Hear this right…. HERE!
On the 120th anniversary of the first Speed Limit in the USA - May 1901!
EXIT 12 I-95n, In Darien, CT to Rowayton, CT Tokeneke Road and Service Station, McDonalds
"Ok Road Crew. Settle down and listen because it is now time for a Road Test. So get ready for the Fast Facts. I know what you are wondering… Will there be a reward for the winner who answers this Road Test first? Well yes indeed.
The winner gets to have the person in the driver’s seat buy everyone a round of Large Cokes at the next fill up of fuel. But don’t worry. If the driver slowly gets right to exit he can get 2 large Cokes or Coca Cola soda fountain products for free at the upcoming Exxon Mobil Service Station on I-95.
All the driver needs to do is fill up the tank with fuel worth $20 or more.
So now for the Road Test.
Fast Fact One: It’s illegal for a Hartford man to kiss his wife in public on a Sunday.
Fast Fact Two: Connecticut was the first state to impose a speed limit. That limit was imposed in 1901 and it was for twelve miles per hour. Interesting aside: in 1901 there were more bicycles than auto cars.
Fast Fact Three: Devon, Connecticut city officials found it necessary to ban walking backwards on city sidewalks after sunset. But Only after sunset. Also, in certain towns it is also illegal to cross the street while walking on your hands. So just forget about it.
Fast Fact Four: here in Darien Connecticut, you cannot wear pink jackets, bright yellow pants, madras suits, nor sear sucker after Labor Day or before Memorial Day. Such preppy clothes can only be worn during proper Summer months on pain of banishment.
Just kidding. But you get the point. Darien is very preppy. Think Ralph Lauren commercials. That is because Darien Connecticut is a number one consumer of brands such as Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and Vineyard Vines whose headquarters is in nearby Stamford.
Now, for the Road Test. How much fuel do you need to buy to get the 2 large Cokes? You have two seconds. Two and one. If you said “Just $20,” you win 2 free cokes at the Upcoming McDonalds.
But don’t forget to bring in the receipt after you fill up. And tell em RoadSpoke sent you. Exit now.”
#SpokenRoad #McDonalds #Cocacola #Firstspeedlimit #Darien #DarienConnecticut #Preppy #VineyardVines #RalphLauren #BrookBrothers #Rowayton
Hear this here:
I-95 in North Carolina.
“Ok, Roadtrippers, now it is time for a RoadTest so here now are the Fast Facts.
This roadspoke was sent in to our offices by a certain Brenda B from Manhattan New York. She provided it during the depths of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in November 2020. There are some macabre aspects to this so be prepared.
All along the Interstate you will now and then see old shacks and homes. Some have been abandoned and given their small and impoverished state, no doubt they were once homes to folks not high on the economic ladder. In other words, the folks there could well have been happy but they were no doubt poor. This of course prompts the question of what is the etymology of certain phrases like “piss poor”. No giggling. This is serious.
"Etymology" is defined as “the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history”. Most interesting it tells us a lot about how we once lived and how these phrases began.
Where did the term "piss poor" come from? A lot of our popular phrases derived from middle ages England.
Back in the day, they used urine to tan animal skins. So to earn extra income poor families used to all pee in a pot or barrel. Once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery.
If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor”. Fast Fact: babies were often left not in cribs but in tubs or pots so that when they went number one the family could add that urine to the tannery savings bank. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot… They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the poorest of the poor.
Here are some facts about the 1500’s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May so they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water. Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"
Many English Houses had thatched roofs which consisted of thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. That’s because in England they had cut down most forests many centuries ago. Plus most property with wilderness were owned by nobility and the poor could not use its resources.
A thatched roof was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals including mice and bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling from the thatch into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor.” The wealthy had stone floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh or straw on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, It would all start slipping outside.
A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes the poor folk could obtain pork — the cheapest meat available — which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat. And talk so that is where the phrase for “chewing the fat” came from.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and honored guests got the top, or the “upper crust”.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom, “holding a wake."
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. In fact patents were filed for coffins with bells attached.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell" or was "considered a dead ringer."
And that's the truth. So , who said etymology was boring?
Now for the Road Test. When was this roadspoke submitted? You have three seconds. Three… and two… and one.
If you said during the second wave of the pandemic, you would be correct! "
Hear this …. HERE!
I-95n, EXIT 24 to I-90, MASS Turnpike to Worcester, Newton MA
Ok Heads up Road Crew. You are about to cross the Charles River which is famous because a lot of great colleges are located near its banks. If you go east, you would get to Harvard and MIT. If you go west, not far away is the Oldest Catholic College in New England. Founded in 1843, The College of the Holy Cross is located along the banks of the Charles in the factory town of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Holy Cross boasts a lot of famous alumni including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy, Newscaster Chris Matthews, Puerto Rican Newspaper Publisher Loren Ferre Rangel, Maggie Wilderotter CEO of Frontier Communications, Bob Wright Founder of Autism Speaks, and even 1960’s Psychedelics Professor Timothy Leary.
One of the most famous alums is none other than Doctor Anthony Fauci who is head of the National Institute of Health. For his work on AIDS as well as COVID 19, he is likely the most famous doctor in America. And well he should be. He somehow balances his day job, his family, and being the talking head of reason in the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here are five fast facts. Relax; there is no Road Test. So just listen. And marvel. And appreciate...
Fast Fact One: Tony Fauci is a real American Success story. Little Tony Fauci was born to Italian immigrants in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. His family later moved to Dyker Heights and opened a pharmacy where Fauci’s father, Stephen worked as a pharmacist. His mom, Eugenia, worked the register. The Fauci Family literally lived above the store — in a small apartment.
