Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Grand Finale Day Four Continued

Grand Finale – Day Four – Monday Labor Day Continued

From the Chatterbox Duncan drove up Central Avenue to 27th Street where he parked and they walked down to the beach where they met Lizanne sitting in a chair under a Bert’s Beach umbrella, keeping score of some of the games that were going on. They were just in time to play a game of co-ed tackle football in which Kate caught pass and ran it in for a touchdown.

Then they played some serious volleyball in which Duncan excelled, as did a youngster, Greg Gregory, a Somers Point kid Kate knew from school. Greg liked to fish, caught a striper on this very beach not long ago, and was also on the high school rowing team, and lifted weights with Kell, who was giving the kid rowing lessons, but today they were playing volleyball, and Greg’s team with Grace, Duncan and Kate won the match, but not the trophy.

Mrs. Kelly kept close watch on the competition, and when she rang the big bell outside the back door of the beach house, everyone knew it was time for a meal, and for Mrs. Kelly to give out the trophies, some new and just for today and others old and tarnished and passed on to a new champion every Labor Day.

While everyone was eating and drinking in the beach house yard, Jimmy Campbell was sitting back at his Bert’s Beach chair and raft concession, counting his money, when Mrs. Kelly came out and gave him a little shoe box with some chicken and French fries, and a nice tip for taking care of her extended family this summer. Jim’s aunt owns the Chatterbox and they’ve been family friends since Grace worked there.

Meanwhile, things were not as quiet over at the 14th Street beach, where some of the bikers had joined the surfers and college kids and a few hippies and were having a good old time, with the Carroll Brothers, playing acoustic guitars, bongos and sax, but without Pete, their leader, set the tone for the late afternoon, as guys were holding blankets waste high, like firemen catching someone jumping from a burning building, flipping bikini clad girls into the air like a trampoline, seeing who could flip their girl the highest.

After giving the last live weather report from the Music Pier the KYWTV3 News crew drove down the boardwalk filming away, and when they got to 14th Street the crowd saw the cameras and picked up the pace of their routines now that they were on camera.

Even though the powers that be tried to keep it a state secret, everyone knew that the Hells Angels had threatened to make Ocean City a Labor Day run destination and ransack the city in retaliation for being run out of town in May, thus ratcheting up the police presence and security measures, and creating an air of anticipation that didn’t need a Kreskin or a magician to manipulate.

So by late afternoon, after the 99 Percenters had arrived, and it was apparent the Hells Angels weren’t coming to this party, the disappointment was apparent in many of the college kids, surfers, hippies and bikers who were expecting fireworks, and when none were forthcoming, decided to make their last day of summer vacation one that everyone would remember.

Even without an amplifier they were way over the decibel limit on the boardwalk cop’s noise meters, and despite the mayor’s pleas to just let it go, they would all be gone in a few hours, the chief of police and the public safety commissioner ordered the Riot Squad to report to 14th Street, despite their sorry record of the past week, and they wanted to make up for their embarrassments.

The Carroll Brothers didn’t care, their season was over after they played on last session, mainly to locals while most everybody was heading home, and after spending almost every day with the same bunch of surfers and college kids, they were playing their hearts out, and few noticed Pete wasn’t even with them.
As with Tido Mambo, a federal warrant had been issued for his arrest for inciting a riot, so both Pete Carroll and Tido were officially on the lamb and avoiding the cops, and quite successful at doing so, even though Pete was riding around town on his motorcycle while Tido they say, put in an appearance at the 14th Street beach.

It wasn’t the noise the Carroll Brothers were making that got the Riot Squad to go onto the beach, it was the sudden appearance of Tido Mambo, who stood up on the roof of the Lifeguard stand and began blessing the crowd and waving to the cops on the boardwalk.

Or was it a college kid impersonating Tido Mambo?

It didn’t matter to the Riot Squad, bringing Tido Mambo in would be a feather in their cap and remove the stains of the previous 14th Street and 9th Street Beach fiascos, but it wouldn’t be easy, as the surfers and college kids, joined by a slew of bikers, pelted the Riot Squad with suntan oil and wet beach tows and using surfboards as shields kept the cops from getting to Tido until he slipped away into the crowd and under the fishing pier pilings. When two of the boardwalk cops, on their last day of duty, saw Tido walking away they gave chase but he jumped on the back of a motorcycle and took off and was chased down alleys but got away.

The Carroll Brothers weren’t so lucky, but like the band on the Titanic, they never stopped playing, even while being led away to the paddy wagon.

In the ensuing riot a dozen college kids and surfers were arrested, along with three of the Carroll Brothers, and four boardwalk policeman and two Riot Squad cops and ten beach goers were injured and were treated for minor cuts and abrasions at the Emergency Room of Shore Memorial Hospital.

The next morning’s news paper included the small, one column, three paragraph story with the headline: Ocean City Beach Riot Injures 12, 15 Arrests, but the news report didn’t tell the whole story.

The KYWTV3 News Special Report, a one hour long documentary film they called "The Long Cool Summer" aired at prime time the day after Labor Day, won awards for director David Brenner and reporter Tom Snyder, and is currently filed away in a tin can in a cold vault storage area of the Urban Archives Media Section of the Paley Library at Temple University, where Brenner attended college.

And Nucky Johnson was right when he told Judge Helfant not to do or say anything because on the day after Labor Day everybody would forget everything that happened, about Brenner’s story on Helfant’s Kangaroo Court, about the murder of Harry Anglemeyer, about the Hell’s Angeles, about the lost Nukes,....and they did.  

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