Speak, Memory: Part One of a Three Part Reflection on Ocean City, NJ, in the Nineties

Attention residents of Daily Miltonian East: there’s an interesting interview with Robby Redcheeks (NJ, Philly, Hardcore, 90’s) here. Now, no one’s ever gonna mistake good old Robby for Proust, but he certainly nails a few key things about a truly special time in Pre-Internet American Youth History — a history that, without a few proud elephants walking around with this stuff in their heads, would become almost certainly completely buried by Time. Little documentation exists: a rumored VHS video of summer exploits in the hands of who knows, some fugitive flyers buried in a closet somewhere in New Jersey, a stray issue of Sandbox fanzine lost in Bensalem, a Crud demo stuffed in some forgotten shoebox, and ourselves, our collective memories.

Not to put too fine a point on it [editor: is that even possible to write without this song getting stuck in your head?], but the post-game analysis of undocumented history in the hyperaware age of Let’s Digitally Record Exististence Itself begs the question of, well, just what the fuck is history, anyway? “The more we try to explain sensibly these phenomena of history,” Tolstoy wrote, “the more senseless and incomprehensible they become for us.” Only by admitting the most infintesimal units for observation “can we hope to comprehend the laws of history.”

History began as a Greek philosopher’s pipe dream and ended as an entry on your blog; in between, there was Robby Redcheeks, Sean McCabe, and Ocean City, New Jersey. In short: there was Kano Summer.

Fort Saint Davids wasn’t a part of that, but your current narrator was at the circumference of it. There I was, a young man of only sixteen years, sitting on the bank of an otherwise placid lake, watching ripples of hitherto unknown proportions lap against the mud where I sat, thinking to myself: holy shit something big just went by. Except it wasn’t a lake, it was an ocean. “Beneath the paving stones, the beach…”, some crazy kid in Paris wrote on an impossibly bright afternoon in May, 1968. This is the shit he was talking about.

End Part One.

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