Tears Of A Clown
Woke up to sad visuals on my local TV news station today.
A bulldozer with a scoop bucket was doing one of its intended uses – demolition.
Unfortunately, it was demolishing the historic Circus Drive-In in Wall Township, New Jersey.
The Circus Drive-In has been at this spot since 1954. I’m not exactly sure when I first when to there – early 2000s maybe? It’s very close to Spring Lake, one of our favorite beaches to hit in the summer. Once Olivia was born, and we were hitting Spring Lake more, this joint was often a stop for lunch on the way home.
When I saw the news piece, I started pulling some selects from my old files. There’s probably quite few more that I haven’t found yet. I know I shot some last fall, when news first came down that the drive-in closed for the season for, apparently, the last time. People had posted memories on the door outside. I snapped some photos of those, but of course, lost them when a lousy external hard drive crashed and I didn’t back up well. Bah.
The food here was good (apparently the lobster roll was top-shelf, but I usually went with the burger and curly fries), the wait staff (local high school and home-from-college-for-the-summer gals) were friendly and looked like they stepped out of central casting for a Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach movie, and, perhaps best of all, it was budget friendly.
It’s bothersome on a number of levels. This was a historic place that couldn’t be saved. Now, it’s going to become another shopping center or something.
Ugly and ugh.
But you know what? I’m glad we have some memories of it. And I’m glad I have some photos. We as photographers preserve the past, folks. We’re preservationists. It doesn’t matter if we all ain’t winning World Press Photo awards or getting paid or being a Magnum photographer. We’re documentarians. We’re preserving history. It’s our job to save memories.
And you can be damn sure I’ll be making prints of these photos.
Goodbye, Circus Drive-In.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018