EXIT OF THE DAY
Hear this right …. here!
EXIT 15 I-95n to: US 7, Norwalk and Danbury, CT
New York Times Best Selling Author and Emmy Award-winning Historian, Rick Shenkman, is on the Board of Advisors of RoadSpoke.
Mister Shenkman can be seen regularly on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. A historical pundit and author of 7 books including Political Animals, as well as Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History, Mister Shenkman recently retired as publisher of George Washington University's History News Network. The HNN website attracts 1.55 Million Page Views and 300,000 Unique Visitors per month. The majority of HNN’s audience is composed of students, college professors, and media writers.
No doubt Mr Shenkman will appreciate this bit of trivia which is relevant to Norwalk Connecticut’s next Exit.
In October 1801, Mister Nehemiah Dodge, a Norwalk resident wrote a letter to President Thomas Jefferson expressing concern that — as a Baptist — he and his congregation in Danbury may not be able to express full religious liberty in Connecticut whose constitution was adopted before the establishment of the Baptist church.
At that time in America, Baptists were a fringe religious group. The majority of Americans were one of three religions. Like the second president, John Adams, they were either Congregationalists, , who were the spiritual descendants of Pilgrims...
Or they were Deists who believed in Christian morals but rejected that Christ was the only Son of God. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were members of this faith.
Most Americans were Episcopalians. Episcopalians were former Church of England members. But since the Church of England requires its followers to believe the king or queen of England was their spiritual leader, and the United States had just fought England for its freedom, all those Anglicans in the United States could not rightly worship a British tyrant as their leader.
After the Revolution, those former Anglicans had formed a new religious sect which had no single leader. Their leaders were an Episcopate of bishops. Episcopate of Bishops is a fancy way of saying “a group of bishops.” That protestant sect was now called Episcopalians.
Episcopalians today are a small minority in America and Baptists are a far larger group. Today of America’s roughly 360,000,000 citizens, just a little over 1% or 3 million citizens identify as Episcopalians. That’s one in a hundred.
Conversely, Baptists have 50 million members in America. One in seven Americans identifies as a Baptist.
But back then, Episcopalians were the vast majority. Many so-called Founding Fathers, like George Washington, were Episcopalians.
Given the Founding Fathers’ recent rebellion against dictators of religion and law, it is not surprising that the First Amendment in the United States Constitution states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
In 1801, President Jefferson replied to that Baptist’s letter with his own epistle. It is famously known as the “Danbury Letter”. President Jefferson wrote that there was "a wall of separation between church and State" that protected a person's right to worship whatever he wanted wherever he wanted.
This well-known phrase, “a wall between church and state” occurs in Jefferson's letter and not in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as is commonly believed.
#FirstAmendment #Constitution #Religion #Episcopal #Baptist #Congregationalist #Deist #DanburyLetter #Dodge
Hear this…. HERE!
I-95 Northbound in Stamford CT with view of Indeed Headquarters
“Ok Road Team welcome to Stamford! Take a quick glance over to the left. See the Indeed logo on top of the black Office Tower? Indeed is a tech company which finds folks jobs on-line. The huge job-search engine was started here in Stamford. No coincidence, surrounded by suburban bedroom communities and just 45 minutes to Manhattan, Stamford Connecticut’s motto is “The City that Works”.
The tech culture that bred the technology company, Indeed, may seem to be lost here in Stamford amongst buildings that boast the prevalence of finance companies like UBS and NatWest both of which are major international banks.
But that is not necessarily the case. In fact, if you were to re-wind to the 1960’s, Fairfield County, Connecticut as well as neighboring Westchester County, New York may be considered the original Silicon Valley. Profiting from the highly educated work force, easy access to investment capital, and a risk taking culture, this area was the birthplace of many major names in early tech.
General Electric, Xerox, and Pitney Bowes once thrived here. Most notable was the Microsoft of its day, International Business Machines.
IBM and its founder Tom Watson dominated technology from the 1940’s to right up until the day in the 1990’s when Steve Jobs at Apple and Bill Gates at Microsoft moved the center of tech from the east coast to the west coast.
Today, companies like Indeed and travel tech unicorn Priceline — which is HQ’ed in upcoming Norwalk — still thrive here. However, they tend to morph and move since Connecticut tends to be fertile grounds for talent but not attractive for less profitable back office operations. In fact, Indeed splits it HQ between Stamford and more tax friendly Austin, Texas.
Indeed has an animal mascot. That mascot is a cute cuddly rhinoceros named Tyrone. Tyrone the rhino reflects the single minded mission of Indeed which made it so successful. Like a rhino, Indeed focuses on one thing and then charges. Its focus is to get you a job. Or as Business Insider calls it… “Indeed was the first auction-based, pay-per-click job advertising service.”
Originally funded by The New York Times, Union Square Ventures, and investment bank Allen & Company, the start-up was so successful on its own it really did not need their $5 million dollars. Seems founders Paul Forster and Rony Kahan only took $5 million to leverage visibility of their booming company. Other than that late stage money, the start-up grew from earnings it generated — which is called “bootstrapping”. The lingo is that Forster and Kahan personally “bootstrapped” the growth of their company from 2004 to 2005 until they took outside investment.
The pay-off to doing that is that the Founders get very rich and do not lose control to outside investors. But that only goes so far. Ultimately such booming companies take on a life of their own and it becomes too big for a couple of guys to run from the back of a napkin… or in this case from the surface of a whiteboard.
