In September 1944 I entered Admiral Farragut Academy in Pine Beach, NJ, as a Junior. Looking back, I am still amazed that Farragut was just over a decade old. The campus was complete with 2 dormitories, 2 gyms, a library, modern sickbay, classrooms, football stadium, track, tennis courts, waterfront, and lots of boats. There were also administrative offices, the mess hall, uniform and tailor shop, barbershop, snack shop, and much more.
At that time, Farragut was an all-male boarding school and no day students. There were a few 7th and 8th graders, but mostly high school and postgraduate students. The student body numbered 325. I came from a large public high school that had 25 or more students in each classroom. At Farragut, we had maybe 10 per classroom. With wonderful inspiring teachers, how could you not love to learn? We started each day with marching, drills, and parades. We even had a parade every Sunday. If your grades were good, you were allowed to study for two hours in your room at your desk, but door open and no radio. If not, you attended supervised study hall. My grades were good!
After Labor Day, Pine Beach, NJ became desolate when seasonal residents returned to their main homes. At that time, there were virtually no year-round residents. Farragut was practically the only inhabited place in the borough. The main attraction was attending the community movie theatre in Toms River on Saturday afternoons after inspection. It was the only time, if you had no restrictions, when permission was granted to leave the grounds.
Athletics were a large part of my Farragut experience. I was on the track team and we practiced every day during the week. We traveled to Bordentown Military, the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and overnight to New York Military Academy, which are all special memories. Inter-company sports competition was fierce. I was captain of the 1945 1st company touch football championship team. We were black and blue all over, but had a great time. There was always sports to watch, participate in and cheer for. I had roommates on varsity football, basketball and baseball teams.
Summers were spent on Long Beach Island at my grandparents where I sailed on Barnegat Bay. Farragut gave me the opportunity to spend even more time on the water. Toms River is excellent for sailing and the school had several different classes of boats to choose from, even Star class. I never saw the sub chaser the Navy reactivated during WWII, but I was there when the USS Osberg (DE 538) Ship arrived, which may have been the largest ship to ever come up the river. Wow!
I received a fine education at Farragut and graduated in May 1946. I was accepted and earned my degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, but it was at Farragut where I made lifetime friends. I have added even more during my years with the Alumni Association, Board of Trustees, and at homecomings in NJ and St. Petersburg. I treasure those relationships more than anything. I am proud to be a Farragut alumnus.