Dear Atlantic Highlands High School Alumnus:

I’m sure many of you are aware of the tremendous devastation visited on the Bayshore by Hurricane Sandy, particularly in Highlands where many people, many we know, lost their homes and most of their worldly possessions.   

And I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised by the heroic efforts of area residents to rescue and otherwise assist their neighbors.

What you may not know is that Dick Maxson (AHHS Class of 1958) — “Richard M. Maxson” <[email protected]>; 732 872-0191 — played a major role in rescuing his backdoor neighbor and her two young sons (ages 10 & 6) from her rapidly flooding car near Dick’s endangered home at 222 Bay Ave.

What apparently happened is that the neighbor, Tomi Jain, who lives behind Dick on Fourth Street, decided to get out of her house with her children as the height of the storm approached on Monday, Oct. 29. So, she drove the approximately one block to Bay avenue when her car stalled as the water rose to hood level and then into her auto as she sought higher ground. Dick, a neighbor of his and a passing man in a boat then went out to her car and successfully extricated the three from it.

Tomi and her family were subsequently evacuated to a shelter at Monmouth University and then returned “home” to live on the powerless and unheated second floor of their badly damaged house for a time. Later the family, including husband Jerry, who was returning from work on Staten Island during the excitement, found shelter with friends in Princeton. The family is now staying with Louise and me.

Both the homes of Dick and Tomi suffered major damage and are being cleaned up and restored as quickly as possible. Dick’s son drove in from Kentucky with fuel and needed supplies. When I visited with him the other day, Dick had discarded furniture and ripped out walls and floors, among other things, in an effort to make his home livable again. Tomi and family have been engaged in similar tiresome and painful activity.

Peter E. Donoghue
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...