FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Tyrades! By Danny TyreeEvery Monday night in the fall of 1975, I ran until I was out of breath.Despite rushing home from my afterschool job, Ialways missed the first five minutes of “All In The Family.”I could certainly have used an iconic device that wouldn’t go into distribution in the U.S. for another two years: the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR).I bring this up because USA Today reported that Funai Electronics, the last known manufacturer of VCRs, will no longer make them after this July.The Japanese company cited declining demand (750,000 units sold last year, versus the peak of 15 million units annually) and the difficulty of procuring parts.Parts? Given how outdated the device had become, I wonder if the parts were horseshoes so the Pony Express could deliver them?Who is still buying 750,000 VCRs a year? One source said the Chinese, but I suspect that some distant tribe is sacrificing them to the volcano god. (“And here is a copy of Cheech & Chong’s ‘Up In Smoke’ for good measure.”)There are probably a LOT of Third World nations proudly using the analogue technology. (“Maybe I earn only a quarter a day, but you can bounce that quarter off these abs after I finish all those Jane Fonda workout tapes!”)In its day, the VCR was hailed as revolutionary. Yes, “revolutionary” in that the wobbly, ever-degenerating images made the characters all fidget like they were waiting for the GUILLOTINE.Okay, the VCR was also revolutionary in that it offered an explosion of options for home entertainment. As a precursor of today’s Redbox, “time-shifting” and streaming media, it saved us from being at the mercy of theater owners and network programmers. Instead, we were at the mercy of idiot family members who forgot to program the thing or idiot family members who left the dog unattended to chew the cord. Even Bob Hope wouldn’t go near THOSE war zones.The VCR spared us from sprinting to the bathroom at every commercial break. Sure, the Surgeon General issued a preliminary report that this change sparked a rise in cardiovascular disease; but he somehow got distracted from issuing a final draft. (“Who’s the idiot who taped over the ‘M*A*S*H’ finale????”)The “leisure” device actually provided new things to stress out over. (“I’ve still got 567 hours of game shows to catch up on. I think Bob Barker should have promoted spaying or neutering ‘The Price Is Right’ instead of pets!”)Remember the war between the VHS and Betamax formats of recording? And how leaked index cards in cursive handwriting revealed that the Democratic National Committee was involved in swinging support to VHS? (They even got Pres. Jimmy Carter to tell “Playboy” magazine, “I have lusted after grainy home movies in my heart.”)The VCR was such a big deal that the Supreme Court had to rule on the technology in 1984, deciding that it was NOT illegal to copy TV shows for home viewing. In a sidebar, the Court also declared that videotapes are PERSONS, with the free speech rights to donate to political campaigns and demand reparations for being stuck in dusty bookcases or grungy yard sale boxes.When the last shiny new VCRs have worn out, it’ll really be time to bury the technology. But don’t dig a shallow grave. The &^%$# things will probably CHEW their way out!
Graduates toss their caps in the air as they celebrate their commencement. By MADDY VITALEDetermination, perseverance, and above all, uniqueness, are some of the qualities that make the Ocean City High School Class of 2020 stand out, Principal Dr. Matt Jamison told graduates seated in Carey Stadium to mark their milestone on Thursday.The graduates are unique in many ways, Jamison emphasized.They were born in the shadows of 9/11. They started school during a recession and in middle school they faced challenges living at the shore when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012.Yet, through it all, the students’ unwavering strength allowed them to forge ahead and achieve great things, Jamison noted.A drone shot shows the graduates lining up on the Boardwalk at the beginning of the procession. (Courtesy of JASM Consulting)“The determination, the perseverance – the Class of 2020 has a true spirit of our nation,” Jamison said.The graduation, which was one of the few in the state due to COVID-19, offered the students a commencement.