What if Dr. Fauci didnt care?

At an age when people are fighting off cancer, stroke, or Alzheimer’s, what makes a man work at the level of the good doctor? He is a humanist, which means he believes we are in this alone as humans, no god is going to fend off the virus and save us. He has a concern for humans only, that’s what keeps him going after 79 years.
It’s funny to me that at a time when the silver tsunami of older people who want to work but can’t because of age discrimination, are supplanted by really old people who can. Why? Because we are f’d on this, one way or another.
If this whole thing is a master plan by the Illuminati to wipe out much of humanity so they can keep what’s left for themselves, that’s bad. And if it is as headlined, ”The worst pandemic since the last depression after the last pandemic,” that’s really bad.
Why else would such a distinguished gentleman expose himself every day to the media with a mask only a mother could love? I wonder what he might be mumbling to himself under it as the Don tells us everything is good, or great, or sucks, and just might be ok.
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s like looking for birth control in the supermarket. You can get it there, but it’s not why you go. And who do you ask if you have a question? Remember where you are. Are you hungry or horny?
Dr. Fauci is a savior and national treasure who is dealing with a human problem with facts and figures. Its what his education taught him and what he believes. He has advised every President since Reagan for a reason. I am following him on this one. Wear the mask.
Peace, chris

Beach Comber, It’s Not A Drink

Right now has always been my favorite time of the year—a stepping off point from the hangover of winter. We have finally rounded the corner and see 80 degrees in the forecast. It’s the only thing that keeps me here. Living in or around ground zero for an opponent that is likely to return makes you wonder. Not sure I have the guts to keep returning like some aging boxer trying to go twelve rounds to get a check.

 

This year we have the threat of a different beach experience. It seems quagmire might show up with his beach chair and fireworks and restrict, limit or change how we go to the beach. That’s like a no trespassing sign showing up in the bedroom; it won’t make for a long marriage. I think it will work out.

 

Governor Murphy is a prior Golden Slacks guy who has spent some time in NJ’s more exceptional spots. Navesink and Princeton aren’t too shabby. He looks like he could use some sun, so I think this summer he should be a lifeguard complete with his megaphone voice and desire to do the right thing.

 

I just worry about what might happen if he has to remove Chris Christie with his coverup and beach towel from one of our beautiful beaches. Now there is a Democrat and Republican fight I would pay to see.

 

Peace, chris

If it Smells like S#$%, it is S#$%

When I was a kid, we turned on the radio or TV and listened to the news for information to help us make decisions. We didn’t hear opinions. We listened to the reports, and rarely questioned them, made decisions, or not, and moved on.

It was a mere 30 minutes. While you might not like the stories, you didn’t have to determine if they were true or not. Today, we are like detectives trying to solve a case. Seeking the truth and validating it is now our job. That’s what reporters are supposed to do. Trying to figure out the back story and why someone would want to bullshit everyone watching is an “add on” that is super confusing, difficult, and a waste of time.

This free form of misinformation is almost as bad as an uncontrollable virus. Being used about one makes things worse than the virus itself. Constant and continuous competition for eyes and ears for any reason or no reason, combined without facts, is what will kill us.

Peace, chris

Is the Problem Processing the Unemployed?

The unemployment office is overworked?  If so, this is an enigma inside a paradox surrounded by an oxymoron if there ever was one. The claims are piling up so fast they cant be processed.

Decades ago, I was an HR guy at Chase Manhattan; I spent five years moving through the different disciplines of HR before I decided to move my career into something that paid real money.  The lessons I learned there, though, are still among of the most valuable.

The check processing area of the bank was a maze of desks filled with people pushing paper (checks) through the system. There wasn’t much in the way of automation in the early ’80s. I was sent to sub-basement 5 to fire an employee who was putting the unprocessed checks into the garbage because she couldn’t keep up with the work. Her solution was to” throw it out.”

It doesn’t take much to make valuable, worthless in times of stress. We had that in the early ’80s, and have it now in the form of recession. For some, there comes the point where caring about what you do doesn’t make the list.

But my friends at the unemployment office arent throwing the work out but are slowing down processing because of errors and omissions. That’s on the filer. I don’t think its a stretch that people are so worked up over this virus that they cant fill out a simple claim form correctly.

If you take your time and check it twice, you will increase the chances of getting your check.

