A Wildwood Waitress Looks Back...
If you grew up spending time in Wildwood, odds are you have many happy memories of the times you spent there.
One Wildwood fan, who worked the summers serving food and cleaning vacationers’ rooms to earn college tuition, has put her memories of those experiences into a new book, “The Island of Decades Before.”
“I spent every summer from 1956 to 1975 either vacationing or working on the island,” says Michele Picozzi, “and there were certain images of places and people that stuck.”
The recent changes on the island prompted her to weave these images into memoir poems that make up the chapbook. Featured poems include “The Golden Nugget,” “Hunt’s Pier,” “Wildwood Waitresses,” “The Countesses of Five Mile Island” and “About the Fourth,” which was inspired by a still unsolved murder of a young Philadelphia women under the boardwalk in 1970.
The book’s 16 poems cover the years between 1957 and 2007.
“Wildwood made a big impression on me at an early age,” she recalls. “I feel fortunate to have known Wildwood during the ‘glory years” – it was my happy place.” Her family’s connection to Wildwood is more than a 100 years old. As a child, she visited her grandfather at the home he built himself on 7th Ave.
Her summer earnings went toward completing a bachelor’s degree in communications from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
Three of the book’s poems have been published in journals and others have won state writing awards.
“The Island of Decades Before” is available at Hooked on Books, 3405 Pacific Ave., in Wildwood. Poem samples, along with ordering information, can be found on the book’s Facebook page. Payment is through Paypal.