“This is for you,” Jamison said.While parents and families were not allowed in the stadium until the very end of the ceremony, they stood outside the gates of Carey Stadium, whistled and applauded for their graduates, and celebrated.Due to Gov. Phil Murphy’s order that there may be no more than 500 people assembled at an outdoor event because of the coronavirus, only graduates and school faculty were permitted in the stadium.Video courtesy of Martin Fiedler, Just Right TV ProductionsThe ceremony was livestreamed for families and friends to view in real time at https://www.youtube.com/user/OCNJSchools. There was an 18-foot video screen in the parking lot adjacent to the stadium for parents to watch.During the commencement ceremony, which began with a procession from Fifth Street and the Boardwalk onto the field, seniors Haley Stanks and Joshua Barnes gave farewell speeches.Haley spoke of all of the accomplishments of the Class of 2020.“We’ve been preparing to be seniors since September 6, 2016, and we truly left our mark on OCHS this year,” she said. “Though we never could have predicted that our last day of high school would be March 16, 2020, we all must remember what great memories we made during our high school years. What matters is not how much time we had but what we did with the time we were given together, and trust me, we’ve done a lot.”Graduate Joshua Barnes gives a farewell speech.Joshua spoke of unity.“To me, our generation’s legacy is critical. I do not know about you, but I refuse to allow history to describe us as those who crippled the planet or allowed political gridlock to become the norm,” he said. “In order to effect real, and most importantly, impactful change, we must unite.”Later in his address, he offered this advice to his fellow graduates, “As high school graduates, we must remember that we play for the same team: Team Humanity. Everybody in this arena today shares one goal, one passion, one desire: to make our lives, our country, and our world the best place possible.”In all, the Class of 2020 included 325 students. Reflecting the school colors, girls wore white cap and gowns, while the boys dressed in red.Students enter the field at Carey Stadium for the ceremony.Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor recognized the graduates as exceptional. She noted that they are “savvy” and excellent communicators.“Every generation looks to the next generation for leaders,” she said.The Class of 2020 represented leaders.“The leaders make decisions that are fair. They make wise choices. I know you are that generation,” Dr. Taylor noted.Dr. Taylor also recognized the families who watched from outside the stadium, waving her arms in the area.She added of the graduates, “Now you are ready to make our community stronger.”Amara Mulloy, second from left, with fellow graduates, friends and family.At the end of the ceremony, students gathered with their friends for photos, before meeting up with their family and other friends who were allowed on the field at the end of the program.For Amara Mulloy, the day meant an ending of one important chapter, but the beginning of another at St. Joseph’s University.Surrounded by her friends and family who congratulated her, she said what the day symbolized for her.“I’m so excited,” she said. “Having a graduation commencement made it feel like an ending.”Gail and Jeff Bogart, of Sea Isle City, meet up with their son, Jack.Jack Bogart, of Sea Isle City, and his best friend, Liam Millar, of Ocean City, chatted with their new diplomas in hand.“It was a nice ceremony, considering everything. At least they did something. A lot of the other schools didn’t have anything,” Jack said.Jennifer and Jeff Shirk, of Ocean City, couldn’t wait to see their daughter, Juliette, after the ceremony to celebrate. Juliette will be going on to the University of Delaware.