Indeed grew from 2 guys to 500 employees in just 7 years.
In an interview with “Business Insider” magazine, Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson says:
“"They had bootstrapped the company, launched the service, and were well on their way. They didn't need our money. But eventually we convinced them to take it.”
Co-founder Paul Forster tells Business Insider:
“We've been very capital efficient. Part of our ethos has been to be very, very efficient and hire the right people at the right time. We've also been laser focused on building the most relevant job search company. Monetizing that has been very successful."
Tech companies grow so fast and morph often depending on the stage of the company. Different stages of growth require different skill sets and funding. Like tech companies in Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs here do not necessarily stay long with their own start-ups. In ages past, companies like IBM had leaders who stayed with the companies for decades if not generations. IBM was started in the 1920’s by Tom Watson Senior and his son Tom Watson Junior ran it from the 1950’s through his retirement in the 1980’s.
But Indeed, which was founded in 2004, was sold to a Japanese company just 8 years later for over One Billion Dollars. Since it was privately held, we do not know how much Kahan and Forster made, although we hear that the New York Times Company claimed a hundred million dollar payday on their less than $5,000,000 investment. That means they made between 20 and 50 times their initial investment in just a few years.
Sadly, there is no guarantee that Indeed will stay in Stamford now that its owners are in Japan. The good news is, at least the money it makes and the services it provides are still USA based. As with all things in tech, there is a good and bad aspect. Indeed’s presence in Stamford is kinda like Tyrone the rhino — cute and cuddly and focused — but not altogether real!”
#Indeed #Stamford #Citythatworks #TyronetheRhino #PaulForster #RonyKahan #IBM #TomWatson #PitneyBowes #Xerox #GE
Swing Music up: Duke Ellington’s Jungle Nights in Harlem.
EXIT of the Day: EXIT 44 I-95n to West Palmetto Park Road.
On April 29, 1899 Edward Kennedy Ellington, America’s greatest composer, was born up in Washington D.C. to Daisy and Jim Ellington. At the dawn of the 20th century, Washington DC was actually the biggest African American community. It was attractive to African Americans because of high paying jobs in the growing metropolis but most of all, because it managed to flout the Jim Crowe humiliations just across the river in Virginia.
Both of young Edward's parents were amateur pianists and taught their son opera and gospel music. Mom Daisy had ambitions for her handsome son and she dressed him well and insisted he learned proper manners. Young Edward’s regal bearing soon earned him the name, "Duke". And so not far into he’s teens, Edward Ellington faded from history and Duke Ellington was born.
Despite his parents ambitions, in his teens, Ellington had dreams of becoming first a baseball player, then an artist. But instead, being musically gifted, he started a small band called the Washingtonians that evolved into The Duke Ellington Orchestra.
In the "Roaring Twenties", the group’s big break came when they travelled to New York and won the job of house band for Harlem’s Cotton Club.
New Orleans Blues, Ragtime, and a whole lot of Swing… it all went into the rich mix that made up Duke Ellington's groundbreaking Big Band jazz. Always borrowing from other genres, Ellington soon composed tropical Latin themed pieces and exotic-sounding ensembles that were called “jungle music”. You are listening to Jungle Nights in Harlem now and can Claim the Duke Ellington song now by saying, "Claim my Duke Ellington song and RoadSpoke sent me!"
After the Cotton Club’s heyday in the 1920’s, Ellington’s band toured tirelessly. Not long after World War Two, in 1950 he toured Europe and played 70 of 74 nights. Some years he played 340 nights. The Duke worked with almost every great musician of his time from Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, to Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. Ellington took his band on the road for thousands of gigs: clubs, concerts, dances.
Despite white demand for his music, he was not welcome in many towns along the way. In 1955, on a Tour of the South, the Duke came here to Boca Raton, Florida. In 1955 Florida, the greatest band leader in the United States was forced to stay in run-down Negroes Only Motels. There are images of The Duke and his band playing baseball outside his hotel amongst the palm trees.
Still, he was only allowed to visit certain stores and restaurants denoted by the Jim Crowe era Green Book.
The Green Book was a motorist guide written by Harlem post office employee, Victor Hugo Green. The Green Book provided African American motorists information about safe motels and restaurants that welcomed Black travelers. Otherwise blacks were persecuted and denied access throughout the south. In fact entire towns had sundowner laws that said that African Americans had to be out of town by dark or they may be brutally treated. Updated regularly, The Green Book became the one of the Biggest selling travel guides of its era. . Step into the wrong shop or cafe and a black man could get beaten or worse. A World Famous performer like Duke Ellington was treated no better.
Still, throughout all Duke’s non-stop touring, he managed to compose dozens of hit songs that found their way into the Great American Songbook :“Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Take the A Train”, “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Cotton Club Stomp” and “Satin Doll”. He worked until the day he died in 1974.
The breadth, importance, and significance of his music has only grown in the succeeding decades. The triumph of his artistry stands in stark contrast under the conditions from which it sprung.
Almost 30 years after his passing, in 1999 Duke Ellington was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. On February 24, 2009, The United States Mint issued a 25 cent coin with Duke Ellington on it, making him the first African American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin. The Duke appears above “E Pluribus Unum” on the reverse side of the District of Columbia quarter. And finally, not to be out classed, in 2011, the Duke received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
From Jim Crowe to Pulitzer Prize, by way of Boca Raton, Florida… one never knows where your road will lead you. But just like the Duke, you got to keep on driving.
