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Aunt Irma’s datebook: documenting family vacations

Part of the Doo-Wop motel district in the Wildwoods.

Part of the Doo-Wop motel district in the Wildwoods.

By Mark C. Peyko

My Aunt Irma recently showed me a multi-decade datebook that she had kept from 1957 until a few years ago. The book listed significant events (birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.) and the dates and years they occurred. To my surprise, she also listed most of my family’s vacations to Wildwood from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s. I’m inclined to think it’s an incomplete record, because I remember going every year except in 1972 when my parents were building their new house. But I could be wrong.

 Our family trips to Wildwood (from my aunt’s datebook) appear below. My notations/additions appear in brackets. 
1964: June 13 (in Wildwood) [mom, dad, older brother and me]. 
1965: June 5 (in Wildwood) [mom, dad, older brother, baby brother! and me]. 
1966: June 9-16 (in Wildwood) [mom, dad, older brother, younger brother and me]. 
1967: Aug. 15 (P.M. to Wildwood) [We left late and dad drove all night. Crew: mom, dad, older brother, younger brother, new baby sister! and me.]. 
1968: July 28 (to Wildwood) [same as 1967: the nuclear six]. 
1973: June 12 (to Wildwood) [same as 1967: the nuclear six]. 
1974: July 16 (to Maryland, later to Wildwood) [same as 1967: the nuclear six]. 
1975: July 10 to Maryland, later to Wildwood. [same as 1967: the nuclear six]. 
1978: July 31 (to Wildwood) [Sketchy details here. The kids are getting older and would now begin driving separately or missing a year now and then. My older brother didn’t go with us in 1978.]. 
1983: Aug. 31 (to Wildwood). 
1986: June 29 [to Wildwood for 2 weeks]. 
1990: Ella and Biff [mom and dad] to Wildwood on Sept. 17. 
1991: Sept. 2-9 Wildwood [The last trip with my nuclear family. Mom died later that year.]. 
[2007: Labor Day weekend. I went for the first time since mom died. Other family members had gone to Wildwood in the ensuing years, introducing spouses, children and in-laws to the Jersey Shore. Cool.]