Young Tony went to Catholic schools in the community before gaining admission to the elite Catholic secondary school, Regis High School in Manhattan. Regis is still one of the best high schools in the country. A member of the Regis Basketball Squad, young Tony made up for his lack of height by being fast. Maybe that is because since the age of 7, he ran around delivering prescriptions to sick patients all around Brooklyn.
Fast Fact Two: Fauci’s maternal grandmother – a seamstress – was from Naples. Fauci’s maternal grandfather was born in Switzerland’s Italian sector. He was an artist who also painted graphic designs for various brands, including olive oil cans.
Fast Fact Three: Growing up Catholic, in 1962 young Tony graduated with a bachelors degree in Classics from the nearby College of the Holy Cross. Holy Cross is a private Jesuit liberal arts college heavily subsidized by the Catholic Church. Switching majors, Fauci then went to Cornell University Medical College where he graduated number one in his class. He completed his residency at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical School then joined the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, as a clinical associate in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Before the era of AIDS, he focused on treating patients with autoimmune diseases. But he also had interests beyond the laboratory. Using his classics training, Fauci is pithy, politically savvy, and tends to speak in sound bytes that gain attention from political leaders. As the emerging face of the institution, Fauci helped to increase funding for the organization from his DC overlords.
He even worked directly with the first President George W. Bush to create the so-called “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS”. The President’s Plan — yeah right! — addressed the HIV-AIDS pandemic in Africa. Fast forward a few years. The second George Bush gave Dr Fauci a medal of Freedom, the highness civilian honor — kinda like a Medal of Honor for Military heroes. Thanks to his work and access to power, it is estimated that several million lives were saved throughout the world.
Fast Fact Four Dr. Fauci is the the author, co-author, or editor of over 1,000 scientific textbooks and publications.
Fast Fact Five: In 1985, Dr. Fauci met nurse Christine. Tony and Christine Grady were both treating the same patient. Tony must have a good bedside manner because they soon married. No slouch, Christine is herself the Head of the Department of Bioethics at the NIH. Together, they have three daughters: Jennifer, Megan and Alison.
Sadly before Christmas 2020, Dr Fauci announced he would NOT spend Christmas with his kids, a first, since the family was practicing social distancing.
#AnthonyFauci #DoctorFauci #FauciBirthday #FauciChristmaseve #HolyCross #CollegeofHolyCross #Brooklyn #Bensonhurst #ChristineFauci
I-95s, Overpass of State Route 17, in Fredericksburg VA
Quick! Glance over to your right. You are passing a lovely manicured campus. The Big Man on that 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 no ordinary lizard but rather a gecko. And no doubt you have heard, The GEICO Gecko, that most uncommon of creatures, is uniquely adapted to help people save money on car insurance.
FAST FACT Number #1: If you tap the Deal Radar logo on your device right now and say, "Claim my Geico Gecko RoadSpoke Deal!" you can save up to 15 % on your current car insurance by switching to Geico.
Of course, you do not need to do the homework now but can check into that discount once you get in front of your laptop and go to Geico website. You have 60 days in fact to claim the deal online. You could save hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars!
FAST FACT #2: 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 Lassie, Morris the Cat, Smokey Bear, or the MGM Lion. 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 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! Turns out Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway is the majority owner of GEICO Insurance.
So 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 so easy it would be a thing of the past! Oh... Sorry Caveman.
#Geico #GeicoGecko #Gecko #Caveman #Humpday #Camel #OracleofOmaha #WarrenBuffett
Hear this here:
Exit 14 I-95s To: GA 25, to Harriet’s Bluff Creek [~ 6.92 mi to Exit 7, ] near Fancy GA
Everyone brought their crowns, right? It’s time to put them on, because we’re now passing Kings Bay. Welcome to the last few exits in Georgia, a Bible loving area which happens to be the headquarters of Armageddon.
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is the east coast home to America’s Ohio Class submarines.
According to the National Interest Magazine, the Ohio Class of nuclear powered submarines is the sole class of ballistic missile submarines currently in service with the United States Navy. Fourteen of the eighteen boats are configured to carry nuclear missiles, which, along with United States Air Force strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, constitute the so called nuclear deterrent triad of the United States. The remaining four subs have been converted to cruise missile submarines.
Why do Russia and China Fear America's Ohio-Class Submarines? Well it is not complicated.
Built in the nineteen eighties these boomers might be old, but they could wipe out an entire country in less than an hour. Prowling the oceans today , the fourteen Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines carry onboard upwards of half of the United States’ nuclear arsenal. If you do the math, the Ohio-class boats may be the most destructive weapon system created by humankind.
Each of the four hundred and fifty foot or one hundred fifty meter long vessels can carry twenty four Trident Two submarine launched ballistic missiles. Depending on the load, these babies can be fired from underwater to strike at targets more than seven thousand miles away. As a Trident Two re-enters the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 24, it splits into up to eight independent reentry vehicles, each with a 100 or 475 kiloton nuclear warhead. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 192 nuclear warheads to wipe twenty-four cities off the map. Sweet huh?
Running silent and running deep, the sub’s nuclear reactor gives it virtually unlimited underwater endurance and the ability to maintain cruising speeds of twenty knots (twenty-three miles per hour). All the while these boomers produce very little noise. While other branches of the military may be deployed in reaction to the crisis of the day, all over the globe the nuclear submarines maintain a steady routine of patrols and communicate infrequently so as to remain as silent as possible. This makes them very tough to track.
Each Ohio class submarine hosts two crews of 154 officers and enlisted personnel. Cumulatively Submariners are known as Squids. Each Sub's Squids are split into 2 crews designated Gold and Blue, who take turns departing on patrols that last an average of seventy to ninety days underwater—with the longest on record being 140 days by the USS Pennsylvania .
