Monday, May 25, 2009

Muscovy Ducks Enter the Lagoon


Muscovy Ducks Enter the Lagoon from South Lakeshore Drive, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Obama Honors Black Civil War Vets

Here's a link to my article on black civil war veteran Noah Cherry in Cape May, N.J.

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer – 5 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama marked his first Memorial Day as president on Monday, saluting the men and women of America's fighting forces, both living and dead, as "the best of America."

The president spoke after participating in a solemn holiday tradition, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, the burial ground for American veterans dating to the Revolutionary War.

In brief remarks after laying the wreath and observing a moment of silence, Obama said he wondered why the country's fallen warriors felt a sense of duty and answered the call to serve, knowing they might have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
"Why in an age when so many have acted only in pursuit of narrowest self-interest have the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of this generation volunteered all that they have on behalf of others," he said. "Why have they been willing to bear the heaviest burden?"

"Whatever it is, they felt some tug. They answered a call. They said 'I'll go.' That is why they are the best of America," Obama said. "That is what separates them from those who have not served in uniform, their extraordinary willingness to risk their lives for people they never met."

The president also sought to dodge a racial controversy on the holiday, sending wreaths to a monument for Confederate soldiers and a memorial honoring more than 200,000 blacks who fought for the Union during the Civil War.

The nation's first black president continued tradition and had wreaths delivered to the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, the 600-acre site across the Potomac River in Virginia that once was Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's estate. The White House also sent a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington's historically black U Street neighborhood.

Presidents traditionally visit Arlington to personally leave a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a marble structure with the remains of unidentified U.S. military members who died during war. Presidents then have aides deliver wreaths to other memorials or monuments, generally including the Confederate memorial.
A group of about 60 professors last week sent a petition to the White House asking Obama to avoid a memorial for Confederate military members who died during the war between the North and the South.

The White House ignored the plea. Wreaths also were left at the mast of the USS Maine and at the Spanish American War Memorial, a White House aide said.

"The Arlington Confederate Monument is a denial of the wrong committed against African-Americans by slave owners, Confederates and neo-Confederates, through the monument's denial of slavery as the cause of secession and its holding up of Confederates as heroes," the petition said. "This implies that the humanity of Africans and African-Americans is of no significance."

Among those who signed the letter is 1960s radical William Ayers, a University of Chicago education professor who helped found the radical group the Weather Underground that carried out bombings at the Pentagon and the Capitol. Republicans tried to link Obama with Ayers during the presidential campaign; the two lived in the same neighborhood and served on a charity board together.

The African American Civil War Memorial had been discussed as a compromise in recent days.

"President Obama, why not send two wreaths?" Kirk Savage, an art history professor at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. "One to the Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery and another to the African American Civil War Memorial in the District, which commemorates the 200,000 black soldiers who fought for liberation from slavery in the Union armed forces."
Men and women in uniform saluted the president's motorcade as it made its way into the hallowed burial ground that is Arlington. As Obama stepped to the microphone, some in the audience waved American flags.
Before the ceremony, the president had a private breakfast at the White House with people who have lost loved ones in war.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, have made veterans and military families a priority during his administration. His budget proposal includes the largest, single-year funding increase in the last three decades to revamp the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

McGuire AFB BOMARC Broken Arrow Missile Site

The Bomarc was the only surface-to-air missile ever deployed by the U.S. Air Force. All other U.S. land-based SAMs were and are under the control of the U.S. Army.

In 1946, Boeing started to study surface-to-air guided missiles under the USAAF project MX-606. By 1950, Boeing had launched more than 100 test rockets in various configurations, all under the designator XSAM-A-1 GAPA (Ground-to-Air Pilotless Aircraft). Because these tests were very promising, Boeing received a USAF contract in 1949 to develop a pilotless interceptor (a term then used by the USAF for air-defense guided missiles) under project MX-1599. The MX-1599 missile was to be a ramjet-powered, nuclear-armed long-range surface-to-air missile to defend the continental USA from high-flying bombers. The Michigan Aerospace Research Center (MARC) was added to the project soon afterwards, and this gave the new missile its name Bomarc (for Boeing and MARC). In 1951, the USAF decided to emphasize its point of view that missiles were nothing else than pilotless aircraft by assigning aircraft designators to its missile projects, and anti-aircraft missiles received F-for-Fighter designations. The Bomarc became the F-99.

