Regina Long: Duffer’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor

Written by: Frank Iacono

Duffers-Wildwood-NJ

In Wildwood, New Jersey Duffer’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor is known simply as the “Best Scoop in Town!” However, this third generation family-run business is more than just your typical ice cream shop. Duffer’s combines the perfect ingredients to create an atmosphere conducive to family-driven fun.

Duffer’s can satisfy nearly every vacationer’s definition of the word “fun”. For those seeking a hardy breakfast, look no further. Served from 8am to 1pm, breakfast at Duffer’s restaurant can be enjoyed by early and late risers alike. Duffer’s offers a variety of classic and specialty homemade pancake choices, omelets, breakfast burritos, sunrise croissants, and Belgian waffles. With its cream cheese filling and topped with fresh strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped butter, the Stuffed French Toast is another must-try breakfast specialty. Afternoon visitors enjoy an equally varied lunch menu from fresh salads to steak sandwiches and from gourmet burgers to chicken wraps served from 11:30 a.m. Dinner guests enjoy an array of both American specialties and fresh-caught seafood specialties, from stuffed flounder, fried shrimp and deep sea scallops to homemade crab cakes.

Outside, Duffer’s features a challenging 18 hole nautical theme mini-golf course. This course allows golfers to tee up at the foot of a huge sand castle or a few feet from the tentacles of a giant purple octopus. It is perfect for the “gone to the beach” mood of the shore town’s patrons. Finish up the game at the shipwreck of the final hole where you putt for a chance to win a free round of gold during your next visit.

On the inside, Duffer’s video arcade has games for family members of all ages including Jurassic Park, Kung Fu Panda, and Batman. Additionally, they offer many amusing games for the little ones too like Gold Fishin’, Fishbowl Frenzy, and Spider Stomp just to name a few. Make sure to save all game tickets. Duffer’s arcade includes a prize redemption center where gamers can choose between tons of prizes ranging from Fun Dip to gumball dispensers.

When golfers and gamers work up an appetite, they can head into restaurant where the dessert fun begins. With the island’s largest and only selection of homemade ice cream flavors, Duffer’s offers countless possibilities. Enjoy old fashioned sundaes, banana splits, waffles and ice cream, ice cream sodas, floats, real shakes, and dessert specialties. Once you’ve made your selection, visitors can take a seat at an old-fashioned wooden booth in the parlor and enjoy the rays of colored light beaming from the stained-glass ceiling.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Regina Long and asking her a few questions about Duffer’s long-standing history and Victorian style atmosphere, their 18 hole mini-golf course and video arcade with redemption center, and their Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: How long has Duffer’s been in business and who or what inspired you to open a store location in Wildwood, New Jersey?

Regina Long: 2015 marks Duffer’s 41st season. My parents, Donald and Dorothy Long, were born and raised in the Wildwoods, so when they decided to open a business, Wildwood was the perfect choice.

Duffers-Wildwood-New-Jersey

TCS: For those who are not too familiar with Duffer’s or Wildwood, please share with us some background and tell us where you are located?

RL: Duffer’s is a Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor. At Duffer’s, we pride ourselves in being the original homemade ice cream in the Wildwoods! We are located at 5210 Pacific Avenue in Wildwood, NJ. We are situated on Pacific Avenue between Bennett and Hildreth Avenues. We serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snacks. For those looking to grab great tasting Duffer’s delicacies to-go, the parlor and restaurant has its own take out section for both food and dessert dishes. Just call ahead and the Duffer’s team will have your order ready for pickup when you arrive. We are a smoke-free and handicap accessible restaurant. Major credit cards accepted. Our hours are seasonal opening at 8 AM until Midnight. During the winter months we are closed.

Duffers-Wildwood-Team

TCS: How did you come up with the concept for the beautiful Victorian style atmosphere inside of Duffer’s?