“It was very nice that the whole class could see each other in person one last time,” Jennifer Shirk said.Kathy and Mark Reimet, of Ocean City, watched their son, Todd, graduate. Todd is heading to Rowan University.“I thank the administration for how they put the kids first,” Kathy Reimet said.Mark Reimet added, “It is such a cool feeling. Vacationers watching can see what a close community we are.”The Ocean City Police Department assisted throughout the ceremony. School officials said that the event would not have been possible without the help of the police department, Mayor Jay Gillian, the Board of Education and the City’s Public Works Department.Before the graduation students stopped for pictures on the Boardwalk, the start of the procession.Parents Jennifer and Jeff Shirk, of Ocean City, couldn’t wait to see their daughter, Juliette.Liam Millar, left, of Ocean City, with best friend, Jack Bogart, of Sea Isle City.Families stand outside the gates to watch the graduation.The first-ever social distancing graduation at Ocean City High School.Students pick up their diplomas.Ocean City High school nurse and wellness center coordinator Jill Berenato, at left, gears up with a water spritzing fan, for the graduation.Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor raises her arms in victory for the graduates and their families.The Class of 2020:*Andrew Michael AffanatoGavin Michael Allegretto+**Robin Hana AltmanJoseph Jacob ArdeleanDonald Jeremy ArgoeChristopher Luke Armstrong+**Kelsey May Arnold+**Kayla Grace Attiya**Ava Grace Auwarter**Jack Cameron Baker+**Joshua Paul BarnesWilliam Henry Barnes+**Jay Patrick BarrettDaesha Bryanna Beachaump◦+**Cole Michael Becker*Brian David Beckmann, Jr.+*Abigail Elizabeth BennettAdriana Maria BertucciJames William Bishop, V*John George BogartAnthony Joseph Bongiorno+**Brynn Valerie BowmanRebecka Elizabeth Brandenburg*Kelly Lynn Branin*Grace Patricia Broschard*Haley Nicole Broschard-Hoster**Cynthia Melissa Brown*Riley Elizabeth Brown+**Grace Noel Burke*Mary Anne Burke*Samuel Kelley Burns+**Nicole Ann CappolinaDavid Joseph Caracciolo**Juliana Lynn CarmeanJoshua Karl Carmona*Cameryn Susan Carr+**Kate Josephine Carter+**Max Andrew CarterDavid Benjamin Chakov+**Eve Robyn ChiarelloMartina Antonia Citera+**Jenna Ann Clark**Maggie Elizabeth Clunn**Katherine Grace CoffeyAnthony Santino ConteLouis Joseph Conte*Margaret Helen CorcoranKathleen Elizabeth CossabooneAnthony Francis Costa◦*Evan Ferdinand Couval+**Ava Christine Cozamanis*Phoenix James Crager◦+**Abigail Maria Craige+**Megan Joann CrawfordBrandon Thomas CreamerAlyson Elisabeth Curtin+**Joseph Paul D’Amico, Jr.Jenna Catherine DahlAbigail Paige DavisSara Anna Delgrande*Keely Rose DeMarco+**Ashley Nicole Devlin+**Cameron Anthony DiTroia+**Carly Elizabeth Dougherty+**Alyson Leigh Doyle+**Tanner Daniel DriscollAndrew Richard Eget*Olivia Rose Eggie**Gabrielle Rose Eiler*Aidan Thomas Emberger-Stiglitz+**Louisa Marie EspositoFrank Peter Fabi, III*Jillian Rose Falvo**Michael Patrick Farley, Jr.Lindsay Kathleen FarmerRhiannon Skylar FaustinoColby Thomas FelixMatthew Thomas Feng+**Abigail Sara Fenton**Emma Joy Finnegan+**Michael Edward Flynn+**William Gustafson Flynn, III*Justin Alan FormanBrian Charles Foulke**Regan Mary Fredericks*McKenna Grace FullerZachary Thomas FulmerGabriella Divine Gagliardi◦*Joseph Michael GardnerAnthony Rudy GarrettCaleb Emerson Gartner+**Alberto GaytanKayla Angelina Geisler+**Juliana Rose Giardina*Sydney Gayle Gillette+**Sophia Rose GinetZachary David GinetEziah Zaire Granger*Margaux Lafont Gray*Lucy Carpenter GreeneEric William Greenling+**Shane Alexander Gremo+**Theodore Dennis GrimleyZoe Alisa Gross*Jacqueline Hope Gruber-Kolmer*Anthony Martin Guerrera*Elaina Rose Guido+**Marissa Rose Guido*Reghan Lohr Handley+**Gabrielle Renee Hart**Trevor John Hazlett+**Lauren Marie HerauxAndrew Jace Hillegass*Ashley Jean HoffmanJacob Reilly HoffmannThomas Robert Hoffmann*Tyler Wayne HoggLana Rose Holthoff-Rekeda**Fisher Dennis