Prudential Excursion

by Jule Spohn


Every year when I was a kid back in the 1940's and 1950's I remember going with my mother and her two sisters, my Aunt's Mary and Anna, on what was called "The Prudential Excursion" to Asbury Park.

My mother and her two sisters all worked for the Pru going all the way back to the 1920's or thereabouts. Once a year, in the summer, the Pru would give most of it's employees the day off and run a train out of Penn Station in Newark to Asbury Park. This was always one of the highlights of my childhood. It was a wonderful day. Everybody had a great time on the train ride down to the shore. Once the train stopped in Asbury we would have to walk a while to get to the beach area. Once there we would go on the beach, have lunch in any of the great restaurants there, walk along the boardwalk, take a walk through Convention Hall and play all of the Skeet Ball machines, and the little "erector" type machines to pick up our "prize" from the bottom of the box, walk through the Casino, go for a ride on the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel over at Wesley Lake, run through the tumbler to get into the "Fun House", take a ride on the "Swan" boat or on the "Paddle Wheeler" on Wesley Lake, play miniature golf and other games along the boardwalk at the Kiddie Playland area, take a ride on the miniature train, take a walk along Cookman Ave and look into all of the shops along there, pick up a couple of boxes of salt water taffy, take a ride on the "Skooter Ride" in the Fun House building, have dinner at the Berkeley Carteret Hotel, and then finally take the train back to Newark after an exciting day.

Sometimes my mother and her friends would take the bus or another train over to Monmouth Park Race Track for a few hours and then join us in time for dinner.

What a great and exciting time was had by all.


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