I grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, with my parents and sisters, but my family would drive every weekend to Hammonton, where both my grandparents lived and where my parents were raised. I was born on a Sunday in Hammonton on one of those many weekends. The weekends were all about family time, and on Sundays we would have two dinners, one at each grandparent’s house!
In the summer we would go down for the day to Ocean City for family time at the beach, which was always a treat, and on the drive back to Hammonton we’d stop at the Weymouth stream to clean off all the sand and cool down before returning to our grandparents.
My father worked for a bank, and my parents left Hammonton when they were in their early twenties because of my father’s job. We returned to Northern New Jersey and lived in Mahwah for two years (third to fifth grade for me) at another stage in my father’s career, and then we went back to Pennsylvania.
I had a number of part-time jobs after school in Willow Grove, but I did work for two summers in Ocean City as a waitress at Chris’ Seafood Restaurant. I loved it.
I remember my grandmother taking me and my sisters to the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. We would watch the diving bell and see the diving horse jump into the pool. We would take the bus there, and I just smile thinking about all of us running around the pier on those days.
I still love to visit, especially the beaches in Ocean City and Stone Harbor—I love to run and walk on them—and I try to get there when I can with friends and family. But things have been pretty busy in the past two years because I continue to teach at a community college and am doing a lot of ongoing work on education and outreach to military families as well as other activities as second lady. It was such a thrill to meet Bruce Springsteen at the Inauguration, and he is a favorite on my iPod while I run!
Jill Biden, PhD., wife of Vice President Joe Biden, teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College. As second lady, she is working to highlight the importance of community colleges, raise awareness of the sacrifices made by military families, and bring attention to women’s health issues, including breast cancer.
As told to Juila M. Klein.
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