Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Smoke Rise Days 2009

For all of you Smoke Rise residents, we have the following news. Here's the schedule, just in from George Cox, Smoke Rise Communications Governor, about the upcoming Smoke Rise Days - 2009.

NOTE: Anyone wanting to share their Minimalist Regatta story, please let me know. I welcome photos and a writeup!

Friday, July 3

10:00 AM Tennis Round Robin -- Hard Courts
10:00 AM Pick-up Softball Game -- Ballfield
11:00 AM Hike - Charlottesburg Reservoir – Meet by 744 Ridge Rd. Cul-de-sac
11:00 AM Arts/Crafts for kids at Beach Beach
1:00 PM Beach Games/Tug-of-War -- Beach
7:00 PM Orchestra Begins -- Beach

DUSK FIREWORKS!! Beach -- Wear your wristband!

Smoke Rise Office: Mon – Fri 9am to 5pm
Smoke Rise INN: June 25 & 26, 7pm to 9pm

(Note: Rain Date for Orchestra & Fireworks will be July 5th, same times, wristbands required also)

Saturday July 4

8:30 AM Prediction Run/Walk Registration -- Beach Parking Lot
9:00 AM Prediction Run/ Walk Begins -- Beach Parking Lot
10:00 AM Champagne Regatta Sailing Club
10:00 AM Pet Show -- Village Green
11:00 AM Pot & Pan Parade/Bike Race -- Village Green
12:00 PM Fire Truck Demo -- Ballfield
12:00 PM Volleyball -- Beach
12:00 PM Minimalist Regatta -- Beach
2:30 PM Horse Shoe Tournament -- Beach
3:00 PM Circus Time Amusements -- Beach
6:00 PM DJ & Bon Fire -- Beach

Sunday, July 5

8:30 AM Fishing Contest -- Beach
9:00 AM Swim For A Cure Begins -- Swim Lanes
9:00 AM Morning Run/Walk Begins -- Beach Parking Lot
10:30 AM Weekly Sailing Sailing Club
10:30 AM Equestrian Exhibit Riding Club -- Show Ring
12:00 PM Sandcastle Building Contest -- Beach
1:00 PM Frog Jumping Contest -- Beach
2:00 PM Fly Fishing Clinic -- Beach
3:00 PM Sandcastle Contest Judging Begins -- Beach
NOTE: 1 to 4 PM St. Hubert’s Chapel Tour Beach—Boat Docks

Happy July 4th Smoke Rise Days!

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Kinnelon" Estate of Francis S. Kinney Part III

I've been remiss in not continuing sooner with Part III of the "Kinnelon" Estate of Francis S. Kinney -- in what is now Smoke Rise in Kinnelon, NJ -- as described in Cornie Hubner's Didja Know? series. So, here 'tis!

The series about Kinney's Estate starts with Didja Know? Francis S. Kinney's "Cottage" Life which includes a reference map and continues with Didja Know? "Kinnelon" Estate of Francis S. Kinney - Part I and Part II. There are 5 parts in total.


The occupation of the 84 room "Cottage" in 1892 marked the beginning of intensive activity that provided work for up to fifty nearby workers. If walking several miles or driving a one horse buggy can be called commuting, the towns of Butler and Bloomingdale, as well as Rockaway Valley furnished the first commuters, abandoning their farms for "cash on the barrel head" wages. Planned fields, gardens and orchards were started and an assortment of pedigree livestock was provided with the bucolic setting for the champions that were raised. The 1891 census provides proof of Mr. Kinney's wisdom in his selection of the stock that fathered the animals that received National and Worldwide recognition.

The barn yard population consisted of:

Registered #40805 - "Lady Vernonelle"
Registered #27283 - "Village Lassie"
Registered #39076 -"Lesson"
[several unregistered cows and heifers]

Registered #19387 - "Pequonoc Chief"
[one no name]

Two sows "Ann" and "Queen"
A full blooded boar "Duke"
Twenty-five piglets

Four teams of work horses
Two matched teams of road horses
"Tippecanoe" and "Tally Ho" ponies
"Bob" and "Star" saddle horses

CHICKENS: 125 young and 48 old

Several prize fox terriers kept in the house were later joined by "coon" dogs as the boys started to hunt. The sheep herd was also started later by the addition of pedigree stock.