RL: My mom, Dorothy, always loved Victorian Cape May and antiques. The Victorian motif lends itself perfectly to the traditional seashore ice cream parlor of this area.

Duffers-Victorian-Wildwood-

TCS: How many flavors and different varieties of homemade ice cream do you currently have available and what is the most requested?

RL: We currently have 32 homemade ice cream flavors available including, black raspberry, butter brickle, chocolate marshmallow, marble caramel, rock road, pina colada, and sticky bun but believe it or not vanilla is still the most popular flavor even though everybody has their own favorite. Our staff relays suggestions from customers, and then we brainstorm and come up with a Weekly Featured Flavor Ice Cream. For example, we recently had Funkey Monkey as the featured flavor and it consists of chocolate ice cream with brownie bites, peanut butter chips, and banana chunks.

If you have a suggestion for a Feature Flavor Ice Cream, please email us your idea! You might see it on the menu!

Duffers-icecream

TCS: Describe for us your extensive menu items which features breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snacks?

RL: We try to make most of our menu items right here at Duffer’s– we call it Duffermade. I would say we have a little of everything but always new additions each season. One of our most popular breakfast items is Stuffed French Toast ─ its thick slices of egg bread stuffed with a sweet cream cheese filling and topped with fresh strawberries. For lunch, we serve burgers, melts, cheese steaks, fish tacos, pulled pork, crab cakes, and huge salads ─ you name we have it. Almost every day we have a dinner special from meatloaf, chicken pot pie, or some fresh fish dish. What is nice about Duffer’s is the choices ─ we’ve got something for everyone!

To learn more about our menu, please visit our website.

TCS: What can you tell us about your 18 hole miniature golf course?

RL: Our 18 hole mini-golf course has a nautical theme. It’s a family-friendly course. Some of the holes are interactive. For example, we have a volcano that erupts, a fish pond that blows bubbles, and sharks that squirt water. The cost to play is $6 before 6pm then $7 ─ children 2 and under play for free.

Duffers-Golf

And, don’t forget about Duffer’s famous singing Pelicans…


TCS: Share with us the various games featured in Duffer’s family-friendly video arcade with prize redemption center?

RL: We have all of the usual games like skee ball, basketball, and car racing but what makes us different is we get new games every season to keep things fresh. For example, we have games such as Jurassic Park, Kung Fu Panda, and Batman. Additionally, we offer a lot of fun games for the little ones too like Gold Fishin, Fishbowl Frenzy, and Spider Stomp just to name a few.

Duffers-game-room

TCS: If a family wants to host their child’s birthday party at Duffer’s what is included in their day of fun?

RL: Birthday parties at Duffer’s are fun and easy and we clean up the mess. The birthday party package price is $12.95 per each child and it includes:

  • Chicken Fingers or Hot Dogs Served with French Fries on a Duffer’s Frisbee
  • Small Beverage
  • Small Ice Cream with Gummie Warm Topping
  • Game of Miniature Golf
  • 4 Game Tokens for Each Child
  • Balloons

You are welcomed to bring your own cake and candles! Parties are held from 2pm to 4pm. Children will eat first, have dessert, and then play golf.

Duffers Wildwood Birthday

TCS: Can you share with us some of the ways that you market your business?

RL: We market our business using some print advertising and menu guides. We have a Duffer’s website and are registered with rating services like Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and etc.

Additionally, we have the following social media pages:

TCS: What is your website address and what can your visitors do on your site to learn more about Duffer’s?

RL: Our website is www.dufferswildwood.com

Duffers-website

On the website, visitors can:

TCS: Tell us about the Duffer’s Gift Shop?

Before you conclude your Duffer’s visit, don’t forget to stop by our distinctive gift shop featuring dolls, Boyd Bears, pictures, Lefton Lighthouses, and many other selections to remember your special day.

Duffers-Giftshop

TCS: Tell us about the Duffer’s Express, a train that runs throughout the restaurant, and Herbie a bear riding his unicycle on a tightrope?