Currently, nine boomers are based in Bangor, Washington to patrol the Pacific Ocean, and five or maybe six are stationed here in Kings Bay, Georgia for operations in the Atlantic.
Make no mistake. This is a nightmarish weapon of the apocalypse.
Luckily, the closest competitor to the Ohio class submarine is the Russia’s sole remaining Typhoon-class submarine, a larger vessel with twenty ballistic missile launch tubes. American Squids are confident their Ohio ships are superior, but if they told you why they would have to kill you.
In the event of a nuclear exchange, a boomer would likely receive its firing orders via Very Low Frequency radio transmission. While a submarine’s missiles are not pre targeted, like those in fixed silos, they can be assigned coordinates rapidly.
The logic of nuclear deterrence is simple. While a first strike might wipe out a country’s land based missiles and nuclear bombers, it’s very difficult to track a ballistic-missile submarine lurking in the depths of the ocean—and there’s little hope of taking them all out in a first strike. In fact, they rarely contact any other craft or command unit for weeks on end so once they go down they are invisible to track and/or hear. Their Captains do however enjoy exhibiting their speed, power, and acrobatics on the surface!
Thus, ironically ballistic missile submarines promise the unstoppable hand of nuclear retribution—and should deter any sane adversary from attempting a first strike or resorting to nuclear weapons at all.
At least that’s the theory!
#KingsBay #OhioClass #Tridentmissiles #Georgia #NationalINterestMagazine
Hear this…> Here!
On Ramp to EXIT 18-8 I-95s: Road 13, To: Switzerland Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Hardeeville, South Carolina
“Believe it or not, America’s first Trade War with China happened almost 400 years ago. It was headquartered in a little obscure river settlement of Purrysburg, South Carolina as well as in world famous Jamestown, Virginia.
In the early 1600's, Jamestown the first settlement in Virginia, was originally financed by London investors to start a silk farm. Here too in southern South Carolina, silk worms were the original reason for starting early settlements. Unlike in Jamestown, the experiment nearby worked — albeit briefly.
Once landed near the upcoming Savannah River, Swiss Immigrants were tasked with meticulously planting and tending to the mulberry bushes that their British overlords imported with them. Mulberry leaves are the sole form of sustenance for silkworms. The silkworms -- which are larva to adult silk moths -- spin fuzzy white cocoons which when painstakingly unravelled, become silk.
Silk was originally cultured in China where the silkworm comes from. But in the 1500’s and 1600’s silk was all the rage in Europe. No self respecting lord, lady or aspirational merchant would be caught naked without their silk skivvies, silk pantaloons and sexy silk jerseys. So obviously breaking the Chinese monopoly was forefront in the colonial era investors’ minds.
The investors felt that South Carolina would be the proper climate for cultivating mulberry bushes. But what they did not anticipate here were the snake infested swamps and malaria mosquitos.
While this experiment -- as opposed to Jamestown -- did manage to export about a 150 pounds of silk in 1772, the indentured Swiss laborers died by the score.
After many stressful seasons, the Swiss abandoned the river farms near Purrysburg and created their new village on high dry ground. A bastion of health and clean living high now on a hill, obviously, it would come to be called Switzerland! Upcoming is the Exit.
What became of the low country the Swiss left behind? Well sadly that became the nexus of a far more successful slave based agrarian commodity. Also no surprise it may have echoes of Chinese culture as well. The Low Country of South Carolina was riven with creeks, black water rivers, and swamps. The semi-tropical environment with seasonal flood plains was ideal for the wholesale cultivation of rice.
To wring out a profit, rice requires Big investment. Vast industrial plantations sprung up. And of course, slaves could not complain about the heat, humidity, disease, and death. Slaves were, after all, expendable. We discuss the hard short life of a slave in the rice plantations at upcoming exits.
Incidentally, if you want to take a back road tour of South Carolina’s Low Country, in addition to Switzerland you can visit communities named Denmark, Norway, and Finland. Linked by roads draped over by ancient Spanish Moss covered Cypress trees, these European-named locales are very easy to visit with a short drive from the upcoming Exit. The Exit leads visitors through the swamps and forests and past the ghosts of the storied Low Country.
Meanwhile, Purrysburg too survives... hard along the swamp of the fast approaching Savannah River. But at least today the residents enjoy air-conditioning not to mention mosquito spray… lots and lots of Mosquito spray.”
#Jamestown #SwitzerlandSouthCarolina #Silk #Silkroad #ChinaTradeWar
EXIT of the DAY: Hear this …. HERE!
I-95: I-287 n Onramp via EXIT 10 Off-Ramp: To Rye, Rye Brook, New York
Upcoming is the Bowman Avenue Exit in Rye, New York.
Cyber Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere computers are working -- even right here on Bowman Avenue. And some attacks can occur by mistake.
In 2013, in the tiny suburban village of Rye Brook, a federal indictment was issued over a cyber-attack by Iranian hackers from the very anti-American Revolutionary Guards.
Considered pretty small potatoes in terms of targeting, The Revolutionary Guards were trying to hack an itsy bitsy suburban dam. The dam is used to hold back water and to prevent flooding of nearby backyards and basements in the affluent suburb of Rye, New York.
The Iranian hackers never took control of the 20-foot dam nor caused any disruptions. In fact, it seems the Iranians had gotten their wires crossed. Investigators believe the hackers intended to target a HUGE Oregon dam. It is also named The Bowman Dam.
That Bowman Dam is thousands of feet long and hundreds of feet high and holds back a small ocean of water which would have drowned thousands of victims.
