Thursday, December 3, 2009

Through the Old Anch Window

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Vaughn Comforts


Vaughn Comforts on the Somers Point Circle.
Photo from Bill Carr's collection.

Long before Chris Mathews was a singing waiter at Your Father's Mustache, on the other side of the circle, there was Vaughn Comfort's, where the Chinese restaurant is today.

Before the excavated it, Vaughn Comfort's sat up on a hill on pilings and overlooked the bay.

Vaughn Comfort himself hired the singing waiters, and since there was no air conditioning, you could hear them singing as you drove around the circle.

Legend has it on good authority that at one time, two young men came down from North Jersey and auditioned for jobs as singing waiters. They say that Vaughn Comfort would play the piano and have those auditioning sing from the other side of the room, and if he couldn't hear you, you didn't the job. One of the two guys from North Jersey got the job, the other didn't. His name was Frank Sinatra.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chris Matthews at Your Father's Mustache


Your Father's Mustache
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Postcard Title: Your Father's Mustache
Chrome PM 1968
Where The Time of Your Life is Right Under Your Nose. Boston - Cape Cod - New York - New Orleans - St. Louis - Denver - Somers Point - Philadelphia - Chicago featuring the "Mustache stumpers" The world's finest (only) authentic Banjo Band appearing Nightly at All Locations.

Type: Chrome
Stamp: 5C
Postmark/Cancel: 1968
Size: 3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)

Boston, Cape Cod, New York, New Orleans, St. Louis, Denver - SOMERS POINT?

Thanks to Andrew Anchorage for giving me the head's up on this one.

Chris Matthews appeared on Jay Leno and when asked a series of questions, said that his worst job ever was as a singing waiter at Your Father's Mustache in Somers Point, New Jersey.

Chris, of course, is the MSNBC political commentator who went to college in Philly and spent summers at the Jersey Shore, living in Ocean City and working at the Chaterbox and Your Father's Mustache.

Located on the south side of the Somers Point Circle, in the triangular lot that is now used for parking for the Crab Trap, Your Father's Mustache was a themed bar with a Dixieland band and guaranteed good time will be had by all.

It burnt down at some point, and the liquor license was sold and transferred, to possibly the Med diner, but I'm not sure on that and will have to check it out.

Chris Matthews appeared on "The Jay Leno Show" for its "Ten @ Ten" segment, where he revealed his past as a singing waiter, said he wouldn't appear on the "Glenn Beck" show, recited the Declaration of Independence, and showed off his impression of Bill Clinton.

His ten answers below:

1. The oddest job he ever had was as a singing waiter at Father's Mustache in Somers Point, NJ. He was fired because he didn't clap right.

2. Asked if he's ever seen a ghost, Matthews replied: "Yeah, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. These guys, you think they're dead and they keep coming back!"
3. The last concert he went to was U2 Tuesday night in Washington.
4. The last movie to make him laugh was "The Hangover."
5. One political show he will not appear on is Fox News' "Glenn Beck."
6. One guest who was so upset by his "Hardball" appearance that he never came back was Georgia Senator Zell Miller. Miller challenged Matthews to a duel while in New York for the 2004 Republican National Convention.
7. Matthews is able to recite the Declaration of Independence in 15 seconds.
8. He can do a mean impression of Bill Clinton.
9. His biggest junk-food weakness is Starbucks apple fritters.
10. Jon Stewart gave him his worst review of his career.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Greg Gregory and Ron Denney


Somers Points Master of Ceremonies Greg Gregory and Rear Admiral Ron Denney in front of Somers Mansion in Somers Point on Richard Somers Day, September 13, 2009.
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Richard Somers Day at Somers Mansion


That's Rear Admiral Ron Denney on the left talking with Mayor Jack Glasser, Assemblyman Matt Milam and Senator Jeff Van Drew. Assemblyman Nelson Albano was also on hand.
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State Park Super Lorraine McCay


State Park Superintendeant Lorraine McCay is stationed at Belle Plain state forest in Cape May County, and is one of those New Jersey State Park officials responsible for Somers Mansion, one of the oldes homes in the State, and once the home of Richard Somers' grandfather, John Somers.

The Somers Mansion was standing for two generations before Richard Somers was born in 1776.

The Mansion used to be owned by Atlantic County, but they turned it over to the State, for better maintance.

The Walt Whitman House on Mickle Street in Camden is another historic building that is maintained by the NJ State Parks.
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Austin Smith portrays Richard Somers


Austin Smith portays Richard Somers in authentic period regallia.

Austin is a Somers Point school student of teacher Mary Rydzewski, who actually teaches about Richard Somers and the Barbary Pirates.
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Richard Somers Interviewed

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Richard Somers Role Model

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Sally Hastings President SPHS

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Sage Sinopoli sings the National Anthem


Sage Sinopoli sings the National Anthem
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Rear Admiral Ron Denney (USNR)

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Flag, Greg Gregory and Somers Mansion

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Boy Scouts and Citizens of the Point


Boy Scouts and Citizens of Somers Point. That's Bob from the Theater group on the left, then Jeffrey Richards of Grace Luthern Church, the Mayor, and assemblymen.
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Seth Grossman on Relevance


Seth Grossman, founder of the Libertarian Liberty & Prosperity, speaks by the American flag at Somers Mansion in Somers Point.
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Great Egg Bay from Somers Mansion


View of Great Egg Bay from Somers Mansion.

