Vichy Water – Author's Blog Just another WordPress weblog

March 11, 2012

Adventures in Baby Sitting and Facebook: Dutch Reformed Church in Colts Neck, NJ. Predictability; The Movie ‘Prom’ (My Son’s Generation?). “I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning.” (Apocalypse Stuff: An Asteroid in 2040) Living to 150: Stop With Soda? Steve Jobs: Daniel Kottke (Human Nature?). Asbury Park, NJ (Live Asbury Park Launch) March 11, 2012

Asbury Park

Asbury Park

asbury park boardwalk

I do love Asbury Park (New Jersey). As a kid growing up in Newark, my parents saved and scrimped all year to make it to the Jersey shore for August, renting a small bungalow in a Belmar backyard on Seventh Avenue. On weekends, if I behaved all week and babysat for my sisters, my reward was the quintessential boardwalk and Palace Amusements of Asbury Park. My sister Hildy called it Raspberry Park.







Asbury Park

with mario casella and eric greene from slim chance and the gamblers at wonderbar in asbury park


Asbury Park

Asbury Park pinball


I’ve been saying since I stumbled into journalism in July, and spending a great deal time in Asbury Park, there is magical dust from a hovering Springsteen cirrus (fair weather) cloud that keeps descending, and inspiring musicians and artists; almost remindful of the dust (snow) that watched over Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Ray Bolger’s Scarecrow as they approached Emerald City.

A few weeks ago, I covered the launch of ‘Live Asbury Park,’ at the ‘Press Room’ (missing Springsteen live there by two nights); an exciting new non-profit live entertainment company. Carlos Armesto, Artistic Director, will bring the spirit of Asbury Park into all avenues of the arts; “to move audiences, open minds and give the artistic experience of a lifetime.”






Asbury Park

at launch for Live Asbury Park at 'Press Room'


Asbury Park

Asbury Park boardwalk lonely surfboards


Adventures in Baby Sitting in the blog title: streams of consciousness relating to adventures on Facebook and social media networking; like meeting people in real life, babysitting for T.S. Garp or his mother Jenny Fields. Last week I was hanging out in Facebook at, NJ Discover’s Wall. Earlier that day, I had a NJ Discover TV breakfast meeting at a pancake establishment. On the way back, I drove up a rural country road in Colts Neck, Monmouth County, New Jersey, passed this magnificent old church. I made an illegal turn and stopped to read a sign: “Dutch Reformed Church completed and erected in 1856.”






Asbury Park

Asbury Park Convention Hall


Asbury Park

Asbury Park lanes at night. my shadow on the bottom.,



With camera always by my side, I snapped a few and posted the pix on the wall of NJ Discover to which a Facebook Florida stranger asked me on behalf of NJ Discover, if there was a cemetery in the back and if so, it could very well be where her mother and grandparents are buried. I didn’t know about a cemetery but something (a favorite word) made me respond, by offering if I ever return (which was doubtful) to investigate and try to find her mother’s grave stone.







Asbury Park

Dutch Reformed Church 1856


Asbury Park

Singer Danny White in Belmar Studio

On Thursday, I was down the Jersey shore, a few towns over from my beloved Asbury Park, in Belmar, hanging out with fast rising singer Danny White (‘A Beautiful Crazy’ cd newly released). After huge amounts of caffeine sweetened with a dark brown liquid confection, I headed to my favorite jetty in the world, including all gin joints, and meditated by the mighty Shark River (a few blocks long?). A fierce seventy degree warm wind blew virginal sand in my face as my feet rested on jetty boulders. I did see a ship heading to Kilimanjaro and the bridge over a troubled Shark River water lift to let a boat pass under.







