My experience of Memorial Day took a few routes. To Commemorate the sacrifice of veterans such as my father, who was a sailor in World War II, or my brother, a marine in Vietnam, or even, through family history, my Civil War Great-Grandfathers, I watched war movies and thought of them and offered silent thanks. My favorite was Battle of the Bulge, a Cinemascope, technicolor epic on Turner Classic Movie channel. My father and I watched that movie many times together before he died. He loved history also, in particular World War II and the history of all wars of American history, to one degree or another.
He was a wonderful father and a heroic man in many ways. I will miss him every day until I die. I should mention my mother, a loving, generous, kind and civic minded woman who worked at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard while my father served in the navy. After their years of service, my parents both participated in the local chapters of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. My brother, after his service in Vietnam and up till very recently also participated in VFW events and blew his bugle at honor guard burial ceremonies to honor the veterans who had served their country's call.
Today, Sunday, May 29th, I drove out to Shamong and met up with a hiking friend, Barbara Solem, for a walk around Pakim Pond with my dog Trixie. Barbara is the author of three books on the Pine Barrens, 1.The Forks, 2.Ghosttowns and Other Quirky Places in the Pine Barrens, and most recently 3.Batsto Village, Jewel of the Pine Barrens, first printing 2014 by Plexus Publishing. We have been hiking together for a good many years. We met early on after publication of her first book The Forks. It was on a hike led by an S. J. Outdoor Club hiking icon Joe Trujillo, now deceased. There is a man worthy of a blog essay all on his own. Some other time, perhaps. Anyhow, we have been fast friends ever since.
Barb has had a long relationship with Manny's Shamong Diner where many book launches have been hosted as well as author events. Most recently one was held at the May 28th Grand Opening of the Pine Barrens Store, nine authors were present to discuss their books, on sale in the store. The store is at 7A Willow Grove Rd. (on Route 206) Shamong, NJ right behind (or beside, depending on how you look at it) the Shamong Diner. Phone 609-257-1427 hours 7:30 a.m. to 9:pm daily, according to the full page color ad in the Shamong Sun, a local newspaper.
At the store, I bought a copy of SoJourn, A Journal devoted to the history, culture, and geography of South Jersey, a publication of the South Jersey Culture & History Center at Stockton University. Supervising chief editor is Tom Kinsella. It was a fascinating read and I decided to go back some time in the future for more copies to give as Christmas gifts this winter. The next issue will be in the fall of 2016, and submissions will be accepted up to September 1st. To give you an idea of the contents there are essays on Nash's Cabin, the Bicycle Railway of Smithville, Mary Elizabeth Tillotson (an early proponent of rational clothing for women) among others. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it highly to South Jersey history fans. Get it at the store, or contact the SJCHC at Stockton College.
Pakim Pond was cool and beautiful as always and I was happy to see young people and families breaking free from the grip of the seashore migration and enjoying the uncrowded and lovely pine woods instead.
Does anyone remember South Jersey History Magazine? It went out of print about 1985. I used to buy old copies at Murphy's Book Loft, Mullica Hill. Murphy's is sadly also gone now and I can't find my stash of magazines. Anyhow, I am glad someone is taking up the flag and keeping the history flowing into the future!
Remember all those who sacrificed to keep our country free for all of its citizens tomorrow on Memorial Day!
Happy Trails, Jo Ann