That's a construction trailer on the left, finishing up the work on the new bridges to Ocean City.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bobby Rydell's Bay Shores Days

Bobby Rydell's Bay Shores

I looked up at the TV and there was a photo of Bobby Rydell, but I couldn't hear the sound, and somebody said he died. Then somebody confirmed it. Yea, Bobby Rydell's dead.

So I started thinking about writing his obit, and how he played at Bay Shores in Somers Point when he was just a kid, playing drums in a band Rocco & the Saints, along with his South Philly neighbor Frankie Avalon, who played trumpet.

The two would go on to become teen sensations, both with numerous hits, and Rydell getting a part in the movie, "Bye, Bye, Birdie," an Elvis in the Army takeoff.

But then, when I checked the news on the internet, nothing on Rydell dying, so he didn't die.

Then I got the reports from Philly that he drove his car, a classic, off the road, and was tested for DWI.

But he ain't dead, yet.

Here's two reports of the incident:

Cops await Rydell test
by Dan Gross

Philadelphia Daily News

LOWER MERION Police are awaiting the results of a blood test that Bobby Rydell took Monday afternoon after the crooner crashed his Bentley into the wall of a Main Line yoga studio.

Rydell, listed on an accident report under his real name,Robert Ridarelli, was briefly taken into custody but has not been charged. "Alcohol may have been involved," Bill Boegly, captain of operations for the Lower Merion Police Department, told us yesterday. Rydell told Action News Tuesday that he had "a couple drinks at lunch," but he didn't think he was impaired.

Boegly said that if Rydell's blood test shows that he was over the legal limit of .08 percent, he could face charges for striking the Jai Yoga Studio (727 Montgomery) in Narberth. Boegly said that Rydell is not prohibited from leaving the area, which is good, as he is working the Suncoast, in Las Vegas, this weekend.

Rydell declined to speak with us yesterday, although his wife, Linda Hoffman Rydell, said that she was glad nobody was hurt and wished that the incident had not become such a big deal. She said that Rydell told her that he had been trying to turn into the parking lot to get away from a car that had been following too closely behind him. She also said that there was no body damage to the Bentley in the crash.
In October 2005, Rydell readily admitted that he had had too much to drink when we called him about a report that he had fallen on the casino floor at the Atlantic City Hilton.

Inquirer Columnis Michael Klein reported, Thu. Aug. 20, 2009

Wildwood daze

Actor/teen idol Bobby Rydell gave a blood sample Monday afternoon to Lower Merion Township police after he drove his green 1969 Bentley into a decorative pole, shrubbery, and a landscape wall outside a yoga salon on Montgomery Avenue in Narberth.

Police Capt. Bill Boegly told me there was evidence of alcohol consumption, and Rydell told 6ABC the next day that he had had a "couple of drinks at lunch."

No charges were filed pending results of the blood test. Rydell, 67, was unavailable yesterday afternoon, but his wife, Linda, said he had been on his way to the Acme that afternoon to pick up potato salad when he pulled into the driveway of Jai Yoga to elude a tailgater. She said he turned too wide. There were no injuries.

Linda Hoffman Rydell said her husband had failed a field-sobriety test because police asked him to lift his leg. "He had a hip replacement and he was at the knee doctor that morning," she said. "He can't lift it on a good day."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harrisburg Patriot-News Article

New theory
in old mystery

Forty years ago, a Camp Hill native and her friend were killed as they were leaving New Jersey. A novel links the slayings to serial killer Ted Bundy.


— John Luciew, jluciew@patriot-

Serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in 1989. He confessed to the murder of at least 30 girls and women, and authorities suspect he might have killed up to 100 across the country. A new novel describes Bundys potential involvement in two 1969 slayings in New Jersey.

Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry, who were killed in New Jersey in 1969, were last seen alive at the Point Diner. BELOW: A 1969 edition of the Atlantic City Press announces the slayings.


She would have been 59 this year, the woman from Camp Hill with the long brown hair and bright, aware eyes staring out from faded yellow newsprint.

But Susan Davis, heiress to a family beverage business, never returned from her post-graduation jaunt to Ocean City, N.J., with a friend.

It was the week leading up to Memorial Day 1969. The two 19-year-old daughters of privilege who had just graduated from an all-women junior college in Illinois took off in a baby-blue Chevy convertible for the beach.

After four days of sunning in the sand and strolling the boardwalk, they were heading back to Davis family home in Camp Hill early that Friday.

A 4:30 a.m. breakfast at the Somers Point Diner, and they headed north on the Garden State Parkway.

They never made it off the highway.

Three days later, on Memorial Day, a highway maintenance worker found the womens bodies in a wooded thicket 200 feet from the northbound lanes.

Theyd each been stabbed, the multiple wounds inflicted with a small knife — possibly a pen or paring knife, according to the autopsy.

The case has never been solved.

Were they early victims of a fledgling serial killer later known to the world as Ted Bundy, who preyed on coeds and was executed in 1989?

That possibility is the subject of a new novel, The Origins of Infamy, penned by a New Jersey lawyer whos been transfixed by the case since childhood.

I got to tell you, I keep looking for a reason to say Bundy didnt do it, author Christian Barth said.

Bundy never said for sure whether he committed the 1969 murders. He confessed to more than 30 others, but authorities suspect that he may have killed as many as 100 girls and women in Florida, Idaho, Colorado, Washington and Utah.

