ABOUT OCEAN VIEW, the NICKEL TOUR
has grown since its web inception in 1993, starting out at R K's Diner (then at Geocities, which
merged with Yahoo years later). Of everything on this site, including
the Jukebox, interviews, articles & career
guidance the Tour evokes the greatest volume of
email, from all over the world, likely due to our migrating military population.You'll
find historic, educational facts and more current, entertaining trivia. Folks who spent
time in Tidewater, AKA Hampton Roads look for Ocean View on the web and
our heartfelt email is a joy to read; we appreciate
the generous images & memories contributions. We eventually opened a forum, rather than post mail: due to so many
"copycat" sites springing up (aye-- the facebook alone) our images
& text were pirated online & off (books sold). Some have made careers from the
Tour, aliens, having left the last town in their "motors-running" trailers.
The Ocean View Nickel Tour originated from a piece
written for the Tidal Times nearly 40 years
ago, entitled "Retreat?" by Roberta K.
Puma (March 6, 1981, p. 11) which ironically indicated a reluctance, if not
trepidation, of "renewal" of our beloved OV. Who knew then the pace or toll of
30+ years of "development"? We saw it coming --empires were made.
develop/developer/development: Real Estate terms for, in order:
1. to ruin the land, or whatever is standing on it 2. the person who does the ruining 3.
the generally ticky-tacky result of the operation Real Estate has been
"developed" at least since the nineteenth century, and the euphemism has long
been recognized as such, e.g. "Hogarth's home in Cheswick... will probably be
purchased by a builder who will do what is called develop the property; we all know pretty
well what that means..." (Times [London] Nov 6, 1801)
Developers and development tend to proceed inexorably,
as well as execrably, without regard for national boundaries: "The push to explore
and exploit the remotest corners of the earth cannot be stopped easily, if at all,
especially now that mankind is becoming uneasily aware of the planet's finite resources.
The process is usually called development and most people welcome it. Small tribal
societies are thus seen 'standing in the way of development' and it is felt that they must
adapt or face extinction..." --David Mayberry-Lewis, New York Times, March
It is difficult to
know what the long-term impact of overdevelopment in our area will ultimately be:
it certainly is impacting us environmentally
( <==CLICK link for 507KB
slideshow -- If you don't have PowerPoint to view slideshows,
download a free viewer (click image, left).
However, we've also seen the disintegration of community ties for families and
social repercussions for lifelong residents have been devastating and the current economic
climate is devastating for most . Much of our email reflects the problem(s) along with
postings at our Bullboard.
Please take time to read posts, but also, puhleeze take time to post your views, as well.
Today, hundreds if not thousands of communities throughout the US are
victims of urban renewal & "drug store
wars" --but it is painful when our own sell us out, and call it a
"renaissance"-- and its nothing short of stealing our lives and robbing our
children of their heritage. "Development" is a pre-frontal lobotomy correcting
nothing, but destroying the "personality" and memory of one's homeland.
The article included an honorary nod to Fullers on Mallory, in Phoebus, operated by "Dirty
Nellie" Nelson, which closed in the mid-80's. To us, Nelson is as Ocean View as
anyone. Like Doumars, you could return months, years (or
decades) later, and get the same waitress. That says something.
We were always nuts for Fullers' decor: dusty antique fireman helmets
and equipment in the front window (his father's); the old Wurlitzer® (with amazing tunes,
such as "In the Mood" clucked by a chorus of 'chickens') in the back room; the
Ladies room "sported" a parachute affixed to the ceiling (for falling plaster).
What brilliance! What fun! When King Crab (made for TV) was filmed in Phoebus in
1979, actors ate at Fullers. It was real & home, and more intriguing than anything in
Every time we pass the location, which is now just a gravel parking lot,
we feel a pang for the loss of those days when our tour was more than virtual. On seeing
the retired Nellie in the late 80's at the Norfolk Airport in a three-piece suit, we
didn't "place" him immediately --you'd have thought he was a celebrity. But when
he smiled and said "Hello" we finally placed him: out of his element and his
apron, at the stove and griddle behind the Fullers counter. We are compelled to tell you
about Nellie here for his 'Ocean View spirit' and of old Phoebus, so connected with us.
"Retreat?" toured Ocean View landmarks along
old Route 60, which you'll find here. In final paragraphs it addressed issues: "Often
renewal areas become uninteresting places... separating people from close community
relationships... can cut them off from scenic beauty... " borrowing from Jane Jacobs. Still, it
warily welcomed changes with just what a tired act needs. More ironically, it
closed with: "Note: Coincidentally, [while writing] this article, the writer was
required by a new landlord, to relocate due to renovation plans [at her] ...address."
encouraged by a nod for a Virginian-Pilot/Norfolk Compass article (29 April
1981) entitled Ocean View Fest Saturday-- Ernie Morgan
wrote to say thanks, agreeing that OV is [was] an "uncut gem". The
article heralded the "third annual festival" which then took place at Community
Beach (old-timers still refer to it as "A&P" Beach).
The fests were wonderful then --before the "carny" atmosphere-- moving to
Granby's delta. Much as the Saint Patrick's Parade has sullied
(it's an infomercial for a realtor) ---and embarrassing: cloning the same type of
non-celebratory functions seen annually at strip-malls and seedy venues. We're certain
well-meaning folk try to improve OV, but read e-mails (Tour 6)
--to see how True-Blue Viewers feel about 'improvements' --that some miss
the point. The beauty isn't just our bay, but of the independent spirit of those here, who
still care about her more vibrant days.
View was and is a state of mind --we don't fault Knight's of Columbus,
Kiwanis Club, or Civic Leagues-- however, collectively --they're pawns, if not ingenuous
tools of powerful developers & politicians. We can't believe what has been happening
over and over again. OV is gobbled up, and as city coffers fill, so does the pace. If you
care about Ocean View-- that it not continue to burgeon into someone's plastic & vinyl vision --as in the past 25
years-- please write firstname.lastname@example.org
--we want to keep the view in the View. The OV Tour is free of any Ocean View
business and/or (purported) non-profit orgs/affiliations; and "speaks from the
We want to express our sincerest thanks for your
interest in the Tour:
take "home" some free wallpaper
and learn more about your "neck" of the woods.