A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where the Dollar Store Stands

I went to Matawan Public Library on Sunday to do some local history research. While I was there, I picked up some books and CDs. Remember that the library is open on Sundays, btw. It was crowded this weekend -- I counted nearly 30 cars in the lot off Broad Street on Sunday afternoon!

I read through parts of the library's reference copy of Matawan, 1686 - 1936. Did you know that there was a big church on Main Street at Ravine Drive, the place where the Dollar Store (former Kings Drugs) currently stands? Or that there was an old schoolhouse at the corner of Routes 79 and 516 at Mount Pleasant? That book's got a nearly 75 year old perspective on the history of our local schools, churches, and so much more. And photographs.

I picked up The Literary Heritage of New Jersey, by Laurence B Holland, et al (1964) to read a bit more about the famous local writer, Philip Freneau. The book has a long chapter about him.

The library has two great books on picking a place to live in retirement: Where to Retire: America's Best and Most Affordable Places, by John Howells (5th ed, 2003) and Retirement Places Rated: Plan the Retirement You Deserve, by David Savageau (7th ed, 2007). Only one of the books suggests a place in NJ worth living in on the far side of employment: Lower Cape May, but it came in 180 out of 200. While it was rated highly for its ambiance, the more important services and cost of living were in the bottom 15% of all places. Seems about right. Actually, they don't recommend living anywhere near Central NJ. Go hundreds of miles away, my son. The closest spots in the Top 30 in one book were Charlottesville, Asheville, and Charleston. The other book likewise focused on Virginia and the two Carolinas.

The music collection is upstairs along the rail. I picked some jazz, some Broadway, and some opera:
  • The Great Jazz Soloists: Finest Performances, including performers like Charlie Parker and Stan Getz and songs like Misty, Laura, and an exciting rendition of Cherokee.
  • Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical comes with a booklet with the words.
  • Kathleen Battle: Bel Canto, accompanied by the London Philharmonic conducted by Bruno Campanella
The wife is on an ancient history kick of late. Early Greeks. Early Romans. Persians. Spartans. I've set the Tivo to record 300. She missed that one -- I happened to see it with friends. I'm not sure she's prepared for the story of the Spartans told like a rock video.


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