In the winter of 1969, Bundy took acting classes at Temple University. He got good grades in acting and stage makeup.

He later admitted to visiting New York City and Ocean City that May.

Bundy described the sexual stew of Times Square — the first stop on his spring trip in 1969 — as an early trigger of his violent fantasies involving women.

He also confessed that he first formed the idea of killing a woman on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Barth said.

Bundys earliest confirmed murders were committed in Washington state in 1974, when he was 27. But some Bundy experts believe he might have started killing earlier, as far back as his early teens.

Bundys victims looked like Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry — white, middle-class women, many of them college students, most with long, straight hair parted in the middle, and almost all between the ages of 15 and 25.

But the stabbings in New Jersey differ from Bundys usual M.O. of creeping into womens rooms at night or luring them into his Volkswagen Beetle, then strangling and bludgeoning them to death.

Echo of the violence The Atlantic County Prosecutors Office and the New Jersey State Police have never closed the book on the 40-year-old case.

County Prosecutor Theodore F. L. Housel said Friday that his office recently began a fresh review of the case, including all of the physical evidence, a move he said was unrelated to publicity surrounding Barths novel.

And while Atlantic County authorities seemed to dismiss Bundys involvement in the crime, Housel said, At this point, the office cannot rule out the involvement by Bundy.
What isnt in dispute is the nature of the crime.

Davis, a 1967 graduate of Harrisburg Academy who went on to Monticello Junior College in Godfrey, Ill., died of a wound to her neck that cut her larynx. She also had stab wounds on the left side of her abdomen.

Perry, of Excelsior, Minn., Davis best friend and classmate at Monticello, died of a stab wound to the chest that penetrated her right lung. She also suffered wounds to her abdomen and neck.

Davis was nude when her body was found, while Perry was fully clothed. The autopsy report didnt reveal if either woman had been sexually assaulted.

Years later, an echo of the violence touched Barth.

Driving down the Garden State Parkway on a family vacation to Stone Harbor, his mother made a chance remark as the car zoomed past mile marker 31.9, where the womens bodies were discovered.

I just recall my mother saying, They never did find who did those murders, did they?¤ Barth said. You could stare into the woods and wonder what happened there.

In researching the book, Barth retraced the womens steps — the Ocean City rooming house where they stayed, the Somers Point diner where they were last seen alive, and the wooded spot off the parkway where their bodies were found under a light covering of leaves among oaks and scrub pines.

Barth contacted members of the Davis family, owners of Davis Beverage Group, which still has operations in the Harrisburg area and is headquartered in Bethlehem.

I have tremendous respect for these families, Barth said. All I can say on the record is they were supportive of my efforts.

Phone messages left for Susans father and brother at their corporate offices in Bethlehem werent returned.

Barth changed the victims names in his book out of sensitivity to the families.

Desperate for leads In Ocean City, a family-centered boardwalk town where you cant even buy a beer, and in Somers Point, its sister city across the bay thats home to many Atlantic City casino workers, the unsolved case still resonates. Barth described being swamped at book signings by residents. People were coming off the street saying, I was 20 years old then, I remember that,¤ Barth said. So many people remember and were fascinated by it and wonder what happened.

One who never forgot is Somers Point journalist William E. Kelly Jr.

In 1969, Kelly had just graduated high school. He took a summer job in an Ocean City pizza shop and was living a half-block off Ninth Street, near the rooming house where the murdered women stayed.

Memorial Day was a great holiday weekend, Kelly said — the festivities unmarred by early reports of the missing women.

Nobody gave a second thought, he said, even as Davis and Perrys parents chartered a helicopter to comb the Parkway from the air in search of a wreck that might be invisible from the road.

But when the bodies were found Monday, everything changed.

The New Jersey State Police set up a trailer in the parking lot of the Point Diner and tried desperately to develop leads, Kelly said.

But every tip was a dead end. So were the anniversary attempts made by police on Memorial Day weekends to pass out fliers and question the beachgoing throngs.

Kelly never gave up. He wrote about the case throughout his career. He, too, explored the connection with Bundy, interviewing the serial killers psychiatrist.

Last year, Kelly received a call from a reader claiming the women had a fender-bender with a Volkswagen van with Arizona or New Mexico tags the day before they were murdered. It led nowhere. (yet).

Does the case have a chance of being solved?

One of the problems is the police dont want to positively identify Bundy as the parkway killer because they would feel responsible for not solving this case and preventing the other [murders], Kelly said.

Another problem is the summer of 1969 itself.

It proved to be a roll call of momentous events — the moon walk, Woodstock, mounting protests against the Vietnam War. For many, any memory of the murders was quickly displaced, Kelly said.

And now, 40 years later, almost nothing is the same.

The hotels and cheap boarding houses in Ocean City where the college kids once stayed for $8 a night have been replaced by condos renting for $2,000 a week, Kelly said. The old rock ¤n roll nightclubs in Somers Point are now restaurants.

Only the two victims remain unchanged.

Forever smiling in those newspaper photographs, Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry have never aged.

Best seller? The 1969 murders of 19-year-old Susan Davis of Camp Hill and classmate Elizabeth Perry along New Jerseys Garden State Parkway is the basis for a novel, The Origins of Infamy.

