Tag Archives: Katrina

Mother Nature Wins Again…

I grew up in the small town of Orleans where Cape Cod makes its eastern-most thrust into the ice cold Atlantic. For thirty five years my dad and my brother, Jeff , ran Philbrick’s Snack Shack out on Nauset Beach. I worked at “The Shack” for eight summers when I was in high school and the first couple of years in college. After getting out of the Navy I ran Nauset Beach Rides.

This weekend there was an ultra-nasty nor’easter that tore away at the beach and is bringing an end to an era. My dad built the Snack Shack with his own two hands in 1954. It has withstood nor’east storms and hurricanes for 64 years but this week it’s finished.

One thing I didn’t make clear is that while my dad built the Snack Shack and he and my brother ran it for 35 years, my brother stopped running it 29 years ago. John Ohman has been running it since then under another name. It’s sad, though, to see this bit of Orleans history bite the dust.

1960 nauset

This last weekend.

snack shack 2


When my brother, Jeff, was running the place he was selling a ton to a TON AND A HALF of onion rings A WEEK! The volume of food that passed through those windows was literally unbelievable! On the Fourth of July Weekend Sunbeam bakery used to bring a trailer full of hot dog and hamburger buns to handle all that would be cooked and consumed over those three days.

Back in the ’50s Howard Johnson’s was noted and famous for their hot dogs. They were made by the Boldeaux  meat company. (Not sure of the spelling after 60 years) They only had TWO CUSTOMERS. Howard Johnson and Philbrick’s Snack Shack. I remember on time the Boldeaux salesman telling my father that the Snack Shack, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, sold MORE hot dogs than the top three year round Ho Jos in New England, COMBINED!!!

But it’s all over now. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress…

New Pics…

Shack Erosion 3

Shack erosionShack Erosion 2

Last three photos from Cape Cod Times newspaper


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2,541 Reasons to Mourn This Day

Five years ago today  Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States leaving 1,836 dead and another 705 missing. New Orleans, of course, was the hardest hit and garnered the lion’s share of publicity from the people trapped in the Superdome.

While the people of New Orleans were about to be imprinted on the world’s stage this was going on 150 miles to the east…

In Mobile, Alabama

Almost immediately after the skies had cleared and images of the people stranded in the Dome and on rooftops started to hit the airwaves “compassionate conservatives” started to criticize the people who were trapped. But how do you evacuate when you’re in an ICU unit in Charity Hospital or Touro Infirmary? How do you evacuate when you’re bed ridden in a nursing home? How do you evacuate if you’re a doctor or nurse caring for those people?  How do you evacuate when you’re poor and don’t own a car? How do you evacuate when you’re an infant and your parents are poor and don’t have transportation? How do you evacuate if your owners don’t take you?

And the people who DID evacuate? Their lives, too, were forever changed because they had nothing left to come back to.

And  NEVER forget this idiot and his pal.

I loved New Orleans. I haven’t been there since Katrina and I never will. There are still large areas that haven’t recovered and I couldn’t bear to see that. It would break my heart.


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