#DukeEllington #Greenbook #VictorHugoGreen #SatinDoll
Hear this Here…
EXIT 90 I-95n in North Carolina: To Newton Grove (Near Devil’s Racetrack Road)
If you had the Road Spoke app this is what you would hear.
“Upcoming a little beyond Exit 90 is Devil’s Racetrack Road…
“…This road has a lot of history. During the Civil War, General Sherman’s Union troops used the route to march on Raleigh Durham coming up from Georgia. Later it was a venue for many houses of ill repute and seamy gambling parlors. No doubt, folks may have gathered outside to watch fast cars race down the relatively straight road. There may even have been some wagering and liquor involved.
It is hard to believe given all the hoopla and sponsorships and million dollar motorcars and bazillion dollar endorsement deals in today’s Daytona 500 but…From rude roads in the woods of the south, NASCAR evolved.
NASCAR stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. What that means is that the cars used in stock car are rather generic. They are cars like you and I drive, manufactured mostly by companies like Ford and GM. No fancy little Formula One race cars here — no single seater go-carts with external wheels driving around Monte Carlo.
The origins of NASCAR are a working man’s sport.
Back in the 1930’s, folks would gather here to watch souped up cars race. North Carolina claims this as part of their heritage. The Museum of NASCAR is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and well worth the visit.
However, the roots of NASCAR are spread throughout the south — wherever there is a thirst for speed… and liquor. Moonshine to be precise
Liquor? Why is that?
The Origins of NASCAR come out of Prohibition when local moonshiners needed fast cars to outrun the police. That’s right folks. Today’s All-American sport was conceived in crime. But can you blame the folks in the depths of Depression from wanting a sip of local craft brew?
Anyways, these Shiners had super powered their cars to run hooch to customers all over the South.
During Prohibition in the 1920’s, police could not chase bootleggers across county lines. So these stock cars need to be able to blast down roads and make the border fast.
Cops had no authority except in their own small jurisdictions. Can you imagine that? An Interstate free of State Troopers? Well let’s be honest: until the late 1950’s there were no Interstates either. But I digress. Cross County jurisdictions tells you why today only State Troopers patrol Interstates and not local cops.
Anyways, the bootleggers and the moonshiners created super fast cars to outrun the cops — to get to the county line. After Prohibition ended, the cops stopped chasing moonshiners but the love for fast cars did not stop. Former fast driving bootleggers would meet on dirt tracks to race one another. And so NASCAR was born!
Incidentally cops, liquor, and fast cars are still tied up in neat bundles. Many of the biggest sponsors of NASCAR are liquor companies like Jack Daniels Whiskey and Budweiser Beer....but more on that at another roadspoke.
Just watch out for Smokey as you transverse these parts. No Kidding. Troopers are often lurking hereabouts.
Possibly the greatest race car driver ever, North Carolina’s own Richard Petty was a Seven-time Daytona 500 champion. He tops NASCAR in wins with 200 poles and 127 wins in a season —27 in 1967 alone.
Known in NASCAR as the King, or King Richard, Richard Petty is a Tar Heel from the town of Randelman, just west of the Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill Triangle. Like a proper king, Richard is part of a dynasty.
He is a second generation champion. His father, Lee Petty, won the very first Daytona 500 in 1959. Lee was himself a three-time NASCAR champion. Meanwhile, Richard’s son Kyle is also a respected NASCAR driver. SADLY, Richard’s grandson, Adam was killed in a practice RUN crash. Adam represented a fourth generation of Pettys at the top of the sport.
That said, the Pettys were historically cautious about allowing their kids to go into the family business. In fact, although young Richard started to work in his father Lee’s pit crew at age 12, Lee did not allow Richard to race until he was 21.
Funny thing… Daddy Lee may have not allowed young Richard to race till he was 21; but odds are, Richard was sipping moonshine by then!”
#RichardPetty #1000 #NASCAR #Racecars #TarHeels #June15 #LeePetty #AdamPetty #KylePetty #RoadTrips
Hear this right …. Here!
EXIT 6 I-678s ; off Van Wyck Expressway to Atlantic Ave
At the nearby Aqueduct Racetrack the world's most famous Thoroughbred Race Horse was honored by his working class fans in his final farewell. Also hear this here: If you claim it now by tapping the Deal Radar logo on your smart device, you can get a “Buy One Get One Free” admission ticket to Aqueduct Race Course at any time in the next year.
Ain’t America great!
Operating near the site of a former elevated aqueduct that sent water from Long Island to the Ridgewood Reservoir, the Queens County Jockey Club opened the Aqueduct Racetrack over one hundred twenty five years ago in 1894. Formerly situated in virgin Queens County farmland, today that farmland is middle class urban sprawl.
In 1973, despite Aqueduct traditionally being considered a track frequented by blue collar fans — in contrast to nearby Belmont Park which has a more upscale reputation — the Triple Crown Champion racehorse Secretariat was retired right here. As always responding to huge applause, Secretariat pranced proudly before his adoring public. The Virginia born winner of the Triple Crown was paraded for the last time and took his last steps on a public racetrack before he was then sent to stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.
Being “retired to stud” meant that the studly stallion went into a retirement with lots of adoring lady horses with whom he would attempt to produce many champion offspring. Lady horses are called mares and offspring are foals or colts. Anyways, I digress.
Sadly, Aqueduct Race Course has suffered from a general reduction in interest in the so-called Sport of Kings. So the owners of Aqueduct have broadened the racetracks money making options. Now there is a casino here. And regardless of the site being a mecca to gamblers, John Paul II celebrated Mass in front of a crowd of 75,000 at Aqueduct on October 6, 1995.