RL: When dining in the restaurant, be sure to listen for the chug-chug of the model train known as the Duffer’s Express that circles the parlor. I don’t remember who came up with the train idea but we are always trying to come up with new features to set us apart.

Herbie was a bear we sold in our gift shop. My father made it motorized and Herbie was born to entertain thousands. Herbie bikes across a tightrope above the dining room, greeting new customers and dazzling diners.

TCS: Is Duffer’s associated with any of the Doo Wop activities or committees throughout Wildwood?

RL: Not at this time.

TCS: With Duffer’s being such a seasonal business tell us what you and your family do during the offseason?

RL: We rest up and start getting ready for the next season.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Jack Morey: Morey’s Piers

Written by: Frank Iacono

jack-morey

For many generations, “Wildwood by the Sea”, famous for its free, wide, white, sandy beaches, and world class boardwalk, has long been considered the number one fun-filled family vacation destination. The Wildwoods’ award-winning boardwalk stretches along the beach for more than a mile and a half and features 38 blocks packed end-to-end with stores, shops, eateries, casino arcades, and, most notably three world-class amusement piers collectively known as Morey’s Piers.

Morey’s Piers, recognized as a premier regional entertainment destination, has been family owned and operated since 1969 and is currently run by brothers Will and Jack Morey. Will, President & CEO, and Jack, the Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, are second-generation partners in Morey’s Piers, an amusement business that got its start when their father, Will Morey and uncle Bill Morey, debuted a giant slide between 25th and 26th avenues in North Wildwood. Since then the Morey name has become synonymous with the Wildwoods. Morey’s Piers, designed in a carnival-like atmosphere, features over 100 rides and attractions, well-known eateries, as well as two beachfront waterparks.

Jack currently serves on the board of Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority as the chair of the strategic planning committee and the International Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Hall of Fame committee. He has served on numerous boards including, the Greater Wildwoods Chamber of Commerce, Boardwalk Special Improvement District, and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Morey and asking him a few questions about his life as Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Morey’s Piers, his love of the amusement business, his inspiration for opening fine dining experiences on the Wildwood boardwalk, his plans for a brand new big roller coaster project, and his book Fab-o-rama.

Q&A Session

TCS: In 1969, with the introduction of the famous giant slide called “The Wipe Out”, your father Will Morey Sr. and your uncle Bill got into the amusement business so how do you think the business and Morey’s Piers have both evolved over the years?

Jack Morey: The very essence of the entertainment product has not really changed. In our view amusement type entertainment is now and has always been about creating environment for the masses. While this requires a good understanding of popular culture it also requires a bit of a crystal ball or perhaps a belief that you can invite things that guests will like (my favorite!!!). For a brief period, we strayed to try to be and compete with the traditional theme park that attracts a high percentage of teenagers with extraordinarily expensive roller coasters, but learned the hard way that we could and should not do that. The Wildwoods are special first and foremost as a great family vacation place because of the “beach” and no theme park, not even Disney has that.

In the late 90’s we stumbled upon a gentleman, designer and social engineer named Steve Izenour from a world renowned architectural firm called Venturi Scott Brown. What he has contributed can be summarized in a memo he sent to me stating the following:

  • You can’t and shouldn’t try to make Wildwood into something it isn’t, a Disney, a theme park, etc.
  • Rather, your strategy should be to make the most of what you have. What Wildwood is, is one of the last real down and dirty, TACKY with a capital T, beach resorts. What you need to do is take Tacky to the new heights.
  • First, use your specialist, entertainment designers to help with the programming, getting the right mix of rides, food etc., but don’t let them design a whole pier. Instead, find some old fashion sign guys, painters, sculptors, etc. and you orchestrate with people who appreciate tacky.
  • Mix and match designers. And when you’re done, which you never are, you will have the biggest, gaudiest, brightest, tackiest piers in the world.

