Future actress and real-life princess Grace Kelly was a younger kid in Marilyn Moore’s social circle growing up, when both Pennsylvania girls would spend summers in Ocean City. The resort was so small then, all the residents knew each other, she said.

“She was always very aloof. You always knew she was a little bit different, but she socialized with local kids,” said Moore, who became a full-time Ocean City resident in the 1960s and was the first female city commissioner in the 1970s. “You knew she was kind of special.”

Moore is turning 90 next month, and she figures the timing is right to retire after 45 years as a real estate agent, the last 22 years with Jesse Real Estate in her hometown.

Her career allowed her to make a good living and raise two sons after her husband, Clark, died of lung cancer in 1963 at age 44, she said.

She was again hit with terrible loss when her younger son, Dennis, who was in the Coast Guard, was killed in 1973. He was just 23 and died when a World War II ordnance exploded.

“Fisherman had brought in two bombs. Two of the boys took them to an antiques dealer, but he wouldn’t take them, of course,” she said. “One took it to the welding shop, where my son was on duty, and asked him to take the top off. When he did, the bomb exploded.”

She recommends anyone facing serious loss keep as busy as possible. And she has enjoyed having her older son, Kenneth, close by. A partner at Ford-Scott & Associates accounting firm in Ocean City, he and his wife, Bonnie, have three daughters.

A personal story

Eric Houghton, 50, a native of Harvey Cedars, spent 30 years as an alcoholic, he said. His new book, “Boozehound! Breaking a 30-Year Obsession,” was recently published by My Green Publisher, of Richland, Mich.

Houghton, a musician who teaches at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, got clean at the Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead, Somerset County, in April 2010, he said.

The relative isolation of living on Long Beach Island during the winter made it possible to drink without others knowing, Houghton said.

“It allowed me to retreat into myself,” he said. “It was a secret life that developed over time.”

He couldn’t beat alcohol until he finally admitted he could not control his drinking, and until he was motivated by threat of divorce from his wife, Carol, he said. The two remain married.

“Boozehound!” is available through online booksellers and the publisher at mygreenpublisher.com.

Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

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