Hear this… here!
I-95 Southbound Exit 17 To: MD 202, Landover Rd, to Upper Marlboro near Hyattsville, MD
Ok now Road Warriors, I have a quick question. What is the name of the highest grossing actor who was born in the poorest neighborhood in Washington DC?
An observant person may need an informed understanding of our cultural decay to appreciate the intransigence of our history. Well before the Black Lives Matter movement, this Hollywood Star was a 1960’s Black Activist who pushed non-violent disobedience to the edge. He did so because he thought he could change the direction of our society through radical action. Later he grew to appreciate the importance of art in subtly influencing the arc of history.
Samuel L Jackson was born here in Washington DC. Hugely prolific, the sheer number of films in which Jackson has appeared have collectively grossed over $27 billion worldwide. This makes Sam Jackson the highest-grossing actor of all time.
In many of his movie roles he taps into his personal demons of rebellion and addiction to create highly attractive yet morally nebulous roles. But don’t be surprised into thinking Hollywood is his sole rodeo.
Samuel L. Jackson has diverse interests, from civil rights to marine biology. In fact at Martin Luther King’s alma mater, Morehouse College In Atlanta Georgia, Sam initially pursued a degree in marine biology. Still, college seemed a world away from the Civil Rights movement and Sam wanted more than a degree. He wanted to be a part of the movement and he wanted to bring the movement to campus. This would be an explosive convergence of events.
You see, while young Sam was born in Washington he spent his years before college growing up with his grandparents in Jim Crow Tennessee. “I had anger in me,” Jackson told Parade magazine in 2005. “It came from growing up suppressed in a segregated society. All those childhood years of ‘whites only’ places and kids passing you on the bus, yelling, the N word!” There was nothing I could do about it then.”
Immersed in Deep South racial strife, after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackson left school to attend the funeral in Atlanta. He even served as one of the ushers. Angry and emboldened, Jackson then flew to Memphis to join an equal rights protest.
In the Parade Magazine interview Sam revealed: "I was angry about the assassination, but I wasn't shocked by it. I knew that change was going to take something different – not sit-ins, not peaceful coexistence.”
In 1969, Sam Jackson and other students held members of the Morehouse College board of trustees hostage at gun point. One of the hostages was none other than the father of MLK, Martin Luther King, Senior. The students demanded that the school put more African Americans on its board of trustees. The college agreed, but Jackson was arrested and charged. He was convicted of unlawful confinement, a second-degree felony. Morehouse then suspended Sam for his his actions.
Sam stayed in Atlanta during his suspension. After joining a local acting group on a whim, Jackson’s interest in drama blossomed. No doubt he appreciated the huge influence of film on modern culture. Not content just with core credits, he co-founded an off-campus actors ensemble “The Just Us Theatre”.
After his 2 year suspension, Jackson matriculated back into Morehouse College where he switched his major from Marine Biology to Drama. He graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama.
Despite battling drug addictions, Sam found his way to Hollywood where he quickly became a box office star. First as a fixture in Director Spike Lee’s early art house films, Jackson pivoted to starring roles in wide release films like Pulp Fiction, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Django Unchained and the remake of Shaft.
Today he is clean and sober, pensive and gracious — but no less engaged. In general he sees our culture declining in the face of populist politics based in ignorance. Says the former Marine Biologist: “I can’t imagine Dr. King watching the Real Housewives or Jersey Shore. We’ve come a long way in our thinking, but also in our moral decay.”
Sam still seeks change. But unlike the young activist kidnapping college administrators and suing for radical revolution, today Sam seeks a change more certain and permanent. As an artist, he participates in the movement through his influence as one of the biggest and certainly the most soulful stars in all Hollywood’s firmament.
#SamuelLJackson #MoorehouseCollege #DrMartinLutherKingJr #BLM #BLackLivesMatter #SpikeLee #StarWars #JurassicPark #PulpFiction
EXIT OF THE DAY:
Hear this…. HERE!
EXIT 1; I-678s, JFK, Ozone Park, n of Belt Parkway
Over there you may think you are looking at JFK Airport, but actually you are looking at the site of an invasion — an invasion from a foreign country.
On February 7, 1964 the British Invasion began. It started right here at JFK airport. It came in the form of four mop top musicians from Liverpool. The Beatles had landed!
John Paul, George, and Ringo stepped from a Pan Am airliner to greet tens of thousands of screaming teenagers. One sign said, “Please STAY here FOREVER!”. From here they commenced their first concert tour of the USA.
After the Beatles came the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and numerous other British Rock sensations. This was known as the British Invasion.
Tens of thousands of world famous celebrities discreetly slip through Customs at JFK International to enter the United States. Perhaps that was why the city authorities thought it imperative to make a grand first impression.
John F Kennedy airport was one of the first Airports that melded architectural beauty with functional design. World Famous architects like Skidmore, Owens and Merrill, I M Pei are represented with the most famous likely the TWA Flight Center of 1962, designed by Eero Saarinen and known for its distinctive winged-bird shape and now home to Jet Blue.
JFK was originally built on Idlewild Beach Golf Course and named Idlewild Airport. The first airline flight from JFK was on July 1, 1948; the opening ceremony was attended by then President Harry Truman. To push acceptance of the new airport, The Port Authority cancelled foreign airlines' permits to use LaGuardia, forcing them to move to JFK during the next couple of years.
It is the busiest international air passenger gateway into the United States, handling fifty nine million passengers in 2015. While the size has expanded to almost 5000 acres, the number of Terminals has been reduced from 10 terminals to 7. Over seventy airlines operate out of the airport, with non-stop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents.
As for the Beatles…John Lennon actually did move here. He eventually moved to New York City and despite push back from Richard Nixon's conservative pals in Washington, John became an American Citizen.
How soon will they have regularly scheduled flights to the last continent, Antarctica? No one can say. But maybe if Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the last living Beatles, do a tour there, the crowds will follow!
#BritishInvasion #Beatles #JFK #JohnFKennedyAirport #Idlewild #PanAm #TWA #SkidmoreMerrillOwensandMerrill #IMPei #BeltParkway #OzonePark #JohnLennon #PaulMcCartney #RingoStarr #GeorgeHarrison #JetBlue
Hear this here!
EXIT of the DAY: Exit 75 I-95s: To Jackson Ward, Richmond Virginia
"Ok Road Trippers listen up. Time for a Road Test. So now listen well to the Fast Facts.
"You are approaching the Exit to a special place. It is called the Maggie Lena Walker House and it is operated by the National Park Service. If you want a break there is a fine restaurant serving traditional southern food right next door. It is called "Alonso's Southern Comfort" and the fried chicken is mouth watering good. So get right to exit.
Next to Alonso's, Maggie Lena Walker’s former home in the Jackson Ward section of Richmond was the center of African American commerce at the turn of the twentieth century.
Talk about a success story, this African American daughter of slaves was the first female bank president in The United States.
All along the highway you see billboards. Likely you see signs for banks like Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, and here in Virginia, you see a lot of PNC Banks.
Well now, it is time for the Fast Facts:
Born to slaves in Richmond, Virginia at the end of the Civil War, Maggie Lena Walker grew up an avid student. She excelled in both math and Bible studies. In her twenties, she became an active member of The Independent Order of Saint Luke which was a Christian Society that encouraged self-help amongst African Americans.
Then Maggie did something that today we would call, “Extending the brand.” In 1902, Maggie Lena Walker started a newspaper for the organization, "The Saint Luke Herald."
Shortly thereafter, she perceived that most African Americans in Richmond were not welcome at white banks. Through the newspaper she solicited blacks to “put their money together” to work for their own people. Said Maggie, "Let us put our nickels together and turn them into dollars." So Maggie chartered “Saint Luke’s Penny Savings Bank.”
Maggie was the bank's first president, which earned her the recognition of being the first woman — anywhere in the United States — to start a bank. Pretty cool eh?
During the same time she married and almost lost her life giving birth to her first child. Ultimately she and her husband, Armstead, raised 3 children.
Later, Maggie merged Saint Luke’s Penny Savings Bank with two other Richmond banks to become The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. Maggie served as the bigger bank’s Chairman of the Board.
This represented several Firsts for women in America none the least was that the daughter of slaves became the First Woman CEO of a Bank. Said Maggie, “I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but instead, with a clothes basket almost upon my head."
Newspaper publisher, bank president, business woman, wife and Mom, as someone else might say, "Only in America…”
Now for the Road Test: what was Maggie’s full name?
You have three seconds.
Three… and two… and one. Her name was Maggie Lena Walker and don’t forget it!
#The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company #SaintLukeHerald #SaintLuke #MaggieLenaWalker #RichmondVirginia #CivilWar
Forty Acres and a Mule
Hear this right... Here;
EXIT of the DAY: EXIT 8 I-95s: Road 13, To Switzerland, Beaufort, South Carolina, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
'In November 1861 the Union Navy attacked nearby Port Royal Sound and for the rest of The Civil War, Union Troops occupied South Carolina's Sea Islands.
Meanwhile local Whites fled their plantations, abandoning about 10,000 slaves. The Union had not planned on this turn of events. Suddenly they were responsible for thousands of people who previously had no experience as freed people.
With no provisions for refugees, The Union could only ask that the slaves stay and continue to farm.
During the first year of occupation African American field hands successfully harvested approximately 90,000 pounds of cotton. The workers were paid one dollar for every 400 pounds harvested. Thus, these people became the first freed slaves to earn wages for their labor.
This soon evolved to become the so-called Port Royal Experiment.
While the farmers struggled through the war to make a success of their farms, Union missionaries, teachers, ministers and doctors volunteered to help promote this experiment. Freed people built hospitals and schools. In schools, math and literature were taught for the first time.
The experiment was such a success that in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued new land redistribution policies that allowed nearly 40,000 acres of abandoned Confederate plantations to be divided among 16,000 families of the “African race.” But the land was not free. The freed people had to purchase the land. Families were each offered 40 acres each — which became known as the slogan that success could be found with just “40 acres and a mule”. Almost immediately blacks bought about 2,000 acres of land.
In part due to the success of the Black Farmers in Port Royal, Lincoln became convinced that African Americans could possibly be effective Soldiers. He sought soldiers from the population and was overwhelmed by the response of those who volunteered to join the Union Cause.
It was only the assassination of Lincoln in April 1865, however, that ended momentum. The new president, despite being a resentful poor white Southerner, Andrew Johnson was determined to restore all lands back to the previous white elite “Planter Class”.
Nonetheless not all white owners returned to the Sea Islands. So thousands of black families continued to farm their lands until well into the 20th century and even until today.
#13thAmendment #Slavery #Freedom #Free #AbeLincoln #Confederacy #SeaIslands #AndrewJohnson #blacks #PortRoyalExperiment
EXIT of the DAY: Exit 34 on I-278 To Queens, Mid-Town Tunnel and Long Island Expressway in Sunnyside, Queens.
Ok Road Crew, check out the white sign for the upcoming Exit - the Queens Midtown Tunnel. It distinguishes the largely working class borough of Queens from Midtown Manhattan -- the access point for major corporate players on Media, Advertising and Communications. One person who embodies a player in all those sectors crossed over from Queens but never forgot where he came from. Like the tunnel itself, he connects his humble roots to touch millions. In doing so, he has become an industry unto himself.
"Going back to Cali" by Queens native LL Cool J is ranked as one of the Top 50 Road Trip Songs according to Time Out magazine. Maybe because it boasts the coolest sax solo in all hip-hop. Or maybe because Mister Ladies Love Cool James really does not care if he goes anywhere specific-- so long as he is Road Trippin' in his tricked out Corvette, cruising with his beautiful wife, Simone -- and family... and, of course, listening to RoadSpoke Talking Tours!
LL Cool J stands for Ladies Love Cool James. But before he was LLCoolJ, he simply was "James". Always searching, James Todd Smith's first hit at the ripe old age of 16 investigated the lack of musical inspiration in a rap anthem called "I need a Beat." In March 1984, when NYU student Rick Rubin and promoter-manager Russell Simmons founded the then-independent Def Jam label, 16-year-old Hollis, Queens-native LL Cool J was creating demo tapes in his grandparents' home. The commercial success of "I Need a Beat", along with the Beastie Boys' single "Rock Hard" (1984), helped launch the iconic label, Def Jam.
Concurrently his first film role was in a high school football movie called "Wildcats". Cool J then landed the role of Captain Patrick Zevo in the 1992 film "Toys" in which he shared the silver screen with Robin Williams.
As we all know, LL Cool J is currently a series lead with Chris O'Donnell on "NCIS: Los Angeles".
Cool J portrays NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex–Navy SEAL who is fluent in Arabic and an expert on West Asian culture.
But perhaps what best accounts for his getting a 2016 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is the fact that he appeared on Sesame Street.
LL Cool J appeared in Sesame Street's 39th season where he introduced the word of the day, "Unanimous".
Obviously it is unanimous that the Ladies Love Cool James and so do people of all sexes -- especially fans from Queens who love road trips!
#LLCoolJ #JamesToddSmith #RobinWilliams #RockHard #IneedaBeat #NCIS #GoingBackToCali #Toys #BeastieBoys #DefJam #RussellSimmons #RickRubin #Hollis
OK Road Crew, now it is time for a Road Test. So here now are the Fast Facts.
Back in 1945, a former J. C. Penney employee opened his first store in north west Arkansas. Sam Walton’s focus was to sell products at lower prices to get high volume sales, portraying it as a crusade for the consumer. He was able to find lower-cost suppliers than other stores. Sales increased 45 percent in his first year of ownership to $105,000. The lease then expired so Sam opened up a new store on North Main Street in Bentonville, naming it "Walton's Five and Dime”.
By offering always low prices, always, within its first five years, the company expanded to 24 stores in Arkansas. Sam did not expand outside of Arkansas till 1968 -- some 23 years later. Bad Business? Well consider this...
Today, Walmart is the world’s Largest Retailer with 11,000 stores in 27 countries and Growing! It is also the largest employer in the world with over 2 million employees and growing. Each week, over 275 million customers shop at Walmart or its other outlets like Sam’s Clubs.
Other superlatives include many environmental initiatives like using wind turbines, biofuel boilers, and solar panels. In fact, it is the biggest commercial producer of solar power in the United States.
It is also the biggest seller of organic milk and the biggest buyer of organic cotton in the world. In so doing, it demands that Walmart suppliers cut back on harmful fertilizers.
What does it mean to you? Well, the Average American saves nearly $1,000 annually by shopping at Walmart. Plus it has the widest selection of goods and produce, so who does not shop there? Finally, while a lot of Walmart’s inexpensive merchandise is produced in low wage places like China, the management insists over $10 Billion a year goes to US manufacturers and another $250 Billion in purchasing comes strictly from United States based corporations. It even has started societal initiatives to impact its customers in good ways. For instance, in 2011 Walmart announced a program to improve the nutritional value of its store brands, reducing the amount of salt and sugar and completely eliminating trans fat altogether.
Oh and Walmart is still a Family Store. The Walton kids and grandkids still own over 50% of the stock.
So what happened to that first Walton Five and Dime in Bentonville? Well, That store is now the Walmart Museum.
Now for the Road Test: where did Sam Walton work before he started his own company? You have 3 seconds. Three… and two… and one. If you said JC Penney, you would be correct.
