Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Alive and kicking

Don't Call it a Comeback!!! Back from the dead I have finally returned. And I bring good news many things have happened in these 3 months. Most important is the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission has examined and measured the Titus headstone and have begun the process of restoration. They are attaining price quotes to make the decision who to use for the work. I already have a verbal commitment from the township to protect and beautify the grave site on the farm. My dream is almost complete for the farm. The EVA has begun a new campaign to get the public back on board to protect and preserve the Van Dyke farm. Interviews have been conducted with us from newspaper and the TV show Due Process on TV12. The TV show will air February 10Th and 12Th Slavery in New Jersey. http://www.njn.net/television/njnseries/dueprocess/ So still keeping busy in the history world trying to right some wrongs and stop some wrongs before they happen. More to come....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hell on earth for all god's creatures

I have never seen such fiery destruction as what is taking place in San Diego Ca. It actually looks like the Apocalypse out there. The home devastation is bad enough but the loss of animal life will be massive. Since I have been on Blogger I have followed the horses of Jean and Claire and grown found of the companionship and dedication they have for each other. Listening to NPR and hearing the horror stories of trying to save livestock, cattle and horses is gut wrenching. I heard the story of a woman who moved two horse. She then went back through the inferno snuck past police and rescued two more. But she could not make the last trip for the lone stallion she left behind. You can imagine how much anguish this woman was feeling. Not to say human life is not valuable but our animal mates need our extra help. As vast as the United States is I often wonder if anyone ever thinks that maybe we were not meant to populate every corner of this country no matter how beautiful it is. Nature seems to have a way of reclaiming what is hers as we saw in New Orleans. I hope and pray most animals can be saved, as for the wildlife I can only say a prayer for them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lost three good ones this week

What a week. We lost Mrs. Anna this week Deborah Kerr I know most remember From Here to Eternity and the beach kiss. The King and I stands only with West Side Story as my favorite musicals. I even played the King in Middle school. She was most charming in that movie. I can still see her in those hoop dresses flowing around I loved those big productions. Teresa Brewer died as well. Now that's when pop was pop music. "Put another nickle in, in the Nickelodeon...." gees they are truly leaving us. Now in case you don't know I am a rabid Rat Pack fan. With that said it brings me great sadness that the smartest one of them all Joey Bishop died this week. He was a comic genius way ahead of his time and way sharper than the other Rat Packers. The era is officially gone now they are all gone, Sammy, Dean, Frank, Peter and now Joey. Thank god for video and Cd's I can visit them anytime I like. It was a bitter sweet for me. Sammy has always been my hero. When he performed in Vegas they made him eat and stay downtown, which is why that old section of Vegas is bad, only the poor and the segregated blacks stayed and gambled down there. All the action was down the strip. Of course Frank put a stop to that. Like him or not, Sammy did it his way and broke into American culture leading a lot of blacks into the light. He does not receive the credit he deserves and I can't say enough about the Palies. Those were some times, and those suits....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The shrinking historian

