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Thursday, July 25, 2024


Wildwood 5.3.2006

By Rick Racela

My neighbor Forbusher came to the door the other morning, toting a baseball bat.
I figured he was mad that I had complained about him knocking down his two-bedroom bungalow in favor of the three-story duplex that now blocks my view of the sunrise, sunset and pretty much everything else the sun does in the course of a day.
But it wasn’t me he was after.
He was in an attack mode pursuit of the male northern cardinal that lives in the pine tree on the property line buffering his palatial manor.
Apparently, that cardinal isn’t too happy with Forbusher’s creative land use either because, to hear Forbusher tell it, the bird has been attacking every one of the umpteen million windows in my neighbor’s new castle, leaving orange smudges all over the glass from its ferocious pecking.
Hearing that, I thought Forbusher had come calling to accuse me of giving him the bird, so to speak, and that I was somehow in cahoots with nature to retaliate for his winter reconstruction activities.
Standing on the sidewalk, scratching our heads in an unfamiliar state of neighbors trying to communicate with one another, we must have made a pretty easy target for the laughing gulls, a squadron of whom hovered overhead, laughing and showering us with unopened clams and other unmentionable substances.
Forbusher was taking this shabby treatment from nature personally and he was full of resentment.
After all, he reasoned, he had invested in the Wildwoods at a time when the resort was in decline, populated only by losers like me.
He associated himself with the island’s current renaissance.
He figured that all the money he’d put out entitled him to some respect from the local population, human and otherwise. He looked askance at me when he said that.
His bruised ego was mended a bit when I informed him that that daffy bird has been staging kamikaze attacks on the windows of our PT Cruiser since mid-April.
But he paled considerably, imagining that bird going at his shiny new Hummer.
Having been designated the “neighborhood nature nut” it fell to me to explain to Forbusher that northern cardinals have been known to behave bizarrely.
Of course, there are theories as to why, such as the bird seeing his reflection and attacking what it figures to be a territorial rival.
I suggested shades for the windows but he bristled at that, since he enjoyed terrific views in all directions and didn’t want to give them up.
That caused me to bristle a bit since his views came at my expense.
Forbusher next suggested cutting down the pine tree and depriving the bird its hideout. But since that tree was the only object offering me any protection from the monstrosity he had created, I vetoed the suggestion.
 I explained that the behavior was likely to stop shortly and therefore destroying the last vestige of nature in the neighborhood was a bit of overkill.
But Forbusher was relentless, determined to do something about this red menace and felt no sympathy for the cardinal whatsoever.
Then I whispered that the bird’s erratic behavior might have to do with the fact that cardinals mate for life.
His eyes opened wide and he nodded in complete understanding.
Just then, a shrill call from the castle impatiently summoned Forbusher. The lady of the manor was anxious to get out to the new shopping complex in Rio Grande to pick up “a few odds and ends.”
Reprieve for the cardinal. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, the next time that bird goes knocking at the Forbushers, the male on the other side of the glass knocks just as emphatically back.
Paris Hilton, having heard all the fuss about Gus, will be in North Wildwood next week.
Just kidding.
With all the fuss that was made this winter about the city’s first mayor, Augustus “Gus” Hilton, I figured it was an even bet that Paris would breeze onto the island, if only drawn by the same sense of morbid curiosity that would inspire anyone to sit through her remade version of the Vincent Price classic, “House of Wax.”
 And where is Gus at this moment? No doubt gussying himself up as North Wildwood’s big event fast approaches, the city’s centennial celebration.
An assortment of events and activities are scheduled for May 12-16. The city should be awash in red, white, and blue as celebration organizers are asking residents to prominently display the flag, banners and bunting throughout the month.
Commemorative pavers will be laid along Atlantic Avenue to the entrance of City Hall. Donations of $100 are being accepted for some 1800 bricks and donors can have a name or message engraved on their own personalized brick.