HudakHannah Marie Iannace+**Eric Christian Ibarra+**Joseph Matthew Innocente+**Mary Grace Jamison+**Alexa Joan JapzonDavid Laurence Jefferson**Isabella Marie Johnson+**Margaret Claire Kane*Kelsie Alexys Karrer**Michael Lee Katsiff*Hannah Nicole Keane◦**Jacob Benjamin Kellner*Joseph Michael Kelly, Jr.Max Wilson Kelly*Megan Marie Kelly**Michael Patrick Kelly*Shane Thomas Kirby*Mary Margaret Kirchhoff*Ashley Nicole Kirn**Tyler David Kirn**Rachel Marie Krajicek*Luke Samson KramerNoah Evan Kuhns*Sarah Rose KupersteinShaun Nicholas Hayward Lackman**Delaney Mae Lappin**Julian Lyle Lechner*John Robert LeNoir*Sydney Jane Leonard**Noam Effraim Levy-SmithCharles Cole LewisTyler Jesse LewisSerena Mei Shing LinJohn Edward LLoydNadia Rae Longfellow+**Aura Maria LopezMary Elizabeth LoteckKareem Amir Robert LovestDanna Luciano-RodriguezCameron Scott MacDonald+**Chloe Annalise Mack+**Ryleigh Barbara MackSeaira Antoinette Manning+**Nathan Thomas Marple*Joseph Cole Marshello*Izabel Ayline MartinezJenna Lynn Mason*Ashley Marie MathersIsabella Nicole Mavilla+**Kathryn Elizabeth Mazzitelli*Maclain Richard McAllisterEthan Patrick McCarron**Sophia Grace McCartyNickolas Aaron McDaniels**Molly Grace McGonigle**Colin Francis Stephen McHughJacob Ryan McKenna+**Casey Jane McLeesJoseph Carlo Melini+**Sophia Theresa Meyler◦Liam Devlin Millar*Rebecca Rose Millar**Jaden Porter Millstein+**Lauren Elissa Mirsky+**Meredith Katelyn Moon+**Jordan Elizabeth MoyerLucas Emanuel MozesEthan Thomas MullinsAmara Mackenzie Mulloy*Ava Marie Mumman**Emily Elizabeth MyersLuke David Neff*Aidan Douglas Nelson+**Kelly Lynn NymanCathryn Elizabeth O’Boyle**Ellen Grace O’Brien*Bridget Anne O’Kane◦+**Thomas Charles OvesLane Finley Owens*Isabella Danielle PaganLaura Faith PaganoTrent Keen PalmerWilliam Dempsey Palmer*David Aaron PalomequeChristian Daniel Palzer*Jaylen Bea PatesAidan Anthony Pearce**Rebecca Mae Perrin*Samantha Jolie Perro**Haleigh Gibson Perry+**Kiley Marie PettitJeremiah Linehan Pfeifle*Jade Elizabeth Phelps+**Thomas Dominick PiernikowskiRyan Tyler Pierpoint*Hailee Izabella Pietrowitz*Morgan Marie Pizagno*Andrea Molly Posner*Brooke Nicole PowellMadison Elise Presnall*Chloe Madison Prettyman*Colin Joseph Quade+**Molly Grace Reardon**Matthew Joseph Rebock**Paige Elizabeth Redrow**Aidan Alexandre Reid*Carly Brooke ReighardTodd Mark ReimetMadeline Cairone ReolaBlake Anthony Louis RestuccioRodolfo Reyna◦**Sophia Gabrielle Richmond*Ava Elizabeth RitzelEthan Benjamin Roberts+**Victoria Lily Robertson**Madison Shea RocapEmma Grace RodriguezFaustino Martin RodriguezJessica Crystal RowellJames John Callihan Ryba**Emma Rose SaccoErik Sacramento-Morales*Marina Rose Salugta**Grace Alexa SandoNicholas Thomas SanninoShane Patrick Sanza+**Emma Lynne Sardy**Jacob Matthew Savino+**Claudia Rose Scherbin*Alexia Renee Schmidt*Conrad Richard Schmidt*Caitlyn Alexandra Seeger+*Juliette Simmons Shirk+**Maura Rachel Siciensky+**Courtney Valentine Sigmund**David Anthony Simpson**Carl Hayden SmallwoodSarah Crystal Smith*Henry Lee SoutoGeorge Hugh Spackman◦+**Matthew Alan Specht+**Haley Kathryn StanksJacquelyn Leanne SteelmanJennifer Nicole Stevens**Courtney Paige StoerrleEthan David StokesAndrew Walter Argoe Stremme*Brad Edward Sturgess, Jr.**Kira Lynn SturgessGeorgia Leigh SullivanEmily Grayce Sustek**Joshua Russell SwensenJames Patrick Swift, IVYuliana Tapia-Lopez*Shannon Marie ThreetJaden Raymond Tocci-Rogers+**Alexander David Town+**Kira Eileen Tracy+**Kai Kale TripicianAshton Jordan Ungehajer*Meredith Marie Urban*Paul Krish Urban*Gabriella Marie Verducci*Margaret Rose Vittorini*Taylor Grace WadeMicah Robert Francis Waid*Sean Michael WalshJared Nino Warrington*Kaitlyn Elizabeth WhildenPeter Kenneth WigginsErika Lynn Wilde+**Louis Edward WilliamsMichael Andrew Williscroft, Jr.Andrew Jacob Wilson*Elizabeth Marie WilsonIssac Amadaeous Isiah WilsonEvelyn Blyler WinesEric Austin WinterNiky’ Ja’lil WorthingtonBrian Spenser WrightTrevor James Robert Wright**Soleil Kai Yakita*Aidan Daniel Yarger*Marina Alexia Yiannos+**Maclain Alan Young+**Konnor Paul Yunghans**Alyssa Rose Zimmerman