Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum
Walking the Beat with a Surfman
by Professor R. M. Burgison
Baltimore, Maryland
1984

photo
Professor R.M. Burgison remembered walking the beat with an Ocean City Surfman.
Photograph courtesy of
National Archives, Washington D.C.
And Other Remembrances of Ocean City

An excerpt from a letter to Reese F. Cropper, Jr., President of Taylor Bank, Berlin, Maryland thanking him for sponsoring the book, Shipwrecks and Rescues, by George and Suzanne Hurley.

...I vividly remember as a small child spending my summers at Trimper's old ?Atlantic Coast? Hotel (with all modern inconveniences) and sitting on the porch after dinner, waiting for my friend-the Surfman.

This was over 60 years ago when I used to accompany, the surfman along with his flares strapped to his body and his hip-boots and other paraphernalia, and I used to walk (run) along with him down to the old fish camps (where I would usually drop out from exhaustion), while he kept on to meet his other buddy coming North from the North Beach Station, where they would punch each others clock as proof that they had reached their goal.

He was a big, jolly fellow, and always greeted me with a big smile and a ?Hello? to the ladies on the porch.

This was all before the big 1933 hurricane that washed the inlet through and I remember during the storm, helping the fishermen beyond the boardwalk carry out their belongings before their fish camp houses washed away.

We would load them on big wagons with wide steel wheels and pulled by 4 powerful horses. We managed to get most of their belongings out and on high ground before the Railroad Bridge and later the Auto Bridge over the Sinepuxent washed out.

We were washed out at our hotel and spent the night at Berlin at old Doctor Holland's big house-which was loaded with people.

They were great old days before the bigger storms came along and washed out most everything. I have seen many changes in Ocean City during the past 60+ years-and now I come down only in the off-season (April, May, June and September, October and November) when I can get across the street if my old arthritic legs allow me to run fast enough...