12/18/2014

North Korean hacking solution

So i t seems the North Koreans really can't take a joke! They  launched cybar-attacks in response to thew lame-ass movie The Interview that puts their leader in the spotlight and makes him look like a fool. Little Kim Jun Il didn't only give to movie a big thumbs down, he decided since the US "allowed the film to be made", it endorsed the film and Il took that as an "act of war" I shit you  not. So Sony, who was scheduled to release the film on Christmas Day, had it's computers hacked mysteriously with a message not to release the film or the company w ould be facing even more cyber attack. "Hackers" even got copies of e-mails sent by Sony Execs criticizing President Obama, the same guys who wanted to get Bush and Chen ey on war crimes. So stup id movie execs of course caved and cancelled the movie's release, although there have been rumblings about having the movie go right to DVD or ondemand, maybe leaks on the Internet. No doubt the movie will get out somehow, in some way. I'm sure there's a disgruntled Sony employee wanting to get   even with the company about something. Wouldn't   releasing the movie illegally causing more cyber attacks be a great way to  do  damage? NK does a nother cyber attack, the worlds goes nuts, mass hysteria, maybe not, though think about what they'd do if we really pissed them off!!!

The title   implies I have a solution, it's a b it  far  fetched, but s o is the movie which got us into this mess in the first place. I propose we give the North Koreans a taste of their own medicine. We temporarily suspend all prosecution of cybercrime directed a t North Korea. It's a well known fact that while the Communist country has a horrible human rights record for simple crimes, cyberhacking is widely condoned, when a person can get out which is a whole other story. I have long equated cyber crime with minor drug offenses, unless the crime does serious financial or intferstructure damage, the should be sentenced to help  secure the Internet in the US. I want the US to declare war on NK not like in the fifties but a cyberwar. I want people who hack NK to be saluted not sentenced.

12/08/2014

Flaws of reporting crimes that never happened

We have all heard it by now what DIDN'T happen down at the University of Virginia. In September a freshman girl named "Jackie" was invited to a frat party where she was pumped full of slcohol and raped by seven frat boys in a bedroom. She left ,the frat house, caalled a friend, cue the investigation. Of course every news outlet in the country swooped in and reportedly on the case ruined the bo=ys reputation and what happened? It was all a hoax.

The major problem was Jackie's story fell apart from the word rape. First of all when these guys were finished attacking her, Jackie  found the strength to walk out on her own, without being noticed by a house filled with people (of course there was a party going on). She then called a friend who took her to the hospital. In the original article Jackie bemoans the fact nobody believed her story (  I wonder why ) and it took going to the media for her to see some action.

Enter Sabrina Rubin Erdely who wrote this heart-wreching article in   Rolling Stone about this poor helpless freshman girl being raped by these four men repeatedly. Erdely's goal, to seeking "justice" for Jackie, to punish the men who did this to her and to highlight this is a massive problem on campuses across America. We all know the story before. Does the words "Duke Lacrosse" come to mind? It should  because in that case the true victims were the accused, just like we have here. Although the media is afraid to call these men "victims", they just became innocent, no harm no foul. Let me ask you this say you are a woman and one of these guys started flirting with you. You enjoy the attention, it goes on. You randomly type his name into your favorite search engine and BAM thes false accusations pop up Nine times out of ten people just look at flashy headlines. The articles written before we all knew this was all a hoax. Hopefully the stories retracting these false charges show up first, but it's not a save bet! What does a women do? Does she confront this guy? Does she ignore them?

The other really disturbing angle to this article is the police  weren't given the chance to  investigate. G iven all the bad press the cops have gotten lately, this might  seem like another blunder. However nine times out of ten the shortcomings of the police are the type  of investigation they conduct, not if they do one at all. Erdely never asked the police about an investigation, because no poilice report was even filed. This is one of the most disturbing aspects of this case. If you have problems trusting the police to begin with, Erdley's article seemed like a real cry for help. In reality given Jackie's storyy, thee police had every right  to  send her one her way. However Erdely protrays Jackie as a "victim" who has nowhere to turn. Sounds more like a Hollywood script than evidence of a crime

Sexual assualt is serious, it is a problem that needs to dealt with forcefully. It is also undereported because sadly there are times when the victim isn't believed, especially if it's a male victim. False claims like the Duke Lacross and now this one at the UVA do just as much damage because men can point to these cases and say they can become  victims too. It's time we start believing them!

