EXIT of the DAY:
Exit 31b I-95s to Silver Spring, Maryland and I-495, Capital Beltway
Silver Spring, Maryland is a nice place to grow up. It is most notable as the hometown for trail blazing environmentalist, Rachel Carson, who wrote SILENT SPRING about the town’s namesake DDT polluted water source. Rachel also wrote a book called THE SEA AROUND US in which she became the first scientist to question the concept that science only brings good things. Plastics and chemical pollution did not easily melt away in the seas that were getting unsustainably polluted even in the early 1960's. Rachel discussed how -- as a rare lady scientist in the US Navy during World War Two --along with the benefits of science we have an obligation to be responsible with the fruits of science. The potential and threat of Nuclear Physics proved her thesis exactly and Rachel would go on to be one of the founders of the environmental movement.
Sadly, the first University of Virginia student to die in combat since the Vietnam war was also from this DC suburb.
Before going to UVA, he attended and graduated in 1996 from nearby John F. Kennedy High School. There he taught swimming to disabled children. This was not surprising because his father was both a lawyer and a humanitarian. As a young child, this student read extensively about Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. ” His Dad, the lawyer, even kept a mini version of that document in his pocket at all times.
Perhaps this was not surprising either. His family were immigrants from repressive regimes in the Middle East. Civil Rights? Forget about it. In America, his Dad carried a pocket copy of the Constitution everywhere he went. Also not surprising was that the immigrant child would enroll at UVA — the college created by Jefferson himself.
Muslims have served in every American war since the Revolution. An African American Muslim named Peter Salem was at the Battle of Bunker Hill near Boston. He is credited with shooting a British Major sending the redcoats into retreat.
Muslims have fought in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
At UVA, the Muslim student from Silver Springs signed up to join the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon graduating in 2000, that UVA grad, Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan, was commissioned as a Captain in the United States Army and was deployed to Iraq.
Only 6 years previous, the US military had commissioned its first ever Muslim Chaplain. Military Chaplains are empowered to support all faiths. Still, it took roughly 200 years before a Muslim got ordained to perform the same duties as countless Protestants, Catholics and Jews had before them.
In military modesty the occasion was discreet. And meaningful. The Frocking Ceremony for the Navy's first Muslim chaplain, was conducted by his colleague Navy Chaplain Arnold Resnicoff. Chaplain Resnicoff attached shoulder boards with a Muslim crescent insignia to the uniform of Imam Monje Malak Abd al-Muta Noel Jr.
It was 1996, the same year that Monaj Khan graduated from John F Kennedy High. While new Chaplain Monje Noel was a Muslim, Chaplain Arnold Resnicoff was himself a Rabbi.
At that time Imam Noel was just one of 2 Muslims to serve the military's growing Muslim community which numbers around 10,000. Noel, a native of Salem, New Jersey, said the unique epaulets on his uniform are a positive sign for Muslims. ``I think it's good for the Muslim community to be able to see them in the service. It lends an air of legitimacy and credibility. We are represented. We are here.’'
Later, at a reception including military brass and Muslim leaders, Noel tried to shy away from the Limelight. Said he: ``This is the Navy's night. This is God's night.'' Now new Muslim Soldiers or Chaplains are hardly newsworthy.
Fast forward to 2004. Captain Khan was inspecting a guard post in Iraq when a suspicious vehicle approached. Ordering his troops to stay back, he stepped forward. The car stopped. Then detonated. Later it was determined to have been carrying more than 200 pounds of explosives.
Captain Khan’s father, Khizr Kahn, still carries a miniature of the Constitution in his pocket. He also has a wall dedicated to his son’s service. It’s hung with medals, flags, and photographs.
Despite or perhaps because he is an immigrant and a Muslim, he knows intimately the sacrifices so many other military families have suffered through our history — and other of his countrymen still take for granted.
#KhazirKhan #CaptainKhan #ImanMonjeNoel #FirstMuslimChaplain #KhizrKan #Muslims #JohnFKennedyHighschool #HumayunKhan
Hear this Here:
EXIT 169 I-95s To: Franconia, Virginia and Springfield, Virginia
Never content with just one gig, super hacker whiz kid Sean Parker attended nearby Oakton High School and Chantilly High School.
When little Sean was 7, his father taught him how to program. Parker’s father, who put his family before his entrepreneurial dreams, told Parker "If you are going to take risks, take them early -- before you have a family."
Maybe Dad also should have told Sean not to break the law. Or maybe not. One night, while hacking into the network of a Fortune 500 company, Sean was unable to log out after his father unplugged and confiscated his computer keyboard. Because his IP address was exposed, FBI agents tracked down and convicted the 16-year-old. Since Sean was under 18, he was sentenced to community service.
