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Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Wildwood 5.17.2006

By Rick Racela

Eleven million illegal immigrants demanding “their rights,” and my wife’s cousin, an American citizen from Lancaster County, Pa., can’t get a passport because she did a name change, a legal one, mind you, thirty years ago.
Homeland Security is one thing; bubble-headed bureaucratic obtuseness is something else.
Consider this requirement from the passport agency: “submit at least three public records indicating use of your previous married name for at least five years.” What does that mean?
My wife’s cousin’s husband, a raw-boned farmer who cuts and splits firewood, hunts deer, sinks wells, milks sheep and shears cow or something of the sort, and plows some of Lancaster County’s finest dwindling farmlands couldn’t untangle it.
So he called on me, as he always does when he has to deal with the foolishness of government paperwork.
And I’ve sliced and diced that phrase, gritted my teeth and tried gumming it, but I can’t derive a morsel of nourishment from those words.
Why would anybody hold onto this kind of paperwork the g-men are asking after, if they ever did have it? That was a lifetime ago and since the woman had long ceased having any use for the first man she married what possible use would she have for any pieces of paper bearing his name?
Since my wife’s cousin was never arrested and hasn’t held onto tax returns from three decades ago, and has faithfully satisfied all creditors her entire life, coming up with any sort of documentation is going to be hard.
Does that mean their autumn vacation trip to Canada is off?
I guess I’m really sore because their problem put me on the spot.
Their predicament inspired my wife to ask me some questions about how well in order the paperwork on our own familial affairs happens to be.
One of the questions she asked, supposedly in passing, was the date she married me, assuming I would rattle off the answer without missing a beat.
Now this is one of the most important dates in my life.
Right up there with the date the Phillies won their only world series (Oct. 21, 1980) and the date of my anticipated retirement, a future date which I can pinpoint to the exact second even calculating in assorted daylight savings tricks with the clock.
I bungled it. I was able to confirm that we were married 25 years ago…maybe 27. I got the time of year right. It must have happened sometime in winter. I remember shivering a lot and the best man kept quipping about that “cold day in hell finally arriving.”
  Fortunately, I was able to quickly locate a copy of our marriage license and jabbered out the date before the domestic situation reached the point where I would be needing a name change and a passport, along with a one way ticket to any country still willing to welcome hapless Americans.
The third annual Friends of Jimmy Hippen Memorial Birthday Bash takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at 3J’s Wildwood Bowl, 3401 New Jersey Ave.
The theme for this year’s event is “Cool Hand Luke,” which also happens to be Jimmy’s favorite movie.
Activities include a hard-boiled egg eating contest, 50/50, and, of course, bowling.
Tickets cost $20 with the price also including food and beer and live entertainment from “Styrofoam Paradise.”
All proceeds benefit Jimmy’s children along with the “Diamond in the Rough” scholarship at Wildwood High School.
Call 729-0111 for more information.
The Wildwood schools hold their annual Spring Concert tonight at 7 p.m. in the Wildwood High auditorium, 4300 Pacific Ave.
The high school band will perform with the middle and high school choirs.
Call 522-7922 for more information.
North Wildwood Recreation Center, Ninth and Central avenues, offers yoga classes every Wednesday from 8-9 a.m. Classes cost $5 per session.
It’s tot time at the rec for kids under five every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon. The program is free.
Call 522-2955 for more information on this and other recreation programs.
Volunteers are needed to staff the Wheelin’ the Wildwoods bike tour taking place on Saturday, June 17.
The event is sponsored by the Borough of Wildwood Crest and the Crest Recreation Department.
The tour consists of rides of 42, 26 or ten miles throughout the Wildwoods and surrounding communities.
Registration fees are $35 for adults riding the two longer courses and $25 for the ten mile.  
Riders age 18 and younger pay $30 for the longer events, $20 for the mile ride.
You can register to ride on line at or by contacting the recreation department.
For more information, or to volunteer, call 523-0202.
The City of Wildwood is holding a public auction on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Holly Beach firehouse on the south side of City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.
Some of the goodies up for grabs include computers, furniture, office equipment, and bicycles.
Contact G. Ball at 846-2002 for more information.
Family Story Time tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Wildwood Crest library, 6301 Ocean Ave.
Kids in kindergarten through eighth grade and their parents can enjoy stories, arts and crafts.
Call 522-0564 for more details.
Wildwood High School classes of 1957, ’58, and ’59 are holding a reunion on June 2 at Garfield’s Restaurant on Pacific Avenue.
For tickets and information, call Pat at 390-0463 or Diane at 463-0081.
Wildwood zoners are scheduled to meet Monday, May 22 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, May 23 at 6 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.
Wildwood Crest Borough Commission meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, 6101 Pacific Ave.
GWTIDA meets tomorrow at 6 p.m. in room four at Wildwood Convention Center, Burk Avenue and the boardwalk.
Margaret Mace School seventh and eighth graders want to thank poet Lamont Dixon for his weeklong visit.
Dixon, a navy veteran from Philadelphia whose poetry has often involved him with musicians, brought his creative energy and flare for word use to Margaret Mace, through the efforts of Language Arts teacher Debbie Martinelli.
There will be an indoor yard sale on Friday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Beth Judah, Spencer and Pacific avenues, Wildwood.
Captain Kidd returns to North Wildwood on Saturday at 11 a.m. Pirates will be on parade on the boardwalk, followed by a treasure hunt on the beach at 16th Avenue.
The event is free. To register, call 522-2955.
There will be a hoagie sale on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at North Wildwood Fire House Company No.1, 15th and Central avenues.
Sandwiches cost $6 each. Call 729-3099 for information.
The scouts return to camp on the Wildwood beach at Morey’s Pier at Schellenger Avenue for the annual Spring Beach Jam.
For information, call 522-3900.
The Wildwood Crest Beautification Committee is looking for volunteers to help tend the flowerbeds along the borough’s bike paths. Planting, weeding, and a little TLC are all that’s needed.
For more information, call 522-5656.
Summer fast approaches. That means schools will be closing and summer activities will be picking up.
If you have anything you would like to run in this column, call the number above or e-mail me at  
Try to get your items to me at least two weeks before the scheduled date.

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