12/04/2014

I wrote it no credit

There are pages on Facebook where people report fires and  other emergency incidents either in the local area or nationwide. In Northern New Jersey we have a group where we can discuss such incidentsa. Well there's a guy on there who uses the incidents to write a few new reports for his own website. Usually he just gets the headlines and then follows up by either calling a department or listening to his own scanner. This time I was amazed to find n a summary of what I wrote appear on a commercial website. I know all this because the webmaster asked questions through a stream of replies basically took the information and composed his article. It doesn't bother me he did this, but even most newcasts mention "sources say". While most want to reemain unknown, they want people to realize other people helped them out with the research
Photographers get their images ripped off all the time and make the biggest stink, as they should but it seems too often than not writers often face worse offenses. Some photographers watermark their work,, others insist watermarking takes away from the picture. My philosophy is what's worse having a waterma rk or having your picture jacked? I usually get an unrealistic respond like, they'll work around it somehow, which like saying why put water
It's not even that I wrote an entire article but he took my tip and expanded it. I wish he had reached out to me to see if I had a ny details on the  incident. I feel, unlike photograph which is an equal amount of skill and luck, there's more background work to an article. I've done research myself, worked through writer's block, dealt with editors and had any number of other trials and tribulations to ovvercome. For a photographer he  or she may shoot thousands of photographs to maybe get one or two shots published. The thing of it is one shot can be used. The argument photographers make is it's easier to steal and photograph than a written piece like an article, this is true. Although plenty of articles have been plagurized all  over the Internet as well.
One of my pet  peeves is photographers who think because they can compose the perfect shot, they  can write the perfect article. I read a lot of articles where the writer also takes the pictures. It isn't too difficult for me to tell wether the photography or the writing is their primary ar tform


11/12/2014

6TH Annual ALPCA Garden Region Meet Report

For the second year in a row the American Legion Post 147 in Elmwood Park graciously hosted the ALPCA Garden State Region for a day filled with friends laughter and trading tin. 48 members from six states and a few guests filled tables shortly before 8:00 and by the time the official start came around, the trading floor was busy.  Fred Shreeve traveled out from Missouri to join in the excitement.   Once again Steve "16 Lizards" Benson made the trek out from Arizona  to show just how much ALPCA members are dedicated to  the regional meet.  Among the other guests Rich Dragon from Rhode Island , Dave Kuehn,  Adam Garstka  and Joe Wasielewski from Connecticut.  Paul Rosenberg drove up from  Atlantic  City. John Willard ALPCA #909  was the most senior member in attendance and Rob Maitner  ALPCA#11935 was the newest member to join our ranks! Same except ional plates where spotted inside the hall including a NJ US Senate plate! Once again Ron Ridolph exercised his auctioning skills with the assistance of Jason DeCaesare, Jim Moini, Walter O, Roy Rich recorded the auction tally  .  I am also very delighted to announce the Garden State Region now has a new treasurer!!! Ed Butler has taken over the reigns from Marco Tramelli.  I  want to thank Marco for his help in getting the region started and keeping it going through some tough times.  I also want to thank Jason DeCaesare for all his assistance  in pulling this meet off. He does almost all the foot work and deserves a nice round of applause!    Once again  Ed Natale secured lunch for a group of hungry collectors at  Charlie Blood's Bar and Grill in nearby Garfield NJ!!!  We already have the place booked for next year so mark your calendars now for another fun day of trading and good times for November 7, 2015

Respectfully Submitted
Justin Mattes ALPCA#6748
ALPCA Garden  State Region President

11/06/2014

My name in Billy Joel songs

I belong to a group a Billy Joel Facebook page and there was a challenge to make up songs starting with the first letter of your name. This was child's play because of my Baby Name Poem project (insert your eye roll.)  However it' s a writing exercise I thought would be nice to put on Mattes's Madness.



Just the way you are
Uptown Girl
Scenes from Italian Resturant
The Longest Time
Innocent Man
No Mans Land


My Life
All About Soul
The Entertainer
The Stranger
Everyone Has A Dream
She's Always a Woman.

