What was so special for me about Shore was that we were there at the very start and made the school what it was in its infancy. I had been teaching for one year (at Neptune High) when Frank Lawyer hired me. He had been my freshman English teacher in Long Branch and I had student taught with him during my senior year in college.
I spent the summer before we opened working (and I do mean “working”) at the school. For example, I remember unloading every desk purchased for the school and helping John Kolibas inventory chemistry supplies as they arrived.
Getting the drama program going was one of the most exciting parts of working at Shore. Frank Lawyer and I worked together on the musicals, beginning with the first ever Shore Players production, Bye, Bye Birdie. With Eric Swenson and Bob Calabrese alternating in the role of Conrad Birdie, Paul Caliendo as Albert, Jill Craig as Rosie, Peg Rose as Kim McAfee, Toni Slocum and Bill Kiley as Mr. and Mrs. McAfee, Gary Laurino as their son, and Mike Wilcox as Hugo F. Peabody, and a cast of thousands (well, about 50 any way). The show sold out again and again; Shore Players were firmly established. The Boy Friend, Guys and Dolls, and Kiss Me, Kate followed, though not necessarily in that order.
In addition to the musicals Frank and I each directed a comic or serious drama every year. Time Out for Ginger, The Bad Seed, and Everybody Loves Opal are the ones that come immediately to mind, and as I write those titles, names I haven’t thought of in decades come pouring into my mind; too many to mention here.
A spin-off from Shore Players was Four from Shore, a radio show produced for WJLK, which was then a subsidiary of The Asbury Park Press. The four announcers were picked in “geographically correct,” and what would now be labeled as politically correct, fashion; there was an announcer from each of the towns making up the regional school district, and there were two males and two females.
I married and left Shore Regional behind to move to the Boston, Massachusetts, area in 1967. There I stayed as a teacher and drama director for 35 more years. Now married to Dr. Linda French, I am an adjunct professor at Illinois Wesleyan University (where my wife is professor of astronomy) and a director/actor/board member at Heartland Theatre Company as well as president of the Illinois Theatre Consortium.
To Frank Lawyer and to Shore Regional I owe a debt of deep gratitude. My time at Shore permitted me to develop as a teacher and as a theatre director. My Massachusetts theatre group, Cohasset Drama Workshop, went on to win many state awards, but I have always been thankful to the place where I served my apprenticeship, Shore Regional High School.
Submitted by Mr. Patrick Barnes ('66), 09/08/2011:
I was a member of the very first incoming freshman class at Shore, in 1962. My best memories are of being in Shore Players, playing on the tennis team (we were undefeated my senior year), and enjoying math and physics classes. The math program at Shore was so advanced that I placed into third-semester calculus as a college freshman. Advanced physics, in Ray Shadow’s class, was an education in life as well as physics.
After Shore I went to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, receiving a BS in Math, then a few years later received my Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After a two-year career as a computer programmer I taught data processing (now called information technology) for 10 years at Forsyth Technical College in Winston-Salem. There I met my wife, Dr. Danaé Patella, and moved to Seattle to join a software company. For the last 20 years I have been a software consultant. Now I’m mostly retired from consulting and spend time on my hobbies, including distance running, teaching motorcycle safety classes, playing the piano, and being a museum docent.