Rewind a year. When Sean was 15, he met 14 year-old Shawn Fanning over the Internet where the two bonded over esoteric topics like theoretical physics. Now fast forward a few years. The 2 Shawns co-founded Napster, a free file-sharing service for music. Only problem was, they did not tell the music companies they were sharing their songs. Within one year, by June 2000, Napster with its black cat logo had tens of millions of users. Lawsuits by various industry groups including heavy metal band Metallica eventually shut down the business.
Napster had been called the fastest-growing business of all time. Depending on your perspective, it is credited or demonized with revolutionizing the music industry, and is considered to be a precursor to Apple’s iTunes and Spotify.
In 2004, Sean Parker saw a site called "The Facebook". He contacted the Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg who hired him as President. He famously advised Zuckerberg to change the name from "The Facebook" to simply "Facebook".
Zuckerberg said "Sean was pivotal in helping Facebook transform from a college project into a real company." Later in 2014, no less than Justin Timberlake would play the part of Sean Parker in the major motion picture, THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
Sean Parker is now married to the beautiful artist Alexandra Lenas. They have two kids. While Sean's tenure as Facebook President ended he is still a major Facebook shareholder.
Sean now busies himself being a major philanthropist. The former hacker who grew up off the next exit’s net worth is over three billion dollars. Giving away millions, Sean is a major establishment figure in Silicon Valley. His Foundation’s main targets are eradicating malaria, understanding allergies, and curing cancer.
Not bad for a former juvenile delinquent from Virginia, right?
#SeanParker #OaktonHighSchool #ChantillyHighSchool #Facebook #JustinTimberlake #MarkZuckerberg #ShawnFanning #FranconiaVirginia #SpringfieldVirginia
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!
EXIT of the DAY: I-95n Exit 4 To: Route 4, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and White Mountains
“Hey Road Crew! Off upcoming Exit 4 is the University of New Hampshire. So that means it’s a time for a Test... a Road Test, of course!”
“The winner of this Road Test wins 10% off an IKON Ski Pass. The Ikon Pass allows you to ski or snowboard at many mountain resorts all over North America. Some of Ikon’s mountains are Aspen and Deer Valley out west and Loon and Killington here in New England. The savings offered here represent between $200 to $2000 depending on where you ski and how often.
The evolution of multi mountain ski passes is quite smart business-wise. According to an article in Penske Media Corporation’s Digital Magazine, SPORTICO, written by John Wallstreet, “Vail Resorts and Aspen Skiing Company have led an industry wide consolidation that has dawned an era of multi-resort seasonal passes providing skier discounts on lift tickets, a hedge against warm winters, and incentives to visit different mountains.”
Fabulous Loon Mountain is maybe 90 minutes up approaching Route 4 which cuts over to Interstate 93.
I-93 north drives right up the middle of New Hampshire. A beautiful drive, the highway slices through farmlands and foothills before giving way to serious mountains. In fact, Loon Mountain is just 2 hours from Boston. So world class skiing is just a commute away.
Now, please pay attention, cause here are the Fast Facts:
New Hampshire is nicknamed the “Switzerland of America” because of the beautiful scenery. It is even more famous as the Granite State.
The rugged terrain is reflected in the independent character of its inhabitants. After all, the state motto on license plates proudly proclaims, “Live Free or Die”.
Speaking of liberty or death, winter sports are a great reason to come to New Hampshire. The Granite State boasts the largest nordic cross country ski trail network in the Northeast. As for alpine sports, well it’s all in the name. The New Hampshire section of the Appalachian Mountains are named the White Mountains. The White Mountains are usually covered with snow from late November to May.
The highest mountain in the New England is Mount Washington — also known for its wild weather. Mount Washington is not a ski Mountain but that’s okay by me.
Being over 6000 feet high, it looms almost two thousand feet over neighboring ski resorts like Loon Mountain. In the warmer months, you can drive or even take an antique train up and relax or get a meal at the Summit House.
But if it’s winter, forget about it. It seems as if Mount Washington breaks its own records for wind speeds and frosty temperatures every few years. For 76 years, Mount Washington held the record for fastest surface wind gust in the world. That blast clocked in at 231 miles per hour.
Washington is the highest of a line of summits, the Presidential Range, that are named after presidents and famous freedom fighters like Revolutionary War General Lafayette.
Speaking of Mountains and Freedom Fighters, world famous Olympic Skier, Bode Miller, should get a mountain named after him.
