Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 5 – Summer Nights

North Wildwood, NJ – May 1984

The saga continues…

I was sitting on the porch at my friend Pitchy’s house and telling him all about my exploits with Betty. He was amazed by the tales of my recent prowess. Pitchy was my best summer friend at the seashore since 1971 when I first met him as a kid. He lived right around the corner from me at 7th and Ocean Ave. We had a rich history together hanging out all of those summers in the 70s. He was a close friend and we’d had some great times together. He had a lovely dry wit that was uncanny. He was also a person I could always trust.  One of his gifts was that he had always been the master of the dime toss game on the boardwalk.

But he was never that good at talking to girls. I noticed a lot of young men struggled with that back then. (And even today!) I never understood that but I guess we’re always good at things we like, and I loved the company of pretty women so I was okay.

I would tell him… “If you think you’re going to be tongue-tied on a date with a girl… take her to the movies. That’s two hours right there where she’ll be entertained and fed. You don’t have to say or do anything at all. Just hold her hand during the picture. If the film is fun and exciting, she’ll associate those feelings with you and you’ll be fine.”

Pitchy was working as a summer cop in North Wildwood by 1984 and really enjoyed police work. He had always wanted to be a cop and was beginning his career as a summer cop to gain experience.

I’m happy to say that through the years, he stayed in law enforcement and became a roaring success. He achieved success beyond anything I could have imagined for him. 

We sat on his porch in the quiet evening silence of North Wildwood. All the craziness was happening 25 blocks away on the boardwalk and in the clubs on Pacific Avenue. But we both had a moment of repose from our jobs this evening and were just chatting and sipping a few cold beers. The glow of the neon signs from the motel, The Friendship 7 across the street was the only light that illuminated our presence on that porch. 

He would do these comedy bits like he was the voiceover guy for a movie preview. It was hilarious and I loved when he would come up with these things. It was like he was describing me as a character in a horror movie. He would say; “In 1980 you loved him as the Wildwood Gigalo. But now…he’s back. It’s been four years… but he’s back. Chaz is… THE HOMEWRECKER. This time it’s not your girlfriend…It’s Your WIFE!”

I liked that he referred to me as the homewrecker as if I were the villain in a movie. So funny. I told him how Betty drove a light blue BMW 5 and that she and I stayed in motels in Wildwood to hook up. I never thought back then how much Betty must have spent on babysitting fees for someone to watch her daughter, Kelly while she galavanted around Wildwood with her young boy toy, ten years her junior.

But as much as I had built up a reputation as a rocker and charmer of women, it was nice to reach that legendary status with my friends. It’s all so silly when I think about it now.

I’d be on the phone with Betty.

“I want to come to Wildwood to see you this weekend, Chaz.”

“That would be great, Bets.”

“Can you maybe rent a room for us?”

Because the season hadn’t started yet, the rooms would not only be available at several motels in town, they’d be much cheaper. 

This became a regular thing with Betty and me. She liked her anonymity in Wildwood. She had no fear of running into anyone she and her husband knew up in Absecon. Plus, she had that whole rule about not having sex with her in her house, car, or matrimonial bed.

I was totally fine with it. I was working and had money to burn, and Betty always had cash. Most times she would pay for everything. I remember one day I was at her house and she gave me a brand new Gucci watch. It was beautiful. A 14k gold timepiece with a lizard skin strap.  I wore that watch until the strap practically dissolved on my wrist. I loved that watch. It was the nicest piece of jewelry I had ever owned.

At this point, I wasn’t falling for Betty…

I had already fallen.

I always shared with my mother what I was up to romantically in my life. I would sit at the kitchen table chatting with my mom and profess my love for my new, older girlfriend. I told my mom I was done dating girls and only wanted to date women now.

“Oh, you mean that alley cat you’re currently running around with?”

Mom did not approve. I think she had some concerns about the seed not falling far from the tree in this family. She had already had enough of my father’s many dalliances and probably feared I was becoming like him. On the other hand, I know my dad secretly loved the idea of his son capturing the heart of such a lovely woman that was in his wheelhouse.

(This polaroid was taken in a little photo booth in an arcade on the Wildwood boardwalk. It was her idea. I’m so glad we did this. I was so happy.)

We stayed in several different motels that spring and it was awesome. We once stayed in a motel that was right on the corner of 8th and Surf Ave. That was around 100 yards from my parent’s house! Crazy night!

We’d do fun things like go to the boardwalk, and it was amazing. Going out to eat and just spending time together. I just loved being with Betty. I know she enjoyed my company too because I think I helped her retain her youth and show her how fun it was to date again. I think she needed that in her broken marriage. 

The passion we shared.

I remember we once pulled up at a motel where one of my friends was working as a lifeguard and I introduced her to him. Betty Ann stepped out of the car in a white mini-dress. Her caramel skin glowed in the sun and her raven tresses tumbled over her shoulders like a moonless river.

I didn’t really hang out with this guy/clown anymore. He had burned too many bridges with me by then. I really did it just to show off my spectacular girlfriend to him. He later told me that if he ever got a girl like that he would never let her go, but I knew by then I was now operating at a level that he’d never understand, or ever be able to achieve. 

I was so proud to be with such a beautiful, sweet woman. Just kissing Betty was like waking up on Christmas morning. We’d kiss, and she always ended it with a little extra peck on the side of my lips. It was like she was putting her signature on that last kiss… just to remind me I was hers. 

But no matter what we did during the afternoon on our dates, it was all simply delaying the inevitable. We always ended up back in the room…and back in the saddle. 

(Cue up: Aerosmith – Rocks – Side 1, Track 1)

One night, we stayed in a motel on New Jersey Avenue. As summer approached it was getting harder to find available reasonably priced rooms. But it was a nice place, and of course, at the end of our fun day we ended up back there. I remember it being especially hot outside, and the air conditioner was right over the bed. It kept us cool while we passionately tore each other to pieces like teenagers through the night.

The next morning we walked out to the car and there was a piece of paper clipped under the windshield wiper. It looked like a ticket.

It was an official warning from the police.

The notice stated that we had violated the local noise ordinance in North Wildwood. It said that neighbors were complaining about the loud sounds of, “Moaning, Screaming, and a Squeaking Bed… Nonstop”.

I was obviously stunned, and Betty was horrified.

But as I read down toward the bottom, I recognized the name of the officer who had issued the warning last night. It was my buddy, Pitchy. He knew I was staying there and recognized Betty’s BMW.

Nice shot, dude.

(I may still have that warning ticket packed away somewhere!)

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It’s gonna be another burner!

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Author: phicklephilly

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