The care and rearing of an ever increasing farm population directed by experts required field hands, laborers, hostlers, carpenters, masons and a blacksmith. The vegetable and flower gardens used seasonal help and additional teams and workers were needed to cut and bring in the hay. Gravel roads were maintained and extended to the top of Kitty Ann Mountain and other extremities. Woodsmen began the selective harvesting of trees for telegraph poles and the voracious fireplaces. Several game wardens acted as guards and kept "bow houses" [small hemlocks bent to provide protection for partridge, quail and pheasant] supplied with feed grain.

Several acres of farm land in the area of Pepperidge Tree Lane, known as the "Rye Field," were planted with feed grain to attract the dwindling quail population. A later day note reported "the second season with no sign of quail." At the same time it was noted that the warden delivered six wood cocks to the kitchen. In 1894 a perplexing note referred to a Pigeon Shoot. Mrs. Kinney had 11 of out of 25 while Mr. Kinney got 7 of the 25 and the mystery clears up when it added that Beatrice and Joel "shot the wounded ones that perched in the trees - with their twenty-twos." This was at the time when there were flocks of pigeons [mourning doves] easily trapped and released for the contests as needed. They too disappeared as a subsequent entry "enjoyed trap shooting" indicated - or perhaps the influence of the A.S.P.C.A. may have been felt?

The two youngest children, Warren born in 1888, and Morris in 1890, were never mentioned in the "Log" though they must have required services of the nurse/nannies. The oldest brother, Joel, frequently mentioned, died as a young man and sister Beatrice spent much of her time in France. It must have been her influence that changed the 1891 listing of "J. Rowe Chef at $150" "J. Rowe Grand Chef de Cuisine" at the same $150 in 1894. Local lore has her happily married to a French nobleman and spending little time in Kinnelon.

The family continued summers at Naragansett and the winters in New York for a number of years. The spring and autumn sojourn at the "Cottage" offered the pastoral life marked by continued improvements and interests drawing Mr. Kinney closer to making it his all year residence. A major improvement was the construction of the dam that more than doubled the size of Stickle Pond. While providing the deeper, larger lake we now know, it inundated the road around the pond where the youngsters rose on their ponies and the older members guided their surrey or pony cart. A matched team drawn glistening carriage supplied an aristocratic Victorian flavor for house guests when driven by the formally accoutred coachman for a pre-dinner viewing of the enchanting preserve. [The northern border road of Stickle Pond can still be seen from a plane - about four feet under water as an extension of the Crossway.]

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Night George Foley Bought Smoke Rise Or Memories of an Irishman

This story of The Night George Foley Bought Smoke Rise comes from John J. Connelly, who recently shared the tale of Discovering Kinnelon's St. Hubert's Chapel in 1965. As John writes, "The story just sort of came out this way as I wrote it. Sometimes stories just do that as I'm sure you know. They go where they want to go. But, it's a story, it's true, and it happened in Smoke Rise!"

George Foley was president of the Smoke Rise Co., in the early to mid 1970s. I wasn't able to discover much about him online other than a Time Inc. article about The Midas Mansion from 1/21/1974. From the description of Smoke Rise amenities - 20 miles of bridle paths, trap-and-skeet shooting facilities [and possibly even that elusive campground site I'd love to know more about!] - in the article, these have to be the days before the development of South Glen Road in Kinnelon.

John further explains: "George Foley somehow managed to gain control of the Smoke Rise Company back in the 70s. He was full of bravado and a colorful character at the time. Old timers will CERTAINLY remember him. But, sadly, the 70s were a difficult time for real estate and he and his partners lost a lot of money. But, this is a tale of the night he'd become president and came to Calamity Jane's to celebrate. I swear every word is true. "

Leprechaun originally uploaded by Llewellyn Worldwide.
Memories of an Irishman

The time, I think, was near the fall of 1973. A time when horses and their riders calmly tracked along the twisted trails of Smoke Rise. Trails half-carpeted in golden hues, half-scarred by lines of good earth cracked. A time when change was in the air.

