A Unique Christmas Symbol for this hurricane-battered town.

Ocean Grove Fishing Pier: A Unique Christmas  Symbol for this hurricane-battered town.

Ocean Grove, NJ,  Fishing Pier. December 2012.  Paul Goldfinger photo.   Left click for full view. 

By Paul Goldfinger

No one can step onto the iconic Ocean Grove fishing  pier any longer; it is unsafe. At the far end of the structure is a skeleton of the boardwalk and then a free fall into the ocean, which destroyed that part of the pier including the little fishing club house. Ralph, the stuffed fisherman, sits there like some character from the Wizard of Oz  who would be fine if he only had some bait.

But if you could go out there, you would be able to spot one, two or even three ships heading our way. How fitting, because “I Saw Three Ships” is a famous carol from 17th century England. The origin of the three ships reference is explained in the lyrics where, on Christmas Day in the morning, three ships arrive in Bethlehem. But the nearest body of water is the Dead Sea, 20 miles away.

Another possible reference may be regarding three ships arriving at the Cologne Cathedral in 12th century Germany with the relics of the magi (usually meaning the three wise men, but nobody really knows how many wise men were there that day in Bethlehem.) Today it seems that we have more wise guys then wise men.

So here are the Canadian Brass from their album “A Holiday Tradition” playing “I saw Three Ships.”