OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND: PERILS OF PROSPERITY

A BOOMTOWN STRUGGLES TO HOLD ON TO ITS ESSENTIAL NATURE

Here, in a boardwalk caricature, comes the current American dilemma: How much prosperity is too much? This was an easy town to get rich in if you timed things right. But those blessings now carry burdens. The townsfolk have gone from acquiring wealth to managing it--knowing when to cut the right deal and let other ones go by. At Bunting's English Diner, where Mayor Jim Mathias and three of his predecessors gather early to sort through the day's problems, they like to recall how simple it used to be. Back in the '30s, when their fathers came to build the WPA...

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