Other efforts have been made to increase business. The aforementioned casino was built in 2011. Aside from it being the first legal casino in New York City, Resorts World Casino is the only casino located in the five boroughs. In an effort to reduce labor costs, it features automated machine dealt poker, craps and thousands of slot machines.
Still, the continued success of Aqueduct is up for debate. At least the owners are trying everything. Mixing the sport of kings, with High Holy Popes, and low-brow gambling illustrates they will try anything to bring in the crowds.
Now, claim that 2 for 1 deal by tapping your smartphone... and get in on the action!
Like we said... Ain’t America great?
#AqueductRaceTrackandCasino #Secretariat #horseracing #SportofKings #OzonePark #ResortsWorldCasino #PopeJohnPaul2
In Honor of Mother’s Day:
Hear this here...
I-95 Exit 1b in FL To: US 41, SW 7th, SW 8th, Brickell Ave [~ 1 mi to Exit 1a, ~ 0.46 mi to Exit 2a] near Miami
"A major melting pot and the unofficial commercial capital of Latin America, Miami is a uniquely American City. Even its conception was not typical; the fathers of the city were in fact two mothers. So Miami was not the result of the machinations of men but instead the dream of two lovely ladies.
Mary Brickell moved to southern Florida from Cleveland, Ohio in 1871. She and her husband William opened a trading post and post office on the south bank of the Miami River, near the site of abandoned Fort Dallas. The Brickell family bought up large tracts of swamp stretching from Coconut Grove to the Miami River.
Across the Miami River on the north side, their Cleveland neighbor, Julia Tuttle, settled with her family.
Quite the looker, Julia Tuttle is credited with attracting the attention of John D Rockefeller’s co-founder in Standard Oil. Also a Cleveland native, Henry Flagler had made hundreds of millions in oil. But by the last decades of the 1800’s, he sought to diversify. Flagler was convinced that Florida would become America’s Riviera. He ran railroads down into the top half of Florida’s panhandle and anchored them with hotels and seaside resorts. Also important to his railroad’s success was an exploding citrus industry and its shipments north of fresh winter produce.
Originally Flagler had planned his railroad to stop at Palm Beach — which city he is credited with creating — but when frigid air swept down the panhandle in the winter of 1894-95, Flagler decided he needed to send the iron snake further south.
Enter Julia Tuttle. Always considered something of a lady’s man, Flagler allowed Julia to convince him that Miami never froze — which is not altogether true.
Temperatures below freezing generally reach Miami once every 3 years. Julia sweetened her offer with 100 acres for him to build a railroad terminal and a hotel. Flagler happily extended the railroad another 100 plus miles with its terminus right between the Tuttle and Brickell’s homestead.
Eventually both Brickell and Tuttle contributed significant land to the Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway, which brought explosive growth and development and put Miami on the map.
After William Brickell's death, widow Mary became one of the young city's prominent real estate developers and managers. Her namesake Brickell Farm was originally platted for mansions and large homes, which thus led to the name "Millionaire's Row." Today the mansions have been replaced with Bank Towers and Financial Buildings. The Brickell area is known as the “Wall Street of the Latin America”.
Today, diversity and equality are Miami’s most notable distinctions. No doubt it harkens back to the fact that mothers were the forefathers of this city.
Happy Mother’s Day!
#Miami #JuliaTuttle #MaryBrickell #HenryFlagler #MiamiBeach #HappyMothersDay #PalmBeach #FortDallas #CoconutGrove #StandardOil
EXIT OF THE DAY: EXIT 8A on NJ Tpke n; To Jamesburg, New Jersey, Cranbury, NJ
Listen up kids! It is now time for a Road Test. But first the FAST FACTS... You are now near Jamesburg, New Jersey. Jamesburg’s signature contribution to human history is that world famous fella, the father of commercial canning, Harrison Woodhull Crosby himself. Gives you shivers does it not? Harrison, or Harry to his pals, was born right here.
Back in 1847, Harrison Woodhull Crosby became the first person to put tomatoes in tin cans on a commercial scale. Yup. He is THAT guy.
Harry worked across the Delaware River as the chief gardener at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. It was there that they commercialized the canned tomato. It is probably no coincidence that Campbell's Soup started not far away and that tomato soup was one of their first products.
The history of canning food is not corny. Legend has it, around 1800, Napoleon sought an invention to feed his fast moving troops. This led to sealed jars.
Around 1858, a gent with the last name Mason came up with industrialized sealed bottles and you guessed it, they became Mason Jars.
All such products had to be heat treated first then sealed in cans or jars. Interestingly, they knew that this method kept food safe far longer, but not knowing about microbes and germs, they simply had no knowledge why it worked. Canning became a boon during the upcoming Civil War where canned goods could be shipped and stored anywhere without spoilage.
In fact, Powdered Milk was first created to feed the Union Army. In Westchester, New York a man by the name of Gail Borden created powdered milk. Borden’s Dairy still exists to this day.
But I digress. We are speaking about no small tomatoes here.
Fast Fact, the Jamesburg native James Woodhull Crosby was not only famous as the first to can Tomatoes, but he is also famous for coining the term, "Hey! How 'bout them tomatoes?" I kid you not.
Something that does not commercialize well by being canned is a bobcat. More and more people are seeing bobcats. Many of the sightings are from passengers in cars in wooded areas like right here.