#Walmart #SamWalton #Walmart Trucks #Bentonville #JCPenney #LargestRetailer #LargestEmployer #BetterTogether #Alwayslowpricesalways
Hear this right… HERE! Right at this Exit sign!
Exit 41 I-278 Brooklyn Queens Expressway, to Northern Boulevard (IND Queens Boulevard Line), Jackson Heights, Queens
Can you imagine, spending $50 on a radio advertisement and generating a return of $150,000? That's a return on investment of three thousand percent! Wow.
Well it happened right here in Jackson Heights. That’s because from the printing press to Facebook, new media SERIOUSLY impacts the way people live.
After the American Revolution, newspapers were the primary way people got their news. They often would be distributed by the Town Crier who would walk around villages and loudly proclaim the latest news often augmenting this with the sale of pamphlets: “Hear ye, Hear ye… Queens Man put to death for killing his neighbor. Read all about it.”
The tech of journalism was different too and it impacted how the papers were treated. Before 1900, newspapers were printed on cotton which was sturdier than paper. Cotton lasted months. Newspapers were expected to be handed around. So most folks got "second hand news.” No surprise, newspapers from this era are still in good shape.
By World War One, however, cotton was replaced by cheap paper — which meant the newspaper was less resilient and more disposable. News Papers after this period eroded in weeks.
Yet newspaper circulation became more targeted. In one household, Dad might read one Newspaper while Mom would read another.
The adaptation of media to modern lifestyles was essential for success. It conformed with how people lived. With the advent of subway commuting around 1900, publishers began to make more money with single sheet paper tabloids instead of fold out newspapers. Jam-packed strap-hangers preferred to peruse the thin copy, large images, and single leaf tabloids of say the Illustrated Daily News — today’s Daily News — over the unwieldy erudite New York Times.
Predictably these dailies targeted the masses with sordid stories about millionaires and immoral ladies -- preferably both. And more eyeballs meant more money from ads. These cheap paper tabloids quickly faded and grew jaundice -- but so-called Yellow Journalism boomed.
According to the Ric Burns and James Sanders companion book to Ken Burns' PBS Series, NEW YORK, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, the impact of the new media of radio was even more staggering.
While papers reached thousands, radio could reach millions.
Although first broadcast commercially in 1920, it was not for 2 more years that the first radio advertisement was transmitted.
On August 22, 1922 on NYC Radio Station WEAF ran a 10 minute advertisement for an apartment complex right here in Jackson Heights, Queens. The response was overwhelming. The advertiser who had paid just $50 for the airtime quickly sold $150,000 worth of apartments.
Driven by the vast new scale of radio, not just media but also the advertising industry in New York exploded.
That’s because, for the first time a single product could be sold to the entire nation at once. Already the nation’s leader in culture, fashion, and publishing, no surprise New York City excelled in the new art of heightening the power of advertising.
And so what "Wall Street" was to Finance, "Madison Avenue" became for media and advertising... and both were headquartered in the Big Apple.
#RicBurns #NewYork #NEWYORKANILLUSTRATEDHISTORY #JamesSanders #NewYorkTimes #DailyNews #Radio #newmedia #JamesSanders #PBS #PBSNEWYORK
The 2 Roads of Wes Moore
If you had the RoadSpoke app… hear this here:
EXIT of the Day: EXIT 22 I-95s Delaware Expressway to I-676, SR 30 to Wayne PA, in Philadelphia PA
“The subject of this EXIT has an amazing resume. He is a former Army Ranger, a Decorated Combat Veteran, the current Robin Hood Charity CEO, a Best Selling Author, and Best Friend Forever of none other than Miss Oprah Winfrey.
But we had a hard time figuring off what Exit to place this story. It could be placed at Baltimore, The Bronx, or even beside a tiny tropical sugar town of Trelawny Parish on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica.
The story is about one man named Wes Moore. It is a story about being born along the mean — then plummeting. It is a fight against the odds, falling and bouncing back to reach the highest height -- a J Curve, if you will, which every person experiences. The best part of this trajectory is Wes Moore’s story is not even half-way done. What heights will he attain?
Remarkably this Wes Moore wrote a Best Selling book about 2 Black Kids from Baltimore both named Wes Moore.
Both started along the same mean, each chose a different path. The Other Wes Moore is now spending his life in prison, convicted of murder. The Book itself is entitled, THE OTHER WES MOORE.
As for the EXIT of the Day, we chose an offramp that takes you to Wayne, Pennsylvania which is the home of Valley Forge Military School, a dormitory prep school which marked the bottom of our Wes Moore’s plunge and from which he rose to succeed in so many things.
You see, as a 3 year old child, little Wes witnessed his father's death from a rare virus. Moore's mother then took him to live in The Bronx with his grandparents. His grandfather, Dr. James Thomas, was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. His grandmother was a retired school teacher from Trelawny Parish, Jamaica.
A smart kid, Wes got financial assistance to attend the elite Riverdale Country School. When Moore's grades fell, he got into trouble with the law. His mom yanked him and enrolled him in Valley Forge Military Academy off the approaching EXIT. It was here that he learned discipline and he began to rise.
It was here too that he first parachuted which gave him the desire later to lead combat troops with the 82nd Airborne.
He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University where graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2001. He also won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended the University of Oxford in England. In 2005, abandoning a Wall Street Job, Wes volunteered in the Army to serve and see combat in Afghanistan.
Today, Wes heads up the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood is one of the most innovative and well funded non-profits investing tens of millions annually in providing solutions to the War on Poverty.
In addition to leading crusades against poverty in Urban New York, he is a strong advocate for Veterans Affairs and has produced TV Shows with Oprah Winfrey and TED Talks about reintegrating veterans into society.
Wes is married to Dawn Moore with two young daughters. He lives in suburban Connecticut, many many Exits from the Other Wes Moore — who is still his friend.
So it only seems appropriate that we credit EXIT 22 with being the right road for Wes Moore. Down this Exit, Wes Moore drove to the Valley Forge Military Academy that changed his direction in life. So it is the correct choice for our EXIT of the DAY.”
#WesMoore #TheOtherWesMoore #ValleyForgeMilitaryAcademy #RobinHoodFoundation #RiverdaleCountrySchool #82ndAirborne #Army #TrelawnyParish #TedTalks #Oprah
EXIT of the DAY: Exit 22 I-95 s to Bordentown NJ.
Hear this here!
"OK Road Scholars, listen up! This RoadSpoke was submitted to us by Jungyung Kim, a ninth grader from Harrington Park, New Jersey. Thanks Jungyung!
Here now is the spoken road...
"Upcoming is a Wendy’s Restaurant. In his book "Dave's Way," Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas recalls how the family dressed up his 8 year old daughter in a striped dress for the opening of the first location. To make her pigtails stick out, Mom put pipe cleaners in her hair. That's the little red headed girl in the logo.
Now time for a Road Test: The winner gets a free Frosty from the upcoming Wendy's off the next EXIT. So get right now and listen up for the Fast Facts!
Fast food outlets are all along Interstates so you are all familiar with Wendy’s, Burger Kings, and McDonald’s. Believe it or not though, back in the 1800’s establishments that sold just food were almost unheard of. Eating out was rare if largely unheard of. Everyone ate at home. Eating out was only something travelers would do and so Hotels or taverns may offer meals to their nightly guests but no one else.
Then just before the Civil war, fine dining became a thing with rich people but mainly in big cities. Delmonico’s in Manhattan is credited with being one of the first eat-only places. All the fashionable and famous in the Big Apple would gather there to see and be seen
Then came the Civil War. Perhaps it was then with vast segments of the population traveling far from the farm did offering meals for pay become an idea. From the Civil War forward, inns, taverns or saloons would offer food to supplement the sale of their profit centers which was liquor or beer. But except for pickled or salted meats and vegetables, almost all food was cooked to order. There was no standardization of meals nor were meals pre- fabricated in industrial capacities.
In the 1950’s Fast Food rose in tandem with high speed travel along interstates. Upcoming is a Wendy’s.
Founded in 1969 in Ohio by Dave Thomas and named for his daughter, Wendy’s claim to fame is being the home of fresh, never frozen beef. The chain is also known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and Frosty, a form of soft-serve ice cream.
Despite being bashful and self effacing Dave held the record for appearing in his own commercials. He starred in them over 800 times. Remarkably his daughter Wendy never did. So while you may be familiar with all types of fast food, eating out, Dave Thomas and even Wendy’s fast food, well you nor anyone in America has ever met the so-called Wendy herself. Was she real. And was that her real name?
Now for the answer to the Road Test:
What was the name of Dave Thomas’ daughter… the one for whom Dave named the chain?
If you said "Wendy" , technically you would be wrong. Wendy or Wenda was just her baby name. Melinda Lou was the lady’s real name.
Now let’s get right to exit. I want a Frosty from Melinda Lou’s. And don't forget... you gotta tell em RoadSpoke sent you!"
#Wendy's #DaveThomas #Frosty #NewJersey #ExitofThe Day #Delmonico's
Hear this right… HERE!
I-95 South EXT 49B to 695 and I-70 West, near Baltimore, Maryland
Quick! Look Up. See the exit sign? Upcoming Exit 49 b is an innocuous number for a major crossroads. Imagine that from this point in the highway you can pretty much go ANYWHERE in North America. You can drive to California, to Florida to Alaska or to steamy Mexico. Brazil or Peru even!
The road promises infinite possibilities. Starting right HERE on I-95, Interstate 70 goes from here — near Baltimore in the mid-Atlantic States— transecting the continent through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and ending all the way out in tiny Cove Fort, Utah.
I-70 and I-95 are Cross Roads just above the Mason Dixon line. Cross roads is the theme here where cultures cross and mix. I-70 goes over the highest point on the Interstate in the Colorado Rockies. The road goes through some serious country, right? Well, even more than you can imagine.
Not a lot of music investigates the trials of Life’s long road like Country Music. Do you get crazy when you hear certain Country and Western songs? No? Not really a Country Western fan? Or do you love it? Well that does not matter because with Patsy Cline, let’s just say her music transcended the boundaries of musical genre. Songs which have become world wide classics resonated with all Americans and are today recognized all over the globe. One of those songs, named “Crazy” should immediately come to mind.
There are not a lot of musicians who crossover from Country and Western to pop. Most recently, the brightest star in this rarified firmament is none other than Taylor Swift.
The embodiment of the All American girl who happens to have huge talent, Taylor grew up in a rather bucolic setting on her family’s Christmas tree farm in West Reading, Pennsylvania. West Reading is about an hour west of Philadelphia.
Born in 1989, Taylor shot to the top of the charts when she was just a teenager. For her, the road to fame was relatively easy. Her hit "Our Song", made Taylor the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a number-one song on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Swift's second album, “Fearless” explored country pop fusion and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. At the age of 18, her singles “You Belong to Me” and “Love Story” became crossover hits garnering huge audiences in both the Pop and Country Western audiences.
However, Taylor owes a lot to a person who had dropped out of high school to help support the family, worked in a Virginia slaughter house plucking and gutting chickens, and was a victim of parental child abuse. This happened all before little Patsy Cline turned 17.
While Patsy Cline had to wait to her mid twenties to achieve her success in the late 1950’s and early ’60's, she was the very first Country artist anywhere who became a major artist on both the Pop and Country Western charts.
No doubt Patsy’s struggles expanded the emotional resonance of her songs. Her limpid clear voice had universal appeal. In fact, she credits a sickness that almost killed her with expanding her vocal range. Abandoned by her father and born to a 16 year old mother at the height of the Great Depression in 1932 east of here in the Blue Ridge community of Windsor, Virginia, Patsy Cline found stability and started her ascent to stardom at the Moose Lodge in nearby Brunswick, Maryland. There she met her first husband who provided some sort of stability for the 16 year old itinerate singer.
If you take the next exit west on Interstate 70, you will be encounter Brunswick in a few miles. But in an interview in 1957, Patsy claimed that her hospitalization and near death at age 13 for rheumatic fever actually improved her voice. Said Patsy, “"I developed a terrible throat infection and my heart even stopped beating. The doctor put me in an oxygen tent. You might say it was my return to the living after several days that launched me as a singer. The fever affected my throat and when I recovered I had this booming voice.”
Booming is hardly the adjective to describe Patsy’s hits. Soulful. Melodic. Haunting even. Patsy is best remembered for “Walkin’ After Midnight”, “I Fall to Pieces”, “She’s Got You,” and “Crazy”. Fast Fact: “Crazy” was an early single written by a little known Nashville songwriter named Willie Nelson. Willie originally called the song “Stupid”. No doubt even as “Stupid”, the great Patsy Cline would still have made it a number one hit — in both genres.
As a pioneer for women in Country Music, Patsy was among the first to sell records and headline concerts. Still her career was cut short one night in a storm somewhere over Tennessee.
Returning to Nashville from a concert in Kansas City, Patsy’s plane crashed. She was just 31.
Since her tragic death in that 1963 plane crash, Patsy’s fame has just grown. Patsy Cline has been cited as one of the most influential singers of the 20th Century. Her music has influenced musicians of various styles and genres. But ultimately Patsy Cline’s roots were pure country. No surprise: in 1973, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Rest in peace, Patsy Cline. Enjoy your success, Taylor Swift. Across a universe of time and space the road leads directly from Patsy to Taylor. You both owe each other and have much to be thankful for. But Taylor Swift would not have happened without Patsy Cline... and there is nothing crazy about that.
#PatsyCline #CountryMusic #CountryandWestern #TaylorSwift #Crazy #Walkinaftermidnight #WillieNelson #
If you had the RoadSpoke app… you would hear this> Here!
EXIT 15E I-95n in Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal to Holland Tunnel to NYC
OK Road Crew, you are about to pass under a lot of EXIT signs with Presidents' names on them. The Exits up ahead offer you the options of getting into the City of New York via either the Lincoln Tunnel named for Honest Abe Lincoln, or taking the George Washington Bridge named -- obviously -- for the first President of well, any nation on earth. In fact the concept of democracy was so novel back in 1789 that President Washington actually went to his grave 10 years later believing this government, as Lincoln wrote, “For the People, by the people” would not in fact succeed.
Good thing Washington was wrong. It has lasted for over 225 years. But even before he took the first oath of office, George Washington was aware he was setting a precedent for all other Presidents to follow.
Of his presidency, Washington himself said, “I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn in precedent.”
First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, if you take the Lincoln Tunnel and drive south to Wall Street, there on the steps of the Federal Hall in Manhattan, America's First President was inaugurated as the first nationally elected President of the United States. Today a large statue marks the spot.
It also marks the beginnings of the first modern democracy in the world.
In an era of absolute rulers, the concept of democracy was utterly unique. It required wholly new and invented protocols and beliefs. Washington was a man of great civility. He was an adherent of liberal enlightenment, dignity, and admiration of the truth. Despite his sorry hypocritical record as a Slave Owner, in white society, these attributes were tantamount in Washington's character.
After taking a vow to uphold the Constitution on the Federal Hall steps, the first President then retired indoors to read Congress his inaugural address in which he spoke of “the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” Being a politician, Washington was not ignorant of the art of self promotion. But he was not boastful either.
No one in the room was certain democracy would work. Many even hoped that Washington would take over as King.
But Washington did not seek to be a tyrant. Years earlier in the throes of the American Revolution, on a sub-zero day in icebound Newburgh, New York, a coterie of his officers had even proposed that he seize power from Congress.