Hundreds of Oregon towns downriver may have been flooded. Of course, the Iranians also missed their Oregon target by about 3,000 miles!
Homeland Security foiled the plot in cyberspace. Even here in Rye, the dam did not open and no backyards were flooded.
When asked, there was no immediate response from the Iranian government about the provocation. Obviously the terrorists required better mapping.
Wonder what happened to the Iranian guy who screwed that up?
Final thought: Good thing they did not use RoadSpoke to gather more accurate local information!
#IranCyberwar #BowmanDam #Oregon #IranianMilitary #RevolutionaryGuards
In Honor of Mother’s Day:
I-95 Exit 1b in FL To: US 41, SW 7th, SW 8th, Brickell Ave [~ 1 mi to Exit 1a, ~ 0.46 mi to Exit 2a] near Miami
A major melting pot and the unofficial commercial capital of Latin America, Miami is a uniquely American City. Even its conception was not typical; the fathers of the city were in fact two mothers. So Miami was not the result of the machinations of men but instead the dream of two lovely ladies.
Mary Brickell moved to southern Florida from Cleveland, Ohio in 1871. She and her husband William opened a trading post and post office on the south bank of the Miami River, near the site of abandoned Fort Dallas. The Brickell family bought up large tracts of swamp stretching from Coconut Grove to the Miami River.
Across the Miami River on the north side, their Cleveland neighbor, Julia Tuttle, settled with her family.
Quite the looker, Julia Tuttle is credited with attracting the attention of John D Rockefeller’s co-founder in Standard Oil. Also a Cleveland native, Henry Flagler had made hundreds of millions in oil. But by the last decades of the 1800’s, he sought to diversify. Flagler was convinced that Florida would become America’s Riviera. He ran railroads down into the top half of Florida’s panhandle and anchored them with hotels and seaside resorts. Also important to his railroad’s success was an exploding citrus industry and its shipments north of fresh winter produce.
Originally Flagler had planned his railroad to stop at Palm Beach — which city he is credited with creating — but when frigid air swept down the panhandle in the winter of 1894-95, Flagler decided he needed to send the iron snake further south.
Enter Julia Tuttle. Always considered something of a lady’s man, Flagler allowed Julia to convince him that Miami never froze — which is not altogether true.
Temperatures below freezing generally reach Miami once every 3 years. Julia sweetened her offer with 100 acres for him to build a railroad terminal and a hotel. Flagler happily extended the railroad another 100 plus miles with its terminus right between the Tuttle and Brickell’s homestead.
Eventually both Brickell and Tuttle contributed significant land to the Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway, which brought explosive growth and development and put Miami on the map.
After William Brickell's death, widow Mary became one of the young city's prominent real estate developers and managers. Her namesake Brickell Farm was originally platted for mansions and large homes, which thus led to the name "Millionaire's Row." Today the mansions have been replaced with Bank Towers and Financial Buildings. The Brickell area is known as the “Wall Street of the Latin America”.
Today, diversity and equality are Miami’s most notable distinctions. No doubt it harkens back to the fact that mothers were the forefathers of this city.
Happy Mother’s Day!
#Miami #JuliaTuttle #MaryBrickell #HenryFlagler #MiamiBeach #HappyMothersDay #PalmBeach #FortDallas #CoconutGrove #StandardOil
EXIT 148 I-95n To: Marine Base Quantico
Ok Road Trippers, Attention! You are passing Marine Base Quantico. As you drive north look 2 clicks to the east. You can see the roof of the United States Marine Corps Museum. Does it remind you of something? Pointed and slightly tilted? Lifting skyward?
The roof purposefully evokes the famous Statue of Marines raising the American Flag in Iwo Jima. As the Marine song says, The United States Marines fight our country’s battles on the lands and on the seas, and it also says — kinda a dig at the other military branches — If the Army and the Navy Ever look on Heaven’s scenes, They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines!
Harsh right? But not really. A lot of that tough love is embodied by the Marines. Doing Mean tasks for just causes. The Marines are often the first Americans deployed to provide security and aid to catastrophes all around the globe. In fact Marines are tasked with protecting our embassies. So yes, the Army and Navy are generally greeted by Marines when they land anywhere — including Heaven.
There is a theater dedicated to Medal of Honor winners as well as an exhibit dedicated to War Dogs. One such pooch saved his platoon and is standing proud on his 2 legs. He lost his other legs in the battle. Best of all, you will meet real Marines past and present who love to share their stories.
As Hans Von Spakovsky wrote in the “NATIONAL REVIEW” Magazine , this Museum provides an informed and frankly emotional tour through the storied history of the Marines. You can’t help but get a taste of the toughness, professionalism, and go-for-broke style of the Marines as soon as you walk in the door. There, carved on the wall of the high atrium that is the center of the museum, are the words of a legend — Sergeant Major “Dan” Daily: “Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”
Daily yelled those famous words as they were charging the Germans during the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War One. In that battle, the Marines defeated a much larger German force while losing more men than had been killed and wounded in all of the prior battles of the Marines combined since their founding over 240 years ago.
Throughout this museum there are artifacts that tell the story of the Marines.
Most visitors to Washington spend their time visiting the Smithsonian Museums not realizing that another terrific museum is just a short drive away.
Why not get off the Next Exit and check it out. In fact, do it — and do it NOW.
That’s an Order, Grunt!
