Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Atlantic City Memories

Today I'm in Atlantic City, New Jersey presenting at the HIMSS Mid-Atlantic Symposium.

In 1965, I lived in Wilingboro, NJ near Trenton and visited Atlantic City one weekend with my parents.

What does a 3 year old remember?

Walking the Boardwalk
Touring the attractions of the Steel Pier
Eating Saltwater Taffy
For some reason, I remember a Planter's Peanuts man.  Per Wikipedia there was a Peanut Man statue on a bench in Atlantic City, so there's some association with Planter's and the area.

My parents recall the area as a bit run down in the 1960's but I can only remember the wondrous sights, sounds, smells,  and tastes that I had never experienced before.    It was sensory overload for a 3 year old.
Above is a postcard from that era.

Today's Atlantic City has hotels, casinos, restaurants, outlet stores, and convention space, but the souvenir shops, the taffy, and the roasted peanuts are still the same.    It's amazing how much can change in a lifetime, but today I was able to relive a childhood experience on an early foggy morning in New Jersey.


Anonymous said...


I have similar memories. You are right about the Planter's Peanut man. He would stand outside the store in a Peanut man costume and wave to people on the boardwalk. I grew up in nearby Ocean City, NJ and we had the same on our boardwalk.


Anonymous said...

Sadly the Steel Pier is gone, replaced with 'the piers'. Of course Budakon was wonderful...


slockemd said...

I grew up in Tenafly (Bergen County) and went to Atlantic City every April for about ten years. My father, a podiatric surgeon, was active in the state society (then called the NJ Chiropody Society until he led the successful effort to change the name of the profession to Podiatry in the 1960s.) My sister and I share many vivid memories of Atlantic City before the decline. I especially remember not only the Fralinger taffy, but especially the A. L. Roth macaroons - the best I have ever had (see: We also used to love Hackney's famous seafood restaurant where I learned to enjoy lobster and steamed clams.
But these memories are from an era before your time, though maybe some of your older readers will recall these things.



Anonymous said...

There was definitely a Peanut Man on the Atlantic City boardwalk. By 1969 when I worked a Summer there, conditions were beginning to fray and the Peanut Man costume and the act were a bit worn.
I still remember the blackish sands and needing to run full speed from the surf to the boardwalk to keep from burning the soles of my bare feet. Workin'Jack