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Martin Mollusk Celebrates 40th Anniversary May 1

The legend of Martin Mollusk explained.

Martin successfully sees shadow on 9th St. Beach by Music Pier in 2013. Summer comes one week early to Ocean City. (Photos provided by Mark Soifer)
Martin successfully sees shadow on 9th St. Beach by Music Pier in 2013. Summer comes one week early to Ocean City. (Photos provided by Mark Soifer)
Written and submitted by Mark Soifer, Ocean City Public Relations Director

On a cool, windy March day in 1974, Martin Z. Mollusk, Ocean City’s relatively famous hermit crab, made his first, and what turned out to be historic creep, onto the 9th Street Beach. Martin was fulfilling a life long dream to be recognized as a legitimate weather forecaster.

An orphan, Martin was abandoned along the Great Gray Zambesi River in Africa. It was here that he passed the time studying the clouds, wind currents etc., and taught himself to forecast the weather with extreme accuracy. 

After numerous trials and tribulations, Martin was able to stow away on a flight to Tepid Swamp, Louisiana, a Mecca for hermit crabs and home of Tepid Tech, the world’s only University for Crustaceans. Here he obtained a Doctorate in Climatology and met his future wife, the clawsome Mollie Shellfish.

Martin amazed his classmates with his ability to forecast weather months into the future. This phenomenon was featured in many Hermit Crab publications and caught the attention of the Ocean City Public Relations personnel who subscribed to most of the publications. 

Martin was eventually invited to Ocean City and asked to forecast the arrival of summer. City Officials had long believed summer arrived a week early at this favored family resort and that Martin would be the ideal personality to verify it. Such documentation would be a big plus to the City business community and a joy to tourists.

And so it came to pass that Martin Z. Mollusk has utilized his unusual scientific abilities to prove the City right. This is how it works. If Martin sees his shadow when he enters “The Circle of Truth on the Beach,” summer comes a week early. If not, no big deal, it comes on time. 

Here are the undisputed facts: For the past 39 years, Martin has seen his shadow and summer has indeed arrived early. Once, he only saw a partial shadow and summer arrived 3 ½ days ahead of time.

On May 1, Martin, who is now 101 years old in Hermit Crab Age, will creep again at 11 a.m. on the Moorlyn Terrace Beach. It will be amid much pomp and circumstance. The Ocean City High School Band will play Pomp and Circumstance to herald his arrival.

A bevy of celebrities will join the procession. They include:

  • former City Commissioner Marilyn Moore who, with Mayor Tom Waldman and Commissioner Luther Wallace, sanctioned the first event;
  • Suzanne Muldowney, as Shelley the Mermaid, will sing “Some Enchanted Morning” before Martin enters the Circle of Truth;
  • Dr. Fernando Frankenstein and Nurse Perfect will check Martin’s vital signs to ensure he is healthy enough to creep;
  • Doug Jewell, the Ocean City Pirate, will provide Security;
  • Big Mama Llama of Bready Farms will shake her head when and if Martin sees his shadow; and
  • Mr. Mature America 2014 Frank Faralli and former TV anchorman, Dick Sheeran, who covered Martin’s early exploits, will also attend.
  • Small replicas of Martin will be given away to mark the occasion.

Much more will transpire. For information, call 609-525-9300. 

SPRING BLOCK PARTY MAY 3: A mile-long extravaganza that extends from 5th to 14th streets on Asbury Avenur/ Over 350 vendors from throughout the region and beyond, and 100 downtown stores and restaurants, will display and sell a variety of products and food. Yes, there will be crafts, food and fun from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Live entertainment is scheduled from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and free pony rides for children will be available at the Tabernacle Grounds at the same time. There will be sidewalk sales and  boardwalk sales all weekend. 

Free parking will be available on West and Central avenues. The Spring Block Party began over three decades ago and became so successful that a second block party was scheduled for the fall. For information, call 609-391-0240.

ROCK FEST AT MUSIC PIER: To promote the release of its first album, “Green Language” will host a Rock Fest at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, Friday May 9 from 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. The album, “Of the Birds,” will feature all new sound tracks and be sold in the form of download cards and limited issue CDs. 

The concert will feature “The Rivals” from Philadelphia; “Hounds Basket” and “Bad Look” from New York and “The Outlips and Almost Heroes” from Ocean City. Green Language will perform the entire new album to close the show.

Lead singer of Green Language, Eddie Shiffler, will host the show and perform select songs from his 18-year solo career between acts. Artwork will be on display from Anna Vosberg, Aaron Jamison, Ivy Chaya Wilson and others. Admission is $10 at the door.

All ages welcome. For information, access www.reverbnation.com/greenlanguage or call 347-813-5090. 

Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep: April 26, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Check in at the Music Pier for clean up supplies. All are invited to join in this statewide program to keep our beaches clean, safe and to protect our coastline. Call 609-399-6111, extension 9711.

Step Into Spring 5K Walk/Run: April 26, registration starts 7 a.m. in front of Music Pier. Run/Walk begins 8 a.m. Benefits Betsy Young Memorial Foundation and Abramson Cancer Center of Philadelphia. To register, call 609-233-9020 or www.active.com

Spring Swing Surf Contest: April 26 at 7th St. Beach, 9 a.m. start. No Wave Date April 27. There are divisions for all male age groups 13-and-under to Masters-and-Over. Longboard Open, Women Open. Fee $10. Register online at www.ocnj.us/recreation under Recreation Activities. The event honors Don Pileggi for his many contributions to the Ocean City Surfing Community. For more information, call 609-525-9317.

Used Clothing Drive:  Fundraiser for Ocean City High School Surf Team competing in California on April 26 and 27. Drop off donations at 6th Street Fire House, 6th and West Avenue, Door #4, noon to 5 p.m. both days. Accepting men’s, women’s, children clothing, handbags, shoes, belts, linens, curtains, tablecloths, hard toys, stuffed animals. No books, CDs or VHS tapes. Drop off items in plastic garbage bags. For information, call Jennifer Bowman, 609-425-1474. 

March for the Babies Walk: April 27, starts 9 a.m. in front of Music Pier. For information, visit www.marchforbabies.org or call 856-874-9050.

Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk: May 3, registration 10 a.m. at 6th Street. Practice Field, Walk begins 11 a.m. Call (610) 325-6001 or visit www.cff.org

Boardwalk and Downtown Table Sales: May 3-4, 6-14th streets on Asbury Avenue and Boardwalk. No outside vendors permitted.

GOT TALENT?  Join the Ocean City Talent Show for all ages in either solo or groups: vocal, dance, instrumental, comedy, etc. Applications must be submitted by April 28 and are available at www.oceancitytheatrecompany.com or by calling 609-398-1118. The show is  set for May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Music Pier. For tickets, call 609-525-9300 or visit www.ocnj.us/boxoffice.

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