#Quantico #Marines #MarinesMuseum #NationalReviewMagazine #DanDaily #IwoJima #USArmy #USAA #USNavy #UnitedStatesMarines
EXIT 15X in NJ: I-95s to Lincoln Tunnel at Meadow Lands, New Jersey
"Up ahead the highway runs up onto elevated pylons along the shoulder of a rocky hill. Even now you may be driving over the bodies of many lost and tortured souls. "
I kid you not... The ground below you was once a graveyard for the un-named and insane. They were deemed beyond the help of even their own loved ones. But more about that later…
Not far from the Holland and Lincoln tunnels which daily belch a hell fire of automobile soot upon the wetlands that were once known as the "New Jersey Dumps", there rises a gnarled and strangulated hill, barren and grey where men once disappeared into a massive lunatic asylum that never would tell their tales.
As Richard Conniff wrote in National Geographic, “In the strange territory called the Meadowlands, just west of Manhattan, a battered volcanic knob of rock juts up from the mudflats and reed thickets. Its history, like its name, is colorful.
Snake Hill was once home to the insane, and prisoners in the county jail here broke up the rock with sledgehammers.
Its solidity once inspired a passing ad man to use “the rock” as the symbol of a great insurance company (though the concept somehow got refined along the way from Snake Hill to Gibraltar).
On a windy evening, this remnant of the Triassic is an excellent spot to sit and look out on one of the weirdest and least reputable landscapes on Earth: the New Jersey Meadowlands. Everybody’s trying to get somewhere else. Rush-hour trains moan and clatter across the wetlands. Trucks on the New Jersey Turnpike roar right through a cut in the rock. A tailwind sends a flight of swallows whipping past and strips back the leaves on the trees so only the pale undersides show.
Still impressive, what you see today is only a fraction of the story. Snake Hill was largely obliterated in the 1960s by quarrying. The rock was used as building material in areas like nearby Jersey City. The soil was used to fill in the graves of so many inmates lost and forgotten.
Today, the remnant of the hill is the defining feature of Laurel Hill County Park. The high point, a 203-foot (62 m) graffiti-covered rock formation, is a familiar landmark to travelers on the New Jersey Turnpike's Eastern Spur, which skirts the hill's southern edge.
Snake Hill was formed by the same intrusion of magma that created the Hudson Palisades. These cliffs are all roughly 200 million years ago. The Dutch colonists who originally settled the area called the 252 foot high bluff 'Slangenbergh' ('Snakes Mountain') because of the many snakes found there.
But for over a hundred years this was a place of insanity and sorrow.
From 1855 to 1962 there were Hudson County penal and charitable institutions on Snake Hill, which was essentially a self-contained city in which hundreds of people lived at any given time. The grounds had its own support facilities that included a sewer system, reservoir, electricity plant and incinerator. The on-site institutions included two almshouses, which provided shelter for the poor and elderly, a penitentiary, quarry and a number of medical facilities, all grouped on the north side of Snake Hill.
In an era of wholesale quarantining, the medical facilities included a Contagious Diseases Hospital, a Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and the Hudson County Lunatic Asylum. The Asylum existed from 1873 to 1939.
When the Asylum opened it had a capacity of 140 patients. Different wings were designated for men and women, and each room held several beds. More feared were the numerous operating rooms where frontal lobotomies were frequently performed to neutralize troublesome patients.
People admitted to the Asylum were not restricted to the mentally ill, and whose conditions ranged from schizophrenia to syphilis. Many people were admitted to the hospital "who had no reason to be there: healthy residents who had been determined by their relatives to be a burden." Residents sometimes signed in their elderly relatives when they could no longer take care of them.
Once committed, these old relatives rarely emerged alive.
It was not difficult to sign in a patient, but harder for one to leave. According to Secaucus Town Historian Dan McDonough, "Anybody could sign somebody in. However, you would need three doctors to sign you out." The causes of death of many patients were not recorded, because the patients had been given pauper's funeral in the potter's field on the grounds, which is known as the Hudson County Burial Grounds.
Society slowly amended its treatment of the mentally ill and indigent. By the late 1920’s Snake Hill was renamed Laurel Hill. Then in the 1930s the Asylum adopted the name Mental Disease Hospital as that was believed to be a less offensive name. At the end of that decade, the hospital was moved to County Avenue in Secaucus, at the location where Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital now exists. In 1939, the Mental Disease Hospital, which by then housed 1,872 people, ceased operations.
In 2003, more than 4,500 bodies of poor people, prisoners and patients were moved from the grounds to make way for the Turnpike's Exit 15X ramp. You may take that Exit now. And do not worry about aggravating avenging angels: all the cadavers of the poor unfortunate inmates of the Snake Hill Asylum have been moved.
Or have they?
#SnakeHill #SnakeHillAsylum #PottersField #Insane #InsaneAsylum #Meadowlands #Secaucus #HudsonCounty
EXIT 27: To Millville & Route 55 in south New Jersey, near Haddon, New Jersey
If you love sports, you will love this upcoming Exit 27. No doubt the greatest baseball player that a lot of people have never heard of takes this exit to get home.
Look around. He may even be in that SUV over there. He may be driving back to see his boyhood friends and family. And he is not likely in a fancy sports car. No Maserati or Ferrari for him. Likely you won’t even see the young family man even in his 2014 Corvette Stingray which was gifted to him for being that year’s MVP. Why?
That’s because in an era of boastful arrogance, he is not loud. He is not controversial. He is not even super famous. But Mike Trout is possibly the best baseball player in the game — today or yesteryear. And last year, in 2019, Mike Trout from South Jersey, won the biggest payday of any professional American Athlete. Ever!
A lifelong Phillies fan, Mike Trout grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey and began playing baseball in Cal Ripken Baseball.
His position was shortstop and he even wore #2 in honor of his childhood hero, the equally soft spoken class act, New York Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter. After high school, Mike later attended the nearby University of Delaware. Little did the little leaguer realize he would one day share the diamond with his idol, Derek Jeter, both in regular games and even better, as members of the All Star Team.