Test flights of XF-99 test vehicles began in September 1952 and continued through early 1955. The XF-99 tested only the liquid-fueled booster rocket, which would accelerate the missile to ramjet ignition speed. In February 1955, tests of the XF-99A propulsion test vehicles began. These included live ramjets, but still had no guidance system or warhead. The designation YF-99A had been reserved for the operational test vehicles. In August 1955, the USAF discontinued the use of aircraft-like type designators for missiles, and the XF-99A and YF-99A became XIM-99A and YIM-99A, respectively. Originally the USAF had allocated the designation IM-69, but this was changed (possibly at Boeing's request to keep number 99) to IM-99 in October 1955. In October 1957, the first YIM-99A production-representative prototype flew with full guidance, and succeeded to pass the target within destructive range. In late 1957, Boeing received the production contract for the IM-99A Bomarc A interceptor missile, and in September 1959, the first IM-99A squadron became operational.

The operational IM-99A missiles were based horizontally in semi-hardened shelters ("coffins"). After the launch order, the shelter's roof would slide open, and the missile raised to the vertical. After the missile was supplied with fuel for the booster rocket, it would be launched by the Aerojet General LR59-AJ-13 booster. After supersonic speed was reached, the Marquardt RJ43-MA-3 ramjets would ignite and propel the missile to its cruise speed and altitude of Mach 2.8 at 20000 m (65000 ft). The Bomarc was guided to the target by ground commands from SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment), whose long-range radars tracked the enemy aircraft and the interceptor aircraft and missiles. When the Bomarc was within 16 km (10 miles) of the target, its own Westinghouse AN/DPN-34 radar guided the missile to the interception point. The maximum range of the IM-99A was 400 km (250 miles), and it was fitted with either a conventional high-explosive or a 10 kT W-40 nuclear fission warhead.

The liquid-fuel booster of the Bomarc A was no optimal solution. It took 2 minutes to fuel before launch, which can be long time in high-speed intercepts, and its hypergolic fuels were very dangerous to handle, leading to several severe accidents. As soon as high-thrust solid-fuel rockets became a reality in the mid-1950s, the USAF began to develop a new solid-fueled Bomarc variant, the IM-99B Bomarc B. It used a Thiokol XM51 booster, and also had improved Marquardt RJ43-MA-7 ramjets. The first IM-99B was launched in May 1959, but problems with the new propulsion system delayed the first fully successful flight until July 1960, when a supersonic KD2U-1/MQM-15A Regulus II drone was intercepted. Because the new booster took up less space in the missile, more ramjet fuel could be carried, increasing the range to 710 km (440 miles). The terminal homing system was also improved, using the world's first pulse doppler search radar, the Westinghouse AN/DPN-53. All Bomarc Bs were equipped with the W-40 nuclear warhead. In June 1961, the first IM-99B squadron became operational, and Bomarc B quickly replaced most Bomarc A missiles. The IM-99B was also used by Canada, after this country had cancelled its advanced CF-105 Arrow manned interceptor.

In June 1963, the IM-99A and IM-99B missiles were redesignated as CIM-10A and CIM-10B, respectively. The Bomarc A was retired soon afterwards, the last CIM-10A being phased out in December 1964. Withdrawal of the CIM-10B also began in the mid-1960s, and by 1969 most missile sites had been deactivated. Finally, in April 1972, the last Bomarc B in USAF service was retired. The Bomarc, designed to intercept relatively slow manned bombers, had become a useless asset in the era of the intercontinental ballistic missile.

