(Aug. 2, 2019) Pete Jones of Pocomoke has been working on the Ocean City Fishing Pier at the inlet for 23 years.
During the last two decades, Jones has become a fixture on the pier and has created a legacy of kindness and friendship to all who enter the little inlet shack.
“I love it here,” Jones said. “The sunlight, all of the people, talking to people, telling my stories…there’s a whole lot of memories here.”
Jones, 67, worked for the Ocean City Public Works Department for 36 years before retiring on Jan. 31, 2018.
He spent his whole life at the pier, and a childhood filled with frequent fishing trips, he added.
In 1996, Jones decided to devote his weekends working on the Fishing Pier. Now, he is there five days a week.
Over the years, Jones has forged special relationships with regulars who stop by the pier.
“There was an old Japanese guy and…he used to come out here and his wife would bring him a bagged lunch,” Jones said. “It was usually sardine sandwiches. I’ll never forget it because you could smell the sardines. He would stay out here from open to close.”
Jones has also developed a special habit since he began working on the Fishing Pier.
One day, some 20 years back, a homeless man and a woman came into the shop in search of food. Jones, who had bought a TV dinner for himself, gave the two his food.
Following that day, Jones began stocking up on TV dinners, and has fed homeless visitors every week for over 20 years.
“The TV dinners cost $1.25,” Jones said. “With a dollar and a quarter you can feed somebody.”
Jones said his love of people comes from his parents and his grandparents and the environment he was raised in.
“When he’s not here, he’s volunteering somewhere,” Fishing Pier owner David Horn said. “He volunteers for [Atlantic General Hospital] and at a number of places.”
To Jones, what he does is nothing special, and he believes everyone deserves a little kindness.
“Help each other out,” Jones said. “[Don’t] be so judgmental against people, you know, help one another…[If] you see someone, help them.”