Their pay was late. Their rations thin. They had no winter uniforms. Some had no shoes. Even Washington had to sleep in the frozen elements.
But Washington was aghast. He angrily disavowed any desire to create another tyranny. That was precisely the purpose of the American Revolution -- to throw off the yoke of monarchy and give power to the people!
General Washington threatened to arrest any who spoke further of such treason. The incident went down in history as the Newburgh Conspiracy. Yet no officers were arrested and General Washington held sway.
Still, at Federal Hall in nearby Manhattan, Congress was certainly aware that Washington was ideal as the first president. Not only was he a lover of democracy but he had no biological children which meant no dynastic aspirations. His kids were those of his wife Martha from a previous marriage.
And then there was his huge personal bravery, honesty, and extreme decorum. Whatever he faced, Washington would act "presidential".
In summation, Washington was expected to set the standards for all who followed. And to a large extent, he did.
#GeorgeWashington #Inauguration #Newburgh #FirstPresident
#FederalHall #President #LincolnTunnel #GWBridge
Hear This right.... HERE!
Onramp to I-278s; New Jersey, Goethals across I-95 to Elizabeth, NJ & Staten Island NY
"You are driving through the salt-water marsh that made a Hollywood Studio millions of dollars and set the bar for modern TV dramas. In fact if you tap Deal Radar now we will offer you 3 free months of HBO Membership so you can see this drama in the next year. Speaking of years and drama.... As opposed to the northern neighbors which were the British owned colonies of New England, way back in the 1600's, the Dutch were first to settle both New York and New Jersey. And while New England was composed of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, the 2 states of New Jersey and New York were a very separate country called New Holland. This large swamp-land area was therefore named by the Dutch. In the Dutch language, a stream or a brook is known as a Kill. The English translation for the huge marsh hereabouts is “fresh-water streams”. Today these meadowlands are still known by their Dutch name: the area is known as Fresh Kills.
New Jersey Mafia boss, Tony Soprano knows something about Fresh Kills. Tony Soprano is in the waste removal business. A lot of Tony Soprano's garbage ended up in these wetlands.
“The Sopranos” television show made much use of the wetlands in and around Staten Island and North Jersey. Utilizing the bleak beauty and the gritty industrial patches of these wetlands, scenes were shot showing recyclables being dumped, hijacked trucks getting offloaded, and dead bodies being disappeared.
In reality, believe it or not, there are many mob bodies buried out there since much of the show's inspiration derived from true life. Just look around. How hard is it to hide a dead guy in all that swamp?
The Sopranos is a crime drama television series created by David Chase.
The story revolves around the fictional character, New Jersey-based mobster Tony Soprano played by the late great James Gandolfini. The series portrays the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflict of his family life with his well, family life.
Drawing heavily from his personal experiences growing up in New Jersey, David Chase says he tried to "apply his own family dynamic to mobsters.”
For instance, the tumultuous relationship between Tony Soprano and his mother, Livia, is partially based on Chase's relationship with his own mother. Chase was also in therapy at the time and modeled the character of Doctor Jennifer Melfi after his own psychiatrist.
The TV show is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. The series also won a multitude of awards, including Peabody Awards for its first two seasons, 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. A staple of 2000s American popular culture, the series has been the subject of controversy and parody. It has spawned books, a video game, high-charting soundtrack albums, and a large amount of assorted merchandise.
In 2013, the Writers Guild of America named The Sopranos the best-written TV series of all time while TV Guide ranked it the best television series of all time.
Chase had been fascinated by the mafia from an early age, witnessing such people growing up. The series is partly inspired by the Boiardo family, a prominent New Jersey organized crime family when Chase was growing up, and partly on New Jersey's DeCavalcante family.
What you may ask does a guy named David Chase know about Italian mob guys? Well, David Chase's real name is David Dee Ceasare. And now you know the rest of the story!
#Sopranos #TonySoprano #FreshKills #Meadowlands #NewJersey #StatenIsland #DavidChase #Boiardo #EdieFalco #HBO #StevieVanZandt #Mafia #TheMob
I-95 Fast Facts:
Interstate 95 is RoadSpoke's First Audio Tour. Ultimately all Interstates will be narrated. In the words of one of our competitor's, Autio, which was formerly HearHere... in history, every story has a place. Now with RoadSpoke, every place has a story. But unlike Autio, formerly known as HearHere, RoadSpoke will not just bore you with long winded slightly liberal and overly pedantic stories narrated by uninspired wanna be actors. Through your choice of favorite Siri voices, RoadSpoke will provide short enticing bytes that also do one more thing that Autio does not do. We don't just turn Interstates into talking tours. Offering discounts and deals on everything from fast food to Ferraris, only RoadSpoke turns the open road into an endless shopping aisle!
We like to think of RoadSpoke as using the interstates to create a narrative spine for discovering America - and Americans. Story, history, science, scandal, celebrities, sports, regular folks and corporate histories... and deals!
Then RoadSpoke will go social, and fans and bloggers will fill in all other roads around the country.... and around the world! Laying personalized RoadSpokes, our users will be able to leave comments and observations that in theory, their great grandkids could follow in a hundred years.
Why start with I-95?
No road in America is as consistently busy from one end to the other as Interstate 95. A few stretches of other interstates carry more traffic than the busiest parts of I-95, but no highway in total carries more traffic.
I-95 crosses 15 states and runs from Canada south to Miami, covering 1,918 miles. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 1,040 of those miles are in urban areas. 60 percent of urban areas are classified as “under heavy congestion.”
In its northeast passage, I-95 travels through the most densely populated region of the country. More than 325,000 vehicles per day travel through the area encompassing the New York City/New Jersey/Connecticut area, making that stretch the seventh busiest in the country.
But wait! Traffic allegedly gets worse. According to the FHA, I-95 passes through the Washington, D.C., area, another traffic chokepoint on the way to its southern end just south of Miami, where I-95 there rates as the sixth most-traveled section of interstate in the U.S.
So why I-95?
1) We can't think of a highway that needs more entertainment options -- especially when you consider the delays from all the traffic!
2) I-95 is so embedded in Billboards and urbanity that it dulls the brain. Yet the concrete conceals some of the most fascinating Information about America. In fact, you cruise pass 89 Dino-digs, 114 Native American BattleFields, 219 Intersections with the life of George Washington, 1034 Civil Rights Sites, and the birthplace of 128,236 famous people. And that's just in New Jersey!
3) Finally, I-95 has tons of potential to create commercial partnerships with nearby merchants, destination marketing organizations, and other stakeholders who could use our patent pended DEAL RADAR to place timely ads on the Interstate. Think Virtual Billboards. Nearby Interstate Stakeholders can move their inventory on the most highly trafficked of all Interstates. They can drive all that traffic right to their off highway but still nearby storefronts.
4) FAST FACTS:
- "76% of all Travel is still done by car." - Waze
- "Convenience Store Sales are 55% larger than all online sales, including Amazon." - GasBuddy
- “Travel is better when we are rewarded, guided and informed.” - Waze
- "Location is core to delivering the right mobile experience.” - Gasbuddy
- "Proximity marketing boosts conversion by 240%.” - Venture Beat
At RoadSpoke, We may not be pretty, but we aren't stupid! 😁
I-4, EXIT 108s onramp I-4S: To Valdez, Deltona FL
Ok Road Trippers, it is time for a Road Test. Now listen to the Fast Facts!
There are some ridiculous laws on the books in the state of Florida. We did some research and found some of the silliest. Many of these laws are only in effect in certain cities. So for example, selling fruit in one city is all right but you could spend hard time if you cross the county line. Up in Destin, Florida please don't set off any torpedoes. It's illegal there. Not sure about the rest of the state, but they have a problem with torpedoes in Destin. Must be a lot of large alligators or something.
Also Good to know: in all of Florida, men are not allowed in public wearing a strapless dress. As long as you've got straps of some sort, you're cool.
Also, in Destin, it is illegal for an ice-cream man to sell ice cream in a cemetery. But what’s really weird, in Hialeah, strolling or ambling is a misdemeanor.
Still all that’s nothing compared to selling certain fruits in Miami. In Miami, you could face up to 30 days in jail for selling oranges on the sidewalk. And don't even think about showering naked! It's an actionable offense. Maybe the cops perp walk you with your handcuffs in front....
Raincoats must be popular round here. And as if people do not have enough outdoor activities to entertain them, in Daytona Beach, you're banned from molesting trash cans.
In Key West, don't molest the chickens! They're a protected species. But they need to hear that in Key West.
Finally, here is one that does make sense. In the state of Florida, it's illegal to have physical relations with a porcupine. Ouch!
But maybe you can have relations with a chicken outside of Key West? The State Law is not clear on that issue.
Finally, in case you are riding down the Interstate on Jumbo, know this: When you tie it to a parking meter, your elephant gets charged just the same as your car would.
Now for the Road Test. How many days do you get in jail for selling Grapefruits in Miami? You have three seconds. 3…2…and 1. The answer is no time. You get no time in jail. That’s because it is only illegal to sell Oranges. Now go park your elephant and feed the meter. And when you visit upcoming Deltona, no romancing porcupines. Pervert!
#sillyFloridalaws #Roadtrippers #FastFacts #Jumbo #ParkingElephants #Florida #Snowbirds
EXIT OF THE DAY: EXIT 4; NJ Tpke S: To Philadelphia, Camden, mm 34
Hear this here:
"Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps. The City of Brotherly Love is also the home of many American firsts including the first library (1731), first hospital (1751) and first medical school (1765), first Capitol (1777), first stock exchange (1790), first zoo (1874), and first business school (1881) which is the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
In the 1790’s, its large free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church.
Fifty years later new immigrants, mostly Irish and German, settled in Philadelphia and the surrounding districts. These immigrants were responsible for another first, the first general strike -- which won them the reduction on the average hours of the typical work day. Work days were reduced from 12 to 14 hours a day to 10 hours per day -- another first.
A final first: thanks to the 1984 creation of the Department of Recreation's Mural Arts Program which seeks to provide an outlet for graffiti artists, Philadelphia has more spray painted murals than any other city.
For over 35 years, Philly’s Mural Arts Program has united artists and communities. It is a collaborative process rooted in the street tradition of criminal taggers who spray paint graffiti.
But by providing empty walls as brick and mortar canvases, the Mural Arts initiative transforms public spaces and individual lives through rebellious acts of creation. Plus it elevates art out of crime.
Petty crime, as is plain to see, can become beautiful art!"
#WhartonSchool #UniversityofPennsylvania #Philadelphia #AMEChurch #MarineCorps #MuralArtsProgram #Grafitti #Tagging
The song writer of mega LOVE ballads, “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up”… regularly uses this exit.
EXIT 86a I-95s: to Poindexters, Virginia
Are you feeling lucky? Ok good. Time for a Road Test. Here now are the “Fast Facts”, so pay attention especially you in the driver's seat.
Because we are approaching the exit to Poindexters Virginia, let’s celebrate a guy who started out singing in San Diego, California. Jason Mraz is a singer-songwriter who first came to prominence in the San Diego coffee shop scene around 2000. With the release of his second album, “Mr. A to Z”in 2005, Mraz achieved major commercial success. The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 100. His musical style, from rhythmic feeling to his use of nylon string guitars, has been heavily influenced by Brazilian music.
Which makes total sense since he is of Slovak heritage.
However... This Brazilian influenced American of Slovak heritage was born and raised in upcoming Mechanicsville, Virginia. The lead single, "I'm Yours"became Mraz's first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #6 in September 2008. It ultimately spent 76 weeks on the Hot 100, longer than any other song in the magazine's 51-year history.
Mraz won his first 2 Grammy Awards in 2010, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ("Make It Mine") and Best Pop Collaboration ("Lucky" with Colbie Caillat). Despite making hit singles he loves to work with Female vocalists like Colbie and Meghan Trainer with whom he made another hit, “More than Friends.”
Now for the deep stats, Dear Driver. You still following the numbers?
Mraz lives a health-conscious lifestyle and has said that he eats mostly raw vegan foods. By day, his hobbies include surfing, yoga and photography. He owns a five-and-a-half acre avocado farm in Oceanside, California.
Mraz is a social activist whose philanthropic efforts span wide-ranging issues, including the environment, human rights and LGBT equality. In 2009, he participated in a rescue mission to Ghana with members of Free the Slaves, a global nonprofit working to liberate children sold into slavery.
In October 2015, Mraz announced his secret marriage to girlfriend, Tina Carano, in a post on his Facebook page. While he and his music are hot, his surname is Czech for "frost". Oh and one last thing… Jason has a tattoo that says "REST AREA" on his chest… not that he intends for it to be for his wife, but rather that he is a major fan of highway signage and thus… a natural advocate of all things “RoadSpoke!”
Now for the Road Test. Yes or no, is Jason Mraz the name of a major musical talent and philanthropist... or an ice cream sandwich?
#JasonMraz #ColbieCallait #MeghanTrainor #Lucky #Mechanicsville #Mraz #I’mYours #Poindexters #Lucky #FreetheSlaves
EXIT to Tear Jerkers about Tough Guys
I-95 Exit 22 in FL To: FL 848, Stirling Rd, to Cooper City, Florida
In the 1950’s, Pro Football Running Back Brian Piccolo grew up nearby. There is the Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome, Brian Piccolo Skatepark and Brian Piccolo Middle School 53 named for him -- even though he did not win many awards in his professional career. In fact, playing for the Chicago Bears, Piccolo only scored 2 touchdowns. But what he did in the era before racial integration was far more heroic.
Before the Bears, Piccolo played college football at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There he led the nation in rushing and scoring during his senior season in 1964 and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. In a game against rival University of Maryland, Piccolo's own fans were yelling racial epithets at Darryl Hill of the University of Maryland who was the first and only African-American football player in the ACC. Piccolo went over to the Maryland bench, walked Hill over to the area in front of the Wake Forest student section and put his arm around him. This silenced the crowd.
Later Piccolo would play blocking back to Chicago Bears superstar Gayle Sayers — his African-American roommate.
In November 1969, midway through a game and just after he had scored his second career touchdown, Piccolo removed himself from the field. It turned out he could not breath. He was spitting up blood. Tests showed it was lung cancer. After the season, Sayers was nominated that year for The George Halas Trophy for most Courageous Player. But he declined the honor. He said the honor belonged to his best friend.
Brian Piccolo died from the disease in 1970. A movie, Brian's Song, was made recalling his life. Major Movie Star, James Caan played the part of Brian Piccolo. The movie was rightfully a real tear jerker. And Brian Piccolo was rightfully a real star. No wonder they honor him here.
#NFL #Football #BriansSong #GayleSayer #BrianPiccolo #FortLauderdale #WakeForest #ChicagoBears
Off-ramp to Flying Discs & Empty Factories
EXIT 30 . I-95n: Stratford, Surf Ave, Bridgeport to Waterbury
As you drive through Bridgeport, notice the huge neighboring red brick factories along the highway. Most are now empty. After the Great Depression in the late 1930s, the build-up to World War II helped Manufacturing’s recovery. Some notable corporate Factories here were Winchester Arms and Thomas Edison’s General Electric. Then restructuring of heavy industry in the late twentieth century caused the loss of thousands of jobs. Much manufacturing fled to lower costs areas both in the USA and overseas. Finally, middle class Residents fled the industrial hubs taking their taxes with them.