10/27/2014

Kaci Hickox is neither a villian or hero

I decided to weigh in on the Ebola debate after reading Kaci Hickox's account of what happened to her when she reentered the United States after treating patients in Africa. Her story is publish in the Dallas News:http://www.dallasnews.com/ebola/headlines/20141025-uta-grad-isolated-at-new-jersey-hospital-as-part-of-ebola-quarantine.ece


If we didn't have enough to deal with in this countrry now we have an Ebola problem. I'm not talking about an outbreak nor am I really worried, but this recent Kaci Hickox story has once again made me stop and wonder that so maNy people in this country or dying. Why travel to Africa? There's a greater risk  of not getting the proper healthcare if the nurses and doctors themselves get sick. That should  have been her number one concern when she reentered the country. She's claiming her reward for helping people in a third world country was to be treated like a common criminal. Hickox, who currently isn't showing signs of Ebola, is claiming the people who detained her overreacted without consideration to the  fact she is a healthcare professional and therefor knows the risks and the  protocol if she developed symptoms. For the record I'm not worried about an Ebola outbreak nor do I slight Hickox for telling her side of the story.The government did overreact
However one of the takeaways I got from the article is on the one hand Ms Kickox is bemoaning the unprofessional behavior upon returning to this country, she has very right to be critical of her treatment. Hickox goes out of her way to highlight the failures of our government. She says by detaining her the government is denying her civil right and now she's filing a lawsuit . Govs. Christie and Cuomo have come underfire for supporting the quarantine but I am not sure that  this is warranted. Since she doesn't show signs she should be released, On the other hand if she was released and developed  the disease, there a risk she might pass it on to others and then the government would be b lamed for not detecting the threat. The government would also be blamed f or not treating her and  therefor putting the public at risk. It would  highlight another failure that our government isn't doing enough to keep us safe. That would cause even more fear and overreaction by everyone. Can you imagine the fall out?
I  wish Ms nHickox well

10/14/2014

Everyone agreeing not always good

It's October and we're in the midst of the political season which means endless phone calls, fliers and of course TV and Internet ads.  Every one hates them although like the horrific car accidents, you can't help but watch. There's always at  least  one ad that has everyone talking and this year Texas governor candidate Wendy Davis  found herself in hot water.  Davis is running against Greg Abbott, who is in a wheelchair due to a tree accident that left him paralyzed from the waste down. Being a Texas Republican, Abbott is of course a strong supporter of tort reform. The ad was designed to highlight Abbott's hypocrisy on the subject but like all provocative ads, it backfired and even Davis supporters gave the ad an "F". It's not everyday you have liberals and conservatives basically agree, and it's downright toxic to have it be in the  middle of the election season. That's the damage the ad did, it brought both sides together, but for the wrong reason,. It would be different if the ad triggered a bigger discussion on the policy issues regarding folks with disabilities and ways the government could make life easier, but it's too late for that now.  The damage is done and NOW it's in the news cycle. The only upside is  Davis is female and Abbott is male. If the gender roles were reserved and Davis was in a wheelchair, Abbott's fate wou ld have been sealed.
I   myself have seen the ad and have seen the reactions across the spectrum and  something remarkable has happened, people with disabilities  aren't upset as people without disabilities. While I'm not particularly fond of the ad myself, and would never have approved it, I'm also not "offended by it either.  Once I got past the initial shock of the ad, I happened to  agree with it, Greg Abbot did win a medical malpractice lawsuit and is at least giving tort  reform supporters a sympathetic ear. I think this needs to be addressed in the debate between them.
Actually  I am more pissed at Greg Abbott because again while his disability  doesn't define him as a person, it should give him a level of understanding and divorce him from the typical Republican brand. I think that IS fair game and Davis could have legitimately gone after him about it. However doing it now will ensure his victory. Only voters with disabilities will understand this move and I'm not even sure they'll buy it because the original ad is so toxic. It's a Hail Mary even the most saavy political operative couldn't pull off, not now. Abbot is up in the polls and doing this will ensure his victory
It would also do them  both some good if  they outlined their programs to assist people with disabilities with things like education, job placement and independent living. I think this needs to be addressed anyway, but given the fact one of them indeed has a disability it needs to be put in the forefront. It happened in 2008 when the first woman and the first black presidential candidates were running, what's the difference now?