The remaining Bomarc missiles were used by all armed services as high-speed target drones for tests of other air-defense missiles. The Bomarc A and Bomarc B targets were designated as CQM-10A and CQM-10B, respectively. When production had ceased in 1965, about 700 Bomarc missiles of all versions had been built by Boeing.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for CIM-10A/B:

Length 14.2 m (46 ft 9 in) 13.7 m (45 ft 1 in)
Wingspan 5.54 m (18 ft 2 in)
Diameter 0.89 m (35 in)
Weight 7020 kg (15500 lb) 7250 kg (16000 lb)
Speed Mach 2.8 Mach 3
Ceiling 20000 m (65000 ft) 30000 m (100000 ft)
Range 400 km (250 miles) 710 km (440 miles)
Propulsion Boost: Aerojet General LR59-AJ-13 liquid-fuel rocket; 156 kN (35000 lb)
Sustain: 2x Marquardt RJ43-MA-3 ramjet; 51 kN (11500 lb) each Boost: Thiokol M51 solid-fuel rocket; 222 kN (50000 lb)
Sustain: 2x Marquardt RJ43-MA-7 ramjet; 53 kN (12000 lb) each
Warhead W-40 nuclear fission (7-10 kT); CIM-10A had option for conventional HE

McGuire AFB BOMARC Missile Site, New Egypt, NJ
40.02 North / 74.41 West (Southwest of New York, NY)

A June 1960 aerial view looking north at the McGuire BOMARC missile site,
in its original configuration with 56 individual BOMARC A missile launch buildings.

The purpose of this military base was to shoot down incoming aircraft.
It is included here due to its significance in Cold War history,
and its remarkable state of preservation.

This site was one of a network of 8 BOMARC sites spread around the nation.
The others were located at Dow AFB, ME, Suffolk AFB, NY, Otis AFB, MA, Langley AFB, VA, Niagara Falls, NY, Kinchloe AFB, MI (Raco AAF), and Duluth IAP, MN.

Although designated the "McGuire AFB BOMARC site", the installation is well to the east of the Air Force Base. It actually sits just off the end of the primary runway of the Lakehurst Naval Air Test Facility, just east of NJ Route 539.

The McGuire installation was the Air Force's first operational BOMARC missile installation. Construction began in January 1958 and took nearly 2 years to complete.
The Philadelphia District of the Corps of Engineers supervised construction of the 56 Model II shelters (each of which housed a single IM-99A BOMARC missile on a launcher) & ancillary buildings.

The site was declared operationally ready on September 1, 1959, manned by the 46th Air Defense Missile Squadron. However, according to the Air Defense Command historian, this operational readiness declaration severely strained the concept of the term. As late as December, the facility hosted only 1 ready missile.

The earliest photo that has been located of the McGuire BOMARC site was a June 1960 aerial view. It depicted the McGuire BOMARC missile site in its original configuration with 56 individual BOMARC A missile launch buildings along the north side of the installation.

The BOMARC missile was huge: each one stood 45 feet tall & weighed 16,000 pounds.
More than 40 years after its deployment, it still holds the record for the longest range of any surface-to-air missile ever developed: 440 miles.
It also had a maximum speed of nearly Mach 4.

The McGuire BOMARC site was made infamous as the site of a radioactive material spill.

The incident happened on July 7, 1960, according to the book “U.S. Nuclear Weapons: A Secret History”, by Chuck Hansen.

A nuclear-armed BOMARC missile in ready storage condition (permitting launch in 2 minutes) in missile Shelter 204 was destroyed by explosion & fire after a high pressure helium tank exploded & ruptured the missile's fuel tanks.

The warhead was also destroyed by the fire although the high explosive did not detonate.

Plutonium fragments from the warhead were spread over an area surrounding the launcher.

The firefighting efforts around the missile building resulted in contamination being washed into the soil & a nearby stream.

All identifiable fragments of the warhead were recovered, but the surrounding soil in the site has remained in a low level radioactive state for over 40 years.

An undated photo of the remains of McGuire BOMARC missile Shelter 204,
showing the damage caused by the July 7, 1960 missile explosion.