I don't like to write about too much personnel stuff but I guess I feel relieved and proud and need to share it. In July 2007 my doctor put me on meds for blood pressure. I am borderline but with my weight she wanted to be sure. At this point I decided to get my act together if I could. I have never been fond of the word diet so I knew I needed a lifestyle change. You see for me, eating relieves stress, since I am a keep it all inside type of guy that is not a good thing. Being a very positive person, the overeating was something to take in stride. Of course the nagging issues crept up on me. Sore knees, backaches, sleep apnea all of the overweight symptoms together in one nice package, lucky me. In June a co-worker on my old job had a massive heart attack in the office. That same month Joel Segal passed away from a colon cancer battle. I was feeling ready, two people I really cared about suffer a possible fate with my name written on them. I got the message. By mid July I was changing my eating habits. By the end of July Leslie Sansone and I are walking ourselves fit in my bedroom with aerobic walking. I am almost up to 4 miles. On Sunday I finally broke down and went clothes shopping because things are, well falling off of me. I knew a change was on. First up shirts. In June I was basically between 3 and 4 xl. As I tried on a Champion sweat my wife said it looks too big, I wish I could have seen my own face because that was a 2 xl I had on. Sure enough the XL was perfect. In the end I decided on 2xl tall in my shirts so the length would work well but if I continue shortly I'll be in XL on most tops. Amazing. Pants, my scariest clothing area. Size in June 56 (OYE VEY) after trying a few styles for fit (The ladies know the woos of foreign sizes) I settled on two pairs of 50 except when I started wearing them they slip down with the belt. So I am at the crossroads of 48 pants and XL tall tops. I was pretty speechless. All I really did was stop soda and be careful of what I was eating. Trying to eat roasted instead of fried, more veggies, sensible eating. Lots of water and of course exercise. I am not over board about doing these things I tried to bring this into my life as a slow change. No more indigestion's, odd aches and pains, unexplained tiredness. My goal now is to get off these meds. I try to take baby steps and ease into a new way of thinking but now it's easier, because I feel good I see a difference in the mirror. No one has yet said wow you look smaller which is good because it makes me realize how bad it was and how far I have to go. But I know my success and you do too now. Small steps and small victories are leading me on the good path. I have amazed myself in this and some days I have to make my self eat meals because I know when I am trying to eat out of habit not hunger. This blog alone is a testament to my new fond confidence. Discussing my size is not a favorite thing for me so I needed to let it go and embrace a new me since it has been 3 months and I feel good about it all. Thanks for listening out there....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Town Council gets a cold slap

Last night's council meeting was the most interesting one I have ever seen. I watched a lawyer basically tell our council they did not know the laws. They did not know the right protocol. They were rushing to judgement. And a night of rather arrogant insults aimed at the council. I have had my complaints and my disagreements but never ever became nasty or disrespectful I would think if you want something like this the lawyer would have used a little sugar but he choose salt and vinegar which backfired right on him. Not only did they state they would change the ordinance but they now would take two weeks to fine tune it for the impending lawsuit which they stated publicly. These lawyers may have encouraged the council to see the light, let's hope for the best...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Watching them vanish

I work on College Ave in Plainsboro so I travel past our local high school every day. So many open plots of land are in development. Machinery grading the land building curbs and foundations it looks quite normal. Until I start to remember the barn that was there or the field of corn that used to grow. I know development has to come but doesn't anyone miss the landscape? The fields changing from season to season? The wildlife lurking? Foxes, deer, wild turkeys are still present in our wooded areas. Why have the masses become complacent? When I travel throughout the tri state I marvel when I see rolling hills, farms, JERSEY cattle it has such a calming effect on me. I always feel refreshed and come when I have been around these things even for one day. I know our neighbors have become interested in the battle that the EVA has long been waging but do they see what's lost or could be lost? Or do they see development in there own backyard only? When I think of Van Dyke farm leaving us I see those barns and that house leaving a irreplaceable footprint. It feels like losing a friend even the areas across the pike are like lost friends..Fields of plenty graded to become warehouses. I wish I could spread my heartfelt loss into others so they could feel the sense of loss I and my EVA'ers feel...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

We ain't seen nothin yet...

Well the Historic Preservation Commission finally presented it's cemetery report I helped work on in July of 2006. The Town Council requested it somewhere around 6 months to a year before hand and the Township Planning Board presented it just this week to the Council. Now I know things take time but this was almost two years down the road just to get to a point for them to discuss it. I was very disillusioned with the speed of that report mainly because I know the small plots need something anything to protect them. If a developer says OPPS and plows it over it's just too bad. My heart is so concerned with this small plots one of my goals was to protect them or at least get them in the public eye, with the Titus farm people are excited to see it spruced up and want to help keep it protected. There are other residents willing to do the same. I hope they can move on a decision fast to help save these tiny pieces of history through out South Brunswick.