Bode is a Franconia, New Hampshire native. Known for his go-for-broke ski style, he is equally famous as being an iconoclast who does everything his way. In one memorable interview after he tore down the mountain with skis just barely holding the trail, he revealed that he may have had a little too much to drink!
Regardless, the Granite State local is one of the greatest World Cup racers of all time with 33 victories. In 2008, Bode and fellow American Lindsey Vonn won the overall World Cup titles for the first U.S. sweep in 25 years.
An Olympic Gold Medalist, Bode is just one of 5 skiers to have won Olympic medals in 4 different ski- disciplines — downhill, super- G, slalom, grand slalom, and combined. So if Bode tipples a little, you cannot fault his discipline in skiing! Bad pun, I know.
But maybe for someone in your household, skiing or snowboarding isn’t your winter thing. Well there are beautiful trails for snowmobiling. Fast Fact: the first snowmobile was invented in Ossipee, New Hampshire.
New Hampshire prides itself on being a state concerned with personal liberties and freedoms so get ready to voice your right to win an Ikon Pass!
New Hampshire's state motto is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known of the 50 states. And it makes sense! It represents the American spirit and is said to have been the words spoken by a dying revolutionary soldier from the Granite State. Incidentally, that is the road test. And no peeking at the New Hampshire License plates on cars next to you. Eyes up!
So what is the state motto of New Hampshire? If you answer correctly, you can claim the deal on Deal Radar by saying you want the Ikon Pass Spoken Road discount.
You have 3 seconds to answer or you lose the Ikon Pass. Three… and two and one… what is it?
That’s right: Live Free or Die. Now go for broke like Bode Miller. Claim that Ikon Pass. Just remember, you gotta tell ‘em, “RoadSpoke and Bode Miller sent you!”
#IkonPass #BodeMiller #Olympics #WorldCup #Skiing #Snowboarding #GraniteState #NewHampshire #LoonMountain #LindseyVonn
EXIT of the DAY: EXIT 5 on New Jersey Turnpike I-295 To: Burlington, New Jersey, and Mount Holly,New Jersey
Ok Road Crew, what do you do on a typical Christmas night? Gather around a fire and digest the over-served remains of the day? Pack up the wrapping paper and play with the new toys? Kinda anti-climatic right?
Well on the night of Christmas 1776, our future President, General George Washington was rowing across the turbulent, wide and freezing Delaware River in pitch darkness. Ahead of him lay the British Army and a battle to determine the future of the United States.
Fast Fact: A Christmas Gift of epic proportions, on a freezing Christmas day in 1776, if not for the contributions of some pre-teen Jersey Boys, America may never have won its freedom.
Mount Holly, New Jersey played a seminal role in securing Washington's first major victory against the British at the Battle of Trenton. The year of 1776 was about to end badly since Washington had lost both the morale of his troops as well as lost every battle since the British had landed at Long Island and had chased him across New Jersey to the Delaware River near Trenton. Christmas was approaching and typically, armies reduced their hostilities during the winter. Marching troops was not easy so over the course of centuries, most European Armies camped and waited out the long winters.
The Hessians under the British stopped pursuing Washington and set up their winter quarters. Meanwhile Washington made it look like his army was camping in Pennsylvania. The broad Delaware River would provide a moat between the two armies preventing any easy attacks.
On December 17, 1776, Colonel Samuel Griffin of the Continental American Army slipped across the Delaware River with 600 untrained boys. He marched to Mount Holly, where he set up a few "3-pounder" artillery pieces on Iron Works Hill. Moving up and down the line, they blasted away making more noise than damage. This was a decoy to draw away a portion of the main enemy army from their camp at Trenton.
It worked. Hessian commander Carl von Donop, was told that there were 3,000 American troops at Mount Holly. Two days before Christmas, December 23, 2,000 Hessians grudgingly decamped to Mount Holly. There they engaged in an artillery exchange, known as the Battle of Mount Holly.
Late Christmas Eve, the American boys slipped away having successfully divided the enemy's forces.
On Christmas Night,in the dead of night with the Hessians celebrating the holiday, George Washington crossed the Delaware in a daring surprise attack. After George Washington crossed, the fact that thousands of Hessian troops had been drawn to Mount Holly aided his success in the Battle of Trenton at dawn December 26.
A total surprise, the hung-over Hessians were caught asleep in their tents.
Washington's victory sparked America's fading morale. Arguably without the success of Trenton, Washington's Army would have lost the financial support of the Colonial Congress in Philadelphia as well as the moral support to fight from his bedraggled troops. Facing mass desertions, it would not have lasted the winter.
But without the heroism of some young patriots at Mount Holly, Freedom for America could have been lost forever.