Like other urban centers in Connecticut, Bridgeport suffered during the de-industrialization of the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. Countering that state wide trend was continued development of new suburban housing which attracted middle and upper-class residents, leaving the urban post-industrial cities with a higher proportion of poor. While cities like Stamford and Hartford thrived with service industries like banking and Insurance, factory towns like Bridgeport and Danbury declined.
While the city may now see better days, Bridgeport also suffered from overall mismanagement, for which several city officials were convicted of corruption, contributing to the economic and social decline.
One bright spot -- until the company moved out-- a pie making company in Bridgeport became unexpectedly a favorite fad of Yale Students on New Haven Green.
During the turbulent 60's, students converted its circular baking saucers into throw toys. The throw toys caught on -- Big Time! Now almost every college green boasts kids tossing the discs. The name of that Bridgeport Pie company was Frisbie!
#Frisbie #Yale #Bridgeport #Winchester #GeneralElectric #IndustrialDecline #NewHavenGreen
Parris Island, HQ to French & Spanish Marines!
EXIT 21 Onramp I-95s: to Ridgeland, SC
Nearby Parris Island has been a Head Quarters for not just the United States Marines but also for Spanish and French Empires. Just 30 years after Columbus in 1492, Spaniards first explored South Carolina in the 1520’s. Further south, the Spanish built forts throughout the Caribbean and north to Saint Augustine, Florida - the oldest continuously occupied European city in the United States. Yet it was French refugees who first settled here. Their Leader was a soldier named Jean Ribault.
In 1562, French Protestants fleeing Catholic Persecution established a settlement at what is now the so-called Charles Fort archaeological site on Parris Island. Today Archeologists have an active dig on the Marine Corps’ island.
All through the 1500’s, Spain and France competed for control of North America. It was a century when England was considered irrelevant especially by the Pope in Rome who decided such things. Spain believed it had exclusive rights to the continent with the blessing of the Catholic Church. France disagreed.
Irritated by reports the French Refugees had established a toe hold at Parris Island, the Spanish King chose Spanish naval officer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to be the governor of Spanish Florida. The King sent Menéndez north to confront the French.
Like a modern day Marine, Menéndez arrived in the Sea Islands and fought Ribault’s forces on land and sea. He drove the French colonists from South Carolina, destroyed their forts, and claimed the territory for Spain.
Fast Forward to Spain's surprising defeat by England in the Spanish Armada of 1588. Weakened globally, the Parris Island Spaniards consolidated south to Saint Augustine.
For two centuries after the Spanish left, Scottish, English and Swiss colonists occupied Port Royal Sound. In 1915, the United States Marine Corps arrived and created the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
In the 1920’s, little was known about the Spanish presence here. While the Marines settled in, Major George Osterhout oversaw archeological excavations which he believed was French. In fact, Congress erected a monument to Jean Ribault in 1926. At the same time, a scholar of Spanish colonial studies, Hubert Eugene Bolton, began to publish articles about Spain’s presence on Parris Island.
In the 1950s, National Park Service historians re-examined artifacts. They determined the artifacts were in fact Spanish and the “French” fort is likely Spain’s.
Archeologists today have found information about what the town looked like in the 16th century. Excavations at the Santa Elena Fort reveal that the town had a central plaza with smart buildings uniformly built around it. Visitors to Parris Island can learn about the island’s history at the nearby United States Marine Corps Parris Island Museum — and so can you!
The Exit to Parris Island is upcoming Exit 8.
Anchors Aweigh and Happy Birthday!
EXIT 781B I-10e To: Sam Houston Tollway, San Jacinto Battleground Historic Park, Battleship Texas.
Today is the 244th Birthday of the US Navy. Anchors Aweigh and Happy Birthday!
If you had the RoadSpoke app, as you approached this EXIT, you would hear this here:
"During this week in 1755, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The United States Navy was born. It started small. The Continental Congress authorized buying two ships in an attempt to interfere with British Merchant Ships delivering supplies to their vast Army at war with the Colonies. Over time the Navy grew. It adapted endlessly with technology always a premium to outclass any potential enemy.
Nearby, you can visit the last of the dreadnaught class of Battleships, The USS Texas. In her time, the Texas was as cutting edge as the Space Shuttle was.
Built before World War One, the mighty T was at several of the greatest invasions in the history of War. The Texas served at D-Day, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima.
Considered old and expendable by World War 2, the @Battleship Texas was often close-in to the beaches, blasting away with her big guns and laying support fire from hundreds of firing positions. Despite her perilous positioning, she was considered a Lucky Ship. More than 63 enemy shells straddled the ship.
Despite being hit by several big shells, the Mighty T only suffered one fatality when she was battling with Nazi entrenchments off the French harbor town of Cherbourg, just days after D-Day. A Nazi shell hit the bridge wounding several sailors and killing the man at the helm, Chris Christensen from Norman, Oklahoma. Two other men were wounded: Emil Saul (seen below visiting the ship in 2004) from Baltimore, Maryland and Captain Charles Baker,from Lynchburg, Virginia who were both standing just outside the Bridge. Emil Saul was gravely wounded and would wake up weeks later in a New York Hospital. Despite the helm being disabled and suffering acute back pains, Captain Baker continued to command the ship by delivering manoeuvers via jury rigged telephones to the Engine Room where there was a back-up helm. Concurrently, the Ship's Chaplain would relay play-by-play info over loud speakers to the sailors below who could not see the action above decks.
A Fast Fact: The number two officer under Captain Baker was Executive Officer, Commander Cabanillas. Commander Cabanillas was from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was the first Latin American to achieve that superior rank in a racially divided Navy. He later became the First Latin American Admiral in the US Navy. Obviously this Fast Fact is all the more apt with his service on the Texas -- a state with such deep Latino Heritage. Below, Commander Cabanillas is seen investigating the damage around the Helm.
If you visit, you can walk the decks, man the guns, swing in the berths, and see how 1600 seamen lived and fought together. Through tempests and towering seas, the Battleship represents a living relic about our Greatest Generation who served at places pivotal in creating the modern world.
Exit Now! That's an order. You will not regret it.
#Texas #NavyBirthday #Annapolis
Exit for No Man or Woman left Behind
EXIT 8 I-95n: Nr Parris Island, Port Royal, Beaufort, St Helena Island,
Ok. Now we are 1 Exit beyond the "sink wood" lumbering Exit. So say it loud. Say it proud! One… two... THREE… Bull Yeah! Now isn’t that what Marines say? Or is it just something overheard from some over-caffeinated stock picker’s TV show? Jim Cramer right? Round here, if you hear Bullyeah, it is from a Marine. A REAL member of the United States Marines. See those woods off to the right. If you disappear into them, find the swampiest part, swim across a gator filled river, scamper up a mud strewn water moccasin infested marsh and find a place bristling with leeches and mosquitoes-- where no man’s land would begin and every kid’s dream is surrendered -- you would find yourself in what is euphemistically called Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Parris Island is where about 16,000 Marines pass through Boot Camp every year. It's also a transformative experience. Parris Island initiates Marines into the fighting ethos that, “NEVER LEAVES A MAN BEHIND” — pardon me - never leaves a person on the battlefield.
Nowadays plenty of Marines are women. That’s because back in 1949, the Marines activated a separate "command" for the sole purpose of training female recruits.
Later, this command on Parris Island was designated the 4th Recruit Training Battalion and it now serves as the only battalion in the Corps for training female recruits. It is the only all-female unit in the Department of Defense. This does not mean they get special training however. They must go through the same process as every Marine.
As celebrated in its manual, Recruit training for those enlisted in the United States Marine Corps includes a 13 week process during which the recruit gets cut off from the world and must adapt to a Marine Corps lifestyle.
Drill instructors train recruits in weapons training, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, personal hygiene and cleanliness, close order drill, and Marine Corps history. They emphasize fitness and combat effectiveness. Recruits must attain a minimum standard of fitness to graduate. This standard includes a Physical Fitness Test and a Combat Fitness Test. Recruits must also meet minimum combat-oriented swimming qualifications, qualify in rifle marksmanship with the M16 service rifle, pass minimum curriculum standards and complete a 54-hour simulated combat exercise known as "The Crucible". Sounds fun right? Carry on!
As the Marine Corps website states, “Parris Island has been the proud site of Marine Corps recruit training since November 1, 1915." Parris Island is home to entry level enlisted training for only 50% of all Marines. Male recruits living east of the Mississippi River and female recruits from all over the United States report here to receive their initial training. Male recruits living west of the Mississippi River receive their training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California.
But rest assured, if the balmy beaches of California are not your thing, and you so desire to mix it up in the malarial snake infested fetid swamps of South Carolina, you may train at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island — by special request! Bull yeah! Or, Better... You can just go visit the Museum off the next Exit. Double Bull Yeah!
#Marines #PARRISISLAND #MARINECORPS #CRUCIBLE #NEVERLEAVEAMANBEHIND #allies
Highlanders in Low Country & Other Inversions
EXIT 5 Onramp I-95n Hardeeville, to Switzerland, South Carolina
Welcome to Switzerland, South Carolina, capital of the so-called "Low Country" and clearly an area of weird inversions. The first European settlers to this region were surprisingly folks for whom high country had been the norm. They were Swiss Protestants. Most Swiss came here by the first half of the 1700’s seeking religious liberties not allowed at home.
In the last century, the area became renown for its timber operations with the Argent Lumber Company.
Unique to the area is the swamp logging procedure, which makes operations far more interesting than standard logging.
Across the swampy coast of South Carolina, pine and cypress were harvested into the late 1800’s. Most logs were lashed together with metal "spike dogs" and floated downstream to mills. Inevitably, many of the timbers broke loose and tumbled to river bottoms.
Fast forward 100 years. These sunken waterlogged gems are now perfectly preserved specimens prized for milling into tables, bed frames, and flooring. That’s because the special properties of nearby Rivers turn old logs into sustained jewels.
You are crossing numerous so called "black water" rivers — the color of black tea because of tannins released by rotting vegetation. Tannins also perfectly preserve the wood which spends generations in waters depleted of oxygen that would normally cause decay. Instead it preserves beautiful mature and very valuable rare lumber. Maybe that is where the term "sink wood" comes from.
Most surprising, here in the Swiss Lowlands renown for lumber jacks, and filled with weird contradictions, to harvest timber here, lumber jacks need to toss the chain saw. Instead they don scuba gear. Diving for dollars! What could be more inverted than that?
#Sinkwood #Switzerland #SwitzerlandSouthCarolina #Hardeeville #Swamplogging #Lumber #Lumberindustry #scubadiving
Pssst. Hey Driver...Want to Buy a Bridge?
EXIT OF THE DAY: Exit 47 I-278 s onto I 87 N ; Port Morris, Bronx,
Pssst. Hey Driver! Want to buy a bridge? No. I'm not joking.
At the end of its life, in 2010 you could have bought New York City's Willis Avenue Bridge for $1. No baloney. Plus New York City officials offered free delivery of the bridge anywhere under 15 miles away. Now, For you Wall Street wannabes, pay attention...
As far as bridges go, the original Willis Avenue Bridge may have been a good deal even when it was new. And we know how New Yorkers love a deal.
The Willis Avenue bridge opened in 1901 at an original construction cost of just over $1,600,000 dollars. The bridge itself lasted another 110 years.
It was replaced entirely in 2010. That means for you Wall Street types that the original bridge amortization cost was $1,600,000 over 110 years for a cost annually of just $14,000 per year.
That’s pretty good when you consider this: The new bridge cost $612,000,000. That’s right. Over half a billion dollars.
Given the first bridge's $14,000 a year amortization rate the new bridge should last over 43,0000 years. Yeah right. So, still... want to buy a bridge?
#WillisAvenueBridge #TheBronx #Manhattan #Buyabridge #NewYorkCityMarathon #InvestmentBankers #Tolls #MTA
Off-Ramp to Geckos, GEICO & Oracles
I-95s, Overpass of State Route 17, in Fredericksburg VA
You are passing a lovely corporate campus. The Big Man on campus is in fact a lizard. That’s because you are passing the corporate campus of Geico Insurance. In fact, the big lizard on GEICO's Corporate campus is the gecko. And no doubt you have heard, The GEICO Gecko, the most uncommon of creatures, is uniquely adapted to help people save money on car insurance.
Here is a Fast Fact I bet you did not expect: the GEICO Gecko is the most prevalent spokes-animal that speaks with a Cockney accent. Wow. Who would have thought?
Since migrating from Texas in 1937 to focus on insuring Federal employees, the GEICO Gecko has become a force to be reckoned with. In the advertising world the cockney Gecko was voted America's favorite advertising icon in 2005.
Since diversifying to offer insurance to G Q Public and getting bought in 1996 by none other than Warren Buffett, our small green friend has traveled the country spreading the good news about GEICO.
The cockney lizard has captivated audiences of all ages. GEICO is now the second largest writer of private auto insurance in the United States. This 40 acre campus is home to several company operations including our favorite, the GEICO auto insurance division.
The idea for the Gecko grew from a creative session at GEICO's ad agency, the Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia. The name "GEICO" was often mispronounced “Gecko." As the brainstorming began, a quick doodle of a gecko appeared. Ad campaigns from the past have proven animals create a strong connection between customers and companies. Think Lions and MGM. Or the Hartford and a Bull Elk. But a lizard? Any how, with this in mind the Gecko came to life and made his debut in the 1999 television season.
But the Gecko is not alone. GEICO has launched concurrent ads with equally humorous characters. There’s camels yelling "Hump Day!" and silent manatees floating in T shirts. There’s even a walrus playing hockey.
The GEICO Cavemen promote commercials claiming to use their GEICO website is "so easy, even a caveman could do it”. Of course the sophisticated cavemen are deeply offended by this stereotype — and well should they be!
But the biggest threat to the Gecko’s job security came from a pork chop. Maxwell, the GEICO "Piggy" gave the Gecko a brief run for his money. If you can recall, Maxwell shouts a long "Whee" and appears in both radio and TV commercials.
Between the piggy, the caveman, the gecko, and 2,800 employees, GEICO is the largest private employer in Fredericksburg. This should make another character supremely happy — and that would be the Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffet, who himself kinda plays a character, that of America’s richest granduncle! But don’t you wish he was your Grand- Daddy? Common, dontcha? With all that doe, just think how you would never care about what day it was. Humpday would be a thing of the past. Oh. Sorry Caveman.
#Geico #GeicoGecko #Gecko #Caveman #Humpday #Camel #OracleofOmaha #WarrenBuffet
Smokin' Joe: Heavy Weight Champ & Sharecropper's Son
EXIT 38 I-95n to Yemassee, South Carolina
On this week on October 1, 1975, was the heavy weight classic, the Thrilla in Manilla between Muhammad Ali and Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Best known for the first boxer to ever beat Muhammad Ali, Smokin' Joe Frazier grew up in Laurel Bay, a rural Gullah community outside of nearby Beaufort. Gullahs are an African coastal community that can trace its ancestry back to West Africa and retains many of its traditions and even a distinct language. More about the Gullah at the next Exit.
According to his website, Smokin' Joe was a country boy who lived by the old country adage that: “when you go to the party, you dance with the one who brung ya.” In Frazier’s case it was a left hook. But to classify Frazier as merely a “left hooker” would be like saying Marilyn Monroe was a blonde.