New Jersey lawyer- turned-author Christian Barth centers his fictionalized account of the so-called Parkway murders, on the much-debated involvement of serial killer Ted Bundy, then a Temple University student who admitted being in Ocean City, N.J., around the time the women were vacationing there.

The bodies of both women were found on Memorial Day about 200 feet from the northbound lanes of the expressway north of the Somers Point/ Ocean City exit. Both had been stabbed to death the previous Friday, shortly after departing Somers Point for Camp Hill.

The book, published last month by, takes the reader into Bundys mind, but leaves open the question of whether this crime was Bundys first as a serial killer.

The book is available in softcover for $17.95 on and

John Luciew
Harrisburg, PA

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Press of AC Front Page MD 1969


Press of Atlantic City Front Page Memorial Day 1969
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Parkway Murders - Cold Case Gets Hot?

After 40 Years the Parkway Murders Cold Case Gets Hot

By William Kelly

It was a cold case from the start when the bodies of Elizabeth Davis and Susan Perry were found three days after they were murdered over the Memorial Day weekend, 1969.

The college coeds had spent a few days in Ocean City before the holiday weekend and left their 9th street rooming house early on Friday morning, ate breakfast at the Point Diner and then disappeared down the Parkway north, heading home to Pennsylvania.

By Monday, when it was realized that an abandoned convertible towed off the Parkway Friday morning was the car belonging to the missing girls, the bodies were found in the woods nearby.

There were many leads followed and many suspects checked out over the years, including two mass murders in Florida prisons who confessed to having killed the girls, but closing the case remained elusive for the Atlantic County Prosecutor and the lead investigators – the New Jersey State Police.

Now, 40 years later, there’s a new book about the murders, a new State Police investigator has been assigned the case, and a new lead may develop additional suspects.

Christian Barth, a lawyer from Cherry Hill, N.J., has recently published a book, The Origins of Infamy, which describes how serial killer Ted Bundy may have committed the crime. The book, which is available on line at Amazon [], is also available at Sun Rose Books in Ocean City, where Barth will be selling and signing copies of his book on Wednesday, June 22, from 5 to 8 pm.

According to the publisher’s synopsis, “Based on a true story, The Origins of Infamy tells of Ted Bundy's alleged involvement in the murder of two coeds at the Jersey Shore on Memorial Day 1969.”

“Speaking to his biographer on the eve of his execution, Bundy is offered the chance of clemency in exchange for a confession to his involvement in the unsolved deaths. Before learning what transpired that weekend two decades earlier, journalist Richard Larsen, author of The Deliberate Stranger, is led on a psychological journey through the condemned murderer's past. From Bundy's own voice, Larsen learns the root causes motivating him to become America's most notorious serial killer. Beginning on Death Row at Florida State Penitentiary, then traveling back in time to Seattle, Philadelphia, New York City, and Ocean City, New Jersey, The Origins of Infamy vividly recreates a historical account of New Jersey's most famous cold case.”

Ocean City historian Fred Miller has said, "Barth's novel is a spellbinding reimagination of one of the more disturbing unsolved cold cases in local history. With hope, perhaps his work shall bring closure to this troubling mystery."
Drawing on details of the crime, Barth develops a plausible scenario as to what really happened.

But did Bundy do it?

The investigation never really tried to find out, as they never checked Bundy’s gas credit cards from when he was a student at Temple, or compared his fingerprints to the prints found on the car, or attended the Bund Conference at Quantico after he was executed to see if he could have been responsible for other crimes.

Now however, there is a new lead in the investigation, as a local insurance man has said that on the day before they were murdered the two girls were in a fender bender accident with two young men in a Volkswagen Van. The insurance man handled the claim and after the murders informed the New Jersey State Police about the incident, but was never contacted. Did that lead get lost in the shuffle of leads at the time of the murders?

With a new State Police investigator responsible for the case, both Bundy and the boys in the VW Van will probably be checked out, as well as other leads that failed to pan out before.

Two things are for certain however, whoever is responsible for the murders, committed other crimes, and may still be committing them, and the details make for stimulating reading on the beach this summer.

Bill Kelly can be reached at

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Simon Lake and the Wright Brothers


By William Kelly

To fly with the birds, run like horses, to sink and swim with fishes, to move and go where no man has gone before, to do things man has never done and be the first to do it, were all hallmarks of man’s great technological leaps of the last century.

It’s not a coincidence that Simon Lake went down under, Henry Ford and Harley-Davidson drove and the Wright brothers flew for the first time, all within a short span of time. It was the age of invention, sparked in part by the machine age, when engine power replaced horsepower and propel man into the new century.

That Simon Lake and the Wright brothers were contemporaries is apparent, but that they were also acquaintances, mutual admirers, business associates and possible collaborators is a fascinating footnote to history that has been overlooked and is worth exploring. He may have even designed and built a practical flying machine two years before the Wright brothers.

The Lake family, originally from Pleasantville, purchased Peck’s Beach from the Somers family of Somers Point, and converted the island into the Christian family resort of Ocean City, New Jersey.

When Ralph Lake returned to Ocean City from his Hawaiian coffee plantation to visit his mother and family, he said that his research into his family’s history showed a number of Lake men marrying Somers women, paving the way for the Lake family to convert what the Somers family used as a cattle pen for their plantation, into a full-fledged resort city, just as they had done to Absecon Island and Atlantic City.