By October 1962, McGuire's 1st generation BOMARC IM-99A missiles were superseded by the 2nd generation BOMARC IM-99B variant. Rather than reconfigure the original Model II shelters to accept the new missile, the Air Force directed that Model IV shelters be constructed on adjacent property to the north of the original launchers.
The New York District of the Corps of Engineers supervised the construction of these new launcher shelters.

A 1963 aerial view shows the addition of 28 individual BOMARC B missile launch buildings on the north side of the BOMARC A launchers.

The McGuire BOMARC site measures approximately 2,500' long by 1,800' wide.

With the reductions in US air defense forces, the McGuire BOMARC site was deactivated in 1972, along with all other BOMARC sites.

Andy Baumeister recalled, “We used to play in the abandoned BOMARC missile site.”
Of the site of the missile accident, he said “That area was covered in concrete & had another fence. We stayed away from that. The rest of the place was fully intact minus the missiles.”

The McGuire AFB BOMARC missile site, as depicted on the 1989 USGS topo map.

A 2001 photo by Thomas Page of the entrance to the former missile annex.
The entrance to the launcher area is seen at the end of the road in the distance.

A 2001 photo by Thomas Page of the abandoned BOMARC A missile launch shelters.

A 2001 photo by Thomas Page of the fenced-off area within the missile-launcher area.
This additional fence with rolls of razor wire inside strongly suggests
that this is the area where the accidental fire occurred.
The next-to-last shelter on the right might have been the one that experienced the fire, as part of the shelter’s roof appears to be missing.

Out of all the BOMARC sites, the McGuire site is probably the one that remains in the best condition. Most likely due to remaining low level radioactive contamination,
the entire site has simply been fenced off & abandoned as-is, with little attempt made to dismantle & reuse any of the buildings or equipment. As can be seen in the pictures, even the missile launch-erectors remain in the launcher buildings.

According to NJ resident Jim, as of 2002 the Air Force was finally decontaminating the site. They have built roads through NAES Lakehurst & have extended a rail line onto the BOMARC site. The contaminated soil is to be shipped by rail to a repository somewhere in the western US.

A 2002 photo (courtesy of Ed Drury) of Col. James Pugh, the Vice Commander of McGuire's 305th Air Mobility Wing, in front of the former BOMARC missile shelters.

In 2002, the Air Force finally began a program to clean up the radioactive contamination of the BOMARC site. A private contractor was hired to remove a total of 12,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil. The project involved paving a 2.5 mile former tank trail which ran onto the Lakehurst NAS property, to make it suitable for trucks carrying away the soil, and rebuilding a railroad spur on the Lakehurst property.

As seen in a circa 2001-2005 USGS aerial photo, all 84 individual BOMARC missile launch buildings still existed.

A 2005 aerial photo by Tom Kramer, looking east at the McGuire BOMARC site.
Tom observed, “A new fence has been erected completely around the facility
as a company has been contracted to clean up the site. You can see the light patch of ground where a few of the [launcher sheds] have been removed along with the earth.”

The McGuire BOMARC site is located along Route 539 (also known as the Hornerstown-Whiting Road).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plutonium Remedial Actions on BOMARC Site

Update on Plutonium Remedial Actions on BOMARC Missile Site, McGuire AFB, N.J.
Restoration Advisory Board Meeting - May 20, 2009

The military calls an unintended nuclear accident a "broken arrow" event, which is what happened when an explosion ignited a fire that led to the melt-down of a nuclear tipped missile, releasing nuclear chemicals into the environment in my community.

As we approach the 40th anniversary of this Broken-Arrow event at the McGuire BOMARC Missile Site, it appears that the military would like to rap this whole thing up and sign off on a release that the land is no longer contaminated by the plutonium, uranium and depleated uranium that has polluted the area since it happened - 7 June, 1960, thirty-nine years ago.

The May 20, 2009 meeting at the Cookstown Senior Citizens Center was one of a series of meetings between the military and local community leaders meant to explain the status of the clean up operations.