A class act like Derek Jeter, Mike is soft spoken. He allows his stats state his achievements. But he did not begin his MLB career with an auspicious start. After playing just a few weeks with the Anaheim Angels, Trout was sent back to Double-A in 2011 after hitting .163 with one home run and six runs batted in 12 starts.
Maybe it was this hard start that motivated his soft spoken demeanor. After all, only a fool thinks he knows how long his good fortune will hold. But fortune would come his way.
Just 2 years before he won the MVP Stingray, Trout began the 2012 season in Utah playing Triple-A ball with the Salt Lake City Bees. On April 28, he was again brought up from the minors. At that time, Trout had a .403 batting average with Salt Lake. Having evolved into a talented hitter, Trout recorded his first career four-hit game on June 4 — and his second 15 days later. An aggressive base runner, he scored all four times and two of his four hits were doubles. That year, Trout became the youngest player ever to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in a season.
Fast forward to today. The so-called Millville Meteor has led the American League in runs and times on base four times. As of 2018, he led all active major league ballplayers in career slugging percentage (.573), and stolen base percentage (84.75%).
In a game where you win with singles and doubles, Mike Trout is worth his weight in gold — or maybe more. The total contract from 2019 is worth just under $427 million, the largest deal in North American sports history.
So why would Mike Trout still be driving down upcoming Exit 27? A big shot like him likely has a home in Beverly Hills or on Fifth Avenue, right? Well yes. He probably does. But it is not just Mike’s family who hails from Millville.
Seems Mike’s wife happens to be his high school sweetheart. According to local Millville Mythology, young Mike Trout sat in his Millville Senior High School Spanish class when he noticed Jessica Cox for the first time. Seeing an empty desk next to her, Trout started acting out so the teacher would “punish” him and move his seat to the front of the class. That was where Jessica was. It worked.
Just like in his baseball career Mike moved from the Little Leagues into Jessica Cox’s heart. The high school sweethearts married in 2017 and in August of 2020 — defying the pandemic — they Trouts welcomed their first child. Or should we call young Beckham Aaron Trout a fry or a smelt, because that is what baby trout are called.
One thing is for sure: High-school sweethearts Mike and Jessica Trout will be bringing their small fry back to their home town to meet the families. No doubt they may very well be taking the upcoming Exit to get there. So think about yourself being on the path of greatness. And also something to think about… with their income, the Trout family can drive any car they want!
#MikeTrout #MVP #CorvetteStingray #MVPStingray #JessicaTrout #BeckhamTrout #LosAngelesAngels
Hear this right …. Here!
EXIT 6 I-678s ; off Van Wyck Expressway to Atlantic Ave
At the nearby Aqueduct Racetrack the world's most famous Thoroughbred Race Horse was honored by his working class fans in his final farewell. Also hear this here: If you claim it now by tapping the Deal Radar logo on your smart device, you can get a “Buy One Get One Free” admission ticket to Aqueduct Race Course at any time in the next year.
Ain’t America great!
Operating near the site of a former elevated aqueduct that sent water from Long Island to the Ridgewood Reservoir, the Queens County Jockey Club opened the Aqueduct Racetrack over one hundred twenty five years ago in 1894. Formerly situated in virgin Queens County farmland, today that farmland is middle class urban sprawl.
In 1973, despite Aqueduct traditionally being considered a track frequented by blue collar fans — in contrast to nearby Belmont Park which has a more upscale reputation — the Triple Crown Champion racehorse Secretariat was retired right here. As always responding to huge applause, Secretariat pranced proudly before his adoring public. The Virginia born winner of the Triple Crown was paraded for the last time and took his last steps on a public racetrack before he was then sent to stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.
Being “retired to stud” meant that the studly stallion went into a retirement with lots of adoring lady horses with whom he would attempt to produce many champion offspring. Lady horses are called mares and offspring are foals or colts. Anyways, I digress.
Sadly, Aqueduct Race Course has suffered from a general reduction in interest in the so-called Sport of Kings. So the owners of Aqueduct have broadened the racetracks money making options. Now there is a casino here. And regardless of the site being a mecca to gamblers, John Paul II celebrated Mass in front of a crowd of 75,000 at Aqueduct on October 6, 1995.
Other efforts have been made to increase business. The aforementioned casino was built in 2011. Aside from it being the first legal casino in New York City, Resorts World Casino is the only casino located in the five boroughs. In an effort to reduce labor costs, it features automated machine dealt poker, craps and thousands of slot machines.
Still, the continued success of Aqueduct is up for debate. At least the owners are trying everything. Mixing the sport of kings, with High Holy Popes, and low-brow gambling illustrates they will try anything to bring in the crowds.
Now, claim that 2 for 1 deal by tapping your smartphone... and get in on the action!
Like we said... Ain’t America great?
#AqueductRaceTrackandCasino #Secretariat #horseracing #SportofKings #OzonePark #ResortsWorldCasino #PopeJohnPaul2
I-95 northbound (NJ Turnpike) EXIT 10 to I-287 (Edison Tpk), Matuchen & Perth Amboy, New Jersey
Ok Roadtrippers now it's time for a Road Test. So prepare yourselves for the Fast Facts! The winner of this Road Test gets not just a free Big Gulp at the next 7/11 off Exit 10 but also gets paid $20 by the driver… Driver, eyes on the road!
Ok now, that is a good place to start. The road. Look around you. Likely you see large trucks composed of two units. The truck and the load.
We call these big rigs "18 wheelers", or semi trucks or simply semis. They are big and powerful and do a lot of good.
Big names in Trucking include Werner, Covenant, and JB Hunt. Also you see a lot of public companies represented like Amazon and Walmart.