The son of Dolly and Ruben Frazier, impoverished sharecroppers, young Joe became a boxer by accident. He first went to a gym to work himself into shape. Shortly after, he began fighting competitively. When Buster Mathis, the #1 ranked amateur injured himself, Frazier replaced him at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. Joe surprised everyone. He came home with the gold.
Fast forward to 1971. Before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden, Ali and Frazier waged one of the greatest heavyweight battles ever. At 5’11”, Frazier was short and understated. His simple style was to stay low and blast away. Before their first bout, Muhammad Ali was especially rude to the underdog, Frazier. Before the so-called Fight of the Century,"Ali was saying 'the only people rooting for Joe Frazier are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. I'm fighting for the little man in the ghetto.' Ali by then was a millionaire many times over.
Meanwhile, the sharecroppers son was saying, “What does Ali know about the ghetto? What’s he know about the Klan?” As a result of Ali's campaign, Frazier's children were bullied at school and after receiving death threats, his family was given police protection.
The fight lived up to its billing. Once again, Frazier surprised everyone. Bobbing and weaving, Frazier constantly pressured Ali. In the final round, Frazier hit Ali with that vicious left hook. Referee Arthur Mercante said was as hard as a man can be hit. This punch is the most famous left hook in history. It caught Ali square on the jaw. It dropped the former champ. But Ali amazingly staggered back up. Then he avoided Joe for the last moments of the fight. At the end of 15 grueling rounds, Frazier got the nod from all three judges and left the ring as the undisputed champ and Ali suffered his first defeat.
Three years later they met for the Thrilla in Manila. This time Ali was much more respectful. In a battle between two old warriors they went the distance. By the end, Ali was the victor by decision, although both were beaten. Later, Ali said, “It was the closest I’ve come to death.”
In 2011, Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer and he passed away. The sharecroppers son, Joe Frazier, is now ranked among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. No doubt he is also a proud son of South Carolina.
#JoeFrazier #SmokinJoe #ThrillainManilla #MuhammadAli #Boxing #BeaufortSouthCarolina #
Fort Lauderdale: 3 Essential Forts
I-95 Exit 25 in FL To: FL 84 near Ft Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale exists because of the fierce Seminole Indians. The Seminole Tribe of Native Americans gets a lot of respect in Florida. Teams, like Florida State, are named for them. And why not? They are in fact the only Tribe that did not formally sign a treaty of surrender with the US Government.
Another Fast Fact: The Seminole Wars — and not the current Mideast Conflicts — are the longest wars in US History. Starting about 1818, The Seminole Wars spanned over forty years. Around the time of the Second Seminole War in the 1830's and 1840's three forts named Fort Lauderdale were constructed along the New River. These outposts were to keep the Native Americans south in the Everglades.
The Seminole Indians were actually bands from different Indian tribes that had escaped south from what was the United States and had taken refuge in the large un-inhabited tracts of swamp. Many were Creek Indians from Georgia. And many were escaped slaves as well.
In fact, as far north as Virginia, so-called Seminole Trails trace the path for Slaves south to Freedom. Many so-called Trails are still named such today and many, like the Seminole Trail near Charlottesville, Virginia, are now official state roads. Anyways, intermarriage was common and these people became known as Black Seminoles.
The Seminoles became famous as swamp fighters using guerrilla tactics and eschewing horses for canoes to swiftly navigate the mud sucking swamps. By May 10, 1842, when a frustrated President John Tyler ordered the end of military actions against the Seminoles, over $20 million had been spent, 1500 American soldiers had died. Still no formal peace treaty had been signed.
While many Seminoles had been displaced to Oklahoma's Indian territory, walking the Trail Of Tears, the remaining Seminoles began the 20th century where they had been left at the conclusion of the Seminole Wars - hiding out in remote camps in the wet wilderness areas of South Florida. They may have been poor. But they were free. And they remain so to this day.
The Melting Pot of North Jersey
EXIT 70 I-95s to Teaneck NJ
Happy Rosh Hashana and Oy Vey! In Teaneck, Blacks, Asians, Christians, and Orthodox Hasidic Jews live near one another. This means often they mix - even more than strict Judaic doctrine would allow. From Samson & Delilah to Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan, this is nothing new. But it may be growing.
As of 2001, Orthodox Jews accounted for approximately 13% of American Jews or about 529,000 people in America. While some claim that between 50-70% of those Jews killed during the Holocaust were religiously Orthodox, researchers have shown that Jewish Orthodoxy was actually waning at the time, out-competed by the Jewish Enlightenment, secular Zionism, and the Socialist movements of pre-war Europe. By most counts, Orthodox Judaism is stronger today than in 1940.
Orthodox Judaism upholds a historical understanding of Jewish identity. A Jew is someone who was born to a Jewish mother, or who converts to Judaism in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. Orthodoxy rejects patrilineal descent in establishing Jewish identity. Religion passes from the Jewish Mom. It also means men must be circumcised. Can you say Sammy Davis Junior? He was a proud convert but...Owch!
Also, Orthodoxy strongly condemns intermarriage. Intermarriage with people of another faith is seen as a deliberate rejection of Judaism and an intermarried person is effectively cut off from most of the Orthodox community. However, some Orthodox Jewish organizations do reach out to intermarried Jews since friendships start and then, well, love happens.
Still, Orthodox Judaism holds that the words of the Torah were dictated by God to Moses essentially as they exist today. Therefore, they should not be diluted. However, living in a roiling melting pot of North Jersey means that every day associations with other faiths and races is unavoidable and proves that inclusiveness and diversity are not mutually exclusive nor that a faith's popularity will long remain static. So I say, Oy Vey!
#RoshHashana #OrthodoxJews #Teaneck #Torah #Moses #Jews #Zionism #Judaism #synagogue
Exit to Naval Silicon Valley: See Squids Here!
EXIT 86 I -95N to Gales Ferry & DOWNTOWN GROTON, SUBMARINE BASE, Groton, Connecticut
Today in 1955, off the next exit in Groton, the US Navy commissioned “The Nautilus” — the first nuclear powered submarine.
Submarine 571 was named for an animal that is related to octopus and squid, but has a wonderfully circular shell — yet can propel itself at speed through the deep seas. No coincidence, submariners — both officers and sailors are called squids. If you go to a bar or a store hereabouts you might see squids enjoying their rare time on leave. Electric Boat employs 10,500 people in the community.
General Dynamics’ Electric Boat division has been the primary builder of submarines for more than 100 years. The company's main facilities are shipyards in Groton and New London on either side of the Thames River.
No surprise, the first submarine used in warfare, the Turtle was a single man pod that affixed explosives to warships in the Revolution and itself was built down the highway near Essex Connecticut in 1775.
In fact this area is something of a nautical silicon valley. The first explosive mine and torpedo were all invented locally in the 1700’s. Many of these inventions drew inspiration from the shape of whales and whaling was the main industry here throughout the centuries.
Years later, Electric Boat built the first nuclear submarine, The USS Nautilus. Nuclear subs can stay under water indefinitely because they produce their own air and water. Once they go down, there is no telling where in the world they will surface. In the Long Island Sound, recreational boaters are sometimes surprised by huge submarines breaching from the water like huge billfish.
Too bad the first nuclear sub was not called The Marlin or The Sailfish. Compared to lowly squids, billfish are so much more regal!
#Groton #SubBase #GeneralDynamics #ElectricBoat #Nautilus #USSNautilusSubmarine #Turtle #Squids #NewLondon #Whaling
The Hutch: America's First Women's Libber
EXIT 14 offramp I-95 s: Above the Hutchinson River Parkway, Co-op City NY
Upcoming is Co-op City, Bronx preceded by the Exit to the Hutchinson River Parkway. Do you know for whom the highway is named? Did you know it was named for a fearless lady who stood up to men and may be considered a free speech hero and America’s earliest women's rights advocate? The namesake reason of the Hutchinson River just a few yards from here is the location of Anne Hutchinson's Split Rock homestead. The place is a Landmark with a tragic legacy.
In the 1640’s, Anne Hutchinson was a Pilgrim midwife exiled to this area from the Massachusetts Colony.
Before that, back in Boston on Sunday afternoons, Anne had begun to host women at her home. She encouraged discussions about the Sabbath’s sermons. These meetings became so popular that Anne began including men. This angered the official clergy. They demanded she stop. But she refused.
Banished from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, Hutchinson and many of her supporters established the town of Portsmouth near Newport in what became the Colony of Rhode Island.
More threats forced Anne to move totally outside the reach of the British into the Bronx which at the time was a different country; it was the colony of New Holland owned by the more liberal Dutch.
But it was not the Dutch nor the British who ended Anne’s journey. Tensions with the native Algonquin Indians were high at the time. In August 1643, Hutchinson along with six of her children were massacred during an attack right here in today’s Co-op City.
The only survivor was her nine-year-old daughter, Susanna, who was taken captive but eventually released.
Hutchinson is a seminal figure both in the development of religious freedom in England's colonies as well as the history of women in ministry. Anne questioned the total authority of ministers and she exposed the subordination of women. She has been called the most famous, or infamous, English woman in Colonial American History... and likely the first women's libber in American History.
No wonder the River and then the road are named for this
lady. And now you know why.
#HutchinsonRiverParkway #CoopCity #AnneHutchinson #Puritans #WomensRights #Womensliberation #Massachusetts #TheBronx
Off-Ramp to a Whole Lot of Love's
Exit 75 I-95n in NC To: Jonesboro Rd near Dunn, NC
You are coming up on a off-ramp to a Love’s Convenience Store. Likely you have passed thousands of such fuel and food convenience stores in your life. Convenience store sales in general are huge. According to GasBuddy, as recent as 2017, Convenience Store sales were 60% bigger than all online sales. And that includes sales by Amazon! Wow, right? Well you could call Love’s the grand-daddy of the c-store industry.
In 1964, Tom and Judy Love spent $5,000 to lease an abandoned gas station in booming Watonga, Oklahoma.
Watonga is an hour northwest of Oklahoma City. They named their company Musket Corporation. Over the next 8 years, Musket opened 40 additional gas stations.
When the fuel crunch of the early 1970s began, gasoline was in short supply. Tom and Judy Love diversified for the sake of survival. They launched a new concept: the "Mini Stop Country Store." By adding groceries to their self-service fuel sales, Musket became one of the nation's first to offer one-stop shopping for road trippers. The so-called convenience store was successful and the company quickly opened more stores in western Oklahoma.
In 1972, Musket set out to convert all of its locations from gas stations to convenience stores. By 1973, the company began using the family name instead of Musket. Love's Country Stores was the new name. By 1981, Love's Country Stores celebrated its 100th store in small communities throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. That same year, the company began offering the Fresh Daily Deli, sandwiches made fresh daily on-location. Food service became the company's third profit center along with self-serve gasoline and convenience store items.
Despite the founders becoming some of the wealthiest people in America, with a net worth of around $7 Billion dollars, Love's transformed its country theme but not its folksy service. Despite flying around in private jets and yachting about in a 7 million dollar mega yacht, the Loves joint ventured with such popular outlets like Wendy’s, Dunkin’ and Taco Bell. The founders are still homey folks: the Loves expanded service to professional truckers with showers, overnight parking for big-rigs, and even barber shops.
By 2014 the juggernaut had 300 locations; by 2016 it boasted 400 locations. It is still family owned. It is ranked number 18 on the list of privately owned companies. On your right is Love's. Why not pull over and see what an American Success Story looks like? Then buy something. Anything.
And consider this: the founders, Tom and Judy, may be looking down on you from their multi-million dollar jet — not just with fondness, but with love. BILLION$ in love!
#LovesCountryStores #TomLove #JudyLove #Oklahoma #Musket #WatongaOklahoma #GulfstreamJets #Wendys #Dunkin #TacoBell
A Bridge Too Far: Yankee Doodle Dandy!
On Yankee Doodle Dandy Bridge approaching EXIT 14 I-95s: to South Norwalk & Connecticut Ave, Norwalk Connecticut
Right now, you are driving across the Yankee Doodle Bridge over Norwalk, Connecticut. So Road Trippers, time for a Road Test. If you get this correct, the person in the driver’s seat will pay you $20. Driver, keep your eyes on the road. Time for the Fast Facts:
The traditional American song "Yankee Doodle" has Norwalk origins. The song’s lyrics go: “Yankee Doodle came to town, Yankee doodle Dandy. Yankee doodle came to town, Riding on a pony. Yankee doodle came to town, Stuck a feather in his cap, and Called it Macaroni.”
Fifteen years before the Revolution, during the French and Indian War between the British Colonies and French Canada, Connecticut towns were required to provide citizen soldiers to augment the regulars of the British Army — the most well provisioned and powerful fighting force on Earth.
American Colonials were dirt poor back then. A regiment of poor Norwalk chicken farmers arrived outside Quebec reporting for duty. The smart British cavalry in their bright redcoats, burnished leather bandoliers, and tall thoroughbred horses looked down on this rag-tag crew. They began to ridicule the impoverished Connecticut troops. These Norwalk Farmers had used chicken feathers to decorate their tattered uniforms. No doubt too, these Yankee doodles came to town, riding a single pony.
A British Officer sang a popular melody of the time but he added words―“He stuck a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni.” Macaroni was London slang at the time for looking like a foppish dandy. You called something “Macaroni” when it was too chic, too stylish — Italian. So the British redcoats were making mockery of these dirt poor partners in arms. The Norwalk Chicken Farmers were humiliated by their own poverty.
Twenty Years later, in the American Revolution, these same Norwalk Chicken Farmers sang the same song. They sang it proud. They sang it loud. This time, Yankee Doodle Dandy was a victory chorus.
The poor troops of the American Colonies rolled back the fancy Redcoats and kicked them into the sea. Now for the Road Test. What did Yankee Doodle ride, a horse or a pony? Three. Two One. You said "Pony"! Correct! Now Driver... pay the winner. Cough up, friend, and and don’t be a poor sport.
#YankeeDoodleDandy #YankeeDoodleBridge #FrenchandIndianWar #Norwalk #NorwalkConnecticut #AmericanRevolution #Redcoats #BritishArmy #RoadTest #FastFacts #ChickenFarmers #Quebec
Army Brat & Oscar Winner Julianne Moore
Exit 49 in NC To: NC 53, NC 210, near Fort Bragg, to Fayetteville, NC
You are passing the Exit to Fort Bragg, the largest military community by population in the United States. Talk about road trips, as almost any Military Brat can attest, you live in a lot of places when your parents are in the military. New schools. New friends. Never the same home. Most Army brats live far and wide and for them it is an up and down life. But Not too many military brats have lived as high as Fayetteville native Julianne Moore. With five Oscar nominations, Julianne has been as high as you can get in Hollywood. But her military heritage is revealed in her discipline.
Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith at the Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg on December 3, 1960, the daughter of Anne, a social worker, and Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper, colonel, and later military judge. Her mother moved to the United States in 1951, from Scotland. Her father is from New Jersey. According to the Independent Movie Data Base, Moore spent the early years of her life in over two dozen locations around the world including Frankfurt Germany where she graduated from High school.