In High School, I had taken a part-time job as a busboy at Calamity Jane’s, as Piccolo’s was then called. There was a recession going on and the name “Calamity” seemed to fit the times in which we were living. But, somehow the recession hadn’t hit the crowd at Calamity Jane’s, and every night was a loud and happy affair. One night more so than others.

While staying busy cleaning tables and trying to remain invisible, I noticed a large crowd had entered the restaurant. Top coats and furs, diamonds and all smiles. Back then the restaurant was just one very large room, not broken into sections like today. So large was the group that they took over the whole room.

The air was abuzz. It was George Foley and his entourage. I asked a fellow nearby who George Foley was. “Why, he just bought Smoke Rise!” was the whispered reply. “How can someone buy Smoke Rise?” I thought to myself. Of course, at the time, I was too young to understand or necessarily care. But, it did strike me as odd that someone could actually buy it. My curiosity was aroused enough to keep eyeing the goings on at his table. “Something big is happening here tonight,” I thought to myself. “Best keep on the watch.”

You see, today we live in a secular age. A time of unquestioned belief in the material world. But, I was a son of immigrants. My father had come from Ireland and my mother from Scotland. We were raised on stories of the Banshee woman and Leprechauns. A visit to my father’s mother meant that, when your tea was finished, she’d divine your future from a few leftover tea flakes at the bottom of the cup. A visit to my mother’s mother usually included her reading the bumps on your head and “Seeing into the Great Beyond.” (To be read in a Scottish brogue)

Now, they may not have been right. After all, my Grandmother “read” that I’d go on to be a golf pro. Nevertheless, all of this filled one with a sense of wonder and an omni-present awareness of angels all around. A belief in the inter-connectedness of each of God’s children. That a conversation could change a life, launch a career or break a bone. A movement of a hand could soothe a child or start a war.

Surely, he was a good man, red faced and lively. A fellow Irishman. The night was his to celebrate and he was doing, I suppose, what he felt he had to do. Flanked by friends and family and business associates Mr. Foley grew wilder and louder and more jovial. The conversations grew bolder and his hands swung wildly. As I watched him, for some reason a line from Dostoyevsky came to my mind: “I’d like to punch that fat fellow right in the neck!”

Perhaps it was because of what my Irish Grandmother once said in her heavy accent, “We’re just humans, Johnny Juggles, (Pronounced Jew-gulls) we’re not gods. Remember that and you’ll do fine. Forget it, and you’ll have to contend with angry angels.” It appeared to me that perhaps Mr. Foley had forgotten.

Or perhaps he reminded me of my uncles on my Dad’s side. These were tough men who had never left the city parts of New Jersey. Whereas my Dad had taken us out of Newark to grow up in Smoke Rise, his brothers and sisters had stayed in the cities. When we’d visit them, we knew we didn’t quite fit in. They wore the heavy gold chains, the unbuttoned shirts and the pinky rings. It seemed like they were always living large and dying young. At their funerals, which were often, rows of stretch limos would pull up and Italian mobsters would pay their respects.

“Are we in the mafia, Dad?” I’d whisper to my father. He’d always assure me we weren’t and that his brothers just had to do what they felt they had to do to survive. “Oh, good!” I’d think.

The Irish wakes that followed were always colorful affairs. Between the beer, the tears and the manly hugs, there’d always be the toasts and the obligatory, “It’s high time the British git out o’ Northern Ireland!” “Here here!” I’d again whisper, “Dad, are we supplying guns to the IRA?” He’d always assure me we weren’t. “Oh, good!”

So, whether it was that Mr. Foley reminded me of them, or just the overweening pride being displayed, there was something increasingly distasteful about that celebration. It began to take on a more desperate air.

Suddenly, Mr. Foley, full of liquor, cried out for music. A person from the bar ran over and whispered in his ear and pointed to me. “You, young fella!” he bellowed. “They say you can play the piano! It’s my night to celebrate! We need music!” He pointed to a recently tuned piano in the corner of the room. “Get on over here and play something. It’s my night and there must be music!”

I imagine Herod had a similar look on his face when he called for Salome to dance, only, I wasn’t Salome. My hands, covered in mustard and bacon grease from clearing tables, could have channeled Sergei Rachmaninoff that night and brought the house down, but something about the hubris being displayed made me dig in my heels. “We’re not gods Johnny Juggles.”