10/01/2014

World CP Day 2014-- My advice for Max

This is the second year I have written something about World Cerebral Palsy Day. Last year I wrote about World CP Day. The need for more research, better oversight of doctors in the delivery room along with more explanations. I also tipped my hat to Ellen Seidman author of Love That Max, about  her 12-year-old son Max who has CP. Even though we haven't met yet, every time I read one of Ellen's posts I feel I know Max,He's also a fire buff and I have encouraged Ellen to get Max into patch collecting. Ellen encouraged parents to submit stories about their children. I decided to  jot down a few notes for Max as he gets older

  1.  Recognize other people have CP- while everyone is an individual there are commons themes that folks that only have CP can g et. Never compare yourself to other people but learn from their experiences  and share your experiences with other kids
  2. One minute you think you're on to of the world, the next minute it come crashing down CP has a funny way of getting in the way at the lousest time. Even when you're going out to dinner, try to eat at home, less food you eat less chance of it spilling on you
  3.  Not everyone is picking on you -  I still have a hard time telling the difference between a tease and sound advice.. It's an  art you need to master on your own
  4.  Sympathy sucks, understanding rocks Yeah this is another one that needs some good judgement on your part. Sympathy runs thin very fast and in the end yo u'll hate yourself for making people feel that way. Although when you're really frustrated  sympathy might make you  feel better, it will make you feel worse in the long run
  5.   Your parents are human- Yeah hard to believe sometimes with all the crap they go through to make your lifre easier, they still sometimes don;t get it. There will be times where you'll think they're horrible, but the really are always looking out for you.
  6.  Sabrina can be understanding and angry at you at the same time Trust me if your climb a 100ft mountain, she'll say you can climb 200 feet. If you upset her, she'll call you out on it. You'll always be her older brother but she'll always feel responsible for you. Speaking of siblings, some day she might make you an uncle.; It will be the coolest thing in the world
  7.  Some people just don't get it There will always be people who will treat you like a second class person, they're jerks. They don't have the capacity of caring anid so you shouldn't be bogged down thinking about them
  8. Stay away from  people who say they know what  you 're going through Pardon the langauge but that's pu re BS this is kind of an extention of #7 but I feel that people who say this are just trying to make you feel better. When this is the case just tell them you just need someone to- talk to
  9.  Never allow someone to label you If you are secure about who you are, nobody sho uld be able to  take that away from you.
  10. You' are your own best advocate Again this is one I haven't quit mastered myself, much to the dismay of my parents. You need to become vocal on your own behalf and vocal doesn't always mean speech.  You need to develop  your ways of communicating  NOW, you'll need them later

Please visit the World CP Day website for more information

9/03/2014

Another day in Cape May!

The hive hanging on the branch.

It has been haunting Congress Street for weeks1!Everytime someone walked under it they say a little prayer they wouldn't disturb the occupants. I imagine folks who blocked our driveway should have gotten stung a few times, but no such luck. I also at times wished for a flamethrower but I would like to keep myself on the Cape May  FD's good side! After a few reminders from my mother and people on the street eyeing this insect haven every time they passed, my father called the town, who immediately inform him he wouls need to take care of it himself. He finally broke down and callled a pest control  company yesterday.When the extermination team arrived, a van and a truck, they blocked the sidewalk off with cones and the whole nine yards. The guys shot chemicals at the hive then used saws to cut the branch down, it wa People walking on the other side of the street snappeds pictures with their cell phones so I decide to get in on the action.
The destruction and removal of the evil nest
I couldn't go off the porch so I zoomed in the best I could. It was an after thought to grab my camera and while I was uploading the picture to Facebook I figured I needed to exercise the keyboard a little. It's jus another day in Cape May

8/16/2014

Putting things in perspective

The riots in St Louis about the shooting of a teenager sparked this status update on Facebook. I am not here to  judge nor to  defend actions. However  I posted the status bel=ow and got a huge number of  "likes".

Just a thought.... I have been discriminated against at times in my life, been called names I KNEW were lies, have seen hate in a man's eyes because I was different. YET I have NEVER felt the urge to destory the town I live in. I hated people that occupied the local school, yet NEVER thought about taking their lives. RIOTS destroy where YOU live and are NOT the answer. While I would never preach "give peace a chance" I question the destruction of one's "hometown" as a method of expressing one's dissatisfaction in the environment they occupy........Just a thought
— in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

7/21/2014

Rochester Review

Well who says the shortest distance between to points is no fun? I tell you folks I loved every second of the convention despite the trips there and back.  I boarded Amtrak in Poughkeepsie headed to Rochester with the scanner in one hand and a cold soda in the other (yes I do drink stuff besides Coronas and Yuenglings) Everything was fine except  when we got to Buffalo and had to let a CSX train through. Although I did enjoy listening the the conductors jockey around one track! This  delayed me so I missed the parking meet completely .