Originally deployed to counter Soviet bombers, construction began in 1958 and the remote, rural site at the far end of the sprawing base became operational in 1960.

The idea was to explode a nuclear missile warhead in the air, taking out the incoming Soviet bombers before they got to their targets.

They really never figured out exactly what it was that sparked the fire, but chaulk it off to a helium tank explosion, which ignited the fuel of the liquid rocket propellant and melted the nuclear warhead.

Today the base has a specially trained unit that responds to nuclear or chemical attacks or accidents, but in 1960 the first responders were the members of the local volunteer fire squad, who put out the fire with high pressure water, just like they were trained.

Except that exasperated the problem, spreading the nuclear dust beyond ground zero, into the drainage ditch, into the sewer, into the water table, who knows where it went?

As the military report puts it: "Fire suppression-related water caused migration of weapons-grade plutonium, weapons-grade uranium, and depleated uranium."

For those who know something about chemestry and physics, they tell you, "Estimated 300 g plutonium not recovered (-22 Ci, a-emitters).

They explained that the amount of uranium we are talking about would just about fill a shot glass, and the particles are heavy and don't dissolve in water.

It's such a small amount that the radiation would not harm you, what is dangerous is the inhailation of it. The best way to clean it up, they discovered, was with a broom, or in the case of a single particle, with sandpaper and a brush.

This wasn't known back in 1960, so they followed standard operational procedures and poured concrete and asphalt covers over the contaminated area, and sealed it with paint.

Then they went back to work, ready to fight Soviet bombers that, thankfully, never came, until 1972, when that was no longer considered a threat, the mission ceased, and the site closed. From 1972 until 1989 they kept up periodic monitoring to ensure the limit and security of the contamination.

A Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) ran from 1989 to 1991, recommending the contaminated materials be removed if a disposal site was available and cost effective, but nothing was done for over a decade, until 2000.

Why did it take so long? Well, the answer is they couldn't find an acceptable disposal site for the contaminated soil and debree until they got the people in the desert down in Youka Flats where they exploded experimental nukes, to take it. A drop in the bucket in the desert waste, but then there was the problem of getting it there.

Local municipalities balked at having convoys of trucks loaded with contaminated nuclear waste passing through their communities, so they firgured out a path to truck the waste to a rail bed on the base, near Lakehurst Naval Air Station, but in the years before the Mega-Base, the Navy balked and said it wasn't their problem.

Then in 2002 the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Environment and Safety said, "This is a DoD problem, the Navy will help the Air Force solve this problem."

So they built and extension of a rail line to the where the trucks unloaded them and train hauled the 21,998 yards of contaminated top soil and rubble to a new home in the glowing desert.

After the most contaminated material was removed, they took surveys looking for radiation hot spots and soil samples almost ever few feet, finding bits and pieces of contamination, usually one micro-element at a time, with one particular hot spot being just outside the only bathroom they used.

Besides being flushed by the water used to douse the fire, and burning up in plumes of smoke, they found that the contaminents were spread primarily by truck tires and worker's boots as they moved around the area, leaving hot footprints behind them. Or as their latest report puts it, "Contamination identified outside primary (water) transport route...associateed with vehicle and foot traffic."

In the course of the remediation (2002-2004), they discovered the Drainage Ditch was a primary contaminated area, and the flood of contaminated water bled into the ditch and through a large sewage pipe that ran under the highway (Rt. #557), a two lane blacktop mainly used by locals, hunters and campers. Also contaminated was a stream that ran through a state forest park across the highway.

"The contaminant is not distributed uniformally over the site, but occurs in discrete 'hot spots' which in several instances have been found to be a single particle."

That's when Dr. Steven Rademacher, AFSC/SEWN, who gave the power point presentation during the meeting, said that "We found the best way to clean up the contimanation was with a broom, sandpaper and a paintbrush."

And one hot particle at a time, they put the uranium and plutonium back into the shot glass, which is still either half empty or half full.