Asbury Park

At Belmar St. Patrick's Day Parade


Asbury Park

my jetty in belmar at shark river

Something then directed me to that country road and that church, reasonably far out of the way. I drove to the rear and there was this old cemetery as the stranger on Facebook described. A spiritual quality was there even in the way the trees bent in the wind.  I snapped pictures but forgot the stranger’s name; when I saw that certain headstone, I knew it was her mother’s. A special good deed accomplished, I was about to make a get-away; somehow taking pictures in a reverent silent place bothered me. A man of rural authority approached. “I’m from NJ Discover TV,” I quickly stated and told the story of the woman Facebook stranger. Tom(the caretaker) asked if I’d like to learn cemetery history.


The marker of Ryers Crumal, the last Indian chief from the Sand Hill Nation, part of the historic Lenni Lenape Tribe, was inches away from my shoe, frozen in soft soil, afraid to move closer. Then Tom pointed to the far end of the cemetery where no graves were, yet one lone grave stood. James Miller, an African-American,(the only one buried there) without family or friends had died in 1901 and the church provided. “Would you like to meet Reverend Scott Brown now?”   Meeting Reverend Brown was pure magic too. Later I sent the picture of her mother’s grave to the Facebook stranger( no more)who wrote a beautiful emotional thank you message.




Asbury Park



Asbury Park

Ryers Crummal

A few weeks ago I flicked the cable box at 11 PM and landed at the beginning of a movie, ‘Prom,’ made in 2011 for the generation or two after my 26 year old son. I thought saffron light and muffled sound from a somewhat (stretching) reasonably crafted movie on TV, might supply the thrust into my REM stage of sleep but instead I watched (in a fetal position) a remarkably predictable movie to within 120 seconds of the ending. Long haired rebellious boy gets pretty girl at prom. The morning after, I sought reasons for my viewing behavior; reasons are rationalizations; as a writer and reporter I need to be in tune and be able to reach culturally and substantively younger and younger generations. However I shall never write nor will I attempt to write a children’s book nor will I seek the nomination of my party for President of the United States. Lyndon Johnson said the same thing about running for office.

This Sunday morning I saw a travel commercial for historic and beautiful Turkey; people snorkeling in azure blue water then being served a tropical drink. It was really inviting. Then starkly and harshly, I conjured up images of the movie (I am an old movie guy. Give me ‘Casablanca’ and  liberty) ‘Midnight Express,’ from 1978, about an American, Billy Hayes, imprisoned in Turkey for smuggling hashish; perhaps one of the most vivid movies I’ve ever seen and can’t seem to lose the imagery over these decades; the resilient power of movies.




Asbury Park

James Miller 1901

Movies. Great lines. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” Robert Duvall in ‘Apocalypse Now.’  Streams of consciousness made me think. Just throw it all on a wall. So there’s a massive asteroid that could hit Earth in 2040. I see things; people running around in togas and being fed grapes from the fingers of nubile virgins or male instructors from work-out places where endless bikes are spinning and creating a gentle breeze with self- generated electricity. An ever changing sign across the street has gas at $19.99/gallon. Scientists are keeping a close eye on a big asteroid that may pose an impact threat to Earth in a few decades. The space rock, which is called 2011 AG5, is about 460 feet (140 meters) wide. It may come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers are calling for a discussion about how to deflect it.  Talk about the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held earlier this month in Vienna. Ah ha. There’s (plug time) an interesting relevant novel ‘Vichy Water’ available on Kindle. Of course I wrote it and the name of this blog. The near-Earth asteroid 2011 AG5 currently has an impact probability of 1 in 625 for Feb. 5, 2040. And Rutgers will be playing Michigan in basketball that day. I’ll be sitting in the handicapped section but I don’t know why.









Asbury Park

Asbury Park

from movie SLEEPER Woody Allen 1973

Someday over the rainbow in that wonderful place called OZ, a company that makes a consumable, ingestible will come along and say their product actually does no good for the internal areas of a human being and will voluntarily withdraw their golden fleece (fleecing?) from the market. Perhaps I will be in a wheel chair in 2040 when cigarette companies cease and desist. Of course there’s Woody Allen’s movie, ‘Sleeper,’ which makes me laugh. Imagine waking up 500 years in the future, being unfrozen by a team of physicians only to realize they’re all smoking cigarettes and being told that it was finally proven it’s good for you.






