Corn maze at Amish Market; WWI exhibit coming to Bridgeton Library; $500,000 for a library elevator?; Carolscatz in PETCO; Another death — this one in Gouldtown; Post away when Bryan dies


The column that says we’re on the Amish Market in Hopewell after reuniting with Jonas King, the man who does everything he can to help Bridgeton when it comes to parades and festivals, and we want to give his two mules credit, and did we tell you one of the critters got lost in the corn maze and couldn’t find his way out?

By Jack Hummel

Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.


Phone: 856-237-6645

U.S. Army: RA13815980

Google all columns at jackhummelblog

Good evening!

Great show on 92.1 FM today with Courtenay Reece, Steve Paul and Prodigal Son David Price.

What Courtenay was not able to tell you due to phone calls is that she’s preparing a World War I exhibit at Bridgeton Library.

We know this is impossible, but we’d like to see so many movers and shakers at a monthly Bridgeton Library meeting that President Debbi Boykin-Greenberg would have to stand at a lectern in the basement to conduct the meeting.

To listen and come up with suggestions after hearing the library’s status.

Three years ago, when we went to the meetings, they needed $75,000 for an elevator.

Now, it’s $500,000.

We have a suggestion for the Bridgeton Fire Dept. next door. Supply two stand-by firefighters at each event in the basement to carry wheelchair-bound attendees down the back steps and up again at the end.

Charge your going rate of, say, $32 an hour each. Most events would last two hours unless Jim Bergmann gets the mic.

That’s $128.

If there are 25 events a year, that’s $3,200 a year. Divide $3,200 into $500,000 and you’ll see how many years the firefighters could do this before equaling the cost of the elevator.

If the elevator doesn’t serve caviar, it’s not worth it.

The Amish Market in Hopewell parked 1,100 cars during Hopewell Community Day.

How does that happen?

Karen, Megan and Candi were there.

Why can’t Bridgeton do that?

Answers, please!

“Breaking news!

“Carolscatz will be hosting cats and kittens over 3 months old in the local PETCO starting Saturday, Oct. 15.

“We have just became a partner for pets and joined the PETCO family.”


A little history.

Aug. 14, 2014

It all started when Carol Hickman had a cat when she was young.

One day, her father decided he didn’t want Tinker around anymore and she lost her cat.

“I poured out my heart and soul to that cat,” said the owner of Carolscatz in Laurel Lake.

She always wanted another cat.

But it got worse before it got better.

“My father and mother both died and there were 14 of us,” she explained. “I was No. 7. My older sister took all the children younger than me.”

Carol was placed in foster care.

“It was totally 100 percent better,” she said. “I had the most wonderful foster family.”

She was the only foster child at the time, but over the years, they took in over 70 foster children

And Tom and Martha Eller always referred to her as his daughter.

“My husband was always his son-in-law,” she smiled. “But they didn’t care for cats, either.”

That all changed when her and Gary married.

“As a child, Gary was my next door neighbor in Delmont,” she explained. “He always kidded me about my weight. I weighed 350 pounds then, and I chased him around unmercifully.”

She came back to the area to visit her grandmother when she was 16 and 122 pounds and went to the ball diamond where they always played.

Gary took one look at her and they were never separated again.

Gary was also a cat hater.

Fast forward 41 years and there are 65 cats on the Hickman property.

“Seven or eight years ago, we would open the door and seven or eight skinny cats would be hanging around,” she recalled. “There would be litter after litter of kittens two times a year.”

Carol would socialize the kittens and animal control officer Ron Sutton would take them.

“And he made sure they were adopted,” said Carol. “I know him that well. They gave me their word and that’s good enough for me.”

That took care of at least two dozen.

Five years ago, her daughter was fishing in Cedarville and somebody threw three kittens out of a car window.

“She brought them home and they were so sick,” said Carol. “Despite giving police the tag number of the car, nothing was ever done about the tosser.”

One of them, R.J., wasn’t supposed to make it.

But Carol nursed him day and night and, today, R.J. Is the huge black cat that is the welcoming committee at 241 Daffodil Lane, Laurel Lake

“He brings me all the sick kittens,” said Carol of the black cat the size of a medium-size dog.

She has socialized most of the 65 cats on her property.

She proved it by opening the door on the big pen out back of an immaculately-kept yard with not a weed in it, and each cat walked out.

They are all named.

They have all their shots.

They eat out of a trough fashioned from a gutter spout.

“There are about 35 or 40 not confined,” she estimated on the 100-foot by 80-foot property, “between here and my neighbors. They all stay within this block.”

Her daughter lives across the street.

The other neighbors are no problem.

“The cats hide well,” she explained of her cat colony.

The newer, feral cats won’t let her touch them, but they know when it’s time to eat

“But I’m working on it,” she said.

It costs about $75 a week to feed all the cats.

Carol has an autistic granddaughter that you wouldn’t think would get along with any cats, let alone feral.

“She tends to be rough with animals,” said Carol. “Grab at them. But the feral cats love her, and I’ve taught her how to hold them.”

Feral cats can be socialized, and Carol is the proof.

With all this menagerie, she has two she calls “my personal cats.”

They can’t be let out.

One ran up and hid in the dashboard of her car for four hours when she was trying to bring it home.

“When I finally gave up waiting and went inside, I came back out and Gizmo was sitting on my seat,” she laughed.

But that is not the real story.

Carolscatz is.

Carol Hickman wants desperately to cut into the 20,000 homeless cats living in Commercial Township, part of the estimated 300,000 in Cumberland County.

“People don’t want to pay to have their cat altered,” she said.

Any cat surgery that is performed through Animal Friends Foundation at the surgical facility in Cape May Court House will be free.

Make appointments by calling 856-503-5572.

Surgeries are performed every Thursday.

So Hickman travels once or twice a month to the clinic in Cape May County with a load of cats.

“You trap the animal and I will pick it up and transports it to the clinic,” she said. “I try to get more than one. And I try to get people to make the trip.

Commercial Township will vote this month on an animal welfare board and support for TNVR

She’s applying for 501c(3) status, which could lead to grants.

Hickman says the saddest situation is when a domesticated cat that can no longer can be afforded is dropped off at a remote spot.

“That cat will sit there in that spot for three for four days,” said Hickman, “because it believes the owner is coming back for it.”



“I’m from a city where close friends and/or family being killed isn’t enough.

“They want to tell you how to grieve, post, support, or show love to your lost one as well. And criticize you if you’re not grieving within their standard of grieving like they’re certified counselors or something.

“Like it’s not a problem when you post pics with your friends while they’re alive, but when they’re gone, you’re doing it for attention!

“Meanwhile, I’m just over here wishing I did have a picture to post of me and Curt ‘big body’ King, Poppa, Fats, Rocks, and Fif, and more pics of Buck. Smh.

“Man, listen, when it’s my time to go, POST POST POST AWAY! Flood Your Timeline!

“If the amount of attention, likes, and comments you get from you and I pic offend others, then bless their souls and delete them as friends! Love my hood and my actions show it, but we can be some miserable, judgmental folks sometimes.”

— Bryan Real,

Takes A Village documentary

Too much grieving!

Another death — this time in Gouldtown.


Corn maze at Amish Market; WWI exhibit coming to Bridgeton Library; $500,000 for a library elevator?; Carolscatz in PETCO; Another death — this one in Gouldtown; Post away when Bryan dies

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