Peace, chris

On the List of Liszt’s

My mom was always very proud that our family lineage traces back to Franz Liszt. He was a German composer and brilliant pianist. I get it, but I am not sure whether that does something for us or did something to us.
And herein lies the problem. Many people don’t know who Lizst is, but let’s assume it’s true. The lineage would have been on my dads’ side so we can begin our journey on Church Street in Sea Bright. My dad, grandmother, and great grandmother were all people well known to me. I never saw one of them play any kind of musical instrument in the house there.
My dad loved music and classical music, for sure. If you asked him about it, he would find a way to tell you about our relationship with Mr. Liszt. I assume this makes us sound more musical.
My guitar teacher Mr. Lepore would disagree about my musical abilities; I quit when I was 12. My sister was very talented and played the piano for over a decade; she stopped because her teachers only taught classical music. My parents were trying to get the Lizst out of her, but like me, she gave up. Being a Liszt made us about as musical as being named Christian made me more religious. No dice.
I think I know the connection to music but believe it may not be to the prodigy, Liszt, at all. You see, my dads’ real name was Franz, not Frank, which is how everyone knew him. Mr. Liszts’ first name was Franz, and my grandfathers’ name was Franz as well, so I think we got it. We also have a son named Franz, called Frank, and son Christian.
However, the one who was really named after someone in music in the Farber family is Dylan.
Go figure.
Peace, chris

Boat Ramps and Beer Can Island

At the end of Avenue of Two Rivers and a short distance out in the water is what we called Beer Can Island. I remember it well. We would hang out there having fun or doing stupid stuff. If the tide was low enough, you could walk to it from the boat ramp with a small swim across the channel.

 

The ramp became my fathers’ favorite place in his later years. He went almost every day until there was no one to go there with or to visit. My mom resented the ramp, probably because she knew my dad was saying something she wouldn’t approve of. So she stayed home—the Farber form of social distancing.

 

It is essential to have a place to go to. To be with others, get away from some or just be. A place to see, not be seen. The crew at the ramp faced East towards Sea Bright like the peninsula town was some kind of biblical place. A short two miles got you there. Somehow it seemed closer because of the history of the crew at the ramp and farther away because there was no going back for these guys – in any form.

 

I genuinely believe in life’s milestones; they represent the passing of time but, more importantly, mark a point in time, right now, before it fades in another’s future. And that, I believe, is what a small ramp adorned by an island once strewn with beer cans and driftwood can be.

 

Peace, chris

As the Crow Flys

About 1.8 miles SW, as the crow flys, behind the twin lights, lies the house I grew up in, says Google Maps. The Highlands bluff rises about 300 feet, and some say it is the highest point on the East coast

 

On it sits the Twin Lights. Miles out to sea is Ambrose. Over the new Highlands Bridge is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse which is the country’s oldest working lighthouse, built in 1763. Two miles isn’t far but there is no easy way to get to the lights from the part of Rumson where I lived. A good runner could cover the distance in about 12 minutes if it was a straight shot. I remember taking a bus there as a student at Forrestdale – a class trip.

 

The point is just how close we are, or can be to such a rich history. We take it for granted, I know I have. I live in Western Tinton Falls near Colts Neck, Woody’s, and where the Fort used to be. Not so very far away.

 

I took a drive to the Twin Lights the other day. I went up and visited the lights. The view is still as amazing as when the Lenape Indians looked off the bluff and when the Hartshorne family bought a large tract of land in the area. The white metal fence, peeling paint, is still there behind the lights to keep people corraled on the hill.

 

I couldn’t see the lights from home as a kid, they were on the other side of the bluff and low enough on it for my window to provide a view. But on the northeast side, or the NYC side, the lights could be seen for miles out to sea. A welcome sight for mariners when they needed one.

 

Highlands is very much its own place. It became a borough in 1900, annexing from Middletown. The Twin Lights are in what my parents called upper Highlands, the lower is just 13ft above sea level. They get water, a lot. Lower includes the restaurants, Bahrs Landing, and the old Doris & Eds, where my dad did the AC and refrigeration for decades. Jim Phillips was the proprietor who passed not long ago. If he called our house everything stopped. A customer, he had customers who expected the finest dining in the area. Dad went off to work.

 

It’s amazing to me just how different so many of us can be and yet are still so close. That makes me think of NYC where billionaires and the homeless cross paths all the time. In Monmouth County, the same can be true but probably not on a daily or minute by minute basis. It’s funny how that plays out.

 

 

Peace, chris

I know some of you read this and don’t live around here anymore so I took a pic with my phone to share.