At Boston University, always a diligent student, she earned her degree in acting. After graduation in 1983, She moved to New York and worked extensively in theater, but despite her formal training, Julianne fell into the sexy actress' trap: she matriculated into high paying TV soaps and miniseries. From 1985 to 1988 she played two half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina on the soap As the World Turns.
Fast forward ten years. She co-starred in Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Then an unknown director, Paul Thomas Anderson asked Julianne to appear in his movie, Boogie Nights . Despite her misgivings about playing a porn star mother figure, her decision to take the conflicted role proved to be a wise one. She received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Since then she has been up for 4 more Academy Awards and won the Best Actress Oscar for Still Alice in 2014, a role about a woman suffering from dementia.
Despite her transient lifestyle or maybe because of it, Julianne has managed to balance her career and her family seamlessly. Like her friend Meryl Streep, she alternates commercial and arthouse roles. Well beyond her her 50th birthday, Julianne is a model and spokesperson for Bulgari Watches and L'Oreal skin care. Even more impressive, Julianne is still married to the same man of over 20 years.
Now if that doesn't require military discipline, what does?
#JulianneMoore #Oscarwinner #AcademyAwards #Oscars #ArmyBrat #BoogieNights #AstheWorldTurns #StillAlice #PaulThomasAnderson #Bulgari #LOreal #LostWorld #JurassicPark
Baltimore Washington International's Other Name.
EXIT of the DAY: EXIT 35 I-95n to : Thurgood Marshall International Airport, Savage Mills, North Laurel in Maryland.
On this day in 1849 — exactly 170 years ago — freedom fighter Harriet Tubman escaped slavery. To celebrate her courage, we honor a fellow Maryland native who also contributed to America’s liberty.
You are approaching Baltimore Washington International Airport aka The Thurgood Marshall Airport.
It is named for a man whose roots were in Baltimore... his career was in Washington... and his influence was International.
Himself the grandson of slaves, Marshall attended Frederick Douglass High School. He then went to Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, a primarily African American college. His remarkable class of 1930 included band leader Cab Calloway and writer Langston Hughes.
After Lincoln, Marshall wanted to go to Law School. He applied to his home state college, University of Maryland but was rejected. That’s because the U of M Law School did not accept African Americans.
Instead Marshall attended Howard University Law School.
Not surprisingly, he graduated 1st in his class. Then not 3 years after he applied, he sued the University of Maryland, won the suit, and forced the matriculation of the first black man.
Over his career, he stayed close to the words and promises of the US Constitution. A Civil Rights lawyer, by 1967 he had won more cases in front of the Supreme Court than any other lawyer.
In the Mid '60's President Johnson came calling. Seeking the first black Supreme Court Justice, Marshall was appointed. President Lyndon Johnson said, "this was "the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place."
Marshall once described his philosophy as this: "You do what you think is right -- and let the law catch up." Folks argue that this was judicial activism. Marshall did not deny it.
When he died in 1993, his legacy was simple: to uphold the constitutional rights of EVERY person.
#BWI #ThurgoodMarshall #HarrietTubman #LyndonJohnson #BaltimoreWashingtonInternationalAirport #CivilRights #SupremeCourt #Slavery #escapefromslavery #HowardUniversity #UniversityofMaryland #CabCalloway #LangstonHughes
Amelia Bedelia, Come Home!
Exit 115 I-95n in SC To: US 301, to Summerton & Manning, South Carolina
Ok Kids listen up. And I mean "Kids." Time for a Road Test. Now get ready for the Fast Facts. Do you know who Amelia Bedelia is? Well her creator, Peggy Parish, was born right here in Manning, South Carolina.
Peggy was born to a poor family, attended the University of South Carolina, and found work as a teacher in New York City where she taught at the ritzy Dalton School. Dalton’s students tend to be the children of Wall Streeters, Media types and famous celebs. Robert Redford’s kids went there. Heck, many of the students themselves went on to be famous. Chevy Chase, Claire Danes, and Anderson Cooper are all Dalton grads.
Maybe no coincidence, Peggy Parish published her first kid's book while teaching third grade there. She went on to author over 30 books. At the time of her death in 1988, local lady Peggy Parish had sold 7 million copies. That IS huge! Why I do declare: Peggy Parish from Little ole Manning may be more famous than all those fancy folk from New York City!
Parish's most well-known character is Amelia Bedelia. Amelia is a little daffy. She tends to interpret verbal expressions literally, which causes great havoc. This idea originated in conversations between Peggy's third grade students.
Amelia works as a household cook -- a job that Peggy had when she was young. Amelia Bedelia uses no recipes. She combines a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Her food is always delicious. She is such a good chef that her employers just cannot bring themselves to fire her -- this despite the disastrous way she misinterprets their EVERY instruction!
Imagine kids interpreting these commands literally: “Heat a can of soup… scale the fish… file the letters… serve coffee with cereal. Amelia Bedelia's simplicity appeals to youngsters who are beginning to see more than one meaning in a word or a phrase. Kids get the confusion of serving coffee with -- or in -- cereal. In fact, the Franchise was so successful that Peggy's nephew Herman Parish has taken up the pen to continue the saga of Amelia Bedelia.
Do you know any of Peggy's titles?
Some of her best known books are entitled: AMELIA BEDELIA AND THE SURPRISE SHOWER, Amelia Bedelia Helps Out, Teach Us Amelia Bedelia, COME BACK AMELIA BEDELIA, and that all time favorite, "TOO MANY RABBITS!"
Now who can forget that opus?
Well, maybe you can, Dear Driver. So let’s see... Here is the Road Test. How many millions of Books has Peggy Parish sold? Three seconds to answer. Three. And Two. And one. If you said 7,000,000 -- you would be correct!
#TheDaltonSchool #PeggyParish #AmeliaBedelia #AndersonCooper #ClaireDanes #ChevyChase #RobertRedford #UniversityofSouthCarolina #RoadTest #FastFacts
Exit Here: Hallowed Ground. A Turkey Shoot in a Crater
EXIT of the DAY: EXIT 50 I-95n to S Crater Road, to Fort Lee, Near Richmond VA
On the right beyond the 7/Eleven is the site of the Crater. The Crater is the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, "For several weeks, Pennsylvania miners in Union General Ambrose Burnside's Ninth Corps worked at digging a long tunnel. They then packed the terminus with explosives, and on the morning of July 30, 1864, they blew it up. It was the largest man-made explosion in history."
In the words of a Maine soldier, the sky was filled with "Earth, stones, timbers, arms, legs, guns unlimbered and bodies unlimbed." Burnside had initially planned to send a fresh division of African American Troops into the breach, but his superiors, Ulysses Grant and George Meade, ruled against it. If they had failed it would be widely publicized and “colored” troops would be demoted from combat duty.
So the pivotal role—literally via a short straw—went to James Ledlie, a hard-drinking political general who spent the day drunk and well behind the lines. Ordering the charge, his white soldiers piled into the explosion's deep crater — rather than go around it.
Unable to escape, and followed by Burnside's other three divisions including the aforementioned Black troops, they turned into what one New Hampshire soldier described as "a mass of worms crawling over each other"—easy targets for Confederates. Scrambling and clawing in the mud and the muck and the blood, The Union Troops could not escape. Southern troops fired down on the mass of helpless men. The Battle of the Crater was hereafter known by the South as the Great Turkey Shoot.
The battle was a Union disaster. It was marked by particularly cruel treatment of the black troops, many of whom were captured. After they were captured the troops were not treated as POWS. An officer ordered that They be given “No quarter”. Most were murdered in cold blood.
In the end, the battle cost 9,500 troops of The Confederacy around 1,500 casualties. The Union which engaged almost 17,000 men had over double the casualties. The Union suffered 3,800 killed, wounded, and captured.
This American carnage, over 5000 men, all occurred over the course of just 8 hours of fighting — one dark work day in American History.
#7/Eleven #7/11 #TheCrater #TheBattleoftheCrater #CivilWar #ConfederateVictory #Union #UnionDefeat #GeneralGrant #TurkeyShoot #TheGreatTurkeyShoot #EXIToftheDAY #Richmond #EncyclopediaVirginia
Road Test! EXIT now for Free Food & Beverage!
Ok Road Trippers. Time for a Road Test. This RoadTest is brought to you by American Heritage Publishers and 7/11. If you get the answer correct, you get $5 worth of free Pepsi Products at the 7/11 off upcoming EXIT 146 to Lake City, South Carolina. That’s right, $5 of free Pepsi products with a fill up of Fuel! And Pepsi’s family of products include Dorito Brand Snacks so get right to exit.
And now for the Fast Facts:
According to the Ric Burns Documentary Film Series about and entitled “NEW YORK”, “The automobile “seemed like a comical invention at first — a harmless toy skittering around the surface of paved roadways. Appearing at the turn of the 20th century, the first automobiles were seen less as a serious means of transportation and more as a plaything of rich men: expensive, fragile and rare."
Proclaimed the Literary Digest in 1899, “The ordinary Horseless Carriage is at present a luxury for the wealthy and although its price will likely fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into common use as the bicycle.”
That all changed in 1908 when Henry Ford introduced the Model T. The Tin Lizzy was sturdy, reliable and astonishingly affordable. As the price dropped to $300, car ownership soared across the country. By 1914, there were 125,000 cars. Just 5 more years and there were almost 400,000 and the presence of horses diminished accordingly.
The next breakthrough came in 1920. It was not a new car but a new way of buying a car. John Jakob Raskob, the Financial wizard of General Motors, came up with a genius way to buy a car. Customers could buy cars on an installment plan allowing those who could not ordinarily buy a car could now afford one. By 1924, almost 800,000 cars were on the road, and of those, two thirds were paid for by credit.
Now for the Road Test? What was the name of the inventor of the Tin Lizzy? You have 5 seconds to answer. Five. Four. And three. Two. One...
If you said Henry Ford, you are correct. Get off the upcoming Exit and tell the folks at the 7/11 we at Roadspoke sent you. The password is Henry Ford. Then get your $5 of free Pepsi Product and fill up your car!
Exit right on upcoming EXIT 146 to Lynchburg and Lake City. The 7/11 is just 2 minutes off the Interstate.
#Roadtrippers #Roadtest #FastFacts #PepsiProducts #HenryFord #GeneralMotors #Ford #AmericanHeritage #RicBurns #NewYork #DoritoSnacks #ModelT #Fordmotorcar
249,000+ Views. 1 Post. Thanks Cypress Hill!
Thanks to a Share from Latin American hip hop group, Cypress Hill, our EXIT OF THE DAY about Woodstock reached almost a quarter million People! WOW!
#CypressHill #Woodstock #BethelNewYork #BReal #BHang #Bhangcannabis #DrGreenThumb #weed #JimiHendrix #MaxYasgur #Woodstock25 #Woodstock50 #RingStarr #Santana
Francis Scott Key:Song Writer & POW
EXIT 55 I-95n: Fort McHenry Tunnel entry
Today is the anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing the Star Spangled Banner during the War of 1812. It was a popular poem, that only later was set to music.
Ok Road Trippers, listen up. And you in the driver’s seat, please turn on your headlights, cause you are going down! And going back too -- in time.
Rewind to 1985, when the eight-lane Fort McHenry Tunnel became part of I-95. The Tunnel crosses under the Patapsco River south of Fort McHenry and connects Locust Point and the Canton area of Baltimore City.
Now rewind fast to 1814. You are about to go under the famous Fort McHenry whose bombing inspired Prisoner of War Francis Scott Keys to write what would become the National Anthem. He had witnessed the British bombardment of Baltimore's final fortification and before going to sleep, he assumed the end was imminent for the new nation.
When the sun rose in the morning of September 14, , it shone on the last shreds of the American flag. Like the song says, Wow! Our flag was still there.
After nearly 24 hours of shelling, The huge British fleet almost immediately ceased fire, released Francis Scott Keys and their other prisoners and withdrew.
Months later, a peace treaty was signed over in Belgium.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, “Although neither side achieved decisive or lasting military gain, the War of 1812 did have beneficial consequences for the United States. The nation emerged stronger at least internationally. No matter how poorly prepared the United States had been, the government’s readiness to take up arms against a mighty foe substantially enhanced American prestige abroad. Former President Thomas Jefferson said the war demonstrated that “our government can stand the shock of war.” Delaware Senator James Bayard expressed a commonly held sentiment when he vowed: “It will be a long time before we are disturbed again by any of the powers of Europe.”
Indeed, within a decade, President Madison’s successor, James Monroe, formulated the Monroe Doctrine, which put “European powers” on notice that the United States would tolerate no further colonization in the “American continents.” From skirmishes with European powers trying to run un-taxed cargo into the United States to the Russians placing Missiles in Cuba, America has been the police man of the Western Hemisphere. Good or bad, no world Wars have happened here under this “Pax Americana”.
On this day in 1814, from the harbor above you, ripples went out into the world. The United States had come of age.
#PaxAmericana #FrancisScottKey #NationalAnthem #StarSpangledAnthem #Baltimore #1812 #MonroeDoctrine #ThomasJefferson #FortMcHenry
Nearby Competitors: The (real) Florida Panthers
EXIT 10A I-95 northbound; to 125 Street. Hialeah, FL
While the Florida Panthers play hockey up north just west of Fort Lauderdale, their home rink runs up against real panther country. Compared to a bunch of toothless be-muscled hockey jocks, the big cat is no less fierce.
The real cat, the Florida Panther is a species of mountain lion that inhabits the swamps and Everglades just a few miles west of I-95. Even with six million neighbors the lurking panther is seldom seen. The National Park Service writes: "Once common throughout the southeastern United States, fewer than 100 Florida panthers are estimated to live in the wilds today. Florida panthers were heavily hunted after 1832 when a bounty on panthers was created. Perceived as a threat to humans and livestock the species was nearly extinct by the mid-1950s. Today, the primary threats to the remaining panther population are habitat loss and degradation."
Big kitties indeed, males can weigh up to 160 pounds and live within a range that includes the Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. This population is currently the only cougar representative in the eastern United States — although some sightings have been recorded in New England of late.
Whether or not it can be said of the Hockey Team, the 100 big cats now represent something of a comeback story. In the 1970s, there were estimated to be only 20 Florida panthers in the wild. An enthusiastic conservation campaign raised awareness. Poaching plummeted. Amateur sightings increased. Rangers used collars to track the animals.
Most significantly, motorists were put on notice — especially drivers crossing the Tamiami Trail between Miami and Naples — to avoid hitting the big cats. That’s because the primary killer of panthers was getting hit by speeding highway vehicles. So Kids tell your parents to keep their eyes open and watch for panthers, right!
In 1982, the big cat was even chosen as the official Florida State Animal. Finally, folks were assured that living in panther country was quite safe. Unfortunately, they are known to take an occasional Fido or Puss but about 90 percent of their diet is feral hog, white-tailed deer, raccoon, and armadillo. Occasionally they consume rabbits, rats, and birds, and occasionally even alligators.
No wonder the Hockey Team chose the panther to be their team emblem. Any animal that eats alligators is one tough competitor.
#FloridaPanthers #Floridapanthers #Gators #Everglades Park #NationalParkServiceandNationalHockeyLeague #NHL #Extinction #Mountainlions #cougars
The Other Road of Our Wes Moore
EXIT of the Day: EXIT 22 I-95s Delaware Expressway to I-676, SR 30 to Wayne PA, in Philadelphia PA
For the subject of this EXIT, former Army Ranger, Decorated Combat Veteran, current Robin Hood Charity CEO, and Best Selling Author Wes Moore, we have had a hard time figuring off what Exit to place this story. It could be placed at Baltimore, at The Bronx, or even beside a tiny tropical sugar town of Trelawny Parish on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica.