The owner of the Restaurant glared at me and Mr. Foley demanded music, but I politely but firmly declined and exited towards the kitchen, panting. Before I left, I did catch one glimpse of Mr. Foley, though. He was crestfallen. Perhaps he’d been raised on the same Irish lore I had.

You see, if the Irish can read a few flakes in a tea cup, surely he could read that this was not a good omen at all. I can still see his gritting, forced smile and his downcast eyes. His wife tapping his arm in consolation.

The celebration had taken a chilly turn that autumn night. The room was decidedly more subdued for the rest of the evening, and Mr. Foley was, sadly, imploded. I couldn’t help but imagine him as the Babylonian king who’d seen the handwriting on the wall. The writing had told him that he’d been weighed in the balance and found lacking. That’s his kingdom would be divided and he would come to his end. Of course, I was just an Irish lad with an overactive imagination. But, it’s how I felt watching him go increasingly inward as the night went on.

Some days after that, my father dropped me off to work again at Calamity Jane’s. In the span of time it took him to drop me off, get some milk and eggs at Meadtown, and return to enter the East gate, I was hitchhiking home. “What happened, son?” Dad asked as I jumped in the car. “I got fired, Pop” I replied. Dad, always the cheery fellow just said, “Oh….well, what’s next?” I grinned as we drove along the familiar roadway.

I suppose my “Death” could have been predicted. Salome may not have danced, but someone’s head needed to be served on a platter.

Sometime later I was in American Samoa about to board the freighter “Salamasina” when I received a care package from home. I saved it to open on the trip through the South Pacific. Sitting on the deck with 300 Samoans and 600 pigs under the moonlight, I carefully opened the package and set aside a dozen chocolate chip cookies and leafed through a group of letters that had been forwarded by my mother. One of them was from a bright eyed girl from Smoke Rise named Barbara Hopkinson. It was a three page, double sided letter filled with news of Kinnelon.

Reading with interest I came upon a paragraph that stunned me. Mr. Foley, his business interests in ruins, had been discovered face down, dead of an apparent heart attack in a nearby marsh. What he was doing alone standing in a marsh when he had his heart attack was not immediately clear.

I jolted back. I could still see his face. I could still feel the cool autumn breeze and the sounds of the revelry of that night. I could picture the horses and their riders, the busboys and the party goers. In that moment, he and I and Barbara, my Dad and Grandmothers, the IRA, the owner of Calamity Jane’s, the 300 Samoans, the 600 pigs, Rachmaninoff, God, the angels and everyone really, were all again suddenly connected.

As they always had been.

Thank you, John!

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Backing Up Your Computer -- OR -- Do you know what your computer is doing tonight?

Maybe it's, aakk!, dying!

Outside of my computer consulting business, I do local computer assistance for people having one problem or another.

I see people with dead computers or dead drives all of the time.

And beyond that, in the past week, Christine and I have had 3 friends who have had computer disasters which resulted in replacement of their systems.

Did they get their data back?

Most did not.

By far the most frequent and most serious computer problems people have come from NOT BACKING UP their computers.

I see real tragedy when someone loses 5 years of digitally stored family photos, or irreplaceable business documents.

We just do not think of backing up apparently when we get a new computer, and as time passes we don't realize how much personally valuable STUFF we have accumulated on our machines ... until guessed it ... all of those photos and letters ... just go away. Gone, kaput, into the big bit bucket in the sky.

It happens in different ways.

Sometimes we accidentally delete a directory that we thought was for something else, unused or irrelevant, and when we are asked, "Files are too large to send to the Recycle Bin -- Permanently Delete?", we say, "Yes".

Oh, to take back that last "Yes".

Or sometimes we do not realize that time has passed and our new machine which has been working just fine is now a 4 to 5 year old dinosaur, still chugging along, but actually on the verge of DEATH.

And we often just procrastinate backing up -- we mean to do it, really -- it's just that, well ... we don't.

If that hard drive fails, it may still be possible to get that precious stuff out of the disk -- IF you are willing to spend $3500 or so by sending it to a hardware recovery specialist who will then return your data to you on the media of your choice.