That project is being handled by Steve Murray, North Wildwood’s superintendent of parks and grounds. Deadline for contributions is June 15.
For information on the paver project, call 522-4520.
The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, which is actually older than the city of North Wildwood and seems to be bearing the test of time a bit better, will offer free admission and tours on Sunday, May 14 to mark the event.
Watch next week’s Herald for more details on the celebration.
  The first annual Friends of VIM beef ‘n beer takes place Friday, May 12 from 6-9 p.m. at the Windrift Hotel, 80th Street and the beach, Avalon.
VIM’s clinic in Cape May Court House provides free medical care for local citizens who lack health insurance.
The benefit will feature a full buffet and choice of house wine or draft beer.
There will be a variety of entertainment provided also a 50-50.
Tickets cost $25 and will be available at the door. Order in advance by calling Marcy Lefevre at 368-6787, Micki Goldberg, 463-3529, or Stu Hartman, 675- 0472.
I was away last week and missed a few items that I would like to have mentioned in last week’s column.
One of these was Crest Memorial School’s Fun Friday, which took place last Friday. The entire community participated, along with Crest Memorial students and staff for an evening of fun relay races coordinated by Andy Ridgeway.
It was fun for a good cause as the event raised money for the Robin Thompson Scholarship Fund.
Robin was a teacher at Crest Memorial School and the scholarship named in her honor has awarded $1,000 scholarships to college-bound CMS graduates over the past eleven years.
Attention all writers. Pre-registration forms are available for North Wildwood’s fourth annual Beach Writer’s Conference which takes place June 6-8 at Montego Bay Resort Hotel and Conference Center, 17th and the boardwalk.
Some of this year’s topics include “Getting a Contract in 30 Days or Less” and “How Publishing Is Being Changed with New Technologies.”
Most of the events are free. The dinner keynote session on June 7 costs $20 and breakfast with the writers on June 8 costs $7.
Conference Chairman Jake Schaad recommends early registration. To get your forms, call 522-7722 or (800) 882-7787.
Speaking of writers, congratulations to a group of young writers from Crest Memorial School whose work was recognized for April’s Principal’s Corner.
The corner showcases the essays, poems, and stories of outstanding young authors in grades three-eight.
April’s honorees are: Gia Tammaro, Hayden Garrabrant, Macie Haw-thorne, Melonie Weaver (third),
Alex Yecco, Amanda Holland, Thomas DePaul, Dominic Orlandini, Paul Young, Dylan SanInocencio (fourth),
Brooke Lord, Elizabeth Ferry, Jake Martin, Ryan Malinowski (fifth),
Katie Quinn, Brieann Gorski, Carl Young (sixth),
Courtney Nichols, Rasheria Griffin, Janice Hansel, Kelisa Valinote, Chris Catanese (seventh),
Natalie Green, Emily Tillotson, and Drew Ankney (eighth).
West Wildwood will hold its annual American Family Festival on July 1. It’s not too soon for vendors to sign up to participate.
For more information, call Joan Schultz at 224-3168.
Wildwood High School classes of 1957, ’58, and ’59 are holding a reunion on Friday, June 2 at 6 p.m. at Garfield’s, Spicer and Pacific avenues.
For information, call Pat at 390-0463 or Diane at 463-0081.
  There will be a free rabies clinic on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wildwood maintenance building, Hudson and Schellenger avenues. Licenses for Wildwood and West Wildwood will be for sale.
Owners are required to have animals caged or on a leash.
Cape Catholic Singles is hosting a dance party for singles over 30 on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the VFW, 3816 Pacific Ave.
Cost is $12. Call 398-4071 for more info.
Kenneth Little Hawk will visit Margaret Mace School on May 15 to present two Native American assemblies for all grades in the school auditorium.
Some of the lessons that will be presented teach about self-respect, respect for one another and for the environment.
Margaret Mace School hosts its second annual Summer Job Fair on Tuesday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. The island’s elementary and high school students, ages 14 and older, are invited to participate.
Employers have been invited to take employment applications and interview students. Some of the employers who participated in last year’s fair include Morey’s Piers, Gateway 26, and Bill’s Beach Rentals.
Employers interested in reserving space for this year’s fair should contact Lisa Kobierowski at 522-1454 during regular school hours.

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