What Ralph Lake thought peculiar however, was a short reference to the Wright brothers having a business relationship with Simon Lake, correspondence between them, and the probability that they shared addresses and administrative office space together in London.

Daniel Lake, who gave Pleasantville it’s name, had a son Jesse S. Lake, who married Phoebe Somers, daughter of John R. and Sarah Somers. Jesse was an practical inventor of such things as a whistling buoy, a steering wheel for yachts, rolling shades, a weighting scale and tractor, securing patents for 65 items. Then there was Simon Lake, who married Harriet Somers, the daughter of James and Martha Somers. He was the grandfather of the Simon Lake who invented one of the first practical submarines. Lucas lake, who built the first “turnpike” road to Atlantic City, married Rachel Somers, Phoebe’s sister.

It was John Christopher Lake, whose son Simon Lake, developed the “Argonaut, Jr.,” submarine and organized the Lake Submarine Company. According to the Genealogy of the Lake Family, “In 1901 and 1902 while living at Rutherford, N.J., he invented his flying machine and announced it in the New York Herald over his own signature as follows: “I have a practical everyday flying machine regardless of ordinary wind or weather for air, land and water.” Signed, J. Christopher Lake.”

“This announcement created a furore at that time; but owning to the then questionable practicability of the submarine boat and to the utter impossibility of the flying machine, he was induced to lay the flying machine aside and devote his energies and resources to the submarine interests. This he did for some years and removed to Bridgeport. As VP of the Company, he looked after its business in the United States for some years whenever the President (his son Simon) was in Europe. After the submarine became more popular and the first order was received from the Untied States for a Lake boat and its success was assured, he returned quietly to the promotion of his flying machine. He subsequently purchased the property of the Nutmeg Park Driving Association, with adjoining property of about fifty acres,...After experimenting, building and testing out flying machines within the grounds, he reopened and rechrisened it the “Bridgeport Aerodrome.” It was commonly known, however, as the “Lake Aerodrome”; here was held the first and most successful aviation meet in the State. Since this time he has organized the Lake Aero Company, Inc…having the exclusive rights of manufacture and sale of his flying machine inventions, of his air-borne motor boats, and his flying boats.”

As a student at the University of Dayton, Ohio, I was quite familiar with the Wright brothers. I had to walk past their graves every morning on my way to school, cutting across the cemetery to get to class, and having read most of the available biographies of the men. I had also been to Kill Devil Hill, at Kitty Hawk, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where the Wright brothers first flew a powered, controlled flight in December, 1903.

Having lived in Ocean City, I was also familiar with the Lake family and Simon Lake, the inventor of the first practical submarine, but a connection between the them was a link worth investigating.

While the Wright brothers had never graduated from high school, let alone college, and were humble bicycle mechanics, Simon Lake was the wealthy inventor who had patented ideas for vertical flight – the helicopter, and had developed a number of practical submarines. While the Wright brothers were experimenting with control devices on their gliders, Simon Lake had perfected workable submarines he called the Argonaut and the Protector.

Like the Wright brothers, who were competing with others in the race towards being the first man to fly, Simon Lake was up against Holland’s submarine, which had the endorsement of the US government. The Wright’s main competitor was Samuel P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.

While Simon Lake took parties down in his submarine, opened a hatch and caught some fish, cleaned and grilled them and held dinner parties on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, the Wright brothers were perfecting their control devices of their gliders. With the Wright brothers concentrating on control, pitch, roll using wing flaps, devices that are part of every successful flying machine from their first Wright Flyer to the Space Shuttle, Langley was convinced that flying was only a matter of getting enough power from an engine. In the fall of 1903 both of Langley’s well publicized and government financed ($30,000) flights fell right into the Potomac River. The Wrights suggested that Langley try to develop a submarine instead.

Lake had already succeeded in doing that, though the U.S. government declined to buy his Protector, built in 1901-1902. Both Japan and Russian, then at war, were keenly interested in Lake’s subs however, and Lake made a deal with the Ruskies. He shipped the first Protector to St. Petersburg, where it was sent to Vladivostok, 6,000 miles across Russia to Siberia on special railroad cars. The Protector, renamed the Osetr, worked and six more were ordered, and built by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co. and formed the basis of the Russian submarine fleet. Other nations took interest, including the Krupps of Germany, as well as England and France.

Meanwhile, the Wright brothers, on December 17, 1903, flew man’s first powered, controlled flights at Kill Devil Hills, and then retreated to their home in Dayton, where they perfected their “Flyer” over Huffman field, a cow pasture that’s now the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and air museum.

While the Wrights too were having a hard time convincing the U.S. Government and the Army of the utility of their new invention, a flying machine, Simon Lake was in Europe selling his submarines to foreign governments.

From the one citation that Ralph Lake noticed in “Argonaut – the Submarine Legacy of Simon Lake” (By John J. Poluhowich, p. 102), there is the reference that, “…Hart Berg asked Lake to review a proposal that had been submitted….Berg said, “Simon, here is a lot of stuff (Flint) sent over. He has evidently got hold of another ‘crazy inventor’, a man who thinks he can fly, and tells me he can get the European rights to this invention if we assist in financing the building of one of these flying machines.” The ‘crazy inventor’ was Wilber Wright. Lake had an interest in flight….and spent the better part of that evening reviewing the Wright patents and came to the conclusion that the brothers’ claims were justifiable and that the plane would fly. He recommended to Berg that he contact Flint immediately and sign a contract with the brothers as their representative. Inadvertently, Lake did not ask to be a subscriber to their venture, a mistake he would later regret. Flint had requested that Lake permit the Wright brothers to use one of his offices as their European headquarters. Lake befriended Wilber Wright and was able to witness one of the aviator’s first flights at LeMans, France.”