The view from our hotel room
Originally when I arrived I was going to have the hotel shuttle pick me up but they were over booked so it was good old Rick Kretschmer  to the rescue, like always. He has been a savior on many occasions and we roomed together again in Rochester. Speaking of rooms, we had t he corner room  on the fifth floor and the view was absolutely amazing.

It was great seeing everyone, including Tom Smith, Tom and Susan Allen, Tom Baur and the rest of the plate collecting barflies at the hotel water. Everyone wanted to know how the trip went and I left no detail omitted. However I always ended the discussion, "....but it was worth it", although the juries out on whether my folks agree. Jeff Minard greeted me with a smile and just say h e was glad I made it. Before I knew it I had a cold Yuengling in my hand and called home to tell my concerned mother  I made it. She knew by the sound of my voice things didn't go quite as we planned, but was pleased to see I connected with Rick.

The first day of trading I found where Marco Tramelli and Dale  Bernecker's tables and  they graciously let me setup  my one box of plates up on one of their tables. We each took turns standing watch and talking. I enjoyed chatting with people as they stopped by and was even more thrilled to find I made a few sales in the process!! Everyone seemed to notice during the convention I took the scooter from our hotel over the sky way, parked it near what I now call "The New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania Compound" and roamed parts of the convention on foot which gave Gary Walker to place not one but TWO business cards/ stickers on the back of the seat!!. Yes Gary I had a very hard time peeling them off!!

More later
Justin Mattes ALPCA#6748

7/14/2014

Rochester Preview


 Below is the post I made to the ALPCA Facebook and Listserv and is a preview of my report on the 60th ALPCA convention!! It's something different that I wannted to try and figured it will settle my nerves a little. This is actually a pretty long post for Facebook standards and will not replace my Rochester Report due out next week

Well I'm sitting here just completing my want list, printing my ticket for the train, making sure Marco brings my trade box, packing the plates I have for the Favorite plate display and the plates I'm donating to the auction,charging the "portable" scooter, programming my radio and trying to settle myself from the nervousness of a 7 hour train ride alone.Thinking about getting off the train in one piece, easing my parents' mind that everything will fall into place, just like it has for the 9 other conventions I have attended. I  look forward to more conversations with folks like Jeff Minard, Tom and Susan Allen, Tim Stentiford among other wonderful friends I have made over the years It has been said a few times on here' but this is ALPCA'S 60TH year. It also happens to be my 20th year in the club and my 10th convention!!! For those who know me, know this journey isn't an easy one for me, but it's worth it!!!! Safe travels to all

Justin Mattes #6748

7/08/2014

Standing your ground is better than boycotting

This is in response to an inc ident at KFC where a three year old and her grandmother were denied service because the little girl's face was disfigured because of a dog bite! Read the article :This 3-Year-Old Was Reportedly Asked To Leave KFC Because Her Face “Scared Diners”

Back  in the sixties in the  South black people orginized "sit-ins" where they would sit in "Whites  Only Sections"  in resturants and demand they be served. Of course this all started with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. It started a chain reaction whites and blacks sat in white sections together and refuse to leave until they were forced, sometimes causing bodily harm. However they stood their ground and brought down a  way of life that scared this country since before it was born! They saw change.
A small part of the moment also involved stars, like Ray Charles, who famously refused to play segergated venues, most fam ously in Georgia.  We all know the story Georgia "banned him for life" then revoked the ban, issued him an formal apology and made "Georgia on My Mind" the state song.  It was a ha pp y ending.
However times have changed a bit. W hile we  as our country are still fighting injustices, and always will by the way,  we should evolve because our country has evolved. There are other avenues, like social media, to point out these injustices.  However there need to be a throw back to th e sixties and stand up for what you believe it

3/30/2014

Plate Trading Atlantic City Style

The ALPCA Garden State Region 1st Annual Spring meet was held at Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