And now, they turn on the geiger counters and no beeps, and the area is clean. By the end of the summer they hope to have a final report and sign off on the cleanup mission, certifying the area is clean and can once again be inhabited and used.

What will become of the old, nuke missile base, that sits like a ghost town off the side of a back country road?

The military has no further use for it, they said, but nor are their any plans for residential development, ala Love Canal, or to open a day care center.

And just when you thought the military had everything under control, and answered every question, an older man at the end of the table, sitting next to Col. Gina Grosso, Commander, 87 ABW/CC, Dr. William Walker of Wrightstown, asked about the pipes.

"What happened to the pipes?" he asked, and Dr. Rademacher looked at Mr. King Mak, Restoration Project Manager, who shrugged, and said, simply, "We don't know."

It was then explained that sometime between 1961 and 2000, when they began the remediation, the sewage pipe that ran from the drainage ditch under the highway, was removed and replaced, probably by the Ocean County Department of Public Works, but there is no record of when they removed it and what became of it.

And in the end, they still don't know what sparked the original explosion forty years ago, or if the ground water is contaminated, if the contimination has effected the local enviroment, or caused the white deer herd that lives in the area, and nor do they know what happened to the contimanted sewage pipe, hauled off somewhere in Ocean County, N.J.

Welcome to my neighborhood.


Link to McGuire Internet Site with Official Reports from 1970s to today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graham Hill at Monaco GP 1970


Graham Hill before the chichane at Monti Carlo, Monaco Grand Prix, 1970.
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Martio Andretti at Long Beach GP

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Plutonium Remedial Action at BOMARC Site

Plutonium Remedial Action at BOMARC Missile Accident Site

Restoration Advisory Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
at New Hanover Township Municiple Complex
Cookstown, N.J.

Public Invited to Attend

The RAB meeting provides an update on McGuire AFB environmental projects.

Discussion topics will include:

Project update on Plutonium Remedial Action at BOMARC Missile Accident Site;

Project status update regarding the Remedial Investigation of the Fuel Hydrant Area Operable Unit;

And project updates on the draft Remedial Investigation Reports for the Civil Engineering and Triangle Area Operable Units.

For more information, please contact the 87th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office at
(609) 754-2104

[As published in the Burlington County Times local section, B2, Sunday, May 10, 2009]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gillespies at Legion


Gillespie Family at American Legion in Pemberton for Eddie's booksigning.
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Back row from left - John Gillespie, Eddie, Joann, Tracy and Jack Gillespie at the Pemberton American Legion where Eddie signed copies of his book.

Jack, who passed away about a year later, was a World War II combat veteran and Legion member.

Eddie and Jack Gillespie


Eddie and Jack Gillespie
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Eddie Gillespie, former head of the Republican National Committee and special counsel to the President, and his father, Jack Gillespie. Jack was born in Donegal, Ireland, and came to the USA as a child. After living and working in Philadelphia, Jack moved to Browns Mills where he owned J.C.'s Market and J.C.'s Pub.

J.C. stood for Jack and Connie, his wife, who was a member of the board of education. Both were outstanding members of the community and members of St. Ann's in the Pines church.

In his book Winning Right (Threshold, NY 2006, p 257, 210), Ed writes:

...Wanting to strengthen our borders and enforce existing laws does not make one "anti-immigrant."

People who come legally to this country with nothing but the clothes on their back and work in the most menial ways to get a new start should feel at home in our party. As a rule, they are hard-working, freedom-loving, and patriotic Americans.

This is not something I learned from a book. It's something I learned from my father, who came on a boat to this country from Donegal, Ireland, in 1933 as a nine-year old with nothing but the clothes on his back.

He was processed through Ellis Island. He worked as a janitor. Nazi bullets ripped through both his legs in the course of his earning the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, and a Silver Star for his adopted country. He started his own business, and made his children the first generation of Gillespies ever to attend college.

I am proud to be the son of an immigrant. Like many first-generation Americans, I think it has made me treasure the benefits of U.S. citizenship even more.

