

Posted on August 16, 2009

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A tradition since 1915! That's a lot of ice cream on the Boardwalk.   

A tradition since 1939! That’s a lot of ice cream on the Boardwalk.

In the wee, small hours of Sunday morning, a silvery quarter-moon casts its glow on the Atlantic.  A police officer on horseback rides south on the Boardwalk. The steady “clop, clop” of hooves is crisp and clear in the night air, 71 degrees.  I turn west and see a bicycle cop pedaling north on Baltimore Avenue. All is quiet. The police look bored. I haven’t heard a siren all day.

Saturday was as perfect a beach day and as mild an evening as we’ve seen all summer. Ocean City, Maryland, is filled to the brim with visitors. It’s the kind of classic, late-summer day that makes people love Ocean City. It inspires me to celebrate by posting a few photos of classic Ocean City signs.

All three of these businesses started in Ocean City during the Great Depression. Their founders must have been fearless entrepreneurs! What could they have been thinking? People needed the comfort of ice cream and candy during the Depression, I guess.  All three businesses have grown over decades, and they continue in business today. I imagine that the current economic recession, which may or may not be ending, seems mild compared to the hardships of the Depression and World War II years.

Candy Kitchens. They're everywhere. Since 1933.

Candy Kitchens. They're everywhere. Since 1937.

Edward Grau had stores in Hagerstown and other Maryland locations during the Depression. He started Edwards 5 & 10 on the Boardwalk in Ocean City in 1937.

Edward Grau had stores in Hagerstown and other Maryland locations during the Depression. He started Edwards 5 & 10 in Ocean City in 1937.

Fast-forward to the present. The annual tide of summer visitors may have crested this weekend, but the golden weather has continued Sunday night and Monday morning. With any luck, this mellow late-season interlude at the beach will linger for another week or more. 

Edwards has operated at North Division Street and the Boardwalk for more than seven decades. The modern building dates to 1987.

Edwards has operated at North Division Street and the Boardwalk for more than seven decades. The modern building dates to 1989.

If you wake up one morning this week with the urge for a spur-of-the-moment trip to the beach before school starts, I recommend that you give right in. The summer won’t last forever.  — Bernie Hayden

(For everything you never wanted to know about Ocean City, and more, check out www.ococean.com.)

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