The story is about being born along the mean and then plummeting. It is a fight against the odds, falling and bouncing back to reach the highest heights, a J Curve if you will which every person experiences. The best part of this trajectory is Wes Moore’s story is not even halfway done. What heights will he attain?
Remarkably this Wes Moore wrote a New York Times Best Selling Book about 2 Black Kids from Baltimore both named Wes Moore. Both started along the same mean, each chose a different path. The Other Wes Moore is now spending his life in prison, convicted of murder. The Book itself is entitled, THE OTHER WES MOORE.
As for the EXIT of the Day, we chose an offramp that takes you to Wayne, Pennsylvania which is the home of Valley Forge Military Academy, a dormitory prep school which marked the bottom of our Wes Moore’s plunge and from which he rose to succeed in so many things.
You see, as a 3 year old child, Moore witnessed his father's death from a rare virus. Moore's mother took him to live in The Bronx with his grandparents. His grandfather, Dr. James Thomas, was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. His grandmother was a retired school teacher from Trelawny Parish.
A smart kid, Moore got financial assistance to attend the elite Riverdale Country School. When Moore's grades fell, he got into trouble with the law. His mom yanked him and enrolled him in Valley Forge Military Academy.
It was here that he learned discipline and he began to rise. It was here too that he first parachuted which gave him the desire later to lead combat troops with the 82nd Airborne.
He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University where graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2001. He also won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended the University of Oxford in England. In 2005, abandoning a Wall Street Job, Wes volunteered in the Army and saw combat in Afghanistan.
Today, in addition to leading crusades against poverty in Urban New York, he is a strong advocate for Veterans Affairs and has produced TV Shows with Oprah Winfrey and TED Talks about reintegrating veterans into society. Wes is married to Dawn Moore with two young daughters. He lives in suburban Connecticut, many many Exits from the Other Wes Moore — who is still his friend.
So it only seems appropriate that we credit EXIT 22 with being the right road for Wes Moore and the right choice for our EXIT of the DAY.
#WesMoore #TheOtherWesMoore #ValleyForgeMilitaryAcademy #RobinHoodFoundation #RiverdaleCountrySchool #82ndAirborne #Army #TrelawnyParish #TedTalks #Oprah
18 years later...Still World Trade Center!
EXIT 7a; I-87s Westchester near Tarrytown, New York
On 9/11/2001 terrorists attacked the Capitalist Center of the Globe. On the 18th anniversary of 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, never fear, New York City is even more the epi-center of World Trade.
Fast Fact: in spring 2019, Venture Capital investment in New York City exceeded for the first time any other region on the globe. Travel Tech, FinTech, EdTech, Fashion Tech, MedTech… Will New York City surpass Silicon Valley as the new leader in all things technology?
You are now entering the New York City Metropolitan Area. New York, New York! Like Frank Sinatra said, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere". And like Sinatra and The Big Apple itself, the New York Metro Area is a monster powerhouse in every way. Imagine this: Only 10 nations in the whole world rank higher than the New York City area in Gross Domestic Product. As a stand alone nation it would rank 11th — just ahead of Russia.
In 2015, the region within 50 miles of Manhattan produced a gross national product of nearly one trillion five hundred billion dollars, ranking first nationally by a wide margin. With about 24,000,000 residents, the area remains by a significant margin the most populous in the United States. A place of superlatives, it contains Manhattan, the most densely populated county in the world — and also the smallest county in the lower 48.
As the global center of finance, trade, new and traditional media, fashion, entertainment, tourism, biotech, manufacturing, and perhaps most importantly, education, the New York City region is one of the most important places in the world.
Not surprising, it is home to seven of the 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Yet just like in the early 1900’s, the area continues to be the premier gateway for immigration into the United States.
From hundreds of accredited trade schools to 3 Ivy League Colleges, people can easily access learning options in the vast melting pot. Maybe the region’s enduring growth is because the region's education network comprises literally hundreds of colleges and universities. These include Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Fordham, New York University and Rockefeller University which have all been ranked among the top 35 in the world.
And of course, if you drive in the region you are likely to learn a lot, since the Interstates are blanketed with fun, fascinating RoadSpokes. Now talk about a convergence of tech and education!
#9/11 #WorldTradeCenter #NewYorkNewYork #TradeCenter #Anniversary #NewYorkMetroArea #NewYorkMetropolitanArea #Powerhouse #GNP #TravelTech #EdTech #SiliconValley #FrankSinatra
Beware of Hitch-Hikers here!
EXIT 21 Onramp I-95n: to Jasper County Jail in Ridgeland South Carolina
Fast fact: a jail is a locally run place of incarceration while a prison is a federal or state run jail. Coming up fast is one of each. Hope you are like most of the folks on this highway and are just blowing through. If not, well, welcome Home!
Off to your right is the Ridgeland Correctional Institution. Upcoming on the other side is the Jasper County Jail. Such prisons and jails are both a source of employment as well as potentially a location of criminal mischief for state authorities. In the bad old days, corrupt wardens were notorious for renting out the services of their prison populations to make illicit side money.
Obviously housing violent prisoners poses risks but also provisioning and care-taking such tough customers requires motivated trained professionals with high moral standards. Sometimes however, even today, the corrections officer becomes the criminal.
In 2018, hoping to stanch "a crisis in contraband," federal prosecutors indicted 14 former state corrections employees accused of taking bribes for smuggling cellphones and drugs into South Carolina's prisons. All of the correctional officers and other workers had already been fired, and some were already serving sentences after pleading guilty to state charges.
Corrections officials have routinely installed 50-foot nets and authorities even train volunteers from other law enforcement organizations like the South Carolina State Guard to patrol the prison fence lines to keep contraband out. But that does little to prevent smuggling from corrupt prison guards who are paid to smuggle phones, drugs and tobacco into the facilities. Low wages for corrections officers has long led to understaffing in South Carolina. This created temptations for guards who can supplement their pay by smuggling items in for the gangs that control the flow of contraband.
But some have been indicted for sterner crimes. These federal charges carry up to 20 years in prison. The charges include bribery, fraud and drug distribution. Prison employees charged included officers, a nurse, a groundskeeper and food-service workers.
Needless to say, do not stop for hitch-hikers here!
#SouthCarolina #RidgelandCorrectionalFacility #Prisons #Jails #Correctionsofficers #Wardens #SouthCarolinaStateGuards #CorruptGuards
Credit Card HQ & Scandals
EXIT 8w on I-287 westtbound to Bloomingdale Road, to White Plains and Purchase, New York
Ok RoadTrippers. On your right in that huge white office building is the World Wide Headquarters of Visa MasterCard. Upcoming is Bloomingdale Road. Whether it is named for the Bloomingdale's department store or the family behind the store, it is worth mentioning here that the creator of the Credit Card was a gent named Alfred Bloomingdale. An heir to the Bloomingdales Store fortune, Alfred went on to found Diners Club in the 1950's. He created the first credit card so he and his pals would not need to carry large bundles of cash when they went out on the town.
And it turns out, Alfred liked to step out -- Big Time.
Even more interesting, he was the creator of credit cards and he and his wife were close confidantes of Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan. And even more interesting than that, Alfred also was something of a kinky bon vivant.
In 1970, while in Los Angeles, 54-year-old Bloomingdale -- still married -- began an affair with 18-year-old Vicki Morgan. Until she was thirty, Bloomingdale kept Vicki in a luxurious apartment, showering her with expensive gifts, mink furs, and cars. They kept their affair pretty discreet. Alfred’s wife was a mega socialite in her own right, and made all the big galas paying her own publicist to insure she was in all the social papers. By most accounts his wife, Betsy Bloomingdale was not either aware or not too bothered since she lived well and had control of most of Alfred’s credit cards — she thought.
When Alfred was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his wife Betsy suddenly cut off Morgan's allowance. Then Alfred died.
Frustrated by Betsy Bloomingdale to get a payoff, Vicki came clean about the affair and it made headline news. The affair’s unsubstantiated and sordid details, which included allegations of sado-masochistic activities instigated by Bloomingdale, were made public after Morgan filed a multimillion-dollar palimony lawsuit against Bloomingdale's estate. While the details of whips and handcuffs was churned by the press, Betsy Bloomingdale’s powerful friends were working behind the scenes. The case was quickly dismissed by the courts.
Now impoverished, Vicki moved into a low-rent condominium in Los Angeles where she rented a room to a schizophrenic man named Marvin Pancoast. In July 1983, Marvin Pancoast murdered Vicki with a baseball bat.
Not sure there is a morale here, but all these folks suffered —and maybe it is karmic retribution for the guy who charges millions of customers 25% interest rates. Just saying.
#Bloomingdales #BloomingdalesRoad #AlfredBloomingdales #MarvinPancoast #VickyMorgan #DinersClub #MasterCard #VisaMastercard #Visa #WhitePlains #Sadomasochistic
Orange, Connecticut... Just your typical Suburb with Missiles
EXIT 41 I-95 to Marsh Road, Orange CT
OK kids. Get ready for a Road Test. First the Fast Facts: You are passing Orange, Connecticut. Orange, Connecticut is just as you would expect: a typical sleepy New England town. White clapboard churches, red brick schools, and surface-to-air missiles.
Yup you heard right. During the Cold War, Orange served as a location for the permanent deployment of Nike surface to air missiles for the defense of Greater New Haven and New York City against aerial attacks. I bet you always wondered if there was just such places around important cities -- and now you know. In fact, there is another missile site on the other side of New York City between Newark and Philadelphia defending that greater metro area.
Anyhow, Orange was purchased from the local Algonquin tribe in 1639 for six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and a dozen small mirrors. The Paugusset, an Algonquian people, once lived in the area that is now Orange.
The town is named after William III of England, who was Prince of Orange from birth.
A Protestant, William is remembered for succeeding Catholic King James II. King James had been considered a tyrant in Connecticut; he had famously and unsuccessfully commissioned Edmund Andros to seize Connecticut's Constitution. The Nutmeggers outfoxed poor old Ed by hiding the Constitution in the holler of an oak tree -- giving it the name of the Constitution Oak -- but that's another Road Test all together... Disregard that here.
Orange is the North American headquarters of Pez candies and was the home of Saab-Scania until 1992 when the company relocated to Norcross Georgia. Pez Candies was invented in Europe as a cure for smoking. Pez does not cure smoking, but regardless the candies took off. Unlike Saab, the headquarters is still here. That cannot be said for Saab. It is no longer in business.
Final Fast Fact: Orange was the home of the first computer camp held at the local Amity Jr. High School in 1977.
So you see, from Algonquins to English Kings to Nike Missiles, nothing much happens in these sleepy New England suburbs.
Now the Road Test: How many missiles were in the price to buy Orange from the Algonquin tribes?
#OrangeConnecicut #WilliamofOrange #Nike #NikeMissiles #Computercamp #EXIToftheDAY #RoadTest #FastFacts #EdmundAndros #ConsitutionOak # Algonquin #MarshRoad #Orange
An NFL Hurricane From Florence S.C.
EXIT OF THE DAY: Exit 160b I-95n in SC To: I-20 W, to Columbia near Florence, South Carolina
Hear this podcast here:
"No major league professional sports teams are based in South Carolina. This does not mean South Carolina has not contributed significant talent to the NFL. In fact, nearby Florence, South Carolina made a major contribution in All-Pro Linebacker, Harry Carson.
But that almost did not happen because, after 5 years of losing with the New York Giants, the future Hall Of Famer well... he wanted OUT!
In 1978, Harry Carson was ready to quit. That is hard to believe today. He is considered the greatest Captain and one of the best leaders to ever walk through the doors of any franchise. But when team president John Mara and others talk about the "dark days" of the 1970s - most notably the horror show that was the 1976 season - Carson is quick to offer reminders of how he was fed up. Yet he persevered. And while the Hall of Fame linebacker admits to being "disgruntled", Carson made a pact that he would never give up on the team, his fans, himself, and - most importantly - his family.
In the early '80's, Carson thrived. He ended up crushing the opposing offense his entire 13-year career with the BIG BLUE WRECKING CREW. Ten of those seasons he was Captain, including the franchise's first Super Bowl victory in 1986.
Fast fact: Harry Carson even was one of the instigators of the The Gatorade Shower.
Today the thinking man’s linebacker -- who was 2 time MVP when he played at South Carolina State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1976 -- has now taken on a new crusade.
With focus on the family and convinced that his grandkids should NOT play tackle football until high school, Harry Carson joined other former pro players to address concussions in a forum which explores what should be done to make Football safer.
Said Carson, “Every parent should be informed. They should be informed as to what risks they are subjecting their kids to. There’s a physical risk that you assume when you play. I think all of us understood the physical risk. But when we played back then…there was no information on the neurological risk.”
No doubt with such sage advice from a respected muscle-bound 240 pound pass-sacker, parents everywhere will listen -- or else! 😤
#HarryCarson #HurricaneDorian #HurricaneDorianandOpeningDay #NFL #NFLOpeningDay #NewYorkGiants #FlorenceSouthCarolina #Concussions #BIGBLUEWRECKINGCREW
Exit for the Ultimate Lemons to Lemonade (Story)
EXIT OF THE DAY: I-287 Exit 4 To: Hartsdale, New York
Mix a hot summer day, a broken down truck, and a load of melting ice cream and what do you get? Answer: an empire!
In Hartsdale a 28 year old Greek immigrant's truck broke down on Memorial Day Weekend in 1934. He pulled into the parking lot of a pottery store. He was in big trouble since his load was all ice cream -- and it was melting! So instead of freaking out, he threw open the back and he started to sell. In a few minutes he sold his entire load.
He knew he was on to something. Later that year, he developed a secret soft-serve recipe, and concocted the “buy one, get one” promotional tactic.
Two years later, the Greek immigrant incorporated his business and bought the Hartsdale pottery store, which became the first location of his iconic Ice cream empire. His ice cream featured ice cream cakes and funny whales. And he himself became famous for his rough voice in radio and later in TV ads. He then anglicized his greek name. Who do you think that certain Athanassios Karvelas is better known as?
Maybe you will recognize him better by the ice cream shop's name, Carvel!
Founder Tom Carvel was born in in Greece in 1906. In the 1930's he invented a machine to dispense soft ice cream (which was also known as “frozen custard”). The machine would be the first of some 300 ice-cream related patents, trademarks, and copyrights held by Tom Carvel who incidentally, is also considered to be one of the founding fathers of the franchise system in America.
Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Or rather turning a broken down truck into a sweet fortune!
#Carvel #TomCarvel #Softicecream #HartssdaleNewYork #LemonsintoLemonade #FrozenCustard #FranchiseSystem #CarvelIceCream #FudgietheWhale #Sprinkles #IceCreamCake #Greek
Exit to Excitement. Gamefish Capital!
EXIT of the DAY: I-95n Exit 23 in FL To: FL 818, Griffin Rd
Dania Beach is the home of the International Game Fish Association. This group has tasked itself to be the official records keeper for trophy game fish and it is here that you must register your catch if you think you have caught a whopper big enough to qualify as a world champion.
