Avalon’s Past lives on – online

    Last week, I drove past the Windrift in Avalon to check out how its renovation is going. I couldn’t help but sigh. Gone is the white facade that let you know you’d arrived at the long time beachfront bar/restaurant/hotel.

    In its place: random plank wood that I suppose is going to signal their new upscale slant. I didn’t get close enough to see how the upstairs porch bar has been renovated, but I don’t think it’ll be looking like the old Windrift anytime soon.

    I tend to get like this about Avalon since it was “my” beach – that, and Avalon has undergone radical changes in my lifetime (goodbye humble cottages, hello multi-million dollar homes larger than anything I’ll live in full time in my lifetime). I’m not quite Midnight in Paris-esque enough to say that this is horrible and the past was so much better, but I can lament about what’s been lost. 

    I’m not the only one, which is where Avalon’s Past comes in. It’s a website dedicated to the Avalon that was. Even if it’s not “your” beach, it’s still fun to wander down memory lane to remember what beach fashions and trends were from decades ago.

    You can submit your memories, too. I might have to send in one about the first time I visited the Windrift in 2007. I was researching for the first edition of my book, so I went solo. I wasn’t drinking because I was driving, but I did pay the cover to watch the Sunday evening cover band, and bar crowd. A group of women who might be called “cougars” were also at the bar, sizing up the pair of 20-something Adonises with deep lifeguard tans. After debating whether or not the gentleman would be interested, they decided no and re-positioned themselves closer to the band. Good sport that I am, I approached the men and asked them if they’d be interested in older women. After an enthusiastic “yes!” I sent them in the ladies’ direction. I don’t know the result, but they were all dancing by the time I left.

    I have dozens more memories like this, though they’re less bar scenes and more on the beach stories. If you have your own, submit them to Avalon’s Past and send us a link. We’ll send our readers in that direction.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.