Ms. Chris M. Chemerka Mr. Mitchell Minutillo
I have had the great pleasure of being introduced to Ocean Park (OP) the summer prior to departing for college, in 1985, when I spent the summer at the cottage as a housekeeper and also worked at the gift shop and deli in the center of OP. Since that time there has been a luring to OP that has increased year to year.
I visited OP many times over the years but it wasn’t until 2000, the year I took my four year old son on vacation to OP that my love for OP was solidified. As a single mother it was important to find a place that was not only fun and relaxing but also safe, welcoming, nurturing and immersed in family values. The OP community and the cottage felt like visiting a well-loved grandmother; warm, safe and cozy. I was instantly comfortable, relaxed, trusted we were safe and truly enjoyed a wonderful trip and went home rejuvenated. We had played, laughed, slept great, ate well, had our fill of sand and sea, and enjoyed the OP community and the welcoming ease of the cottage which was created by the guests and owners. I knew immediately this would be the place I would return each year to create lifetime memories for my son and me.
My son, Mitchell, is now 22 and 18 years have passed, and we have a plethora of memories that we would never trade. (One being the momentous year Mitchell was first allowed to walk to the Soda Fountain on his own – this is a right of passage). We have also made lifetime friends, some from our very first visit in 2000.
Now, 32 years after stepping into the cottage for the first time, I have humbly become its curator. I will forever be grateful to Shirley Potter, prior owner and host of the cottage, for asking if I would be interested in continuing with the legacy that she and Warren undertook 35 years earlier. She and I are both thrilled that I am able to maintain the cottage with rental abilities, as this was important to both of us. We are both aware that it is the guests that bring the cottage to life. I will forever be thankful to Shirley, Warren and the Potter family for bringing Ocean Park, the cottage, new friends, memories and a future with an ocean view, into my and Mitchell’s life.
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