The association is active in conservation efforts for both game fish like marlin, sail fish and tarpon as well as for the general health of the ocean's fish populations. In fact, it is particularly interested of late in the menhaden stocks since the small fish is a major food source for all the big sexy fish farther up the food chain.
Since the waters just off the beach in east Florida are a major fishing ground boasting world records for many fish species, it is no surprise Dania Beach is the association's home.
Florida holds many world records including those for bonefish, cobia, white marlin, pompano, permit and several shark species including mako, tiger and hammerhead.
#IGFA #Fish #Fisherman #fisherwoman #Marlin #Trophy #DaniaBeach #Florida #TreasureCoast #Shark #Trophyshark #Mako #Gulfstream #InternationalGameFishAssociation #Dorian #Trophy
Can Hurricanes Bomb Wall Street? Again?
EXIT 11 I-95 Northbound to North Miami,Florida
What's more powerful than a couple of Atom bombs? But is not made by man? Well, if you said a hurricane you would be right. And if you want to know what the most devastating hurricane in terms of dollars lost was — accounting for inflation — the record is still held by the so-called “Great Miami Hurricane” of 1926.
Without satellite warnings and without radar, sweeping across unsuspecting cities and towns, this Category 4 Monster made landfall right here on September 18, 1926. It had wind gusts of 150 mph.
The tropical cyclone devastated the Greater Miami area and hit both the Bahamas and later the Gulf Coast. It accrued $100,000,000 in damage, a toll that remains the costliest in American history when adjusted using inflation and wealth normalization, yielding a cost of nearly 165 billion dollars in today's currency!
As a result of the destruction in Florida, the Miami Hurricane compelled an early start to the Great Depression. In the aftermath of the state's 1920s land boom, local land prices cratered. Banks failed. Jobs vaporized.
Fast Fact: On this same August day in 1929, the 1920’s Bull Market reached its highest point before the bottom fell out. The Stock Market would take 40 years — not until the 1960’s — to attain the same level as this very day in 1929.
Think about it. A storm that started the 12 year Great Depression. Not even a Hydrogen Bomb can do that!
#MiamiHurricane #FloridaHurricane #AtomBomb #NuclearBomb #Hydrogenbomb #Bahamas #GulfCoast #1926 #Landboom #GreatDepression #Category4
Of Suffragettes & Oscar Winners
EXIT 45 I-86 w: to West Corning, Corning New York
Apart from being the World Headquarters for glass, Corning, New York has some tendrils in Hollywood. Little known fact: one of the winningest Oscar recipients of all time, Katharine Hepburn is related to Corning. Kate Hepburn's Mom, Katherine Martha Houghton was from Corning.
As for Kate Hepburn herself, she was raised in Hartford, Connecticut by her progressive parents whose interests especially were in women's rights. Her Dad was a man of science, a doctor, and her Mom was a suffragette. As a child, Katherine was a tomboy who liked to call herself Jimmy; she began to act while at Bryn Mawr College.
After early Hollywood success, in the late 1930's when her young star was already fading, Hepburn did something unheard of. She bought her own scripts, attached other stars, and produced her own movies. Her first movie was a hit with "PHILADELPHIA STORY" in which she starred opposite Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.
Hepburn went on to be nominated for 16 Oscars and won 4 for Best Actress. Her last Oscar was in 1982 for "ON GOLDEN POND".
Given her daughter's risk-taking, it may be not surprising that Hepburn's mom was a vocal advocate for women getting the right to vote. In fact, the elder Hepburn was a proponent of birth control and one of the founders of the institution that went on to become Planned Parenthood.
Happy 99th Anniversary to all women exercising their right to vote!
#nineteenthamendment #KatherineHepburn #womensrights #KatherineHepburn #Hollywood #OnGoldenPond #Oscars #suffragette #PhiladelphiaStory #AcademyAwards
First in the Hearts of his Countrymen.
EXIT of the Day:
EXIT 15E I-95n in Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal to Holland Tunnel to NYC
Of his presidency, Washington himself said, “I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn in precedent.”
First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen. In 1789, on the steps of the Federal Hall on Wall Street in Manhattan, George Washington was inaugurated as the first nationally elected President of the United States. It marked the beginnings of the first modern democracy in the world.
The concept of democracy was utterly new and unique. It required wholly new and invented protocols and beliefs. A man of great civility and an adherent of liberal enlightenment, dignity, and admiration of the truth were tantamount in Washington's character. Neither boastful nor ignorant of self promotion, the first President then retired indoors to read Congress his inaugural address in which he spoke of “the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
No one in the room was certain democracy would work. Many even hoped that Washington would take over as King.
But Washington did not seek to be a tyrant. Years earlier in the throes of the Revolution, on a sub-zero day in icebound Newburgh, New York, a coterie of his officers had even proposed that he seize power from Congress. Their pay was late. Their rations thin. They had no winter uniforms. Some had no shoes. Even Washington had to sleep in the frozen elements.
But Washington was aghast. He angrily disavowed any desire to create another tyranny. That was precisely the purpose of the American English Revolution: to throw off the yoke of monarchy and give power to the people.
Washington threatened to arrest any who spoke further of such treason.
Still, at Federal Hall, Congress was certainly aware that Washington was ideal as the first president. Not only was he a lover of democracy but he had no children which meant no dynastic aspirations. (He adopted his wife, Martha's kids however). And then there was his huge personal bravery, honesty, and extreme decorum. Whatever he faced, Washington would act "presidential". So he was expected to set the standards for all who followed.
#GeorgeWashington #Inauguration #Newburgh #FirstPresident #FederalHall
240,000 People Reached. 1 Post!
This week, RoadSpoke just crossed 240,000 page views for our SINGLE post about Jimi Hendrix and the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. Will RoadSpoke pass a quarter million views? Stay Tuned!
Question: What does Mark Zuckerberg and hip hop group Cypress Hill have in common?
Answer #1: Both came from Scarsdale, New York and were the children of dentists?
Answer #2: Both headlined at Woodstock 94 — the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock?
Answer #3: Both were the first Latino Hip Hop artists to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Answer #4: Both are vocal advocates of the legalization of weed?
Answer #5: Both joined over space and time to reach a 250,000 viewers on RoadSpoke’ Facebook Page?
If you selected Answer 5, you would be correct. Mark Zuckerberg and Cypress Hill both provided generous service for RoadSpoke to reach so many thousands of people without RoadSpoke paying a nickel. While Zuckerberg provided the platform, Cypress Hill no doubt shared the RoadSpoke’s Post and as of today we have …
Thank you CYPRESS HILL!
#CypressHill #Facebook #MarkZuckerberg #Woodstock #Woodstock94 #Dentists #Upinsmoke
Immigrant Creates Modern American Healthcare! And Ships. And Aluminum. And...
EXIT OF THE DAY: EXIT 67A I-95s to: Bellwood, Virginia
Today is the anniversary of the death of a major American success story. Off to the left you can see a huge hulking factory. It is a Kaiser Aluminum Plant. The founder of Kaiser Aluminum was an immigrant who rose from very humble beginnings. That man, Henry Kaiser died this day in 1967. Born in 1882 to impoverished German immigrants, Henry’s mom was a homemaker and his father was a shoemaker. Although in time he would become one of America’s wealthiest citizens, he did not forget his origins.
From the high seas to Healthcare, Henry Kaiser pioneered many firsts. An inveterate tinkerer and a stickler for efficiencies, Kaiser became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. On the west coast, he established the Kaiser Shipyards, which during World War Two built Liberty Ships launching almost one freighter a day. Liberty Ships were essential as merchant ships to supply the far flung war efforts and which kept beleaguered allies like Britain and Russia supplied with weapons and food.
After getting a contract to provide ships to the US military during World War two, he began to worry about his workers lack of health care. To provide affordable care and economies of scale for his thousands of ship-builders Kaiser took over the local Permanente Hospital in Oakland, California. Therefore, Kaiser Permanente (now Kaiser Permanente Thrive) became the first voluntary group plan in the country to feature group medical practice, prepayment, and comprehensive medical facilities on a large scale. Kaiser's Healthcare became a forerunner to company health plans and pioneered today's HMO's.
After the war, Kaiser founded Kaiser Aluminum by leasing and later purchasing surplus aluminum facilities in Washington state from the United States government. Buying huge factories cheap and running them lean made him a wealthy man. With his wealth, he established the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, non-partisan, charitable organization. which focused on health care issues. His legacy lives on in his Foundation which is not associated with Kaiser Permanente nor Kaiser Industries.
In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation operates independently as a think tank; it makes facts and analysis available to policymakers, health care groups, and the media. A leading authority on many issues, The Foundation echoes its founder’s nature. Both valued independent thinking and innovation. So apart from hulking factories, the Kaiser Family Foundation seems to be the best legacy in Henry Kaiser's life.
#HenryKaiser #KaiserHealthCare #KaiserShipBuilding #KaiserAluminum #KaiserFamilyFoundation #LibertyShips #WWII #Industrialist #Philanthropist
Peterburg's Chairman of the Boards
EXIT 54 I-95s: Near Petersburg, Virginia
Off this upcoming Exit, a basketball Great grew up tall and went to school.
A graduate of Petersburg High School, Moses Malone stood 6'10" and weighed 260 pounds. In his final two years, Petersburg’s Crimson Wave won 50 straight games and back-to-back state Championships.
Malone then was among the first players to go straight to the pros in 1974, signing with an ABA Team, the Utah Stars.
Probably the best rebounder in the history of the game, ultimately Malone played with many pro teams including the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Houston Rockets, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the San Antonio Stars.
The "Chairman of the Boards" started his life in Virginia and died in Virginia. Sadly and prematurely, he died of a heart attack in his sleep at the vibrant age of 60 in September of 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. He had been recently diagnosed as having an irregular heart beat. But there was nothing irregular about his basketball record.
Over the course of his pro ball career from 1974 to 1995, Malone held the record of the most combined ABA and NBA offensive rebounds (7,382). He also holds NBA records for the most offensive rebounds in a career (6,731), season (587), and game (21).
Not surprisingly, Malone loved to rebound his own misses. He would rush shots close to the basket knowing that he had the quickness to rebound his own bad shot.
His opponents contend that he intentionally missed shots to set himself up for a dunk. He admittedly was not a good passer. When Carroll Dawson, an assistant coach with the Rockets, suggested that Malone needed to improve his passing, he replied, "They ain't paying me to pass."
#MosesMalone #Petersburg #NorfolkVirginia #NBA #Basketball #ABA #rebounds #CharimanoftheBoard #AtlantaHawks #HoustonRockets #Philadelphia76ers #SanAntonio #CrimsonWave
Jimi, Max & Woodstock
EXIT 16, I-87n to SR 6 and SR 17, Newburgh Junction New York
At 8am on a Monday Morning when Jimi Hendrix stepped on stage at the Woodstock Festival, his performance had been delayed by almost 12 hours. As the former Army Paratrooper from the famed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Screaming Eagles launched his version of the Star Spangled Banner he was miles from the Army life he so disliked. In fact he was the highest paid performing act of 1969 and was the headliner for the festival.
While only about a 40,000 of the 400,000 spectators were still in attendance, the rendition is considered a 60's classic what with riffs akin to bombs blasting and M15’s rat-tatting. Later Hendrix said, “"We're all Americans ... it was like 'Go America!'...but we play it the way the air is in America today. The air is slightly static, see.”
Woodstock became THE seminal positive event of the 60’s. Despite a press of people 4 times larger than anticipated, many deluges of thunderstorms and shortages of food, water and sanitary facilities, the concert was a peaceful harmonious triumph. The vibe transcended the music and defined a generation.
Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. The middle aged Republican Right Wing Dairy Farmer spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with potential for disaster, riot, and catastrophe instead spent the three days with music, peace, and love. He stated, "If we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future.”
This past weekend, at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts New York’s location, 60's icons Ringo Starr (who did not attend the first Woodstock) as well as Carlos Santana (who did), played at the venue. By all counts, there was a lot of good vibes and hopes for a brighter future.
#BethelWoodsCenterfortheArts #Woodstock #RingoStarr #Santana #MaxYasgur #Rockconcert #Sixties #Peaceandlove #JimiHendrix #TheWho
Best View of Lady Liberty-Here!
If you had the RoadSpoke app, this is what you would hear…here:
Exit 14B I-78n to Bayonne, NJ
Ok, now Quick, look up. In the distance you can now see the Statue Of Liberty. This is the best highway to see her because she is not blocked by Bayonne’s shipping cranes.
Fast Facts: in 1883 a call was sent out for writers to submit words to affix forever to her massive granite pedestal. Fund raising to erect the colossal gift from France had fallen off and so this request was a gimmick to engage Americans. Such luminaries as Mark Twain and Walt Whitman submitted pieces.
But it was a 34 year old Jewish poet named Emma Lazarus who, appalled by the anti-semitic violence in Russia, submitted her 14 line poem. The poem stagnated for years and Lazarus never herself even saw the erected statue — even though she sailed right past it 5 years later.
The daughter of a wealthy sugar refiner, she was in Europe on the Grand Tour when she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease. Returning to New York, she was too weak to go on deck to see the recently constructed Lady Liberty. She died 4 months later.
Fast forward 15 years to 1903. After tireless efforts by her friend Georgina Schuyler, the stirring words of Emma Lazarus were finally affixed. It may have taken years for Americans to realize the full meaning of the Gifts from Emma Lazarus and the French, but its significance was not lost on millions of immigrants who would nearly sink their listing ships as they all rushed to the port side to see this promise of a New World.
‘Not Like the brazen giant of Greek Fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land, Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand, A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name, Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand glows worldwide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands your storied pomp,” cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me...
...I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
#StatueofLiberty #LadyLiberty #EmmaLazarus #TheNewColossus #LadyLiberty #immigrants #immigration #Jews #RonaldReagan #John Lennon
The Svenskas of Delaware
DE I-295n EXIT 11 to N Dupont Pkwy; nr @Wilmington,Delaware
Just to the north is the largest city in the state, Wilmington. When you get to the Delaware Bridge you may be able to see some of it and even, if it is clear, high rises in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about thirty miles further north.
Wilmington is built on the site of Fort Christina, the first Swedish settlement in North America. Yes, you heard it right. Sweden was the first European power here. Not the Dutch or even the English. But Sweden.
Like New England and New Amsterdam, the area here on both sides of the Delaware Bridge was called New Sweden.
When settlers and traders from the New Sweden Company arrived in March 1638, they purchased the land and built Fort Christina named for the Princess of Sweden.
Fort Christina served as the headquarters for the colony of New Sweden which consisted of, for the most part, the lower Delaware River region.
However few colonists settled there since they spent most of their time trapping and trading for beaver skins, so when the Dutch invaded in force, New Sweden quickly capitulated and that was the end of any Scandinavian Country's claim to North America.
Still today, Swedish influence is still found subtly in the names, in the architecture, and in many of the blond blue eyed residents throughout the area.
Fast Fact: The archetypical American “Log Cabin” is not American at all. It was in fact brought to Delaware by Finns who were imported by Swedes for their backcountry settlement skills.
#swedes #NewSweden #Finns #Delaware #Logcabin #Pennsylvania #Svenska #Wilmington #FortChristina #Roadtrip #RoadTour #Autotour #AudioTour