 

TCS: This summer, Morey’s Piers welcomed back Kong, a gorilla-themed amusement ride once a boardwalk landmark in the 1970s, as the new centerpiece of Surfside Pier. With that, can you tell us about the background story in bringing Kong back after 35 years?

JM: it is just as important for an amusement park to be about the past as it is the future. While a park that is fully built on nostalgia would likely be a disaster, tapping into certain elements of remembrance is important to the intangible qualities of a place. The origination of Morey’s Piers was based in no small part about custom one off attractions of which Kong was a big one. Our recent Ghost Ship haunted walk thru was another that was routed in the past, but one need not have lived in the past to appreciate it today. “Relevance is relative”. Once we decided on the ride element we focused on a method to do what my dad used to say,”Wildwoodize it”. This generally meant to make it unique to Wildwood and try not to go broke in the process. We decided to send our initial design concepts out to our guests for feedback and to our surprise we received over 6,000 comments (ouch, they didn’t love it!). The general consensus was that the look was not specific enough to Wildwood. So, off came the I heart NJ t-shirt and the Statue of Liberty and on went the I heart Wildwood and the famous tram car.

 

TCS: How thrilled were you to find out that your Water parks, Raging Waters Water Park and Ocean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club, were named #2 out of the country’s top 40 water parks, according to Foursquare?

JM: Like most of Morey’s Piers our water parks have evolved significantly over time. In the late 70’s they were limited to 3 simple water slides that guests would rent by the 1/2 hour. They were clearly front runners in the whole water park invention years. They became full-fledged water parks in the mid 80’s and then in the late 90’s we needed to take the 80’s out of the park (note the 80’s were the low point in American architecture). Like most things we do we attempt to lead the market as opposed to react to trends that others create. This is very risky business, but when the rankings come in we are reminded and grateful of what we do and why we do it.

 

TCS: How would you describe your target audience and how many visitors does Morey’s Piers attract on an annual basis?

JM: Our primary audience is families on vacation with young children. While we would not turn down older teenagers, we do not specifically build attractions for them and will continue for the foreseeable future to leave that to the Six Flags of the world. More recently we have made significant investments to also attract the parents of young children via the introduction of better foods and occasional spirits. Best we can calculate (we have not gate) is that our attendance is about 3.5 million people.

 

TCS: Can you share with us some of the weekday specials offered throughout the summer at Morey’s Piers? And, can you tell us about Morey’s Brunch Bunch and Morey’s Kids Kamp?

JM: Morey’s Piers offers our customers various weekday specials. For an updated listing of all of our specials, please visit: https://www.moreyspiers.com/tickets/specials

Brunch Bunch is a cartoon character breakfast on the upper deck at Joe’s restaurant that involves the whole family. Characters are the popular ones from Frozen, Cinderella, Spiderman and of course our very own Sunny the Seagull and Curley the French Fry. The brunch concludes with admission to the water parks.

Kids Kamp is a week long program for kids. They get to spend 1/2 a day doing various educational arts and crafts in addition to admission to the water parks. For the super value conscious we offer drastically reduced admission to the piers on Tuesdays.

moreys-kids-kamp-morey-brunch

TCS: Tell us how your father came up with the idea of having Breakfast in the Sky on the Giant Ferris Wheel on Morey’s Mariner’s Landing Pier while visiting California?

JM: I remember this vividly as it was during the last round of golf I ever got to play with my mom and dad. It was in Palm Springs at a beautiful golf course immersed in the natural surroundings. We were discussing how we could better integrate our own Jersey Shore natural resources into our product offerings. Since the beach is the number one natural resource that attracts our guests he came up with the idea of giving people an eye in the sky view of the shoreline. A number of years later we added the elegance and quirkiness of white table clothes and gourmet dining options.

 

TCS: In addition to Breakfast in the Sky, Morey’s Piers offers guests a wide variety of dining experiences, could you highlight some of them?

