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Introducing...ShoreBilly's Swill

Posted by Shorebread | Thursday, September 08, 2011

Introducing…Shorebilly’s Swill, a weekly column full of sarcastic social commentary and quirky observation, written by locals who reside in the land of perpetual summer.  When your hometown happens to be the play land for millions, but is where you must earn a living, in some cases raise kids, and attempt to make a name for yourself--there’s another side.  This column is the reality of living in funtown—the enviable aspects to the ridiculous anecdotes.

Since it’s our mission at ShoreBread to tell the stories of those who live here, ShoreBilly’s Swill, has been added to the regular roster to do just that—from a personal perspective.  There’s a rotating group of individuals who have lined up to share their tales from the trenches of the hospitality industry—bartenders who reflect on life behind the bar, band guys and DJ’s who speak from the perspective of “let us entertain you”---these are the people who literally supply the fun for millions.  What’s it like to be them?  What do they see? And when it’s finally time for them to socialize, what do they do?

Age isn’t just a number here; it’s also a class system of sorts, socially speaking.  Thousands of college students descend upon Ocean City every summer, intent on making as much money as possible and having a raucous good time, before hightailing it back to school when their three months of fun is over.  Their social lives are determined by which bar has the cheapest drink specials, and navigating the perils of living in a house with twelve other people.  They have energy and enthusiasm for socializing matched only by their stamina for being able to do it repeatedly.  Flash forward twenty years and things are…well… a little different. 

Decades later, socializing in Ocean City carries quite a different meaning…being able to crawl out of bed the next day, for instance.  Or what it means to live here with actual responsibility--weathering the scene as a hardened veteran instead of a novice and energetic 21-year old, as our graphic suggests.  

You get the idea—it’s all perspective, and many variations will be shared via Shorebilly’s Swill.  The regular column will post every Tuesday. Check back each week to see which voice is displayed for your reading pleasure.  If you’re local, see if you can figure out who is writing the column--all will be written under an alias.  

Until then…below is the introduction of our first columnist.  Think of him like Sam from Cheers—everybody knows his name, and he’s likely seen it all.  We call him Syd Nichols

I arrived in this quaint little beach resort town for senior week back in 1980-somethings as a teenager.  I use the term “quaint” very loosely.  This 7-mile long sand dune holds about 300 liquor licenses.   I pulled into town perched proudly behind the wheel of a rusty 1979 Cutlass Olds Supreme, sporting my mullet like a crown of jewels.  I now find myself still living in that same beach town as a forty-something father of three.  It took nearly a quarter century of perpetual adolescence before I finally tapped the breaks on my rock star lifestyle.  During that time, I had a lot of fun, experienced a lot, and witnessed just about everything.  Some of it I even remember.  Making up stories is not my strong suit—just ask my kids at bedtime.  What I’ll be writing here is about my own experiences and observations, with a comedic spin.  I hope you enjoy it.  Join me next Tuesday for the full column.”

Syd Nichols   



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