You might fly by them on the highway without thinking much about all that, but there's a lot worth knowing. The facts reveal that they are essential to the lifeblood of America. What you probably don't know about them will surprise you.
Listen up! Now for the Road Test so here come the Fast Facts,:
Fact One: 18 wheelers transport over 70 percent of the goods in the United States. That’s right; more than railroads or other things. They are the source of food on supermarket shelves, Amazon deliveries, even gas in your car.
Two: The maximum weight for a truck and full trailer is 80,000 pounds. To visualize that, it’s about 20 Indian Elephants. Ok that’s weird but it works for me.
Three: In 2016, according to Popular Mechanics Magazine, semitrucks drove 175 BILLION miles.
Four: Recent estimates suggest trucks deliver about 60,000 pounds of goods per American — per year. That’s a lot of stuff, right? In fact it comes out to about 18.5 Indian Elephants. So each truck is almost entirely dedicated to you. Think about that.
Five: Truck Drivers work hard but by law must take rest stops every 8 hours. So yes most trucks have sleeper space behind the cab. The amount of luxury varies. But it is not uncomfortable back there. Even basic sleeper cabs incorporate tables, closets, refrigerators, flatscreen TV mounts, and, of course, beds.
Six: Some Sleeper cabs can accommodate even a small family or a pair of spouses. They are not likely, however, to accommodate an Indian Elephant.
Fast Fact Seven: Spouses who both drive the truck are called a Tag Team.
Now for the Road Test: you have 3 seconds to answer. Now for the quiz: How many elephants are accommodated in a sleeper cab? Three. Two, and one. If you said none, you win!
Ok Driver, cough up. Pay the genius twenty bucks. And be quick about it because you gotta get right to Exit. 7/11 owes you a Big Gulp.
Just tell em the Spoken Road sent you!
#18wheelers #PepsiProducts #JBHunt #Werner #Covenant #Semitrucks #PopularMechanics #IndianElephants #sleepercabs
EXIT of the Day: EXIT 13N in CT I-95n to; Post Road, Norwalk, Darien in CT
Once a trail for Native Americans, The Boston Post Road is part of ancient mail-delivery route between New York City north to Boston, Massachusetts. While intermittently called the King’s Highway, the current Route 1 is signed predominantly as the Post Road and it runs along and at times under Interstate 95. The Post Road was for 200 years the first major road in the United States — but its roots go back to a time many thousands of years ago.
Even in pre-colonial times 400 years ago, speed of correspondence was an important priority. Many Native Americans' Trails which tended to be the straightest line between two points, laid the way for huge Interstates like the I-95 North from Florida to Maine or the I-80 West from the George Washington Bridge in Jersey all the way out to San Francisco, California.
Between New York City and Boston there are actually 3 Post Roads. The so-called Lower Boston Post Road runs along the coast from New York to Boston via Providence. Some portions were originally called the Pequot Indians’ Path.
The trail had been in use by Native Americans long before Europeans arrived. Some of these important native trails were in many places as narrow as two feet. Even more telling, due to the popularity of its pre-European use, it was single rutted at places to a depth of 2 feet or more.
Prior to being used by Native Americans, many trails were game paths. Such game trails go back to times before history. So very likely, long extinct animals like Ice Age Mammoths and Saber-tooth tigers walked here along the edge of a glacier literally one thousand feet high.
Quick "Fast Fact": with all the seawater frozen up in glaciers the coastline of Connecticut was about 150 miles further east along what today fishermen know as the drop or the continental shelf. So you would not see Long Island Sound along I-95 as it is today. We would be well inland.
Fast Forward to July 1775. The usual old saw about “George Washington slept here” is true all along the Old Post Road. He galloped up it to aid the Bostonians fight off the British and then galloped back south to do the same at New York City and Trenton New Jersey. In fact Washington crossed and re-crossed your path maybe 100 times between here and Boston or New York! Talk about crossing paths with history!
The Post Road is famous for carved rock milestones that date from 1734. Many of these mile distant milestones survive to this day. There are several in the neighboring towns of Darien, Westport, and upcoming Fairfield. Ben Franklin was said to originate the idea for these stone carvings set precisely one mile apart. Milestones were measured from the intersection of Broadway, NYC and Wall Street, New York (one block west of Federal Hall) and from the old Boston city-line on Washington Street, near the present-day Massachusetts Turnpike.
Ben Franklin was the first Postmaster General. Franklin who lived from 1706 to 1790, created many aspects of today’s mail system. Some of Old Ben's contributions were to standardize postage rates as well as to promote regular service to civilians. More urgently, he created relays of correspondence to the Continental Army from the Congress during the Revolutionary War -- perhaps the first Priority Mail Express Service.
Building onto the existing King's Roads, Franklin set up new, more efficient routes including creating Post Roads which cut delivery time in half between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York. Like the Pony Express 90 years later, his mail wagons travelled both day and night via relay teams. Finally, until Franklin came along, there were no post offices nor home delivery. Mail was typically left at your local tavern!
Final thought: given the historical importance of taverns in mail delivery, maybe if the mailman today delivered booze along with our bills, we would use the U.S. Mail more often!
#Benfranklin #PostRoadTavern #GeorgeWashington #Darien #Fairfield #OldPostRoad #Pequots #PequotTrail
EXIT of the DAY. Hear this Here>>
I-95s (NJ Turnpike) EXIT 10 to I-287 (Edison Tpk), Matuchen & Perth Amboy, New Jersey
“On Monday March 30, 2020, University of Pennsylvania’s Doctor Ezekiel Emanuel made an offhand calculation on MSNBC TV. Said he: “Well if the President now accepts that there will be 200,000 deaths then that means — doing the math -- that there will be 20,000,000 sick with COVID. We only have 168,000 sick today. Our hospitals are already overwhelmed. So we have a long battle ahead.”