I began by quoting Justice Thomas and President Reagan on the topic, but another distinguished scholar may capture my sentiments even better.

I'm referring, of course, to Bill Murray as Private John Winger in Stripes, when he movingly noted:

"We're all very different people. We're not Watusi, we're not Spartans. We're Americans.

"And you know what that means? That means our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world!

"We are the wretched refuse.

"We're the underdog.

"We're mutts!"

[Hey! Did Obama get that from Eddie?]

In Ireland, there's a Gaelic word for people who are great storytellers and have an ability to sense what's coming in the future - Seanchai (pronounced "Shan-a-key"). My father is a Seanchai. Before the Iraq War, he shared with me his reservations. "I hope to God (Bush)doesn't do it, son. If we go in there, we'll be in there a long, long time." Before the nineties stock bubble burst, he told me that stocks were selling for more than they were worth, despite what Wall Street was saying at the time.

Family lore has it that he correctly predicted the sex of all twelve of his grandchildren by dangling a pencil from a needle and thread over his expectant daughters' and daughters-in-law's midsections. If the pencil swung back and forth like a pendulum, it would be a boy. If it went around in a circle, it would be a girl.

Jack Gillespie has an uncanny ability to size people up in an instant. His reservations about one of my girlfriends was enough to cause me to look in a different direction for a wife, and his hearty endorsement of Cathy was all it took for me to ask her to marry me (a piece of sage advice he would gloat over forever).

When I was a cocky young, political operative, I often dismissed his insights. After all, he didn't have the benefit of a college education as I did (thanks to him, of course).

Then one day, some time after Carrie was born, it dawned on me that far more often than not he was dead on the money.

So I was disconcerted when after the Roberts nomination had concluded in a successful confirmation, Dad said to me, "I hope you're done with that stuff now, Eddie."

"Well, Dad, the president has asked me to stay on to help with the next one."

"Well I hope like hell you told him no."

"Dad, I don't know how to tell the president of the United States no!"

"Easy. You just say, 'Sorry, Mr. President, I can't do it."

"I can't do that, Dad."

"I'm worried, Son." When my father calls one of us "Son," it always carries a sense of gravity. "This next one's going to be bad."

"Why do you say that?" I asked, incredulously.

"I don't know, but it's gonna be bad."

Given his track record, this gave me a very unsettled feeling.

Gillespie Family at Legion


Gillespie Family at Pemberton Legion
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Eddie Signs Joann's Book


Eddie Signs Joann's Book
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Ed Gillespie in New Jersey Monthly
From New Jersey Monthly, November 2004 - Garden Variety, p.27 Party Animal

NOT LONG AFTER GRADUATING from Pemberton Township High School, Ed Gillespie got his first job on Capitol Hill - parking cars in the Senate lot. This month, as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Gillespie hopes to drive George W. Bush back to the White House.

Gillespie, 43, whose father, Jack, until recently owned a tavern in Browns Mills, stands out from the suited spin doctors on America's political stage as a blue-collar guy. Well known in Washington as a skilled political strategist, he's taken on the campaign role of Bush-administration pit bull.

After high school, Gillespie attended Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (also the alma mater of Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe). Gillespie took the reins of the GOP in July 2003, and in the ensuing sixteen months helped the party set a presidential campaign fund-raising record.

Earlier this year, at a church assembly on the campaign trail, Gillespie tapped into his roots. "Growing up in the southern-New Jersey-Pennsylvania area," he said, "I acquired a strong sense of family, work, neighborhood, and community."

When he completes his tenure as chairman, Gillespie plans to return to his own bipartisan lobbying firm, Quinn-Gillespie & Associates, which he co-founded with Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel to President Bill Clinton.

- Bill Kelly

Original J.C.'s Market


Original J.C.'s Market, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Friday, May 1, 2009

The Waitress at Sunshine Park


In the summer of 1963 Lorna Anton was a teenager working as a waitress at Sunshine Park, the nudist camp on Somers Point – Mays Landing Road along the Great Egg Harbor river, a summer job at the Jersey Shore resort where she lived in a trailer with her family.