While Orville Wright stayed at home, attempting to convince the Army of the usefulness of the airplane for our national defense, Wilber Wright went to Europe to sell their invention to foreign governments, where he hooked up with Simon Lake, already successful in such dealings.

With Wilber in Europe demonstrating the airplane to the skeptical Europeans, Orville flew at Fort Meyer, Virginia. After a few successful demonstrations, a propeller shaft broke and the plane crashed, injuring Orville and killing his passenger, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, one of the first casualties of flying. Eventually, the Army set a requirement of a two seated flying machine that could stay aloft for at least one hour, and when Orville flew around the Virginia country side for over and hour and fifteen minutes before landing, and no other attempts were made, the Army bought a Wright airplane and began training pilots.

In France, Wilber was breaking new duration records every time he went up in the air. In September 1908 at Le Mans, France, Wilber put on a remarkable demonstration of flying, and after he landed, Mrs. Edith Hart O. Berg asked if she could go for a ride. Without further documentation, Mrs. Berg is most probably the wife of Hart Berg, Simon Lake’s assistant who handled the correspondence from Wilber Wright.

Tying her long skirt down with a rope, Mrs. Berg became the first American women to fly as a passenger in an airplane, taking a short, two minute, seven second flight seated to the right of Wilber Wright. According to reports, “A French fashion designer watching the flight was impressed with the way Mrs. Berg walked away from the aircraft with her skirt still tied. Mrs. Berg was then credited with inspiring the famous ‘Hobble Skirt” fashion.” [Photos of Mrs. Berg in the plane are at: ]

One other reference to the Lake and Wright brothers collaboration comes from the website Simon Lake Who? [ ], which notes, “Simon Lake…shared part of his London office with the Wright brothers who were also forced to market their inventions abroad due to lack of interest by the US government. The inventors first met when the Wright brothers submitted their airplane designs to Simon Lake for his review before making their famous Kitty Hawk flight.”

So there you have it, Simon Lake, the man inspired by Jules Vernes’ “2000 Leagues Under the Sea” who developed the first practical submarine, was a mentor, business associate and friend of the Wright brothers, and played a role in the development and marketing of their invention, the airplane. Xxxx

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bundy and the Parkway Murders 1989

Bundy and the Parkway Murders

The SandPaper (of Ocean City, N.J.)
February, 1989

Psychologist Says He Is the One
Ted Bundy’s Last Words
On the Jersey Shore

“I’m convinced that he did it. And I believe that it was the first two murders he got into. He had no reason to lie.” –


Shortly before serial-killer Ted Bundy was executed last month he was asked if he had murdered anyone in the state of New Jersey. He said no.

After Bundy died however, Dr. Arthur Norman, a forensic psychologist who had interviewed him on numerous occasions, was freed of the bond of confidentiality with his former patient. And Norman now says otherwise.

On October 31, 1986 on Death Row of the Florida State Penitentiary, Bundy talked with Norman about his trip to the East Coast in 1989 when he lived with his aunt in Philadelphia and attended Temple University.

Bundy, “…trying to get this thing from the East Coast to the West Coast. Sort of a symbolic transition. So he spent that whole winter going to New York and doing that thing on 42nd Street. You know, talk about getting pushed to the edge with the most sophisticated, explicit pornography available in this country. And everything else is going on.”

“So he decided to take a little bit of a jaunt to what they call the shore – the Jersey Shore. This is early summer (1969). So after being more or less detached from people for a long period, the preceding period of which he didn’t have any friends, didn’t go anyplace, just had school and entertained himself with this pornographic hobby, he drove to the shore and walked on the beach.”

“…He sees young women lying on the beach. It was like a kind of over-whelming kind of vision, which you know – Evidently he found himself tearing around the place for a couple of days. Eventually, without really planning anything, he picked up a couple of young girls, and it ended up it was the first time he had ever done it. So when he left for the coast, it was not just getting away, it was more like an escape.”

Ted Bundy said those things to Norman during one of a dozen interviews that stretched over some 50 hours. Norman was trying to get a psychological portrait of Bundy to determine whether he was competent to stand trial for the murder of two young women in Florida.

“This has to be put into proper context,” Norman said in a recent telephone interview from his Portland, Oregon office. “I don’t believe he was lying because he never lied to me again. This was a totally different kind of interview, not like one he had ever done before. He was talking about himself in the third person, then in the first person, and he was on a roll, so I just let him talk.”

When Norman fist heard Bundy discuss these things, he did not know that on Memorial Day weekend in 1969 Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry, both 19-year old college students, were found dead in the woods along the Garden State Parkway, not far from the Ocean City beach and boardwalk.

“I’m convinced he did it,” Norman said. “And I believe that it was the first two murders that he got into. He had no reason to lie to me, and if he was lying, he had been saving this information for 20 years just to con somebody. Or is this just an amazing coincidence, that he just happened to be there on Memorial Day before he went back to the West Coast, and two girls disappeared in that area at the time? That is an amazing coincidence then, and I don’t think he had a little book of crimes that he knew about that he could use to throw his psychologist off. Everything else he told me has been borne out, so why should he lie just about that? I believe him.”

