'Mr. Ocean Beach'

In his typical humble fashion Monday, Tony Pero, the former Ocean Beach Park manager, chose a simple heartfelt “thank you” rather than a long speech in accepting accolades as “Mr. Ocean Beach.”

”I have been in audiences and heard (speakers) go on for hours,” said the 86-year-old Mr. Pero, explaining why he wouldn't pontificate for any longer than was necessary. And then he finished up.

”I love you. I love you all. Thank God for you, all of my friends and family here tonight. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Well said, Mr. Pero, but the real gratitude goes to you. As a 42-year employee of Ocean Beach, starting as a lifeguard captain and ending as park manager, your unwavering appreciation for and attention to the gem of municipal-owned property at the south end of the city has benefitted legions of beach-goers.

So it was fitting Monday night that past beach workers and patrons, former concessionaires and performers, city employees and politicians, and friends and family came out to salute Tony Pero and celebrate the decision to dedicate the park's boardwalk to him.

It was a jubilant atmosphere as those in attendance told stories of “the old days” at the beach and reminisced about the colorful workers and patrons who made the place so special and the old clock tower that was once the hub of activity.

But it was Mr. Pero, who retired in 1988, who was the center of attention. And rightfully so. He made Ocean Beach his life's work and doted on the park as if it were one of his children. And now, more than 20 years after his retirement, people still remember and are grateful. Thank you, Tony Pero, for all you did for Ocean Beach, and for bringing the people who care so much about the place together again.
Article UID=90667972-9692-4622-85bf-e565eee1795f

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