Cape May, NJ - Fall is the time birders from all over the country and the world head to Cape May NJ. There are old friendships to renew and new birds to see.
This year, three Cape May "regulars" won't be coming back. Each had a very different background but they shared two things - an intense love of birds and an untimely passing.
George Myers led countless bird walks through Higbee Beach during the past few years. The Villas, NJ resident was a fixture on the Cape May birding scene.
If you didn't know his name, you surely knew his face. And his manner - quiet, soft spoken but ernest about his love of birds, butterflies and plants.
Even during the final weeks of what became a terminal illness, George complained of only one thing - that he couldn't go birding.
A memorial service will be held for him Sunday, September 28 at 1PM at Cape May Point State Park's North Pavilion. George was 50.
Many birders probably couldn't identify Tom Vezo by sight but, chances are, they know his photos.
Over the years, this accomplished wildlife photographer's pictures have appeared regularly in all the major birding magazines. He also published several books.
Vezo, a native Long Islander, was living in the Southwest at the time of his sudden death this summer. He was 60.
When King Features and Huffington Post columnist Roger Emilio Hernandez came to Cape May every fall, he became just another birder - one of thousands who make the annual migration here.
Nothing gave this Cuban born writer greater pleasure than seeing a life bird.
Perhaps that's because pioneering was in Hernandez's blood. When he was a boy in the early 1960's, he and his family migrated from Havana to West New York, NJ. Later, Hernandez became the first columnist to write a nationally syndicated column about Hispanic American issues.
He was also a dear friend for 30 years.
He died after a brief illness this month. He was 53.
Photo by Ed Solan
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