The Times and Tides of Ocean City, Maryland
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VJ Day And Other Memorable Days At The Beach
by Shirley Fields Levitz
Tucson, AZ

My aunt & her friends Ellen Turner, Edna Turner, Florence Haymen & Virginia McCready loved to dress up & go to the Pier Ballroom
We had spent a wonderful day on the beach right in front of the Hamilton Hotel at Fourth Street, dressed for dinner and went down to the dining room. We were three: my mother Cecil, my sister Patty and I. We were there for two weeks, which was wonderful (my Dad, George W. Fields came over on the weekend from Salisbury, our home). After dinner, I walked out on the boardwalk and there was more commotion than I had ever heard, yelling, music playing, people laughing, singing, and dancing their way down the boardwalk.

My Dad Lit Fields with Pat & me at Ocean City
It was Aug 15, 1945, VJ Day. I ventured up toward the pier, sailors in uniform dancing and shouting. I will never forget the joy and excitement watching the people. Before that day, no cameras were allowed on the beach and the lights on the boardwalk were darkened at night to keep submarines from coming our way. To a young girl this was not easily explained as there was no TV, and news came only by radio. Anyway, the war was so far away we children were not too concerned, only through movie newsreels did we get a glimpse of what was happening.

Shirley & Pat Fields on beach of Ocean City 1941
Going to Ocean City just for the day way back then was an adventure, even though it was only 30 miles. Being on the beach, going in the water, digging for sand crabs with our metal pails and shovels was a thrill. The smell of Noxzema and Johnson's baby oil with a drop of iodine in it kept us from getting too burnt! Then to look forward to the evening on the boardwalk, but first go to the bathhouse (can't remember the name of it), pay your 15 cents, get a towel and soap and shower all that sand off. Mother had our dresses (starched I might add) waiting to be put on. We sauntered up to the Maryland Inn and had a nice seafood dinner served on white tablecloths.

After dinner we would stroll toward Trimper's rides, noticing people dressed nicely and chatting on the benches. As we neared the Atlantic Hotel we paused to admire the hotel's wide stairs going up to a huge porch where people were sitting in rocking chairs and going back and forth into a big lobby. Passed the Pier ballroom and the sounds of the big band music coming down as we walked. My aunt and her friends would really dress up to go there and dance.

Shirley Fields Levitz (left) & Pat Fields Ziara
Finally got to Trimper's, and got on the Whip, it was right in front as you go in, and is still there. My three-year-old granddaughter loved it just this past August. The merry-go-round, the boats, the little enclosed merry-go-round which is now in the back, dodgem cars are all nostalgic to me. On the way back to our car, we ate Dolle's popcorn, then headed across Rt. 50 Bridge to Salisbury. I will always treasure the childhood memories I have of Ocean City.

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