Thursday, October 1, 2009


Today is NO DDay. What's that? George will explain it HERE. And you can find it on Twitter by looking up the Hashtag #nodday.

As for me, I'm writing about LUCY.

I decided to write about one of my oldest friends, Lucy. 
There isn’t a time when I don’t remember having Lucy in my life.
She's is one of the constants - No matter how much my hometown changes or where my life's journey takes me, Lucy remains the same. Actually, she gets better with age.
Whenever I see her and no matter how long it's been - she welcomes me with a wink and a smile.
Lucy is learned and wise. The years have given her wisdom and her eyes have seen more than most of us forget. an Elephant. YES, you heard me right, AN ELEPHANT.
Otherwise known as: Lucy THE Elephant!

And not just any elephant mind you. Lucy is larger than life, standing 6 stories (65 ft) tall, 60 feet long, and 18 feet wide. She weights close to 90 tons- and is a proud pachyderm!
Lucy was built in 1881 as gimmick to promote real estate in “South Atlantic City,” which is now called Margate - my hometown.
Lucy has had many incarnations. First as Real Estate promotion, then a mini hotel, a private beach cottage and a tavern – Imagine the visions of Pink elephants she inspired!
In the 1950’s she started to fall apart and by the late 60’s she was ready for the wrecking ball.
In 1969 The Save Lucy Committee was formed and in 1970 Lucy was moved 2 city blocks to he r present location.
In 1971 she applied to be on the National register of Historic Places and is granted that status in 1976.
Over the years hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to restore her interior and exterior  - and she is beautiful!
Lucy has ALWAYS been there for me.
When I was little, she provided me with wonderful memories of both my father and brother.

My first real memories of her are seeing her from the beach-back when I was a little girl.
My father and I would take walks on the beach and after a while we’d see her. I’d start waving to her and calling her name. “HI LUCY!!!- I LOVE YOU!!!” She’d stand there with her comforting smile, and I knew all would be well.
Another early memory is seeing her from the ocean -  when I was maybe four.
 My brother John was a Life Guard and his “job” in the family was to make sure I learned to swim. We went out in the Surf Boat with another guard and they rowed out deep. 
Then John dove in the ocean and me being me, jumped in after him  - and we started to doggie paddle, and that’s how I learned to swim. Together we paddled back to shore- and my brother kept saying: Swim towards Lucy! Swim towards Lucy!” And with his help (and hers,) I did.
In Grade School I remember singing & dancing (both as audience member and as a performer) at her summer out door concerts.
In Middle School- Lucy was my friend when others were not.
In High School, my first boyfriend kissed me under the stars and beside her trunk.
In college, the night of my sister’s funeral- my friends decided to take me out. 
It was night filled with beer, tears and lots of wonderful stories. 
My friend Matt and I broke from the group and took a walk in Lucy's direction. 
We sat by the bulkhead- with Lucy directly over our shoulders, shielding us from unseen things in the night.
Matt told me to look up at the stars,to the ocean in the sky-and remember that was where my loved one’s would always be. Those words brought me great comfort and still do today. Whenever I think of my father or sister, I know they are walking along the the ocean in the sky, healthy and happy along it's shore.
My “serious” boyfriends have all been introduced to Lucy ;)
Most recently, I took my niece Livy on a tour of Lucy. We sat atop her howdah and we laughed and laughed and shared all sorts of secrets with Lucy- and much to her credit, Miss Lucy has kept every one.

The End ~


Lee Ann Thill said...

It's funny, I remember in 6th grade, maybe 2 or 3 months before i found out we were moving to Philly from Houston, we were reading about NJ in a social studies book. What i remember is how it was the most densely populated state and how it had Lucy, and there was a picture of her. In April, I will have been living in the general Philly area for 25 years, and I've yet to visit Lucy.

Crystal said...

Wish I had a Lucy in my life. I do have plenty of other elephants though. Not as old.

Thanks for sharing that. So Very cool.

wv: coborgog

I'm goin' coborgog not talking about things because it's #nodday. Hmmm. ;-)

Mark said...

Awesome story! Your story of Lucy could be turned into a romantic movie of some type.

Just sayin'... ;-)

George said...

That post made me well up! So great to hear this story. I feel like you let me into a part of life that may seem little to some but HUGE to me! Thank you Kelly. I feel like I know you more.

Scott S said...

I've never been to Atlantic City (I've been to Wildwood, Cape May and other Jersey shore towns, but never AC, largely because I'm not big into casinos), but Lucy is one of those things I've always heard about and someday I'll have to see her!

Elizabeth said...

How have I lived here for 20 years and not known Lucy existed???

And how funny that they had her in a social studies book. Minnesota has the world's largest ball of string, and Jersey has a 65 foot tall elephant. Oh, how I love kitchy...

Stacey D. said...

I've never heard of Lucy but it's a great story. And just from reading it, I love Lucy too :)

Jaimie said...

Amazing post & glimpse through your memories...loved it!

Karen said...

I can't believe I never knew about Lucy either. But I know why . . . it's because you were meant to introduce me to her with your wonderful story. That's the only way I could ever have fully appreciated all that is Lucy.

Lora said...

I've never heard of Lucy? How could I have gone my whole life and never heard of Lucy? Thank you for sharing her with me. Now I want to come visit you AND Lucy. I'm assuming she'd let us drink mojitos under her trunk? She's beautiful.

Val said...

Last year I read a "cozy" murder mystery by Victoria Thomson that was partially set in Lucy - didn't realize she had a name, or was still around. Thanks for the pictures!

meanderings said...

Loved reading about your life and memories with Lucy.

Meri said...

She is beautiful! I hope she lives forever!

Sara said...

I am so behind so I am just getting to this now, but this is a BEAUTIFUL post!

I want to meet Lucy (and you)!

k2 said...

Lee Ann-
So cool it ws in your history book, it wasn't in ours!
We will make plans to go to Lucy if you want- it would be fun!

Lucy is in your life know- and that's cool!

'Lucy-The Love Story." I LIKE IT!

When I think about it- Lucy was and is such a part of my life. Growing up in Margates- most houses didn't have a backyard because the houses are SO close together due to the fact that we are an island situated on both the beach and the bay. BUT we always had the beach to play on - and LUCY.

Margate is not AC. How bout a DMeet at Lucy! It could be REALLY fun!

I love Kitsch! Senior Pepe is one of my favorites- but I love Lucy more!!
#DMeet at Lucy!!

I have it on VERY good authority that Lucy loves u2!
And I'm not talking about the band. She like's u2 of course, but more into Calypso, which I always found VERY interesting!


I'm glad I had the opportunity to introduce you to Lucy- she's VERY happy to be your friend!

Moijito's under Lucy's trunk? NO PROBLEM- I know a guy ;)

I HAVE to read that book!

THANKS- I loved writing it!

Me 2!!!

I WANT TO MEET YOU 2!!! So does Lucy!

kelly k