Otherwise the (semi) permanent record of your memories is gone, gone, gone.

I also see methods of backing up our computers that fail us or leave us open to painful and time-consuming operating system restores. We have some applications stored on a flash drive, or copied to a CD or DVD. But we forgot all of those photos.

In this case when the system or drive goes, we have to painfully restore the OS and applications to the disk and then our data, and hope that we have it all. What about all of our system settings, passwords, logins, mail account setup info, email addresses, and so on?

That stuff is probably not backed up.

And I see the popular and commercially available backup methods people use fail, too. Or cause other problems.

There is one popular solution from Western Digital, a drive maker I respect and like, which installs so many little programs onto your disk that run in the background checking on what you do and what documents you change so it can all be backed up to an external hard disk, that YOUR MACHINE SLOWS TO A CRAWL under the burden.

Plus, it's so complicated that one person, when attempting to delete what he thought was a useless desktop icon, deleted his entire documents directory!


OK. What should you do?

I will tell you what I think -- it's just my opinion, but it works for me. I myself have done many of the things I'm warning against, but, because I have:


I have usually been back up and running within in an hour of disaster. An hour or less. Yes.

It's not rocket science; you do not have lots of complicated little backup programs running around messing up your system, and you do not choose what to back up.

You back up the WHOLE THING to a pristine image of your boot hard drive, which is on a new bootable hard drive.

And which, when disaster strikes, you just boot from, in place of your original hard drive.

Or you copy your photos and documents from after you accidentally deleted them.

It's a wonderful thing.

It's very simple; the software only runs when you want it to; you are up and running, in case of disaster, right away.

You schedule it to run once a week or whenever you want.

You check the external drive now and again, just to see all of your stuff there.

The cloning software reports after every successful image backup.

You feel good.

So how do we do this?

We need the cloning software, a boot CD with the cloning software on it (in case of catastrophe), and an external hard drive, or internal for that matter, that is as big as(or bigger than) your existing boot drive and with the same interface, SATA, IDE, whatever.

There are a number of software products out there which do this, Symantec's Ghost, Acronis has a product, but my favorite is Future Systems Solutions' Casper 5.0 and Startup Disk.It's easy to use, simple, cheap for what it does, and it works.

At $60 for the software and something less than or a little more than $100 for the drive, you are in business.

Sleep tight. I know I will.

~ Ted

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chicken Soup for a Rainy Day or Any Day

Chicken Soup is Ready originally uploaded by JeffreyWiden.
Real chicken soup, or chicken stock, you know, cooked from the carcass of a chicken.

I love the smell drifting through the house, on one of the darker cooler days, of slowly simmering stock with veggies, building over the 3 hours that it cooks until ... finally, everyone is mad to have something, anything, to eat, that smells like that.

Sounds like work, though. Don't want to work too hard.

I do it the easy way.

First of all I get a cooked chicken. From BJ's.

Stock from a cooked chicken is heartier and more flavorful, better for soup. It's easier to make the stock/soup, too. The chicken just pulls apart in your hands. No contamination worries, either.

BJ's has large Purdue beautifully roasted chickens for 5 bucks. Bigger than those from the supermarket, not dried out and overcooked, and they are cheaper, too. They don't sit around all day, either; those chickens move out of the store pretty quickly, so you get one(s) that are freshly cooked.

I really do get to have (not kill) 2 birds with one stone here -- all of that chicken can be a meal or more than a meal for the family. And I get the soup.

The breast meat can be removed and saved for sandwiches or sliced and served hot with a little white wine/butter/parsley reduction, or whatever, the thighs and legs are good just the way they are, and once you have broken down the bird (they're so tender, everything comes apart in your hands), you have that wonderful carcass.

Pull it apart some more and put the pieces (the bones and rib cage, not the meat) in a soup or pasta pot with 3 quarts of water, 2 cups of cheap sauvignon blanc, 2 bay leaves and some dry or fresh herbs, one chopped onion, a couple of chopped carrots and stalks of celery and simmer half covered for 3 hours on low. At the end of that time the bones will be just falling apart and the aroma in the house will have you salivating.