JM: Man cannot live on sweets alone so we have been heavily investing in experiences that are more varied and more elegant, but still unique and always a little quirky. Part of this effort was to hire our very own executive chef, Wally Jursuz. Joe’s FISH Co. is simply about fresh fish and the opposite of things you might expect on the boardwalk. Jumbos is a great place for large party’s and large quantities of food. Taco Joint has the best tacos this side of the border. And perhaps my favorite…Stubborn Brothers. Named after the yin and yangness of my brother Will and I, it celebrates the sibling rivalries in all families. It is one darn good beach bar with superb food (by Chef Betsy), superb drinks (join me most days at 5:30pm with my dog for a rum runner), and a superb up front and personal view of the beach and ocean. Add live music and you might just spend the entire day.

 

TCS: Can you describe for us the Haunted Ghost Ship attraction, better known as Ignis Fatuus, which launched on Mariner’s Pier in 2010?

JM: The Ghost Ship is a 10,000 square foot haunted walk thru attraction that pays a bit of homage to the great haunted houses of the boardwalk past. The actors are professionally trained to prey on the weak. The attraction is quite beautiful and a real boardwalk classic.

 

TCS: Can you share with us the inspiration behind opening Morey’s Fears: Terror on the Boardwalk Halloween Event and how it has evolved since it debuted in the fall of 2011?

JM: Unfortunately we have discontinued Morey’s Fears. It was truly a great performance, but in the end we are first and foremost a summer place and the distance to the major population areas was just too far to be successful.

 

TCS: Can you tell us about the [artBOX] which debuted as a new attraction on Morey’s Piers Adventure Pier in 2013?

JM: [artBOX] is a work in progress museum in the making. After being inspired by the creative and adaptive re-uses of shipping containers we decided to create a pier that was an alternative to the two other more classically themed piers. The [artBOX] is a studio and gallery of 11 shipping containers that has attracted local artist. The artist have helped to create a personality for the rest of the pier via creatively re-using old rides from our boneyard and converting them into works of public art for things like benches. Adventure Pier is all about extreme rides, live music, and of course art.

 

TCS: Share with us the background behind the book Fab-o-rama! A Wild Ride: The Story Of Morey’s Piers, Planet Earth’s Greatest Seaside Amusement Park?

JM: When our 40th anniversary snuck up on us we decided it was time to publish our first book. Having seen too many coffee book dust collectors we searched for a better way to tell our story without sticking to a purely chronologic method. The credit goes to Jack Wright of Exit Zero publishing whom appreciates tacky, quirky and history. A purposeful pun about the book is that it actually has two covers. One is Faborama (for my brother Will) and the other is Wild Ride (for me). Same exact interior ingredient, two completely opposite exteriors…get it? A video of the book launch is attached which is none other than a man being launched out of a cannon holding two books. That was a great day.

 

TCS: Over the last few years, we’ve heard about plans for the construction of a brand new big roller coaster project. With that, can you share with us some specific details about the ride, how much of a financial investment are you making, and how does it compare to other coasters across the country?

JM: Due to concerns for sufficient public parking we needed to place the proposed coaster on the back burner. The coaster would have been the most expensive attraction ever built in the Wildwoods by a factor of two and the risks were just too high without the proper governmental support for strategic long term parking concerns for the entire boardwalk entertainment district.

Go-Wild

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Edward Peahota: Speed Painting Artist

Written by: Frank Iacono

Ed Peahota

Some artists take pride in how long they spend to painstakingly create a work of art. But the way painter Ed Peahota sees it, time is money. Peahota, a pictorial billboard artist with a career that has spanned 30 years, can actually paint a wall-sized mural of a tiger in less than four minutes. He can also paint the Statue of Liberty but that takes a little longer – maybe about five minutes.

