William Polhemus: From Cook To Sheriff
When people talk about Bill Polhemus they will no doubt focus on a career devoted to public service and law enforcement. However my memories of him go far beyond that as I know Bill from his days as a short-order cook which you will not find anywhere in his obituary.
My family moved to Seaside Heights in 1967 because my father was in the amusement games business and spending far too much time commuting from Rockaway Beach, New York where we lived.
For many years he had an office located in the Casino Pier Arcade and about 25 yards away was a food stand called “Aggie’s Snack Bar.” It was your typical food concession on the boardwalk which was frequented by many of those who worked on the pier.
Aggie was Agnes Polhemus who did much of the cooking and she would often be joined on the grill by her husband Bill when he was not working as a Seaside Heights Police Officer.
Yes, the same guy who would eventually become Police Chief and later Ocean County Sheriff spent many hours flipping burgers, making sandwiches and cooking dinners. What I liked best was my dad had a house account so I could go over to Aggie’s at anytime and order whatever I wanted. Bill or Aggie would write it in a little notebook and at the end of a week or so the account would be settled.
It was only a few years ago Sheriff Polhemus and I were both honored by the Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey during a dinner at Eagle Ridge Golf Club.
As we posed for a picture I reminded him that he had come a long way from flipping burgers. He responded that I had come a long way from eating them.
Aggie’s has been gone from the boardwalk for a long time but it’s a part of my youth that I will never forget and when I think of it I’ll think of Bill behind the grill in his white apron.