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Positively New Jersey: 96-year-old WWII legend still a fixture on the Ocean Grove boardwalk

On summer days, Jules Resnick drives to the boardwalk in his car - he quit the motorcycle at age 89 - and revels in a view of the ocean and a view back on a rich storied life.

News 12 Staff

May 29, 2023, 2:45 PM

Updated 391 days ago

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This weekend, you might just take a seat on a boardwalk bench and stare out at the ocean. Better yet - do it with a beloved boardwalk fixture and proud World War II veteran.
Jules Resnick is a beloved regular on the Ocean Grove boardwalk.
Resnick is 96 and lives alone since his wife of 58 years died 13 years ago.
On summer days he drives to the boardwalk in his car - he quit the motorcycle at age 89 - and revels in a view of the ocean and a view back on a rich storied life. He's spent seven decades on these boardwalks. If this is the last, he's ok with that. “I have no fear for tomorrow. If I'm not here, I've lived a good life,” says Resnick
Resnick entered basic training a week after his graduation from Trenton High School. “To go to hit Japan. As cannon fodder. I mean that's really what it was. We were young kids,” recalls Resnick After serving in the Philippines during World War II, eating rice three meals a day, he returned home in 1946. “I raised my right hand, and I swore I will never touch a grain of rice as long as I live. and I haven't since.”
After the war, it was the boardwalk life for him. Not walking it, working it. From 1957 to 1987, he operated businesses on the Asbury Park boardwalk including the Planters Nuts stand, an ice cream and waffle shop and the Maxwell House Coffee stand.
He also gets stopped by people who worked for him as teenagers. “About working those stands on the boardwalk. a little four-letter word HOPE. You're always hoping for a better season. And even when you have a poor season, maybe next year.”
He was there through Asbury's glory years and its sad economic decline. He shut his stand for the last time on a hot July day in 1987. “I pulled the windows down. locked the doors and threw the key in the ocean.” He worked as an electrician and for a funeral home for the next 30 years.
These days he's back on the boards, strolling along or sitting on his bench, he still draws in that boardwalk crowd. But not for an ice cream cone. Not for a bag of peanuts. But for all of us to have a chance to say thank you.


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