They Will Never Know

Tillie Asbury Park

Tillie is the nickname of two murals of a grinning figure that were painted on the side of the Palace Amusements building in Asbury Park, New Jersey, United States. Tillie is an amusement park “fun face”, painted over the winter of 1955-1956.

When I was younger my mother used to take us to Asbury during summer break.  We used to spend all day on the beach, and then hit the boardwalk for dinner and the attractions.

Since then the amusements and entertainment have been removed.  There is no mirror house.  There are no bumper cars.  The carousel has been silent for a long time now.  I wrote this poem to pay homage to my childhood.  

My kids will never know the smile on his face

Will never know the warmth of his haunting eyes embrace

They will never know the joy that Tillie brought to me

Of the wonderland of sights and sounds, a place called Asbury

Never know the sounds of the Palace bumper cars

Or the twinkle in the sky at night from a carpet of shiny stars

They will never know the joy that Tillie brought to me

The music in the air, the sounds, and lights lovely

Forever there’s no wind, blowing through their hair

The sun beating down upon their skin, why is life so unfair

They will never know the joy that Tillie brought to me

While I ran along the sand on the beach beside the sea

I wish I could go back to that oasis by the sea

Where I’d laugh, and play, and listen to every memory

They will never know the joy that Tillie brought to me

Of being young, and brave, and full of fantasy

But the Palace is no more, it is a mystery

Wherever Tillie went, I hope he’s not lonely

They will never know the joy that Tillie brought to me

Of the wonderland of sights and sounds, a place called Asbury.

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