#InFocus: Local man spends 350+ days on beach in honor of late wife

- In Ocean City, New Jersey—even after the summer crowd has lifted—when most people have pretty much give up going to the beach.

FOX 29's Photojournalist Bill Rohrer shares his story.

You will see peaking over the sand dunes – 80-year-old Earl Paul under his yellow umbrella.

“I look like a beach bum, I talk like a beach bum, I am the beach bum,” Paul says.

He says it is a game against Mother Nature. Trying to sit on the beach every day of the week—even if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

“I never had trouble with snow.  Snow storms are like Christmas cards.”

This year Earl has made it to the beach 358 times.

If I do over 350 days then I win the game. If I go under 350 then I loose.  I never go under 350,” Paul says.

He has been doing this so long…

“I am famous for doing nothing.”

Try 18 years long.

“I love coming down here meeting people, I go in the water.

“Two weeks ago if you were sitting here with me you would have seen a 40 foot whale played in the ocean in front of me.  Where are you going to see that.”

He has a few chairs set up for some guests if they want to stop by and chat.

You see — this all started 20 years ago when Earl and his wife Cass moved from Philadelphia into a condo a few blocks away.

“We were together all the time.”

Ever since High school—before she passed away a few years after they retired.

“You take someone out of your life like that all of a sudden—they are not there.  It is like a bad dream.”

Earl fell apart.  Till one day he went to the beach—and left his broken heart behind.

“Did I get cured overnight No.  It took four years before I thought I was going to lead a regular life.

“Without the beach I would have never made it,” he says

After 18 years—Earl appreciates the life he has now.

“I have one complaint, if you want me to complain, the days go too fast.  I no sooner get down here and I am wrapping up to go home.”

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