The bobcat is about two feet tall —larger than a house-cat but much smaller than a mountain lion. Adult females in New Jersey generally weigh between 18 and 25 pounds while adult males can weigh as much as 35 pounds. While they typically hunt rodents, rabbits and birds, they are strong enough to take down a deer. Or unfortunately, Fido or Puss. So bring your pets inside before dusk and only let them out long after dawn.
That’s because most hunting takes place at dawn and dusk. They are extremely shy animals that are seldom seen by humans. With suburbs spreading out, hunting has diminished, and numbers have increased. But it was not a natural population boom. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife conducted a restoration project where 24 bobcats captured in Maine were released in northern New Jersey from 1978-1982. By the 1990’s reports of bobcat sightings began to increase.
So are the numbers of bobcats killed by automobiles on our highways. During a one year period between 2008 and 2009 fourteen bobcats were observed from New Jersey roads. Sadly, ten of these were hit by cars.
Now for the Road Test. Did Harrison Woodhull Crosby can tomatoes or bobcats?
#CannedTomatoes #AndyWarhol #Napoleon #CivilWar #CampbellSoup #NewJerseyBobcats
#Bobcats #LafayetteCollege #NJTurnpike #HarrisonWoodhullCrosby #Canning #masonjars
Exit 193 I-95n in SC To: SC 9, SC 57, to N Myrtle Beach, Dillon near Floyd, Dale, SC
Welcome to South Carolina! Land of palmetto palms and shag dancing to Beach Music — and we don’t mean Surf Music either. But more about that later… Now turn on your headlights. It's the law down here.
If you’ve had your eyes open in either direction, you’ve seen the famous “South of the Border” billboards. The corny billboards will lead you along I-95 here to Dillon.
In Dillon you will find Pedro, the mustachioed, 97-foot-tall “Patron Saint of Travelers In Need of a Pit Stop”. No Baloney. That’s what Pedro is the patron saint for. Visitors can drive through his legs and find a parking place. Then it’s time to stretch, hit the bathroom, grab a hot dog (or a banana), see some gators and buy a few fireworks to detonate later on the beach.
South of the Border is a roadside mash-up of tacky souvenir shops and wacky attractions. For over forty years, these billboards have delighted children and quite honestly, annoyed parents. After years of disapproval by the forces of political correctness, Pedro will no longer be able to entice with his corny epithets and awful broken English puns.
Not surprisingly, Locals refer to the site as SOB. Speaking of SOBs, what you have not seen as you approach the border between two Carolinas is the Carolina Pararkeet. SOB's are responsible for that loss no doubt.
2018 marked the sad centennial for the extinction of the only Parrot in The United States. The last known bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918. This was the male specimen, called "Incas", who died within a year of his mate, "Lady Jane". Coincidentally, Incas died in the same cage in which the last Passenger Pigeon, "Martha", had died nearly 4 years earlier.
It was not until 1939, however, that it was determined that the Carolina Parakeet had become extinct. However, reports still come in of fleeting sightings and false yet hopeful re-discoveries. So maybe they are out there. According to the Audubon Society, at some point about sixty years ago, three parakeets resembling the beautiful Carolina Parakeet were filmed in the Okefenokee Swamp of Georgia. However, the American Ornithologists' Union analyzed the film and concluded that they had probably filmed feral parakeets.
The small gregarious parakeets once lived in flocks and inhabited river bottoms from Nebraska to Louisiana to Florida and north to Southern New York.
The Carolina Parakeet is believed to have died out because of a number of different threats. Large areas of forest were cut down, reducing its habitat. The bird's colorful feathers (a green body, yellow head, and red around the bill) were in demand as decorations in ladies' hats. It has also been hypothesized that the introduced honeybee helped contribute to its extinction by occupying the bird's hollow tree nesting sites. Finally, they were killed in large numbers because farmers considered them a pest.
Sadly, the most egregious factor that contributed to their extinction may have been loyalty or compassion. Family members would return immediately to a location where flock members had been shot. This led to even more being shot by hunters as the parrots gathered about the wounded and dead members of their flock.
From Pedro to compassionate parrots, South Carolina itself is a proud mashup of conflicting and complementing inspirations marked by beauty, soulful loss, and great commercial promise.
Welcome once again to the Palmetto State.
#PalmettoState #SouthCarolina #NorthCarolina #DillonSouthCarolina #CarolinaParakeet #SouthoftheBorder #Pedro #Patronsaintoftravelerswhoneedapitstop #Billboards
I-95 Exit 22s in FL To: FL 848, Stirling Rd, Cooper City, Florida
This area near Fort Lauderdale is considered the bottom angle of the notorious Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle’s apex is at Bermuda about 700 miles off Virginia's coast and runs southeast to Puerto Rico and thence north and west to this area before rising back north by east to Bermuda in the middle of the North Atlantic. Over hundreds of years ships and even aircraft have disappeared in this vast yaw of ocean. Frankly, given all the traffic, that should not be any surprise.
Locally, Merle Fogg Airport opened on an abandoned nine-hole golf course on May 1, 1929. At the start of World War II, it was commissioned by the United States Navy and renamed Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale.
The base was initially used for refitting civil airliners for military service before they were ferried across the Atlantic to Europe and North Africa. Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale later became a main training base for Naval Aviators and enlisted naval air crewmen flying the TBF and TBM Avenger for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aboard aircraft carriers and from expeditionary airfields ashore.