Asbury Park

caramel coloring in soda


Now take soda. With a father-in-law once in the soda business, I brushed my teeth with an endless cheap supply of it. The moment diet soda arrived; I joined and voraciously consumed even more. A notion to get into the soda manufacturing business passed after I measured the wrong amount of sugar so that a pitchfork was able to stand erect in the syrup vat. The other day Coke and Pepsi announced a reformulation of the caramel coloring additive or else use a cancer warning label. Someone authoritative said you’d have to consume 1000 cans per day to worry about cancer. Five years ago, I came to my senses and stopped all soda and switched to seltzer. By the way, folks who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death, according to a new study by the University of Miami Miller School Of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center.  I want 150 years, still playing tennis and no more wire hangers or soda. Did I read about a Georgia state trooper using soda to wash blood stains off a highway? Good old phosphoric acid they use as a preservative. Maybe someday soda companies can package soda as a household cleaner or solvent. I’ll pose for free as a new modern senior citizen Mr. Clean with copious amounts of brown hair.



Steve Jobs has always been a hero. Then he passed and I’m reading his biography. Not such a hero anymore. Apple is now worth $500 billion; wealthier than many countries. Sitting on the dock of my jetty the other day in Belmar, after reading how Steve Jobs completely ignored his friend Daniel Kottke, his soul mate in college, in India, and in a rental house they shared, and then Jobs absolutely cut Kottke out of any chance to make a few dollars on an Apple IPO; I was dazed and confused for a brief jetty sitting moment. Gosh, Kottke was even with Jobs when they started Apple in a garage. Jobs did give his parents $750,000 dollars; how nice. But the jetty illuminated me. Some folks get it and some don’t and never will. To be charitable and take care of those close to you is a gift. Some folks never understand it’s a gift to gift to others. I see a scene from ‘Beetlejuice,’ with folks sitting and waiting for disposition.







Asbury Park


Asbury Park

An Asbury Park gin joint looks like the bar in the movie 'The Shining'? Maybe.

Perhaps a similar scene somewhere over Dorothy’s rainbow; people waiting in a going coming around spinning white room with white shag carpeting; if you drop an old faded penny, it disappears. Some of our species have qualities of charity and warmth to go through life with and some don’t.  ‘Beetlejuice’ with a shrunken head scared me; another lasting visual like ‘Midnight Express.’ Some of these words are close to home and pound occasionally on left side of my cardiac chamber, causing severe compression and fake heart attack symptoms. Ah, but I’ll be in Asbury Park all throughout the week, exploring, meeting and stuffing as much of the ocean air into my lungs as I can manage. I won’t think about Jobs (Steve), or asteroids, cigarettes or soda. I’ll enjoy the moments the Jersey shore life afford, think about Dorothy and the fact there is no place like home while my Jobs Ipod plays, “Let it Be.”










Asbury Park


Asbury Park




Asbury Park

HooplaHa Videos and Article LINKS to Check Out. Very Interesting!!!!

Judy Feinstein: Female Pilot:


Ida Gonzalez: A Mother’s Journey to Light:

Common Sense Approach to Common Sense:



Linda Chorney’s’ Emotional Jukebox’ Album: Asbury Park

Also a very worthwhile cause to read up on:

Butterfly Circle of Friends.



Facebook:  Cal Schwartz

Twitter:  Earthood



book trailer. hey its 65 seconds long





If on Facebook check out this NJ Discover site:Asbury Park



LINKS TO VIDEOS.  Please Watch.

1.   ZOMBIE WALK   October 22, 2011




Nov 11, 2011



Nov 19, 2011

Randall Haywood and Victor Jones Interview from Chico’s House of Jazz Asbury Park

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