Law enforcement officials are less certain. The prosecutor in Atlantic County called Norman’s repot inconclusive. And it was not viewed as substantial enough to include the New Jersey case at an FBI conference this week in Virginia, where the law officers from around the country are re-examining a number of unsolved crimes in light of Bundy’s last-minute confessions.

Lt. Barry Robenson, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Police said, “The FBI is aware of our Perry-Davis double homicide, however, we were not invited or notified about the Bundy conference, and do not have anyone there.” He said that the meeting was limited to law enforcement officials who had strong evidence linking Bundy to certain crimes.

This case has long been lacking strong evidence. Police were frustrated from the start. Although the state police had Susan Davis’ 1965 blue Chevrolet convertible towed off the parkway hours after the murders, they didn’t locate the bodies until three days later, enough time to stifle any quick solution to the killings.

At the time of the original investigation, Raymond Perry, the father of one of the victims, defended the police work in a open letter saying, “I comprehend their quality quite more clearly than do other residents who presume to criticize them. This is not to suggest that every last man on the force is a Sherlock Holmes, but it was apparent to me, and I’m sure I can speak for Mr. Davis, that they are dedicated and competent people trying to do a job against great odds.”

More recently, Mr. Perry was interviewed by Dick Larson, a reporter for the Seatle Times. Larson, who wrote a book about Bundy called The Deliberate Stranger, which was made into a TV movie, said that now, after 20 years, the father can talk about his daughter’s death. “Mr. Perry, who is now retired and living near Seattle, insists that there was excellent law enforcement work and the officers involved did their very best,” said Larson.

“As far as Bundy is concerned, they were interested, but cautious, not knowing quite what to make of it,” he said. “You realized the oddity we have here. These folks, the Perrys, whose daughter has just been murdered in New Jersey, come out here to live in the Seattle area and settle down. Then they hear in the news here that we start having girls disappear, the victims all being young girls who all look quite a bit alike. There was absolutely no reason for them to think Bundy was in any way at all linked to the death of their daughter.”

They also told Larson that they did not believe Bundy’s life should have been spared if he cooperated with authorities by confessing to other, unsolved crimes.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz, who is currently responsible for the investigation of the case, said, “I spoke to Dr. Norman. He relayed information that he had interviewed Bundy years ago and that he had come to the conclusion that Bundy was responsible for the co-ed murders.”

“I asked him if Bundy said he did it, and Norman said no. But based on what Bundy said, Norman said he could draw the conclusion that Bundy was responsible. That’s not satisfying,” Blitz said. “There are no details. And in Bundy’s confession a couple of days before he was killed he said nothing about New Jersey.”

“It’s a piece of evidence, a piece of that will be looked at as any other new piece of evidence will be. But you have to talk it for what it’s worth.”

On the status of the investigation of the co-ed murders today, nearly 20 years after the fact, Blitz said, “It’s an unsolved case.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

Somers Point Beach Concerts 2009


June 19 The Snake Brothers
Blue Grass, Folk Music, Folk Rock & Pop

June 26 Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Pack
Legendary Saxman from the Howlin Wolf Band

July 3 Hawkins Road with Danny Eyer
Country Rock, Country Music, Rock n Roll and Pop

July 4 The Bob Campanell Band
Classic Rock n Roll, Pop and a Patriotic Salute

July 10 The Shakes
Party Pop Music featuring the Sounds of Motown

July 17 Dr. Bobby Fingers featuring Howard Isaacson
Sing-a-Long to your Favorites! Pop & Rock Jazz Fusion

July 24 Curtis Salgado Band
World Famous Artist who “Taught the Blues to the Blues

July 31 Chris Sooy Swing Band featuring Lew London
Swing, Traditional Jazz & Great American Standards

August 7 The Kinsey Report
Caribbean Funk, Reggae, World Beat and R & B

August 14 Original “Eddie & the Cruisers” Saxman Michael “Tunes”
Antunes with The Billy Walton Band – Classic Rock

August 21 Commander Cody Band
Classic Rock, Swing and Boogie Woogie Piano

August 28 The Magnificent Seven featuring Bob Ferguson & Michael Pedicine, Jr.
Contemporary Jazz with a Big Band Sound

September 4 Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
Grammy Award Winning Zydeco and World Beat Music

September 11 Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
One of the World’s Greatest Guitarists - Classic Rock, Blues

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Billy Boyd at the Old Anch


Billy Boyd on the last day at the Old Anch
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Billy Boyd, a legendary bartender, worked at Somers Point in the 50s and 60s, and lived seasonally in a room above the Anchorage before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he owned the Parrot Lounge, a place popular with Philly guys.

A good, old friend of Andrews, Billy Boyd returned to Somers Point to attend the all day - all night party on the last day of the Old Anchorage.

That's Hank Merick behind him.

When I finished the shift at 7pm, and four bartenders replaced me and Bruce the Beard, Billy Boyd walked me up Delaware Avenue and bought me a whole lobster dinner.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coeds Found Murdered

Coeds Found Murdered

AP Story,4526482

United Press International telephos

Elizabeth Perry Susan Davis

Coeds found murdered

-An autopsy report today disclosed that two pretty coeds whose bodies were found near the Garden State Parkway were victims of murder and died of stab wounds.