Well despite   a little wet  weather 47 collectors gathered *in the ballroom at the Resorts  Casino and Hotel. Trading was brisk  inside what is an amazing layout rivaling Las Vegas. Chuck Bahnor once again drove in from Indiana to spend some time with us, always great to see him. We also  had the usual suspects like Roy Rich(representing the ALPCA Board), Jim Moini, Walter O., Dale Bernecker to name a few. John Anshant and John Willard drove in from Pennsylvania  with plenty of plates for sale Marco's wife Kristy once again handled to registration desk . Paul Rosenberg "won" the shortest distance award, he owns Atlantic City Taxi and instead of business cards, hands out gambling chips with his phone number on them, too bad they couldn't be redeemed in the casino!!!!The staff at  Resorts did a great job providing coffee and water. They even helped us load and unload plates!For the second time in a row our meet was covered by the media, Ben Preston from BBC Auto  came down from New York City to report on the day's activities and to snap a few pictures.  The date change did have an impact on attendance but we now know for next year and won't have a problem. Last but certainly not least  I want to thank my mom, Mary, who drove me down by herself, definitely an adventure onto itself!!! The first ALPCA Garden State Region Southern meet is now in t he books and we'll see you in Elmwood Park on November 8ht.

Justin Mattes 6748
ALPCA Garden State Region

3/06/2014

Somewhere on Dan Aykroyd's computer-- A tribute to Harold Ramis

Like the rest of the world I mourn the loss of Harold Ramis who passed away yesterday due to numerous health complications that started in 1999. Like everryone else my thoughts and p rayers go out to his family and friends. Being a writer takes a lot of talent, being an actor takes a lot more talent, combine the two you have a man that truly is an artist. Like singers who compose/ their own melodies, actors who write their own scripts have a personal perspective to the film no other actor or actress, no matter how great, can possess. From Caddyshack to Year One  and everything in between, Mr/ R/amis always kept millions of people laughing. The key of his writing was it always tetered on the edge of comedic greatness and comedic madness.  There are many examples of both but I  think we can all agree Ramis lived on that edge throughout his career and that made him truly a rare breed.Like his writing/acting partner, Dan Aykroyd, Ramis's  interviews mainly were straight shooting, nothing too whacky. Mor like a dry sense of humor portrayed in the movies he made
As a writer and someone who has lost numerous friends and mentors over the years, I feel I need to tip my hat to Dan  Aykroyd, who co-created  Ghostbusters with Mr. Ramis. It is the movie worlds worst kept secret Aykroyd and Ramis have been working on a third installment of the paranormal series for  years. Rumors have flown that Bill Murray wasn't happy with the script and the dynamic writing duo were trying to please him. kLast I heard before the great Egon passed, was Bill was slowly coming around. Now it's unknown wether it will ever happen. The script Aykroyd has been revising may never come to the silver screen which is a shame I feel. It makes  you wonder what  kind of gems are hidden? How would the special effects  look?
RIP Harold Ramis



What does Harold Ramis's Death Mean f or 'Ghosterbusters 3'?byJoal Ryan

1/14/2014

Ringing in the New Year with the WCLFD

Alright so this is January 2nd and I did go out New Years Eve but for me it wasn't really 2014 until I went to the Woodcliff Lake FD swearing in ceremony. I had to go this year because my good friend from high school George Lucia was sworn in as Chief, yes folks he's younger than I am. I went to school with his older sister and think I met him when his father starting hanging out at the WCLFD even thoou gh he is a life long member of the Hillsdale, Fire Department. Actually George, Jr was a few years behinds me at Pascack Valley High School, his older sister Kristy was in the class of '97 with Derick and all those folks, so I know the family. Since I hang out at the firehoouse a lot anyway, they figured mthey invite me down. I watched as each of the officers took ttheir turn placing their hands on the Bible and reciting the oath of office. During the ceremony I couldn't help but notice the generationg in the room, especially the chiefs and the assistant chief, both have fathers who have served on various department. Both raised, sons within the department walls. Both men were boys dreaming of the day they would wear a white hlemt. Then I glimsped at their fathers, looking on proudly, seeing the same glimmer in their own eyes they had. I watched as his three young songs gathered around him as his wife held the Bible while he recited the oath of Chief. After the cerem ony was over we ate dinner and traded stories I felt at home. Towards the end of the evening, and a sn owy one at that, I got up and shook Cheif Lucia 's hand. Immediately asked him how he could become Chief. Of course he made a wisecrack and we both laugh. However he knew I was very prou d and knew what his new title meant. Evenn more grey hair!!! As the snow fell heavier outside we all made ou r way home. I said it once, I'll say it again, I was so happy to witness sucha remarkble chapter in the Woodcliff Lake Fire Department's history. It was one of the best ways I cou ld think of to ring in 2014!!