Peahota developed a knack for fast brushwork and has parlayed it into a performance sideline. As an Art Director Edward Peahota’s art designs have been featured all over the world. From huge banners at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the “Dave Zinkof” retired microphone banner, that originally hung in the Philadelphia Spectrum, to many Philadelphia Flyers banners including Bernie Parent to various Philadelphia 76ers retired numbers to the JVC Jazz Festival banners in Holland.

Edward’s company, BillboardShuttle.com, specializes in all aspects of outdoor advertising, flex vinyl installation on billboards, available space for rent, computer graphics installation, hand painted artwork on structures, large format printing, sign design layout, radio commercial voice over, old school pounce & pattern making, maintenance, repair, and speed painting shows.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing speed painting artist Ed Peahota, and asking him a few questions about his business, his work, his music, and his overall passion and love for being an artist.

Q&A Session

TCS: How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an artist?

When I was a child, I was always painting something whether it was a model or lines for a street hockey rink. When I was in high school, my favorite and best class was art. I was in that class room before school started, during my lunch period, and after school. Art had a pretty good hold on me by the age of 16.

TCS: Who are among your favorite artists? And, why?

Roger Dean, Peter Max, and Salvador Dali are among my favorite artists as they are all very unique!

TCS: Where did you study art and what was your first job as an artist?

I went to The Art Institute of Philadelphia. My first (1982), and still current job, was as a billboard pictorial artist.

TCS: How would you describe your specific type of art style?

For 20 years, I painted realism on billboards. Now that was hard work. However, with the advent of the personal computer around the turn of the century, that type of work virtually stopped overnight. Today, my style is care-free and just for fun.

ed-peahota-george-harrison

TCS: Tell us about your company BillboardShuttle.com?

BillboardShuttle.com specializes in all aspects of outdoor advertising, flex vinyl installation on billboards, available space for rent, computer graphics installation, hand painted artwork on structures, large format printing, sign design layout, radio commercial voice over, old school pounce & pattern making, maintenance, repair, and speed painting shows by artist.

TCS: What are some of the billboards you’ve painted over your career and tell us about your company BillboardShuttle.com?

I’ve hand painted on billboards everything from Frank Sinatra to Miller Beer Bottles to a lot of casino ads. BillboardShuttle.com is collection of everything I do in the world of outdoor advertising from designing layouts to making patterns for water towers to speed painting shows. The website features a pretty extensive list of everything we do as a company. For more information, please visit BillboardShuttle.com.

BillboardShuttle.comed-peahota-billboards

TCS: Tell us about the idea you had over 20 years ago to paint to music?

Well I always painted to music, I always had a boom box on the swinging stage with me while I painted billboards, In my 20’s, I played in bands and thought it would be cool to go up there on stage with the English rock band Yes and paint a billboard while the band was playing, something related to the song.

TCS: Do you prefer painting to recorded or live music?

I prefer painting to live music most definitely

TCS: Can you describe for us your technique of speed painting?

Since I am a musician I would say my technique of speed painting is to do it in time with the music.

TCS: What was your first speed painting gig and what do you remember most about it?

My first speed painting gig was in October of 2009 in Merchantville, New Jersey for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. What I remember most about it was the crowd gathering around to take photos of the painting with their cell phones. That was cool!

ed-peahota-Susan-G-Koman

TCS: Can you really create wall-sized murals of a Tiger, Jaws, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album cover, and more in under four minutes? How is that possible?

Practice! Practice! Practice!

TCS: Tell us about the portrait you painted of your musical director and mentor Jozef Kocedia?

In 2008, I painted a portrait of Mr. Kocedia who served as musical director at the Shrine of Czestochowa in Doylestown PA. He would play the pipe organ, direct the children’s choir and the Royal Brass Band, and watch a TV monitor of the Mass being held behind him all at the same time. A quote he said stays with me every day, “some people meet for good, some people meet for bad, and we meet for good.” For more information about Jozef Kocedia, please visit his music link.