Then something weird happened. Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale was the home base for Flight 19. There were many airmen involved in that lost flight.
Flight 19 consisted of the five TBM Avenger aircraft that disappeared in December 1945, leading in part to the notoriety of the Bermuda Triangle. Right after the end of World War Two, radio signals with and between the five planes abruptly went dead.
Then silence. Total silence.
According to historical lore, the planes were swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle. They and their crews never were heard from again.
#NASFortLauderdale #Flight19 #BermudaTriangle #UnitedStatesNavy #NAS #NASFort #MerleFogg
EXIT 161 I-95n to: Fort Belvoir, Mt Vernon, Virginia
Are you tired of driving? Might you want to give your hardworking automobile some chill time? Do you feel like turning around and heading south for some Florida sunshine. But you do not want to drive? But you want your car? What do you do? How about training your vehicle to the Sunshine State?
The Lorton station is a railroad terminal in Lorton, Virginia. It is the northern terminal for Amtrak's Auto Train which operates between this station and sunny Sanford, Florida.
Although there are similar services around the world, the Auto Train is the only one of its kind in the United States. The Auto Train is the only north–south Amtrak train in the east to use Superliner cars. The train is notable, especially within the Amtrak system, for the high quality of its equipment and of its customer service.
The train operates every day. At 11:30 am, the station gates are opened to allow the passengers for the next trip into the vehicle staging area where vehicles are assigned their number, which is affixed to the driver's door magnetically. The vehicle is then video surveyed to document any pre existing dents and other damage. The passengers leave their vehicles here and take their carry-on bags with them into the station to await boarding. Passengers do have a choice between either coach seats or private sleeping car rooms while their cars, vans, sport utility vehicles or even boats are carried in enclosed automobile-carrying freight cars, called autoracks. The vehicles are themselves staged near the autorack ramps by size and length for optimal loading order, and are then loaded onto the autoracks. In the case of motorcycles, the owner assists with tying their bikes down.
Passengers do not have access to their vehicles during the trip. But with sleeping berths and dining cars, they do not lack for amenities.
Unfortunately for RoadSpoke fans, since The Auto Train avoids driving Interstate 95 in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida you will get no auto tour and will miss out on hearing about Civil War Battles, homespun heroes, sports stars, Scarlett O'hara, and other southern wonders. And you better want to go to Florida and no place in between. The train is non-stop. All Aboard!
#Autotrain #Superliner #Amtrak #LortonStation #autotracks
Hear this... HERE!
AT: Exit 14 northbound To Norland, FL, Miami Gardens,FL and Aventura, FL
"Hey! Driver! Want to buy some waterfront property? Don’t be deceived into thinking it’s all on some palm lined beach. It can be lake land Or even swampland. In a state where Disney World meets the Everglades waterfront does not mean oceanfront. Florida, it turns out, is a lot about augmented reality.
"You will have passed a lot of lakes and rivers. Surprisingly, most are man-made. So in Florida, humans create waterfront property.
Humans have been re-engineering much of South Florida for the last two hundred years. In fact, water was perceived as a problem. People first proposed draining the Everglades in 1848, but no work was attempted until 1882.
Drainage Canals were constructed throughout the first half of the 20th century prompting land development. In 1947, Congress formed the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project. It built one thousand four hundred miles of canals, levees, and water control devices. Enough to run to Colorado from here. Even the beaches below Fort Lauderdale in South Florida and the islands upon which many reside are mostly artificial or are reliant on human efforts of dredging to maintain their existence.
So what happens in between, from northern Palm Beach down to Miami? This stretch of coast is not insignificant when one considers that about five million people live on this man-modified shore. After all, the Everglades is the world’s widest River. That's right. It's a 150 mile wide seep that flows ever south into the Florida Keys... Which means this area has been artificially accrued inch by inch above sea-level into being habitable for millions of people.
"Dry land has been lifted or drained between the Everglades and the hungry Atlantic for generations now. That is, until the next Category Five Hurricane, right? Then you can buy waterfront land cheap!"
#Everglades #Drainage #Rivers #Florida #ExitoftheDay #Aventura #NorthMiami #FloridaKeys #Dredging #Riverhealth #Riverkeepers
Happy Veteran's Day!
EXIT 14B I-95s To: Jersey City, Hoboken, New Jersey
In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month... the Guns fell silent ending World War One. So this is now celebrated as Veterans’ Day. Hoboken and Jersey City were once the major disembarkation docks for a million Yankee Doe Boys who went to fight World War One in Europe.
Jersey City is the second-most populous city in New Jersey, after Newark. As of 2014 Jersey City's Census-estimated population was 262,000 with the largest population increase of any municipality in New Jersey since 2010 representing an increase of almost 7% in 5 years. This bears testament to growing attraction of Jersey City as an appendage of immediate neighbor Manhattan.
Insinuating itself into New York City, Jersey City is commonly called the "Sixth Borough" albeit one from a different state. Its proximity has increased its gentrification with Wall Streeters both as a residential neighborhood and as a corporate Back Office. Recently Goldman Sachs occupied a large Jersey City Skyscraper just across the Hudson from their main Headquarters on Wall Street.
In 1911, The Hudson Tubes opened, expediting passengers to take the train to Manhattan as an alternative to the slower ferry system. Between Jersey City and Hoboken is where in 1920 they laid the Holland Tunnel a direct conduit to Manhattan's financial District.
Jersey City and Hoboken, New Jersey were dock and manufacturing towns for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Colgate Toothpaste and Clorox both started here. And Ticonderoga-Dixon pencils too...
