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The Passing Of Two Good Men

On the surface you might question how the passing’s of Sheriff William Polhemus and Wallace Parlapanides are related outside of the fact that both died last Friday and their viewings will be held today. That’s where I come in.

Door to Ocean County Sheriff's Department
Door to Ocean County Sheriff’s Department (Ocean County Sheriff’s Office)

Polhemus of course was the longtime Ocean County Sherriff and before that Police Chief of Seaside Heights, where he was a lifelong resident and where his wife Agnes still serves on the Borough Council.  Parlapanides spent more than 20 years working for Ocean County in their Weights and Measurements Department and is a former councilman in Seaside Park.

However I’m the only one who will link these two men by a common bond: boardwalk food.

My family moved from Rockaway Beach, New York to Seaside Heights in 1967 because my father had gone fulltime into the amusement games business.  For many years he had an office located in what was the Casino Pier Arcade and about 25 yards away was “Aggie’s Snack Bar,” a typical food concession which was frequented by many who worked on or near the pier.

The Ocean County Office Sheriff's Office website pays tribute to William Polhemus
The Ocean County Office Sheriff’s Office website pays tribute to William Polhemus

Aggie was Agnes Polhemus and she did most of the cooking but often would be joined on the grill by her husband Bill who at that time might have been a Lieutenant in the Seaside Heights Police Department.  Yes the man who would be Chief and later Sheriff spent many summer hours flipping burgers, making sandwiches and even cooking dinners.

I can’t tell you how many meals I ate at Aggie’s over the years but it was quite a few. Like many my Dad had a house account in which I could charge whatever I wanted and Aggie, Bill or their daughter Lorraine would right it in a little notebook.  I reminded Sheriff Polhemus of that just a couple of years ago when we were both honored by Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey during a dinner.

As we posed for pictures I kidded him about coming a long way from flipping burgers and he laughed and said I had a come a long way from eating them.

So what does that have to do with Wally Parlapanides?

Well it was just a short time later that I ran one of my father’s stands on the other end of the boardwalk in Seaside Park.  I had to find a new place to eat and discovered the Carousel Snack Bar which he owned and operated.  What I remember the most was he served these great hot dogs and they were only a quarter so for a buck you got two dogs, a soda, change and a lesson in Greek history. Those were the days.

Seaside Heights and Seaside Park lost two really good men and they’ll be remembered for a lot…for me part of those memories will be of them in white aprons.

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