Monday March 30 marked a milestone of sorts. Just on February 28, one month earlier, a man in his 50s in Washington State became the very first fatality from the coronavirus in the United States.
March 30 also marked another milestone: more Americans died from COVID than had died on 9/11.
In a hospital in North Jersey, an anonymous part-time healthcare worker of indeterminate sex — a so-called environmental services worker — did not hear Dr Emmanuel’s calculation —nor did likely any of the hospital staff that were in fact there that day. The daily duties of so-called environmental services workers are to clean and sanitize infected areas and articles, change beds, distribute sheets and other linens. You are required to be a high school graduate. A lot of them are hired part- time so the Hospitals need not provide them full benefits and insurance.
On Monday March 30, 2020 the Hospital was already swamped with patients in the hallways — many drowning in their own phlegm — and out back there was a refrigerator truck that was filling up with corpses.
Like on the front line of a long and intense battle these health care professionals were heads down beside exhausted doctors and nurses. They helped transport contaminated gurneys and patients. They may even roll dead people to the truck out back.
Military Corpsmen are people who join the armed forces to provide emergency medical support for frontline fighters. Their uniforms usually are marked by a large red cross and they cannot carry arms. The Geneva Convention says enemy combatants must not target these unarmed angels of the battle field — but that is rarely the case. They are in the thick of battles and their lives are always at risk. They know this. They expect it. They know this is what they signed up for.
Environmental service workers did not sign up for this. But like others on the new front line, they stepped up. They did not waver.
Imagine in New Jersey, knowing Dr Emmanuel’s stats and having to wake up every day at your cozy home and head back to the front lines. Imagine knowing that when you head into the hospital every shift is a life threatening situation. Or worse: imagine that even as you retire overnight you may be sleeping with the enemy and that enemy has slipped inside your private space — even your children’s bedrooms. Imagine the anxiety. Imagine the children of the part time worker who now works on the front line. One child likes lego and the other wants to become a doctor.
The anonymous person who worked in environmental service on the night shift every other weekend no longer worried that no one heard Dr Emanuel’s exhausting prognosis.
A grim statistic, that part -time worker had already fought the fight and was, on Monday March 20, 2020 the first American Healthcare worker to die of Coronavirus.
We are now and forever indebted to all the healthcare workers, the environmental workers, the truckers, the delivery staff, and all those who suddenly find themselves on the front lines. They fight an insidious enemy — a foe like no other Americans have ever faced.”
#COVID19 #COVID19andNEWJERSEY #Coronavirus #Pandemic #Environmentalservicesworker #EzekielEmanuel #UniversityofPennsylvania #freezertruck #9/11 #corpsmen #Hackensack #Paterson #Matuchen #Rutgers #PerthAmboy
EXIT of the Day: I-95 EXIT 11 To: Garden State Parkway to Woodbridge, New Jersey
As we now enter the more typical suburban woodlands, you are now leaving the salt marshes of north Jersey. In the last few Exits we have explored the Statue of Liberty, Jewish Immigrants, lady poets, striking refinery workers, pro football teams, Bald Eagles, and even New Jersey Mobsters. Quite a snapshot of the American tapestry spread across five miles of swamp, right?
Oh and I forgot: we discussed how these salt marshes were once home to massive garbage dumps, so-called lunatic asylums, and the world’s largest hog farm which together helped to tarnish New Jersey’s image as the bucolic Garden State.
Nearby is the colonial era home of the ancestors of a recent President. This President's family came to America not long after the Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving. And no, it was not a Roosevelt, a Clinton, a Bush or a Trump.
President Barak Obama's American Roots run deep.
While his Dad was from Kenya, Obama's mom's side can trace roots directly to English immigrants arriving at the time of the Pilgrims. In fact, maybe his ancient American heritage might have something to do with his interest in law, morals as well as politics. His direct ancestors were leaders in the Anglican Church in North America and -- not surprisingly -- in colonial era politics.
Way back in 1640, Jonathan Singletary Dunham, Obama’s first America-born ancestor was born up in Massachusetts. John moved to Woodbridge, New Jersey where by 1670 he started a grist mill. It was the first grist mill in New Jersey. And like his presidential descendant, he was a politician. Elected as a Member of the New Jersey Provincial Congress, John Dunham is President Barack Obama’s direct ancestor; he is the president's 8th great-grandfather.
Nearly 400 years ago, John Dunham thrived in Woodbridge. The house the Dunhams built in 1671, the Jonathan Singletary Dunham House, still stands and currently serves as the Rectory of the Trinity Episcopal Church. That's because Obama's 7th great grandfather, Benjamin Dunham, generously built the first of three church buildings at that location. Ben personally paid for that building and donated it to the congregation.
As is the case with many Americans, members of the Dunham family then drifted out West. Generations passed. Ultimately Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas. After high school in Wichita, Ann moved to Hawaii, enrolled in the University of Hawaii and studied to become an anthropologist.
Here in Woodbury, the oldest portions of the building are still in use today as the rectory where the presiding minister lives. She spoke to the webpage, mycentraljersey.com.
Said the Reverend Angela Cipolla, the head priest at Woodbridge's Trinity Episcopal Church. “The connection with the president is absolutely something that the parish is incredibly proud of.”
Not surprising, the Rector extends a warm invitation to the President's family to come visit Woodbury, New Jersey. In effect it's an invitation for President Obama to come home.
#PresidentObama #ObamaAncestry #AngelaCipolla #WoodbridgeTrinityChurch #JohnathonSingletaryDunham #WoodbridgeNewJersey