Much like New York City, Jersey City, New Jersey has always been a destination for new immigrants. In its heyday after World War One, German, Irish, Polish, and Italian immigrants found work along the docks in trade and shipping services. One famous Italian from Hoboken, was Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
As an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents, the huge Black Tom explosion occurred in 1916 helping to prevent war materials from being used by the Allies in World War One. German spies ignited stored munitions leveling several blocks. While there were only 2 casualties, the Black Tom explosion was heard as far away as Trenton, New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut.
#VeteransDay #BlackTom #BlackTomExplosion #ArmisticeDay #JerseyCity #Hoboken #GreatWar #Hoboken #GoldmanSachs #HollandTunnel #FrankSinatra
1 Facebook Post 130,000 Views!
Hear this here... driving northbound:
EXIT 4, I-95 N to Indian Field Road, Cos Cob & Riverside in Greenwich CT
I-95 on Mianus Bridge, Cos Cob to Old Greenwich, Connecticut
"Ok Road Trippers, upcoming is a Road Test, so pay attention. We will discuss local born presidents and pot holes. Here are the Fast Facts:
"The Interstate Highway system was the brainchild of President Dwight Eisenhower. Correction: It was the brainchild of General Dwight Eisenhower who as one of the Supreme Generals in World War 2 was aghast that it took troops almost 10 days to get from one coast to the other...
Frankly, Dwight borrowed the concept of Hitler’s Autobahn and applied the concept to the United States. The high speed system would have no stop signs and would link all major urban areas all across the country. In addition to troop movements, commerce would be expedited and the benefits would accrue to every citizen -- not to mention trips home to Grandmom could be done in hours instead of days. The Interstate system was funded by Congress in 1956.
You are now driving across the Mianus River Bridge. Beneath your vehicle are several commercial buildings alongside the river in Old Greenwich and Cos Cob.
Nowadays NOT investing in America's infrastructure is a hall mark of our Congress. In 1983, the Bridge on which you drive, collapsed. Yup, the entire northbound side fell in.
Three people were killed and three others were seriously injured. Casualties from the collapse were so few only because the disaster occurred at one thirty in the morning when traffic was low. Perhaps in some kind of Karmic revenge the one car that drove off the bridge was a recently stolen BMW containing the 3 car thieves. All the occupants died in the fall.
In the nineteen fifties, investing in Connecticut’s infrastructure meant short term costs for smart long term gains. So while Connecticut lost many wartime factories following the end of hostilities, by investing in Highways, the state shared in a general post-war expansion that resulted in solid growth in suburban areas.
One strong supporter of Long-term Infrastructure improvements was Greenwich native, Senator Prescott Bush. In conjunction with Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, Senator Bush, also a Republican, saw the need to invest in a coast to coast Interstate Highway system.
Senator Bush represented Connecticut in the United States Senate from 1952 to 1963; his son George Herbert Walker Bush and grandson George Bush both would become Presidents. Another Grandson, Jeb Bush became the governor of Florida.
Now for the road test: What was Senator Bush's first name?
#MianusBridge #InfrastructureInvestments #PrescottBush #PresidentBush #Old Greenwich #Connecticut #CosCob #OldGreenwich
Hear this right.... HERE!
EXIT 4 I-95s in New Jersey, To Penn’s Landing, PA
Ok Road Crew. At the upcoming Exit, Dunkin' is offering a Flash Deal. It only lasts from 11 am till 12 noon, so if you like free Dunkin’ Donuts, get right to exit. The Dunkin is in a Walmart Supercenter at 1675 S Christopher Columbus Blvd so there is lots of parking. With a purchase of a large Coffee or 16 ounce beverage you get 2 free donuts. But the offer is only good for the next hour. Say "Go to Deal" for directions.
"Speaking of Walmart, the Walton Family — the kids and grand kids of Sam and Helen Walton -- run a charitable foundation that supports a lot of issues in today’s world. Improving education as well as helping the world’s farmers are but 2 of the Walton Family Foundation’s initiatives. Sometimes education and farming are rolled up into one program.
"Along the Interstate you see a lot of farms and fields. If not for Roadspoke and the radio, sometimes you might even get bored looking at all the fields.
Back in the day when kids would get nasty with one another, they might say something like, “You are dumb as dirt!” Well guess what Road Trippers? The dirt in many farmers’ fields is no longer dumb. You might even call it smart soil.
Nowadays, science is getting back to nature and that means getting away from using synthetic fertilizers. Turns out a lot of fertilizers create side effects that are very harmful to the rivers, streams and even the ground itself. Too much fertilizer is poison and harms plants, animals and humans and the ability of the field to grow healthy crops. So what’s a farmer to do?
According to the Walton Family Foundation, the answer lies in “cover crops”.
The Walton Family Foundation, with money earned from Walmart, has found such cover crops as winter wheat, cereal rye, clover or other cold-hardy plants provide a number of ecosystem services.
According to an article about an Iowa farmer Mitchell Hora written by Amy Saltzman in November 2019’s Environment Magazine, cover soils do multiple good things. Writes Saltzman:
“Cover crops prevent soil erosion by keeping plant ‘roots in the ground’ in cool seasons when corn and soybeans aren’t growing, absorbing nutrients that might otherwise leach into rivers and streams. They also increase organic matter and reduce the need for fertilizer. And they help hold water, making land less susceptible to flooding and drought.”
