Showing posts from 2009


The aging of Baby Boomers has led some of us to a more poignant appreciation of how fleeting indeed is our time to strut upon this stage. Personally, the approach of the Great Beyond has made me more cognizant of an exponential growth in hair coloring products. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot more reality TV shows about ghosts. Just as alien spaceships promised an earlier generation that there would be survival of consciousness after our species' extinction in nuclear winter, watching the pseudo-scientific search for "the undead" helps me cling to the belief that somehow, someway, my hair will survive and remain suitably dark. There are 20 different non-fiction ghost shows now airing. Not specials – but regularly scheduled programs. 20. Don’t force me to name them. OK, I need a thousand words for this article, so I will: Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Hunters Academy, Destination: Truth, Paranormal State, Extreme Paranormal, Psychic Kids: Children o

Yard Sales and Lost Patrols

Remembering A Lost Patrol (May 2009) (Another in a series of observations about life in West Midwood as it is lived today…or maybe not) What Linda Howell describes as the “almost annual” West Midwood Yard Sale took place on Sunday, April 26th, and what a sale it was. Record warmth bathed the neighborhood as bargain-hunters swarmed our streets from mid-morning to late afternoon to scoop up remnants from all our attics, garages and closets. Kudos to Marilyn Cuff, Robert Seidel, Loreli Coutts and others for organizing this event that helped to revive West Midwood’s sagging economy. Virginia and I did some desultory wandering through the crowds but opted to hit the beach at Rockaway for most of the afternoon since our junk was so hideous, it would have scared off buyers from continuing down the block. We did manage to participate in a way by lending our tables to Henry and Anthony Finkel, which brought back memories of many yard sales of yore wherein Henry and our son James wo

West Midwood OnLine: An Historical Perspective

As I write these words, in mid-February, it’s been six weeks since the West Midwood e-mail discussion group got underway. In this day and age, that’s practically two careers and a few bail-outs already, so I thought I’d take a nostalgic look back at some of the highlights, lowlights and trends we have observed so far. First, 97 e-mail addresses participate, a fair sampling, but nowhere near the number of residences here. If you don’t have access, read the President’s Message in this issue or just send an e-mail to or asking to join. So far, 17 of the 97 subscribers have posted messages and many more have commented on those posts. The posting that garnered the most replies was the one that somebody started on New Year’s Day about re-naming West Midwood as Argyle Heights. 40 outraged citizens responded and search parties were launched but thanks to an alert neighbor’s tip, the author was able to slip away into the night again. “Patronizin

West Paterson Un-Westernizes!

Today, January 1, 2009, West Paterson, New Jersey, officially became Woodland Park. From the AP Wire: "City fathers in the Passaic County town ... expect the move will increase property values by removing the association with Paterson, its gritty industrial neighbor. The name change follows a narrowly passed November referendum in which voters approved the change by 25 votes. Officials said residents don't need to change their addresses for bills. The borough plans to implement the name change gradually, to spread out the cost of paying for new signs. Workers have placed new logos on municipal vehicles." The key phrase in the story is obvious: "[T]he move will increase property values." The mayor, Pat Lepore, was quoted as saying after the election: ""Let’s remember that West Paterson is a great town. Woodland Park will be the same great town West Paterson was. We'll just be a lot richer is all." West Midwood could just as easily bec