Among the long list of losses due to Hurricane Sandy, you can add one more: a way of life.
That admittedly dramatic sentiment is our reaction to news that the Long Beach Island Trailer Park in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township will not reopen.
Owner Bob Muroff told his 100-plus tenants last weekend that it would cost too much - more than $1 million - to repair the damage from the storm, replace infrastructure and meet new construction standards.
What Muroff didn't say, but what is surely true, is that he has resisted the pressure of rising LBI property values for years to keep the park open. But Sandy has made a trailer park near the ocean an unsustainable anachronism.
The park was a reminder of a kind of shore living that was becoming more rare even before the Oct. 29 storm reshuffled the deck. There was a time when most of Long Beach Island was populated in the summer by blue-collar families in small bungalows. Rising - and then skyrocketing - property values slowly priced many middle-class families out of their summers at the shore. Houses got bigger and more expensive. The wealthy bought out small family properties and replaced them with McMansions.
Muroff's trailer park opened in 1953. His family rebuilt it after it was destroyed in the March '62 storm. For $7,300 a year, a family could park its motor home or mobile home on a small plot of ground a short walk from the ocean, making the park a rarity - an seemingly unchanging piece of the past.
This was shore living on the cheap, a place where generations of families shared the fun of summers near the sea and built lifetime friendships with their neighbors. No wonder longtime tenants at the park spoke so fondly of it, referring to their trailers as their little pieces of paradise.
Then came Sandy.
As Ocean and Monmouth county beach towns are rebuilt, few property owners will be unaffected. Stricter building standards for new construction and reconstruction were already on the way. Now the need for them is inarguable. Homes will be taller, stronger and more expensive.
Along with higher flood-insurance premiums, the new building standards will make it difficult for some people to hang on to their shore houses. As they sell out, these families will become visitors to the shore, rather than residents.
The tenants of the Holgate park are in the vanguard of this shift. They are sad. Some are angry. And an unreasonable requirement that they remove their damaged trailers and sheds from the property by Feb. 15 isn't making them any happier.
For the rest of us, this is one more reminder that, although the shore will recover from Sandy, for many small communities, and for many families, it will never be the same.