Jozef Kocedia

TCS: Tell us all about the concept behind the [artBOX] on Adventure Pier in Wildwood, New Jersey?

The concept behind the [artBOX] on Adventure Pier in Wildwood, New Jersey is to have the grown-ups come and bring their kids over to see what’s going on rather than the kids bringing their parents over to see an attraction.

TCS: How did you get involved with the [artBOX] and do you plan to be at the shore all summer?

I was asked by Jack Morey of Morey’s Piers to be part of one of the art studios. People can tour the art colony and gallery by visiting the art studios and watching the artists at work. I am honored to be joined by my wife, Hong Nguyen Peahota in the art studio too. Hong does amazing detailed painting on glass!

ed-peahota-artbox

TCS: Tell us about how you got the gig to paint the tarp for New York Yankees Stadium?

When the Yankees were experiencing problems with printing on their tarp, as a result of the material, they contacted me to hand paint it. I hand painted the tarp in one of my studios and it was quite challenging because of the unusual demonstration being a cylinder cover. It was such a thrill when they drove me out onto the field, in one of those golf carts, to take me over to install the tarp. That night, I took a friend of mine named Frank Wilson (a fellow billboard painter for 40 yrs.) who joined me on the field. Frank and I took pictures from the pitcher’s mound. Then people on the side lines started yelling something at us so we walked over to the warning track and all the water sprinklers came on. Luckily the sprinklers just missed us! That was funny and such a great experience.

ed-peahota-tarp

TCS: What comment or question do you hear most often from admirers of your art?

I like this question because it’s always good stuff like “awesome,” “dude you totally shocked me,” or “I had no idea what you were doing.” The audience always thinks it’s something else until I spin the canvas and then it’s a “wow factor.” I can always hear the crowd at that moment.

TCS: Tell us about your pop rock band and your original song “Here in Wildwood”?

I’ve been playing and recording music since my father gave me a tape recorder in 1968. I’ve written many songs throughout my life, most of those songs were written and recorded at the original Woodstock Festival Site in Bethel, New York. The song “Here in Wildwood” has evolved, as songs often do, over the years. I started out by adding a chorus to the song and then it simply evolved into what it is now. I feel that all of my songs will continue to evolve and change throughout the years as I play them I am always thinking of something new to add. Like a painting, songs are never finished.

TCS: With whom in history do you feel you most identify with?

Well I can only say that I read books on Benjamin Franklin because he was so creative and I like to try to find out what made him tick. Incidentally, I have a bust of him in our home. However, I really don’t see myself as identifying with anyone but myself.

TCS: What is your favorite Color, Animal, Season, Movie and Book?

My favorite:

  • Color is Blue
  • Animal is a Dog
  • Season is Spring
  • Movie is “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara
  • Book is “Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen

TCS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be? And, why?

There is nowhere in the world I’d rather be than Wildwood, New Jersey right now. It’s an exciting time in our lives, but when the season is over I like to see the Coliseum in Rome, Italy.

TCS: What would you say is your greatest career achievement?

Over my career there have been many. Recently, I drew the lettering on the roof of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. It was the largest layout I ever worked on. It can be seen from outer space and from Google Earth 10 miles up. Inside the Wells Fargo Center, I‘ve designed a lot of Philadelphia Sixers and Philadelphia Flyers banners from the 1980’s. But, the [artBOX] is giving me the opportunity to do it all. I will be selling prints of my best work as well as some of my regular sized paintings too. All of the artists appearing at the [artBOX] are planning to have lots of fun. And, of course I will be performing speed painting shows with different bands performing throughout the summer. As an artist, what more could I ask for!

ed-peahota-wells-fargo

TCS: Do you have any helpful tips or inspiring words for kids wanting to become artists?

Believe in yourself, never give up, and visualize your success. Personally, I can’t sit still but an artist early on must realize that you need to exercise patience. Understand that everything is in God’s good time ─ whether you believe it is or it isn’t you are correct.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight
Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.