WHENEVER you bumped into Dave Tryon it was like being greeted by the human version of a puppy. No matter how much, or how little, time had passed since you last saw him, the warmth of the greeting was pretty much the same. Which is to say – Dave, with that big, booming voice and his wickedly twinkling eyes, always made you feel like he was really, really happy to see you.
And the feeling was mutual. How could you not like a man like Dave? Which is why his sudden passing last Friday, shortly after his 59th birthday, is a hard one to take for Cape May. We feel deeply for his widow Vickie, who found love with Dave the second time around (they had dated in their younger days), his daughters, Lauren and Jennifer, who doted on the big guy, and for everyone who loved him (and there are many).
Dave and Vickie were passionate supporters of many Cape May causes. Their photographs graced countless issues of Exit Zero, whether they were captured at one of the many non-profit benefits they attended, or at Halloween parties, where Dave would always take on the role of gaily-dressed chaperone to Vickie’s troupe of lovely ladies (it was a tough gig, Dave, right?).
Cape May feels like a sadder, quieter place without big Dave. We’ll miss him. As for Vickie, if she didn’t know it already, she is about to realize just how many good people there are in this community.
LAST week, we wrote about how important it is for locals to see Cape May through the eyes of an outsider from time to time, lest we begin taking this picturesque piece of the planet for granted. This week, we have an example of the opposite — an out-of-towner who was able to live like a local for a short time, and see what it’s like to call Cape Island home.
Her name is Morgan, she’s an Ohio native who’s married to her high school sweetheart, and she’s a self-described “Coast Guard wife, mama, sometimes runner, wannabe chef, and Midwestern girl, currently living in New York City.” We know this, because we stumbled upon a blog Morgan wrote last month, a little while after moving out of Cape May with her military family, who’d come here via Texas.
“Something I’ve struggled with for the past year,” Morgan writes “is wondering if I’ll ever again feel the happiness that I felt when we lived in Cape May. I’ve said so many times that that place became my home, because it did. But the thing that scares me is that I never struggled with leaving my actual home (the place I grew up and lived 95% of my life from the time I was born until I was 21) the way I’ve struggled with leaving Cape May.”
Morgan goes on to wax nostalgic about the big growing-up moments her three children experienced on Cape Island, the wonderful school system they were a part of, even about the oft-lamented crowds that flock here in the height of the season. “Something like sitting in NYC traffic makes me think of Shoobies,” she says. “It almost feels like it was a different life.”
She mentions things — like enjoying a firepit from the comfort of a lawn chair with one’s neighbors, and seeing, really seeing, the Cape May harbor — that most of us put off or forget to do altogether over the course of living daily life.
“I know that there is another Cape May out there for me,” Morgan says, “and eventually we’ll find it. But even when we do, I will always think of our years in Cape May as some of the best in my life.”
Good luck, Morgan, and thanks for the reminder that we should all be stopping to smell the salt air. Check out her blog, This Organic Life, at thisorganicfamily.wordpress.com/about/.
On Monday, we received notice that the city was being visited by Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday (too late for us to actually record the event). The visit was one of many stops the governor is making throughout the state to see how the shore is recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, of course, there isn’t too much for us to report, given how lucky Cape May was last October. We hope he enjoyed his stroll through the mall and that he makes use of the Exit Zero cap we planned on giving him. Hey, maybe we’ll see it in the Oval Office one day…
HERE is an important note to remember for all of you athletes — and just those of you into starting a new tradition. New Jersey’s Newest and Only Marathon Swim will take 23 Swimmers around Cape Island (15.1 miles) in the Cape Circumnavigation Challenge. Swimmers from as far as Hawaii and the UK will convene on our shores to start the 15-mile(!) journey.
On September 13, Swimmers will meet on the Spirit of Cape May and get a look at the route they will swim and also be briefed from a safety perspective. The following day, swimmers will start from Higbee Beach in West Cape May and swim in a clockwise fashion around the island entering the Cape May Canal, moving through the Cape May Harbor, out the Cold Spring Inlet, and pass the strand/beaches as they swim through the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay back to the start.
Local volunteers including the Coast Guard and Cape May Beach Patrol will be on hand to assist and ensure the safety of all involved. Every swimmer will have a kayak escort that will be her primary means of nutrition (you have to fuel up!), navigation, and safety. Under marathon swimming rules, swimmers must swim non-stop from start to finish (not touching land, boats, etc.) The event will benefit MERR (Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation). For more info, contact Jason Malick at firstname.lastname@example.org.