#MountHolly #AmericanRevolution #WashingtonCrossingtheDelaware #ColonialCongress #Trenton #BattleofTrenton #BattleofMountHolly
Hear this ... right....here!
I-95s EXIT 260B to onramp I-4s To Orlando, Florida
“Ok Road Crew, listen up. Whoever is first to get this Road Test correct gets $20 off admission to Disney World any time in the next 30 days? Yup, that’s right. You can claim the discount by just tapping your smart device's DEAL RADAR button -- which is flashing on your phone right now --and saying out loud, "CLAIM MY DEAL!"
“Ok, so get ready for the Road Test. Listen now for the fast facts:
Back in the early 1930's in early days of Movies, a cartoonist created a mouse. That Mouse, Mickey Mouse, had friends like Daffy Duck. Together they created a film studio. That Film Studio then spun off a theme park in sunny southern California. It was called DisneyLand after the creator, Walt Disney.
In the early 1960’s, Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney embarked on a super-secret endeavor, known simply as “Project X”. They scoured the nation for a new location for a follow on theme park to their Anaheim based DisneyLand. First and foremost, they were looking for cheap land.
Second, they wanted it to be an all season location with great highway access. Reportedly, when Walt’s plane crossed over the intersection of Interstate 4 to land in Orlando Florida, he knew he found his spot.
Orlando was a sleepy citrus and cattle town. But soon that was to change...
To keep secret and not to drive up land prices, the Disneys set up many “dummy” corporations to purchase swampland, orchards and cow pastures. By May of 1965, there had been major land purchases, although no one suspected that Disney had anything to do with it.
In late June of that same year, the Orlando Sentinel reported that over 27,000 acres had recently changed hands. Speculation was that it was aerospace related as Kennedy Space Center is located nearby. People speculated that large aerospace corporations such as Hughes Aircraft and Boeing were the likely culprits. In October, though, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Walt Disney was behind it all. Of course, once it was revealed, the price of land jumped more than one thousand percent! By comparison, Walt bought his first acre of land in Florida for $80 dollars and his last for $80,000!
With the governor of Florida by his side, Walt described the $400,000,000 project that would become Walt Disney World. In exchange for boosting the area’s economy, the Disneys negotiated their own, autonomous government, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. This gave Walt the ability to do his own zoning and create his own residential community.
In total, Disney purchased 47 square miles. That’s equal to the city of San Francisco or about 30,000 acres. However, Only about 1,100 acres is devoted to the 4 theme parks. In fact, with only 7,000 acres developed, there’s still quite a lot of room for expansion.
This raises the question: why did Disney buy up all that extra land? The answer lies in Anaheim California. When DisneyLand was developed in the early 1950’s it was surrounded by beautiful orange orchards. But with the theme park’s success, cheapo motels, fast food restaurants and tourist traps moved in.
Walt did not want that to happen in Orlando. He would be sure that they could control the surroundings, which would include first-class facilities for recreation and accommodation. On top of that there are acres of open space.
Today, Orlando has become one of the top tourism destinations not just in Florida but in the world. So, as much as it has impacted the local economy, it certainly has fulfilled if not exceeded Walt’s vision.
Sadly the original Imagineer never saw the fruits of his dreams. Walt Disney was a heavy smoker all his life. He died of Lung Cancer in 1966, 5 years before Disney World ever even opened.
Now for the road test: What world famous theme park and resort is off the upcoming exit to Orlando? You have 3 seconds to answer. 3 and a 2… and 1. That’s correct!
If you said Disney World you get $20 Dollars off admission from now till June 13, 2021. Just remember to say, RoadSpoke sent you!"
#WaltDisney #DisneyLand #DisneyWorld #Orlando #ReedyCreek #RoyDisney #Citrus #Anaheim #ThemeParks #Florida
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
EXIT of the Day: Hear this here…
I-4, EXIT 108s onramp I-4S: To Valdez, Deltona FL
“Ok Road Trippers, as we approach Deltona, it is time for a Road Test. So you, the one with the hair, get off Tik Tok and listen up! You might learn something worthless.
This Road Test is brought to you by Joe’s Gas and Convenience Store 1 minute off upcoming Exit 108. If you get the answer correct, you can get a Buy 1 Get 1 free deal of any Pepsi or Dorito Product with a fill up of fuel above $15. So get right to exit. 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
And 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!
Oh and go get your Buy 1 Get 1 Free Deal of Pepsi or Doritos at Joe’s. Just tell em RoadSpoke’s Silly Laws sent you!”