Dr. Edwin Albano, New Jersey's chief medical examiner, said both girls, daughters of businessmen, died of wounds inflicted with a small knife, possibly a pen or paring knife. The autopsy report did not reveal if either girl had been sexually assaulted.

Elizabeth Perry, Excelsior, Minn., died of chest round that penetrated her right lung. She also suffered wounds in the abdomen and the side of her neck.

Susan Davis, of Camp Hill, Pa., died of a wound in the neck that cut her larynx. Miss Davis also had wounds on the left side of her abdomen and the right side of her neck.

The coeds, both 19-year-old, had been vacationing in Ocean City. Miss Perry was the daughter of Ray Perry, a bag company executive from Excelsior.

Miss Davis was the daughter of soft drink bottler Wesley S. Davis of Camp Hill.

The body of Miss Davis was nude. Miss Perry was fully clothed.

The girls had been unaccounted for since Friday when they started out from Ocean City, a popular teen-age beach resort where they had been vacationing, for Miss Davis' Pennsylvania home.

A state trooper found their car abandoned by the parkway about noon Friday. A search of the area was begun after their parents reported them missing Sunday. A parkway maintenance man found the bodies Monday about 150 yards from where the car was parked.

The girls had been students together at Montecello Junior College in Godfrey, Ill. School officials said Miss Perry had completed her freshman year at the two-year all-girls' school and that Miss Davis had graduated. Miss Davis planned to enter Ithaca (N.Y.) College this September.

Rome News-Tribte - June 3, 1969,4526482

Perry/Davis Murder Scene - 12:37am - [ Translate this page ]
Perry/Davis Murder Scene Elizabeth Perry and Susan Davis where found murdered here Memorial Day weekend in 1969 at mile marker 31.9 off the northbound ... - Similar pages -

Perry/Davis Murder Scene

Friday, May 22, 2009

1969 Garden State Parkway Murders Revisted

It was 40 years ago today that Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry, both 19 year old college students, packed their belongings from the Ocean City rooming house, drove across the causeway, ate their last breakfast at the Point Diner, and then drove onto the Garden State Parkway on their way home to Pennsylvania.

It was early in the morning, as they wanted to beat the Memorial Day weekend traffic.

Later in the day a New Jersey State Policeman, on his first patrol of the day, discovered their 1965 blue Chevrolet convertable on the side of the road, top down, and had it towed by Blazer's auto on Tilton Road.

Blazer put the car in his lot, and then went fishing for the weekend.

When the girls failed to return home, their parents notified the police, and then hired an airplane to search the roads they would have traveled, with no success.

By Tuesday morning, after the holiday was over, Blazer returned from his fishing trip, and saw the newspaper headlines about the missing girls, and the State Police realized that the car that was towed off the Parkway before the weekend was the missing car.

Searching the woods off the Parkway near where the car was found, just by the bridge over Patcong Creek, a Parkway employee Wood Faunce, discovered the bodies of the girls a few yards apart, stabbed to death.

The police set up a booth at the Point Diner, the last place they were seen alive, and solicited the public for information.

Following hundreds of leads, they came up empty, as the case was cold from the beginning.

Now, forty years later, people wonder what happened, what could have happened?

One major suspect, although not in the eyes of the police, serial murder Ted Bundy, was in the area at the time. Bundy had lived in Philadelphia, attended Temple University, and was driving a professor's car to California, using their credit card for gas.

Bundy says he went to New York city, went to the porn parlors at Times Square, and then drove down to Ocean City where he looked at all the girls on the 9th street beach. Davis and Perry were staying in a rooming house on 9th Street, a half block from the boardwalk, but wouldn't spend much time there. They went to the beach during the day and to Somers Point rock & roll bars at night.

Even though they were underage at the time, when the drinking age was 21, that was not a problem for beautiful college girls who dressed up and acted mature in those days.

After the bars closed at 2 am, they mingled with some new friends they had met, and then returned to their rooming house around 4 am where they packed their bags and headed across the Ocean City - Somers Point causeway to the Point Diner.

That's where they were last seen, and the autopsy showed that they ate breakfast about an hour before they were murdered.

There was one witness who says that they may have picked up a young man with his arm in a sling, who was hitch hiking. Others think they may have left with two young me who they had met earlier.

Bundy was considered a suspect by his prison psychologist who said, after Bundy was executed in Florida in 1989, that Bundy confessed to him of killing two victims at once, the first time he did it, and notified Atlantic City Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz, who discounted the Bundy story.

The New Jersey State Police didn't want to consider Bundy a suspect either, because if it was his first crime, their mishandling of the towing of the victim's car and late start of the investigation would have made them somewhat responsible for the fifty or so other murders Bundy has been suspect of committing afterwards.

But now, forty years later, another possible scenario has emerged, and it seems, has yet to be properly investigated.


Original Point Diner


Original Point Diner, Somers Point Circle, New Jersey.

Moved in the fifties to another location, where it is beleived to be still in operation.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nace, Lisa & Michelle Mahoney

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Rosie, Katie & Boston Rick

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Juke Box at the Old Anchorage

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Jimmy Duffy in Anch Phone Booth

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Michelle Mahoney and Carney


Michelle Mahoney, wife of Anchorage owner Don Mahoney, when she was a waitress at Gregory's and a customer at Charlie Carney's bar at the Old Anchorage.
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