Sean Carragher’s Lucky Day

by Michael Bautista

Sean (center) receiving his St. Patrick’s Day birthday gift trip to Ireland from his employee family, the Mendel’s of SandJamm

On October 20, 2022, Sean Carragher, 49-years-old, embarked on a week-long dream vacation alongside 73 travelers, accompanying the McMullan family on their annual Ireland Adventure. 

The McMullan’s decade-long tradition was temporarily thrown off the rails due to the pandemic. The trip typically consists of regulars from Anglesea Pub visiting destinations such as Belfast, Donegal, and Galway.

One of those regulars is proud Wildwood resident Sean Carragher. On March 17, 2022, Carragher walked into work at Sand Jamm, located a few blocks away from his home. Carragher found it rather odd that both of his boss’s daughters had their cars parked outside. Upon entering, he was greeted by a four-leaf clover and birthday balloons. Carragher, who isn’t accustomed to receiving gifts, was stunned when the Mendel family handed him a birthday card with the itinerary for his Ireland trip.  

“I’m speechless, I’m excited. I’m a little nervous at the same time. I’ve never flown over the ocean before but, I just can’t wait for it,” said Carragher at the time. When he’s not supervising the staff, inventory products or printing out barcode labels as a manager at Sand Jamm by day, he can be found taking brisk evening walks at the North Wildwood Seawall trail. Streaming tunes by Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley while enjoying a slice of pizza and watching dogs chase one another at the Wildwood Dog Park was once a distant reality. 

Nearly two decades ago, Carragher made it his goal to live at the Jersey Shore. Since birth, the Massachusetts native and his family spent afternoons staring at amusement rides like the Jumbo Jet, Star Wars and Kong from the beach. Carragher, his two older brothers and cousins returned to shower at a house they’d spend a week at provided by his grandmother’s friend. Evenings were spent at Surfside Pier. 

Carragher’s sacred childhood memories began slipping away in 1983, however, when his family cut back on expenses to purchase a new house.  “We didn’t go to Disney World, our vacation was Philly, but Wildwood was the thing you couldn’t wait for,” said Carragher, who experienced a “Wildwood drought” while building the foundations to his present-day reality, still thirsty for those Wildwood days even after graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1995. 

After tiresome days, Carragher returned home, reminiscing on his childhood while browsing through the Wildwood365 web page as well as reading each copy of The Sun by the Sea. That fascination with Wildwood built up over the years, leading him to revisit in 2006. The memories came flooding back, planting the idea to move to Wildwood full time. “It was just unbelievable. I don’t know If I can put it into words, but when you’re a kid it’s just a fantasy land here.” After eleven years of hustling, Sean Carragher is living his dream of proud Wildwood resident, with a trip to Ireland all part of the package.

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