For as long as I can remember, the Ocean Grove fishing pier has featured a cute little fisherman dummy, who just sits there, fishing.
Ocean Grove fisherman, captured on film in August 2007
Of course, the Ocean Grove fishing pier no longer exists, courtesy of Sandy.
Ocean Grove fishing pier, during Sandy
But there’s still a little fisherman dummy there.
“Wow,” said my dad, “someone went to a lot of work to strap that guy up there.”
“Nah,” I said, “they could’ve just walked down what’s left of the pier. Piece of cake.”
“No, look at it,” my dad replied, “this remnant of the pier isn’t connected to the rest of pier at all. They’d need 20-foot-long arms.”
He’s right. Hot damn.
YOU CAN CRUSH OUR PIER, SANDY, BUT YOU WILL NEVER CRUSH OUR LITTLE STUFFED FISHING DUMMIES. Ha!
(I wish I could read those signs posted next to him. The lower sign starts with “Every,” but I can’t read the rest.)
EDIT, MAY 2013: The fisherman dummy has a name: Ralph.
He was first put on the pier in 1992, by Bob Borders and Carol Boniello, when it was rebuilt after the Halloween nor’easter. Sandy took him out, somewhere to sea. So Borders and Boniello put a spare little Ralph as a symbol of good will.
Tracey James, who photographed the installation, explained why.
“Ralph is an acronym for ‘Rising Above the Long Pier of Hope,’” she said.
—Mark Di Ionno, April 2012, “Despite FEMA denial, Ocean Grove bands together for Sandy rebuilding,” NJ.com
And the sign apparently reads “Down the Shore Everything’s All Right.”