 

 

 

 

 

On Every Street

On Every Street

My street had the usual cast of characters growing up. They included: Billy, John, Pete, Steve, Paul, Beeb, and the brothers and sisters that made their homes a family. And that was just our immediate neighbors. It seems our parents were doing more than working back in the 50s. 

Most of our time was spent outside, barefoot, in the street. Our yards were dirt with grass spots from overuse as a driveway for a car or machine. As the years passed, we would still be there, but as teens playing curb ball, throwing anything that would fly or just bullshitting about some a girl we thought was pretty. Then we would move down the street about 100 feet and start over again in the new location. We did and said the same things over again, but it felt fresh. 

We would make our way to the woods (now two houses) and head into our fort where we looked at Playboy magazines we had slipped out of our homes, while we coughed on cigarettes. It wouldn’t be long before beer and weed made their way into the fort. And it wasn’t long after that, and the fort was gone. Someone had bought the property and put a house on it. Today there are two.

The blue-collar side streets of Rumson had begun a transition that continues at an accelerated pace to this day. Now white-collar people spend a million bucks to live in that neighborhood, the blue-collar folks sorted out as the pay gap widens, and the” have nots” have less of the smaller pie. 

WW2 ended yesterday 75 years ago. The people on Blackpoint Road and the North end Avenue of Two Rivers were the sons and daughters of those men and women of my parents’ generation. We are their sons and daughters and are now old enough to look back and tell a story or two. Have fun.

Peace, chris

The Sandlot On Blackpoint Road

In our neighborhood we had homes that were built in the fifties, any deviation from the original design was thought to be an upgrade. A few owners decided to give the street the finger and build their own version of a house. They were carpenters and masons who would do just about anything to make their house look and be different. That was my house, with one striking difference. We did it within the confines of being a cape and the work was done by an HVAC guy. Being different was good, or so we thought, in the Farber house. I am still, not so sure.
I always thought it was enough to be so close to the firehouse that your hair stood up at 12 o’clock each day when the siren went off. It told the mean streets of Rumson what time it was. It also blew when there was a fire so the volunteers could save us. Hearing the siren always formed the same response. You looked up. As if you could see where the sound was coming from no matter where you were. Next, you waited. After the initial blow was over we listened for a second one. If it went off again you knew it was a fire. One blow meant it was only the time signal. After the one blow, we said, ”twelve o’clock” like we were the only people on earth who had 12 o’clock and a siren to tell us. It was as much a special part of my neighborhood as having an 07760 zip or an 842 prefix on your phone number.
About 3/4 of a mile down the street was the First Aid Station. It had its own siren that scared the shit out of us when it went off. It didn’t tell time but only went off when there was an emergency. Usually a car accident with injuries. This one sounded like the bird in Bedrock on the Flinstones but was really, really loud.
Loud sires and emergency vehicles had to be near the men who would use them to help others, that’s why they were never in the wealthy parts of town. Heaven forbid there was a firehouse on Sailors Way or Club Way. Who would hear the siren? Who would put out the fire? Who would come? Checks in the mail don’t make any noise!
Peace, chris

My Favorite Jetty

I had one, and it was on the south end of the old Anchorage Beach Club, which is now the Al Ferguson Surfing Beach. It was a big jetty which supported the beach at Sea Bright Beach Club heading south. I knew most every rock as I spent countless hours there watching the waves or just the sunshine off the water. It also provided a view of New York City on a clear day.

These jetties are still there under tons of sand that the gov pumped in to expand the beaches. Someone thought using mother nature for our leisure was a good thing. Unfortunately, we changed the ocean’s contour, which ruined an excellent surf spot when the waves got big. While this wasn’t very often, it made for some memorable days in the water. The manufactured beaches are why we have a shore break problem in the area. Unfortunately, some have paid the ultimate price so the rest of us have enough room for our oversized asses. We all but ignore the fact that the jetties themselves were an attempt to capture the oceans’ course and swimming sand to make a beach.

The jetty could be a magical place. You could be lost in vision and thought at the same time as you sat on the right flat rock, avoiding a chunk of gravel cement or a pole hole from a fisherman. The stories, images, and experiences in these places are lost like sand passing through an hourglass  – think mortality and the freemasons, not The Days of our Lives.

Time does fly, but if we can’t see or use them, I take some comfort knowing the rocks are still there and peak through to say hello after a big storm. I have a lifetime of memories of hours alone on them. That’s good enough, I guess.

Best, chris