Lorna Anton was working with just an apron on when a women who she didn’t know and wouldn’t ever see again asked her if she would pose for a photograph. She obliged, creating a moment in time that Diane Arbus captured on film, a picture that would become one of the now famous photographer’s best known works, and recently featured in an Arbus retrospective show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

When one of the photos was recently auctioned at Sothby’s, it fetched a cool $138,000, and once again called attention to the photo, the waitress Lora Anton, Arbus, her work and Sunshine Park, the nudist camp, said to be the first of its kind in the country, which operated from 1938 until March 1982.

Arbus, born Diane Nemerov in New York City on March 14, 1923, was herself a fourteen year old teenager when she met Allan Arbus, a U.S. Army Signal Corps photographer, who she married and began a New York fashion photographer business. In 1957, tired of fashion, she began to take photographs independently, and started to focus on people who were different instead of beautiful.

Diane Arbus photographed circus freaks, transvestites and patients in insane asylums, creating a unique genre of work, later explaining “Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

In 1963 Arbus made her way to Somers Point and up Mays Landing Road to Sunshine Park campground, which was founded in 1934 by Ilsley Boone, publisher of Sunshine & Health, the official journal of the National Nudist Council.

While it is not yet clear if any other Arbus photos from Sunshine Park exist, she took a few photographs of Lorna Anton in her apron in front of the grill, one of which fetched $16,000 in the 1960s and in April was sold for $138,000, while another one was included in the Arbus retrospective at the Met in May, all of which led Lauren Collins, author of the New York Talk of the Town column to write “Where They Are Now.”

While Arbus received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work in 1963, the year she visited Sunshine Park, and taught photography at Cooper Union School in New York for many years, she committed suicide in July 1971.

At the New Yorker Collins tracked down some of Arbus’ subjects, including “The Child with a Tony Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962, “The Identical Twins from Roselle, New Jersey, 1967” and Lorna Anton, the “Young Waitress at a Nudist Camp, N.J. 1963.”

Now living in Pensacola, Florida with her husband Chris, son Erik, two dogs and two cats, Anton said she lived in a trailer at Sunshine Park with her parents and younger brother from 1961 to 1965, when she attended Oakcrest High school.

In the summer she worked in the dining room of the family nudist resort and recalled that day in July 1963 when, “Arbus came into the dining hall and had a soda. She asked if I had a break coming up, and I said, ‘O.K.’ not thinking anything really, not that I was destined to be a hallmarked as an icon. I was almost thirteen, just at that moment of change, when I was becoming a women, and here was somebody who was actually very interesting and took an interest in me and wanted to have a photograph, and I though well, O.K., that’s cool.”

“I said, ‘Well, how do you want me?’ And she said, ‘Jut put your weight on your right leg and put your other leg forward a bit’ And then she said, ‘Just kind of look over my shoulder,’ which I did. She took maybe one or two shots, and then said thank you and we smiled and she went off.”

Then a waitress, Anton recalled her feeling like, “There were so many things that interested me in life, and so many things that I wanted to do, I really was feeling, I think that I was about to enter on a quest.”

According to Collins, “The ensuing years of Anton’s life have been, like anyone’s, mundane and extraordinary: war protests, marriage, parenthood; pottery, medieval reenactments, health problems…but the Met show has got her thinking about the golden days of Mays Landing.”

“I miss the wonderful environs of the park,” she told Collins. “It ran along the Great Egg Harbor River, a tidal river. The water was the color of root beer, from the cedar trees, and we were always finding arrowheads and axe heads and chips of flint, because the Lenni-Lenape Indians lived along those banks. There was black clay along the banks. We used to goof around and rub our legs in it and say, ‘Oh, I’m having a mud bath!’”

For Arbus, after she died she became the first American photographer honored at the prestigious Venice Biennale. Before she died she said, “Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognize. It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.”