#sillyFloridalaws #Roadtrippers #FastFacts #Jumbo #ParkingElephants #Florida #Snowbirds
Exit of the Day... to DeSoto County
EXIT OF THE DAY: I-95n Exit 129, To: RT 70 West to Okeechobee, Florida, east to Ft Pierce, FL
“Ok Road Crew, now we are going back to the times when the first Europeans came to America.
Way back in 1539 — just 47 years after Columbus — Hernando de Soto is credited with discovering Florida. I say credited because upon coming ashore with his flotilla of 700 Conquistadors at lower Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast, they immediately came upon a shipwrecked Spanish Sailor.
That European had lived already for some time among the local Native Americans. This castaway then served as De Soto’s guide on his epic 3 year trek from Florida up through Georgia, crossing the Appalachians from North Carolina into Tennessee and Alabama, crossing the Mississippi into Louisiana, and thus becoming the first Europeans to cross the River into the west.
In fact, DeSoto’s expedition was credited as the first Europeans to “discover” the Mississippi. But of course tens of thousands of Native Americans lived along its banks every day for thousands of years.
De Soto’s Guide was named Juan Ortiz. A gifted linguist who likely also used Native American sign language, he recruited guides from each tribe along the route.
The main initiative of the trek of course was to seek gold. And Native Americans must have propelled the army forward with fables of vast bonanzas just a little further up the trail “toward the setting sun.”
The expedition was generally belligerent with one battle alone inflicting over 2000 fatalities on a single Mississippian Tribe.
What peaceful exchange occurred no doubt was thanks to Juan Ortiz. Still Juan Ortiz caused tension within the Spanish Officer Corps since he refused to dress as a Spaniard.
When Gold was not forthcoming, other officers questioned Juan's motives. However, De Soto remained loyal to Juan Ortiz, allowing him the freedom to dress and commingle freely with the Native Americans.
After 3 years, in 1542, the army of 700 Conquistadors was ultimately reduced to just over 300. But neither Juan Cortiz nor Hernando De Soto made it back to Mexico City.
Juan Cortiz died anonymously along the western part of the trek, while De Soto died of Fever in May 1542. Fearing mutilation by vengeful Indians, De Soto's body was weighted and after night fall commended to the waters of the Mississippi.
The positive ramifications of De Soto’s march were that much territory was mapped for posterity.
Other lasting impacts were that European Pigs escaped to become feral razorbacks and escaped horses were first introduced to native peoples.
But on a large scale, western diseases like smallpox and measles devastated Native American Populations. So DeSoto’s landing in Florida marks the beginning for some, and the end for many others.
#HernandoDeSoto #Conquistadors #discoverFlorida #1539 #crosstheMississippi #NativeAmericans #DeSoto #TampaBay
If you had the RoadSpoke app, this is what you would hear…here:
I-95n at Exit 14B to I-78n to Bayonne, NJ
"Ok, now… Quick, look up. In the distance to you you can now see the Statue Of Liberty. This is the best highway to see Lady Liberty because she is not blocked by Bayonne’s shipping cranes. So now it is time for a Road Test. Get ready to listen to the Fast Facts.
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. So this request was a gimmick to engage Americans. Back then there was no Facebook or Instagram much less TikTok to gather and focus the attention of millions of fans. So the word went out by newspaper. It was successful. Such famous authors as Mark Twain and Walt Whitman submitted written pieces.
At the same time, a 34 year old Jewish poet named Emma Lazarus was outraged by recent anti-semitic violence in Russia.
There, the Czar and his soldiers were purging Jewish neighborhoods of their citizens. For no reason other than worshipping God in a different manner, Russian Soldiers beat, murdered, and looted Jewish people mercilessly.
These so-called anti-semitic pogroms created hundreds of thousands of refugees who sailed across the ocean to America’s Golden Door.
Back in New York City, Emma, submitted her 14 line poem. Sadly, the poem stagnated for years.
Emma 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, Emma 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. Emma 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. Called “The NEW Colossus”, the poem spoke of replacing classical male giants with a new form and spirit: Lady Liberty.
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.
Here now are her 14 lines:
"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.”
In years since, many unknown and famous Jewish immigrants have sought the Golden Door and become United States Citizens: actress Natalie Portman, Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger and world famous scientist, Albert Einstein to name but 3.
Now for the Road Test. What was the name, nationality, and religion of the poet who wrote, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?”
You have three seconds: Three and two and one. Her name is Emma Lazarus, American, and she was Jewish. Please do not forget it.
#StatueofLiberty #LadyLiberty #EmmaLazarus #TheNewColossus #LibertyStatePark
#immigrants #immigration #Jews #Roadtrip
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
As Hurricane Dorian and Opening Day of the NFL approaches...
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