Travels with Clark

Before I get to the license plate meet itself I must, include a little background. Clark Wothe, who is in charge of ALPCA's eleven different regions has been trying to get to a meet in every region. He lives in Arizona and is always travelling for business and has like a million air miles. Since moving topCape May I have been attempting to invite anybody and everybody down to visit us.  I've have other ALPCA members stop by, even Gary Walker all the way from Australia!! However Clark was different. Every where he travels on business, he sends me a post card, I literally have cards from all over the country, the money he spends. Clark says he's "extreme" a few weekends ago.  I had a chance to  play "tour guide. We started out at where else but the Cape May Lighthouse. While it wasn't open to climb I took Clark on a tour of Cape May State Park

Our tour then took us to   Atlantic City to meet Lucy the Elephant.  Oddly enough for all the times I have been to Atlantic City, I have never visited Lucy. It's funny people who live in New Jersey rarely visit the the sites, only we we have company. Clark wanted to see it all so we saw it all!

We strolled along the Atlantic City Boardwalk and made our way to the  war memorial, another place I haven't had the chance to go. I was doing these things for the first time myself and was excited to do it in the off-season!! The weather is still warm down here and it wasn't windy so we enjoyed the stroll to the War Memorial where I snapped a couple of decent shots.

On Saturday morning was the plate meet itself in Pennington, NJ which is actually right near my brother's house.  Clark and I got up around 4:30 am to make the almost 2 1/2 hour trek north to right outside Trenton. This was only our second\ plate meet outside of Bergen County, the other obviously being in Atlantic City. The  meet was at the Pennington Fire Company No. 1. It was an overwelming success,. besides Clark, we had another collector from Arizona, folks from California, North Carolina ands V This time I was too busy  helping with the meet itself to get any decent pictures, but someone from the meet sent me a few shots. 


Mixed bag of events

Well here it is October in Cape May  and this month I'm all over the map, literally I e. Let's step back a few days into September, a lot was going on so there wasn't time to write it all on the blog piece by piece but here it is all together, a end of summer, beginning of fall wrap up. It's also a warm up to a winter of writing, including something coming up the beginning of next year which I'll introduce shortly.

First right after Labor Day is the annual firemen's convention in Wi=ldwood ( I was going to say down but Wildwood is north of Cape May). It was a little extra special because Jason, a fellow license pllate collector and fir buff took me to the parade on Saturday. Unfortunately for me the backup camera batteries didn't last but I got some good shots in the mean time and have my spot picked out for next
  My mom had another doctor's appointment  in North Jersey, one of her last for awhile. So my dad offered to bring my scooter so I would have a way to get around. Well dad was rushing to pack the car and the trunk wasn't closed all the way, it opened and the scooter, my laptop and so-me other stuff scattered all over the road, thankfully nothing got ran out. Of course a scene ensued and for a short time I considered walking back to our house\. Of course my mother settled both my father and I down, we conti=nued onto my Aunt Dee's in Park Ridge. It was a great visit, despite the cosmetic damage to the scooter, it is in fine working condition. I did my usual loop from Aunt Dee's over to Fusco's then to my old hood to check on my neighbor and cruise up Carnot AVE.. I even made it down to the firehouse, but nobody was around People have I even made it to a dance recital with my cousin to see her friend perform. It was an expected surprise to see other friends too.

October of course is the annual Hershey trip with Rick. It's a bit more of a struggle because there aren't any close trains near Cape May or even Atlantic City. So my folks drove me up there, they went antiquing while Rick and I went to the flea market.  I  found one gem up there, a three digit 1914 NJ plate. The scooter I took out there started to act funny  which turned out to be a blessing because Rick and I went to the AACA Museum which was something I have wanted to do ever since we started going out there. so I rented one from the park

When we got home from Hershey my Aunt Dee, cousin Jenn and her puppy Zoey came for a visit we went to a craft fair over at the Wheaton Arts Center. We also took Zoey to Higbee Beach to play in the water. It was great having a dog around the house, Dad sttill doesn't want one'!!!! My bedroom is on .the first floor so are canines are gravitated to my bed. Must be the good sniffs. Anyway this weekend is a trip oiut to see my brother and his family, and yes more dogs and a cat too!!


Irony of current protests

In all honesty I don't usually watch the National Anthem at the beginning of football games so the kneeling controversy didn't bother me, until now.  First of all people need to stop defending the players' actions need to stop saying "It's their right".  I don't know anybody, including President Trump, denying the players have a right to take a knee. This has been established since day one we get it.  After all if part of the protest is about "freedom of speech" then you have to accept the consequences, including a drop in viewership and risking sponsors , after all that's their right to respond to your protest. You wanted to get their attention well you have it now, what are you going to do? What's your next step?

Also nobody is running up to them forcing them to stand. If you saw some of sizes of these guys you wouldn't dare. However it shouldn't automatically be assumed critics of the movement want to take away their rights, this is further from the truth. To accuse this of your critics is highly hypocritical because you should be defending their speech as well. If you stop protesting, they would stop responding. If you actually have something productive to solves a problem we would like to hear it. Actions do speak louder than words, however some action should come under scrutiny. It would be different if these protesters actually had a plan to make things better and used these protests as a way to get people's attention for a solution, not just complain about a problem. I am waiting for the day someone says ok you have  a problem, here might be a way to fix it. Not just say you have a problem, fix it our we protest.

