Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rolling With the Flow: Because the Job Isn't Finished

When I started this particular blog in January, my goal was to tell the stories of the Jersey Shore in the post-Sandy recovery period. I figured I'd throw in a little history, some details and facts, and some news stories. Things perked along nicely until I got a call from an old friend who explained his idea to do a charity motorcycle run in May to benefit people affected by Hurricane Sandy (I live in New Jersey, I refuse to use the word 'victims').

The idea was still just an idea and I had no idea back then that this event would become an important part of the recovery process.

It has also become the main focus of every part of my non-earning-a-living day. Hence the complete lack of new material for this blog. Since this page was set up to be a long-term project with the aim to tell the stories that will soon drop off the front page and lede blocks of the nightly news, dropping it is not an option–refocusing it temporarily is: For the next eight weeks I’m going to concentrate on the Roar to Restore the Shore motorcycle run and my writing is going to necessarily reflect that. I hope it’s interesting to follow the idea from its genesis to its fruition, but if it’s not, please just come back from time-to-time to check out what’s happening here.

The ride has gone from an initial idea at a meeting of three people in a bar in Jackson to a ride that may potentially involve over a thousand motorcycles. We started as team of five “civilians” and a core group of members of VFW Post 8867 in Brick and without the help and expertise of the VFW this event would not be possible. VFW Post 8867 played an integral role in the months immediately after Sandy as a staging area for relief workers and contractors in the barrier island communities destroyed by the storm, and to be able to work with the members of this Post on a charity event that is growing daily is truly an honor.

So, forgive my indulgences. I started doing relief and charity work on the Tuesday following the storm and continued it through the middle of January, at which time I glibly told anyone who would listen that I was exhausted and out of the recovery business. The truth of the matter is, none of us will be out of the recovery business for years; we all just have to learn to roll with the flow and go where the tides take us.

There is a lot of work to be done in the next eight weeks, but I am looking at being able to help raise an additional $25,000 for Sandy relief, and that is truly where my focus and interest lies at this point in time. I’ll still do the occasional story about the Shore and thanks to Debbie Miks who has stepped up to help out, we’ll still do our weekly restaurant feature, but I hope to be able to share this event so that we can all be a part of helping the Jersey Shore recover and prosper.

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