When I look at the beach ball tower multiple times a week, I am not impressed, although I understand I’m probably in the minority. I continue to view it as a missed opportunity for Ocean City to do something special.
Rather than basically copying an idea from Florida communities Pensacola Beach and Hallandale Beach, to name two, Ocean City had an opportunity with this tower design to do something creative and clever that could have brought a good deal of free publicity to the town.
Personally, I would have much rather seen a fishing scene, a beach landscape, amusement scene or even a Boardwalk design of some sort. It could have been opened up to photographers, artists and graphic designers to come up with a visual distinctive to Ocean City.
While the finished product is going to be met by applause because it’s colorful and appealing to the eye, there was a lost opportunity here. Rather than profiling some of the town’s unique aspects — the wide and clean beach, the long Boardwalk and robust fishing industry by showing a marlin jumping out of the water (this week’s front page image comes to mind) — the town went with a beach ball, which is the last thing anyone should ever take to our beaches around here. They just blow away, equally agitating parents, onlookers and little ones.
It would have surely cost a little more to paint or wrap the tower with one of the scenes I’m suggesting, but the end result would have certainly been more original to this resort. That’s at least what I think about every time I see this water tower.
It was five years ago last week that Dennis Dare was terminated as city manager in Ocean City. A lot has happened in the subsequent five years.
Dare is now a councilman with the Town of Ocean City and will be seeking a second term in this fall’s election. Dare has teamed with fellow incumbents Doug Cymek, Tony DeLuca and Mary Knight to form “an image of solidarity” (in Cymek’s words last winter) in their re-election bids. Although he was not part of the media gathering announcing their re-election bids in January, it’s a given Mayor Rick Meehan will be included in this re-election partnership. As of now, there are no challengers to the incumbents, but that will surely change in the weeks ahead.
Dare’s replacement as city manager after a long and expensive search process was David Recor, who came to Ocean City from Fort Pierce, Fla. After three years, Recor and the city reached a “mutual decision” (in Mayor Rick Meehan’s words) to part ways. Recor now works within the City Manager’s Office for Pompano Beach, Fla. as Strategic Performance Manager.
Five months later, Recor’s replacement, Doug Miller, was hired away from La Plata, Md. The self-proclaimed “worrier” has gotten high early marks in Ocean City for his understated way and his leadership style.
I was fortunate enough to go offshore fishing last Friday. It was the first time in 10 years. Our crew had a good day, catching and release six white marlin and filling our freezer with a 60-pound yellowfin tuna. Personally, I caught my first white marlin and then hooked up with our tuna dinner later in the day.
Up until the early part of this week, I thought that was an impressive day. By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was wishing we had gone out this Friday because the release totals being reported by sportfishermen this week have been nothing short of amazing. Some of the release totals for Tuesday included 27 for the Pumpin Hard, 21 for the Espadon, 20 for the Makara, 18 for the Reel Chaos, 18 for the Wrecker and 14 for the Billfish.
The hot fishing continued on Wednesday, but perhaps no fishing story is more impressive than what took place aboard the No Quarter. An overnight trip Tuesday night into Wednesday resulted in 23 white marlin releases, a blue marlin release, a sailfish, two spearfish, one 300-pound-plus swordfish and a mako shark. In fishing lingo, it’s called a “Fantasy Slam.” It’s believed to be the first ever in Ocean City and could be the first ever in the Atlantic Ocean.
As usual, with a 24-hour period like that there were several interesting fishing stories to go along with the trip. Captain Kyle Peet relayed one in particular that I found interesting.
“We hooked the sword around 11:30 on Tuesday night and fought it until around 4:30 a.m.,” Peet said. “We got it to the boat and gaffed it and were celebrating when somebody yelled ‘shark’ and then a big mako came up and took a bite out of the tail section. That mako swam around the boat for about 20 minutes before we were able to get a flying gaff in it and bring it to the boat.”