The NFL is losing viewership left and right. I think this is another  reason why the players are behaving this way, they're pissed off at the NFL over something and they want to stick it to them. I think it's pathetic certain players are using legitimate grievances as a political football (I've waited this entire post to slip that in somewhere.). The players also put too much stock in believing their fans will support them so long as they preform on the field. The players are in for a rude awakening. I also have a challenge to the networks. Don't show any player who kneels. They crave public attention, why give it to them? Just ignore that part of the game completely?  Call for an all-out "ban" on the NFL is wrong because not everyone in the NFL is boycotting the National Anthem. I would say boo the players who refuse to stand. Burn their jerseys the way some people burn the American flag. They will definitely have a few supporters, and that's fine. However I feel it's time they know how we're feeling, it shouldn't be a one way street!


9/11 reflections

Today marks sixteen years since our nation was attacked and changed forever.  We say we never forget but what does that really mean? Does it mean we only think about those who were killed today and forget about them tomorrow?  How can we balance remembering them without letting our sorrows stand in the way of living our lives? Wives who no longer have husbands, husbands who no longer have wives, children left without parents. Parents left to grieve for their children; However there is one thing we can do, keep the memories alive. When you say "never forget" that does not mean dwell on  this day to the point that you don't allow happiness back into your lives. We all need times to grieve and times to celebrate, it's part of a process, not of healing but of living, which is what the people who died on that day want for all of us. One of the best ways to honor the memories of those who died on 9/11/01 is pause, remember and then move on. The best way to celebrate a person's life is to live you own life the best you can

There are a few memories I have of 9/11 that I will never forget, they happened they days after. One of them was my small contribution to the efforts. The days after 9/11 the radio traffic was incredible.  I knew there wasn't really a role for me. I wasn't going to hop in a car and fly down to the action, even though I really wanted to help. Also a lot of the ham radio traffic was quick and while I could copy it, relaying it to another station would have been a nightmare. That didn't mean I couldn't listen. I listened what seem non-stop for days. So a few days after   the disaster a ham who was driving all the way up from North Carolina was calling on a repeater and nobody was answering. After hearing him call for the forth time, I decided to bite the bullet and answer. He explained he was driving up to help with the recovery efforts and needed directions. After hearing his request I knew I needed to get another ham on the frequency. So I asked the ham to s-tand by and went to another repeater to summon help. I was rebuffed numerous times by the net control, I finally gave the ham the frequency to net was on When the ham switched over to the net, he asked for the net control and explained he drove all night t get to New York to help. He then had a stern warning for to the net control the he was talk to me and I was trying to get him some help. I sat back and had a chuckle to myself. It was my small contribution, but it felt very good.  The ham radio community lost Robert D. Cirri, KA2OTD, a Port Authority Lieutenant and a member of many radio clubs in the area 

A few months later I was invited to contribute an article to a magazine about what I heard that day and the days after the attacks. One of the main things I remember was in my 20+ years of listening, I n ever heard CAP or Civil Air Patrols. However as soon as the first plane hit, the military frequencies started to light up like a Christmas Tree!! It became a common occurrence. It was exciting and sad at the same. I knew the world would never be the same again!!

Then there's the reflection of living in Woodcliff Lake during that time. New York City is less than 20 miles away. Some people don't realize the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge is Bergen  County. We lost one of our residents, Jack D'ambrosia, in the attacks. I never met him, but they had a dedication for him at the Old Mill baseball field. I would ride past the field and think about him,

9/11 is a national day of mourning, but time does heal some of the wounds. We must never forget what happened while not dwell on it. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a love one in the attacks


Confederates v. Nazis

Before I begin to even dive into the meat of this post, let me stress I AM NOT defending the Confederates OR the Nazis, they were both evil and needed to be defeated. However I am disturbed by the comparison because ironically they are politically opposites. I cringe when people say they are a like because that tells me people don't understand history at all and not understanding bad history makes it more likely for it to repeat itself. I wanted to break it down for myself so I could understand it better. I am disturbed  by people taking statutes of Confederate soldier down by force

When people mention the United States Civil War most say slavery was the only  cause and if the South won they would  still have slaves in 2017. While nobody can tell what it would have been like if the South won, given the technology revolution and the advent of say farm equipment, it's a bet there would be less slaves. Kind of like how there are now more kiosks in fast food joints and even supermarkets, not to mention the advent of conveyor belts. Humans get tired, need food and even the live expectancy was horrible. Slavery would have ended eventually, it didn't end soon enough, but it would have ended. It wasn't economical for people doing work machines could accomplish in half the times There'a no telling if the Civil Rights movement would have been so dramatic, true blacks would still have an uphill battle with equality and there still would have been racial tensions an d mass killings. However the tensions were amplified because the Southern states lost the   Civil War. Their resistance to change grew deeper with resentment. To most, even select Northerners, the Confederate General Robert E Lee, he was a general who fought for his side, and lost. Lee surrendered gracefully at the end of the war and help mend the wounds of one of the darkest times in our nation's history. Not exactly a man one would call "evil", is it? THIS man is represented with statues and paintings t hroughout the South

In 1939 when Adolf Hitler came to power he did so when Germany was in economic an social shambles. He need a scapegoat to blame, the Jews. He said  these people needed to be exterminated in order to create a "master race" of white, blonde-haired people. Ironically, unlike the Confederates, who only targeted  blacks, Hitler set his sights not only Jews, but gays, gypsies and anyone else who didn't fit into the "master race. Unlike Lee Hitler was a coward who used hate to  spread his vile views and wouldn't stop until his "enemies" were wiped off the face of the Earth! Hitler NEEDED to be not only defeated, but committed suicide because /he WOULDN'T surrender. He wouldn't stop until every Jew was wiped off the face of the earth! He would have invaded the entire world if  he wasn't stopped!!

At the end of the day Lee was graceful, Hitler was just evil. Lee knew he was defeated and slavery was coming to an end. Hilter never would ave accepted defeat. Both men were on the wrong side of an awful history. However one man chose to try to unite people, while the other did everything he could to divide them