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Life & Lyrics- “4th of July, Asbury Park” (Sandy)

Published on January 29, 2013, by in LeeLee Blogs.

Well the cops finally busted Madame Marie

For tellin’ fortunes better than they do


4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band


The Madame Marie that Bruce refers to in 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) was a real life fortuneteller.  Marie Castello worked on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey from 1932 until her death in 2008.  She was 93 when she passed away. Madame Marie operated from a small building called the “Temple of Knowledge”.  Today, her family continues to give readings at the “Temple” and the building has become a landmark on the Asbury Park boardwalk.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I grew up with my own Madame Marie.  Her name was Madame  Adilia.  Before I reveal some of the funny details from past tarot card readings, I feel compelled to state my opinion when it comes to fortunetelling.  Although tarot card readings can offer insights and revelations that may seem uncanny, eerie, and rather creepy, I truly believe that the most powerful information comes from within.  Tarot cards just aid individuals with coming in contact with one’s higher self.  Tarot cards serve as a tool.  Readings can be a very powerful tool for accessing unconscious thoughts and feelings.  The feelings that may be holding you back in some way.  Identifying these feelings (I found out years later) can be liberating! Madame Adilia helped me break free.

Madame Adilia with her husband Gene June 1997

Madame Adilia with her husband Gene
June 1997

Adilia was a lively Costa Rican with a great accent (sometimes difficult to understand) and a wonderful fashion sense.  She was an incredibly talented seamstress.  It’s thanks to Adilia that I love Vogue magazine.  She always had piles and piles of fashion magazines around her sewing machine. Adilia bought me my first subscription when I was 11 years old and I haven’t missed an issue since. But beyond fashion, Adilia had the gift of tarot card reading.

Even at a young age, tarot cards fascinated me.  Every time my family spent time with Adilia and her husband Gene, the cards came out.  Adilia was so right about so many things… it was quite scary.  To say she was gifted with intuition is an understatement.  Adilia knew my grandfather was dying before anyone else did, she knew exactly when my father would experience one of his kidney stone episodes, and she was spot on about my life…specifically in the relationship department.

In the early days, the card readings were childish and silly.  Readings pertained to teen crushes.  However, by the time I turned 18, the cards told interesting tales.  I truly believe they were speaking to me and offering a sneak peak of my future.  So let me lay all the “cards” out on the table…

By 18, I was already involved in a relationship with someone for two years.  He was six years my senior.  His family knew my family even back in the old country. UGH! How Jersey and how old school Italian.  Just the thought makes me sick now.  At the two-year mark, I wanted out!  But unfortunately, at that point I didn’t have the maturity, strength, and courage to carry out what I needed to do…liberate myself!

(I will reveal the drama and saga in a future post- Darkness on the Edge of Town).  It’s quite the soap opera…As My Stomach Turns…

Obviously, the relationship wasn’t a happy and healthy one.  Sadly at 18, I wasn’t brave enough to end it when I really should have.  I guess I had to grow and learn.  Instead, I was miserable for four more years! You would think I would’ve recognized the subtle signs in my own behavioral patterns.  I broke up with him every six months.  But somehow caved and patched things up soon after. UGH! Young and foolish! I finally ended the soap opera after 6 years and looking back now, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Back to Adilia and the cards.  Here’s how the story unfolds…

My parents host a family party for me. I was celebrating my birthday and my high school graduation.  Adilia was there and of course, with cards in hand.  The boyfriend was there too.  I did a card reading with an audience.  Another subtle hint? Let everyone hear that I’m not happy!

Adilia shuffles…I spilt the cards…AND…

Adilia:  No way! Not a chance. You will not marry him. (P.S. The boyfriend asked the question. I could care less! Another sign?!?!? You think?????)

Lisa:  Really???? (secretly content)

Adilia: You will marry someone who is not Italian.  You don’t know him yet.  He lives near the water and he has light eyes.  Very blue eyes.

Lisa: Interesting…

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Adilia was good…so freakin’ good!  Anyone who knows me is fully aware of the fact that my husband Tom has gorgeous blue eyes and grew up in Rhode Island…the Ocean State.  Yes, little Rhody is surrounded by tons of water…miles and miles of beautiful Narragannsett Bay.  Needless to say, the boyfriend was very disturbed by the reading!  Again, I’m still LMAO!!!!!!!!

Adilia’s readings always served as a tool.  She helped me access my unconscious thoughts.  I’m forever in her debt. Madame Adilia now lives in her native Costa Rica. I miss her and her readings.  No matter what your opinion regarding tarot cards, I hope you’ll agree with me…it’s fun and it’s just another way to dig deep, search for answers, and try to understand yourself.

I wish to end this post with a quote from Bruce Springsteen.  Here’s what the Boss had to say after the passing of Madame Marie Castello from Asbury Park, New Jersey.

“The world has lost enough mystery as it is.  We need our fortunetellers.”






One Response

  1. Julia

    Lisa! How I have missed your posts! Your stories are so captivating! Love your ability to magically transport us right back to your family party – felt like I was standing behind you LMAO too! And I love that you spin so much more meaning into Bruce’s lyrics – Thank you for that! XOX