The column that says it’s dinner for four at Las Palmas for the person who took down, tore down, ripped down those colorful, ghetto-like posters on the empty storefront windows on North Laurel Street in Bridgeton, unless it’s only because the out-of-town event is over because that’s not the reason we were looking for.
By Jack Hummel
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Here’s a perfect setting for you:
The Sunday Night Concert Series is about to begin on the Bridgeton Riverfront and across the Cohansey on a bench in front of the RiverWalk Senior Apartments a family — right down to the smiling maybe 10-year-old grandchild looking on — is gathered around grandmom, who lives there but can’t get out much for maybe what is the weekly visit, and the humidity is perfect, and yet, some asshole list-maker somewhere takes crime stats and fingers Bridgeton as the worst place to live.
But we will continue to stir and pot and bully the right people until not only until Bridgeton reaches its full potential, but also until perceptions of the downtown change.
Drive down there on a lazy Sunday afternoon, go through the 1,100-acre park where there is no drug activity going on, no needles found on the ground the next day and sit at a picnic table at Sunset Lake and take in a Sunset, or just sit in your car.
Yes, we waved off the hooker trolling a downtown street whose face told us there is no other way for her to make a living — God help her.
North Laurel Street looks better now than it has in 25 years, and we saw stepladders in an empty store, and that can only mean one thing — somebody is moving in.
Will we get to see the old S.R. Riley’s restaurant across from the old News reopen before we die? They have been fixing it up since Gladys Lugardo-Hemple came to town.
Or was that the burned-out half-double on Parker Street in an area that has been allowed to fester too long by too many, because it’s not getting any better.
Perhaps you can ask Pastor Russell Alston about that when Minor Adjustments’ Michael Mickey Williams welcomes you to hear him at 40 Bank Street — New Covenants Grace — Tuesday at 7 p.m.
It’s Pastor Alston’s restored, refurbished, redone, rehabbed, 200-year-old church that he has worked on from scratch since God gave it to him, and the siding makes it stand out like The Manger.
It’s right across the street from the Bridgeton Board of Education, where doctors of education look for education’s holy grail while Pastor Alston trucks dope addicts to detox free of charge 24/7, if only they ask.
Steven Paul, oh great Bridgeton Main Street guru, can you find out how much it would cost to rewire the marquee for the old Laurel Street Theater to make it look like the sign at Complete Care on Broad Street?
More than the one in front of the so-called “Welcome Center” in the old train station next to the Rite-Aid drive-thru.
No, we want CompleteCare’s bright letters just as big, with the accent on red rather than dark history. And how much would it cost to do the same thing to the Ashley-McCormick sign at 40-44 E. Commerce St., where United Advocacy Group is in the Hope Loft on the third floor — 46 steps above see level?
We ask you this, Flavia Alaya, not as a bully but because we love you, is the old Nail House Museum from the long-gone Cumberland Nail & Iron Works as important to upgrading Bridgeton right now as thinking bigger and, for example, getting rid of the graffiti-covered gas station on Washington Street not that far — one hold of the nose from the pink elephant in one direction and the $70,000 entrance sign donated by Century Savings, who for that donation alone, will be loved by us forever, although Carol Musso might be in that mix.
Flavia, there are people out there willing to invest, but they want to see a plan. Please don’t make Melissa Helmbrecht — The Answer to those who know her — tote the water bucket by herself.
We don’t know your age, but we know ours, and one historic building at a time isn’t going to get it. Don’t lament the death of the Bertini building as the once grand entrance to the town.
There were many grand entrances to the town, as there is with every town. Except today, it’s fast-food, chain eateries, and someday there will be a statue to the full-size apple, pecan, chicken salad now flying out the window at Wendy’s for $6.46.
Think partnerships to go bigger with one push, instead of diamonds in the rough.
Planner Cindy Williams, in painting a verbal picture on advertising Bridgeton City Park, said “… where indians used to roam …” and we can’t find a spot for the Lenni-Lenape tribe among 1,100 acres of woods?
Their storefront downtown is an affront to their legacy.
You can’t get a more colorful partner is selling the sizzle.
You want Bridgeton legacy when all else was leading to riots?
Jim Turner wired the Bridgeton Midget Football refreshment stand after going completely blind. Frank Gibe swung his hammer on every recreation building in time to get fatal cancer.
And somebody burned it down.
Jerry Alden brought Ted Williams, Pete Rose, Steve Carlton the year he won 27 games, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio to town, made the Bridgeton Invitational Tournament mentioned in several best-seller books.
And he was fired.
Thomas Jefferson died broke.
A partnership brought us the Babe Ruth Nationals. The big dance. Not the sectionals or the regionals. The world series. The organization turned down a chance to hold it here every year.
Bridgeton PLAYED in the world series.
Sam Feinstein is still holding on to momentos from that experience
By the way, you may have to get in line, but you owe it to your organization to welcome The Prez as a speaker.
We’re talking about Cumberland County College president Yves (pronounced Eve) Salomon-Fernandez. We don’t exactly where CCC ranks right now, but we know this. If we can keep her here for 10 years, you will see 100 percent improvement.
Don’t put through any phone calls from any other institutions.
“Check out the work @ the COHANSEY COUNTRY CLUB.
“Where’s Sam Feinstein, when you need him?”
Reva, it’s the COHANZICK Country Club. Not named for the river.
By the way, they name sections of highway, parks and buildings after people. Why not rivers?
It’s Sunset Lake, not Cohansey Lake, right? And isn’t East Lake a droll name?
We suggested earlier changing the name of Bridgeton City Park if we can’t overcome the stigma. It’s why they don’t name prisons after the city they’re in.
The park cannot be duplicated! That’s how rare it is. That’s what makes it a diamond to be built on in this age of asphalt jungles. Do you know what kind of link-up we could do with game-changing neighborhood groups in Philadelphia?
Tip: Eddie Williams, BHS athletic legend and owner of Elite Personal Fitness in Priolo Plaza, says fizzy drinks slow down digestion, making losing weight slower.
Down 82 pounds and planning to be the healthiest man ever in an urn. They won’t even need to turn the oven on high.
He was on Internet radio with his son, Eddie Jr., tonight.
When you mention trashing a cemetery, you don’t have to mention a religion or anything else. And we’ll tell you why.
There was a brutal beating at a lake in the area, and the guy who was brutally assaulted was later to be found the thoughtless culprit in a cemetery crime.
“Great job yesterday by my men and women at Cedarville Fire with our crab dinner. They worked hard for 2 days prepping and then all day yesterday for the dinner.
“Lots of dedication and it makes me to be proud to be their chief! Thank you to all that attended and were well-behaved! If ya liked it, tell a friend; if you had a problem tell us!
“So far, we had some very good revues. I will say this, though. I think the firehouse was filled with some heavy hitter crab eaters! We went thru some bushels of crabs yesterday!
“Cold crabs sold out early! Next crab dinner is the big dinner in September. Last year, we served 99 bushels of crabs and 35 of them were the cold crabs. Looking to make 45 bushels of cold this year!
“See ya there!”
— Brian Scarlato
YOU CAN BOOK IT: When in September?