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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Happy New Year
Tuesday, January 8 2002

New Jersey

Since I ended the period before Christmas break with a few thoughts about my adopted state, California, it might be well to start the period afterward with a few remarks about New Jersey, the only other state I've lived in besides Pennsylvania and California.

I think the first thing to strike you if you're from beautiful rural Pennsylvania, when you initially drive through New Jersey, is that the two states are opposite each other in a significant way. Pennsylvania is beautiful when you get out of the towns on the open road and often less attractive in the industrial and post-industrial population centers. The scenery from New Jersey's open roads is often ugly, industrial, and blighted, but its towns are usually picturesque, clean, and inviting, whether in the suburbs of Philadelphia like Collingswood or halfway across the state like Millville, or all the way east to the shore resorts like Cape May.

Though the state's slogan is "the garden state" and one of the things I like about it is its summer tomatoes, it's often thought of as "the suburb state," half of it consisting of suburbs of New York and the other half of Philadelphia. I lived in the Philadelphia half, dividing my time between Collingswood and Cape May, for four years.

Other than a drive through the state on Route 22 as part of a family trip to New York and Massachusetts in my teens, my first visit to New Jersey was as the culmination of my first real vacation as a working adult, while editor of the Nanty Glo Journal. Two friends and I car-camped our way down the Blue Ridge and Great Smokey Mountains, via the Caverns of Luray, to Asheville, east from the mountains to the sea across North Carolina to Kitty Hawk and thence to Wildwood, N.J. One of our fellow-travellers, Stewart Wertz, had worked in a Wildwood pizza shop the previous summer, so he was our enthusiastic and always turned on tourguide. We slept in the car next to the beach for that last night of our trip, only to be wakened rudely early next morning by the local police, telling us our venture was illegal.

In hindsight, I'm surprised we weren't hauled into the police station and perhaps held in a cell for the next night, or at least fined. But we were released with a warning. It was a different kind of time. And we were really, even more surprisingly, innocent.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Power of positive thinking

Look at the bright side of your taxes folks. Thank God we don't get as much government as we're payin' for.

—Will Rogers
Sent by Lance Brown

Thought for the day

Love people and use things—not love things and use people.

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.

—Author Unknown
Sent by Jules Nagy

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