With global warming, this last point is especially pertinent. According to the article, “In Iowa, farmer Mitchell Hora uses cover crops to protect against extreme weather. The rains started in early May 2019, a series of near-constant showers across southeastern Iowa that – over the course of the month – totaled 15 inches in all. But while thousands of farmers across the state and throughout the Midwest endured record rainfalls and heavy flooding that wreaked havoc during planting season, Mitchell Hora’s corn fields weathered the storms just fine. His secret? Cover crops, which he planted the previous fall.”
Said Mitchell about the use of cover crops: “A lot of other farmers had drown-outs where they had to replant. That costs a lot of money. In a farm economy that is super tight, anything you can do to save is huge. Our cover crops pulled the extra moisture out of the soil so our corn and soybeans didn’t drown out. We actually only had one acre that we had to replant, which is fantastic!”
Mitchell began planting cover crops four years ago on land his family has been farming for seven generations. The conservation practice is growing in popularity across Iowa and the Midwest as a way to build soil health and resilience - especially in the fall and winter months when many fields lay fallow.
By planting winter wheat and other cold hardy species, not only do the farmers avoid excess use of fertilizer but they reap another crop.
What’s this all mean to you as you pass these farms and fields? Well for one thing, when kids argue nowadays, they cannot be so rude to describe dirt as dumb. In fact it is pretty smart at least if they are using cover crops.
Now what does this all have to do with Dunkin Donuts at the upcoming Walmart?
The connection there is that the Walton Family Foundation also supports shade grown coffee which does not impact the rain forests in which coffee is grown. Dunkin’ Donuts is also asking its suppliers to balance their harvests with shade grown coffee so that over time more coffee is produced in an environmentally sensitive manner.
So get right to Exit now.
Maybe all this talk of ecology has you less inclined to eat the 2 free donuts. But maybe not. Rest assured there is nothing ecologically or physiologically redeeming about donuts. In fact, the two best things about donuts are one, they taste scrumptious. And two, the first two are free!
#covercrops #MitchellHora #AmySaltzman #WaltonFamilyFoundation #IowaFarmers #ExitoftheDay #Extremeweather #Globalwarming #ClimateChange
Hear this here…. Driving Southbound on I-95 at:
EXIT 70 I-95s: To SR 704 and Okeechobee Boulevard, in West Palm Beach, Florida
Do you know what is unique about swanky Palm Beach? Forget the Winter White House or the billionaire's Mansions or even that fabled shopping street, Worth Avenue. These are a dime a dozen in places like Newport, Rhode Island or Beverly Hills, California.
What is unique about Palm Beach is it boasts the most significant amateur paleontologist in the world. That's right. A rookie bone collector lives here. Amazing, right? I’m talking about a young man who personally dug up the best evidence of the day the world ended.
Robert DePalma holds the unpaid position of curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History.
In a very rich community, The Palm Beach Museum of Natural History is a struggling museum with little exhibition space. But that should change right?
That’s because in 2012 up in Bowman, North Dakota, DePalma heard that a private collector had stumbled upon an unusual site on a remote cattle ranch. DePalma went out into the prairie and dug around.
Young Robert DePalma unearthed a scene of frantic death. He found hundreds of animals who had all died at one time on one single day over 66 million years ago.
It is widely believed that the fish and reptiles expired en masse in a massive asteroid strike. But even more remarkable, the strike was about 3000 miles away. That’s roughly the same distance as New York to San Francisco. Or twice the drive from here to New York. Scary, huh?
66 Million years ago, an asteroid blasted into the sea near Mexico and obliterated all life within 1000 miles. Fires as hot as the sun incinerated forests. Tsunamis of molten water scoured distant shores. In the sky, clouds of poison gas asphyxiated life all around the globe. The dust created a nuclear winter so severe that 99 percent of life went extinct.
Ironically, the sequence of events provided an opportunity for insignificant burrowing animals to supplant the dinosaurs as the dominant species. These rat-like animals were our ancestors and they were primitive mammals.
Robert DePalma's discovery catalogues hundreds of creatures in a river mouth in Montana. It became a veritable slurry of dead. Here perished ancient river fish, dinosaurs and even a small mammal hiding from the onslaught in its burrow. It is a snapshot frozen in millennia. It records the moment a forced flood reached its zenith and left the detritus of the apocalypse — an apocalypse which had occurred moments earlier and thousands of miles away.
But does this affect us today? Indeed it does. Paleontologists are so frightened by what they learned of the impact’s destructive nature that many have become leading voices in calling for a system to neutralize threatening asteroids. “There’s no uncertainty to this statement: the Earth will be hit by an asteroid again, unless we deflect it,” one claims. “Even a three hundred meter rock would end world agriculture.”
Wow! Maybe you should EXIT right and drop by the museum to help support its budget and mission? Given this staggering discovery, would not an entire museum be worthy much less a large exhibit in a struggling municipal museum?
What with its great wealth, one would assume that Palm Beach County could create a world class exhibit around Robert DePalma’s world threatening discovery.
On the other hand, perhaps it is actually that the threat to their lifestyle scares the Super Rich; despite their great wealth, this too will pass. After all, Florida is best pitching Disney World than doom and destruction.
Okay, maybe that is too much to ask of the millionaires and billionaires. But perhaps by now, the rich folks shopping at Gucci and Louis Vuitton along Worth Avenue can at least offer Robert DePalma a paying job. Right?
#PalmBeach #RobertDePalma #AsteroidExtinction #WestPalmBeach