Everyone has a favorite memory of Ocean City. With that memory comes some way of referencing it. Whether that be a favorite tee shirt, or a family photo taken in front of the Music Pier, there is always an object to remind someone of their memorable times here. For some, that object is a dedicated bench, with their memory preserved on it thanks to the Bench Dedication program.
The Ocean City Bench Dedications are part of a larger program that helps keep memories alive in Ocean City. By placing plaques on benches, the goal is to memorialize the small moments that residents and visitors have experienced in their time in the town. The program was originally an individual request in 1996 from someone who wanted a bench in their family’s name. The city gladly granted the individual their wish, placing a single bench with a memorial plaque on the boardwalk. Many quickly saw an appeal to it and called into City Hall, asking for the possibility of getting their own bench.
“People started calling in nonstop, wanting a bench of their own,” says Carol Longo, one of the original members of the Bench Dedication Program. “Whether it be where they had their first kiss, where someone met their future husband, people wanted to memorialize their memories of Ocean City.”
In the final edition of Ocean City Magazine’s 2017 run, I freelance wrote 3 articles. The above is the intro to my big freelance article, “Have A Seat: Ocean City’s Bench Dedication Memorial Program”, a research piece on the beloved boardwalk benches in Ocean City, New Jersey. You can read the article in its entirety in the Issu PDF reader featured at the bottom of this post.
- The Interview with Bill Scheible, Ocean City Pops Maestro (page 20)
- Have A Seat: Ocean City’s Bench Dedication Memorial Program (page 48)
- Good Karma “Kookie Kids” (page 54)