Pour it all through a big sieve or a colander to strain, and there is your soup base or stock. You will have want to add salt and pepper to taste, of course.

Usually by then some family members are so frantic, they do not want to wait, so soup it is.

We saute' up diced carrot, onion, and celery in 2 or 4 tablespoons of salted butter (you could use Olive Oil) for 5 to 7 minutes, and add some of the diced chicken breast at the end to mix while still on the heat, and finally add, say, 1/4 cup each of chopped tarragon and parsley.

Pour the whole thing into the soup base and you have the best chicken soup ever. Add other herbs and veggies if you want; add rice, or pasta, or white beans, or ...

If you get 2 chickens you can make enough stock so you can reserve some for soup and make a demiglace or sauce base by reducing the remainder of the stock by 1/2.

Save it in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it if you like.

Use it next time you make a recipe that calls for chicken stock -- you will be happy you did.

I made chicken soup just a few days ago -- there wasn't ANY left.

~ Ted

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kinnelon Tigers, Rookie League Softball Team #4, Undefeated!

After having the last three games of the season washed out [i.e., 6/11, 6/13 and 6/18/09], the Kinnelon Tigers - aka Kinnelon Rookie League Softball Team No. 4/Teal - met today against Team No.1/Columbia Blue and won, making them undefeated for the season. Hurray!

As much as the girls liked winning, what we saw taking place, since all four teams started meeting on April 16th, was having fun, learning eye/hand coordination skills and understanding teamwork. Everyone's skills improved significantly, too. For many on the teams [including Emma], this was the first softball league, a step up from T-ball.

Our Coach - Paul Ramirez [pictured here with from left to right Erin Ahart, Susie Ramirez, Sarah Dougherty in the back row, Emma Whittemore, Kylie Staamler, Laila Raful and Emma Dougherty in the front row; missing are Kelsey and Jackie Thompson] - was outstanding! Patient, supportive, enthusiastic. He encouraged all of us to focus on the fun aspect of the game. He also got the girls to hit the ball and catch it, too!

Thanks to him, we had the Teal Tigers banner you see above.

Thanks, too, to Assistant Coach Frank Thompson who constantly encouraged and guided the girls.

After each game, the girls chanted either:

Two, four, six, eight. Who do we appreciate?


Potato chip, potato chip. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Who is the one that's the mighty fine bunch?

filling in the name of their opponent team:

Purple Panthers or Green Machine or Blue Jays.

For the record, the Kinnelon Recreation 2009 Rookie League Softball teams consisted of:

+ Team No. 1, Columbia Blue aka the Blue Jays, coached by John Bjornson.
+ Team No. 2, Dark Green aka the Green Machine, coached by Mike Handzo.
+ Team No. 3, Purple aka the Purple Panthers, coached by Dana Jacko
+ Team No. 4, Teal aka the Teal Tigers, coached by Paul Ramirez.

We had a blast and regret that the strange wet weather prevented us from meeting an additional three times.

However, we squeezed the last game in -- before the next downpour -- and at least ended the season playing [and winning, too!].

Thanks, Coach Paul Ramirez and Assistant Coach Frank Thompson.

Thanks to the other team coaches for a fun season.

And thank you, also, to the Borough of Kinnelon, for providing this wonderful facility, the Kinnelon Recreation Park on Boonton Avenue, with beautifully maintained fields, a snack bar, and great bathrooms, and to the Kinnelon Recreation Department for organizing it all.

Congratulations Blue Jays, Green Machine, Purple Panthers, and Teal Tigers!

Go, Teal Tigers!

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Butternut Tree at Butternut Plaza in Kinnelon

[Butternut Tree in Winter 2008.]
Are you aware that we have, in our midst, a significant historic landmark? I'm referring to the Butternut Tree located at Butternut Plaza in Kinnelon, NJ - where Suburban Trends is located, at the corner of Kakeout and Kiel Avenue.

Our Butternut Tree is the oldest and largest known tree of its kind - species Juglans Cinerea also known as White Walnut - in New Jersey. It's native to North America ["from New Brunswick to North Dakota and south to Georgia and Arkansas; but not abundant below the latitude of Pennsylvania and Iowa"], but a scarce tree even within its range and becoming moreso. [For more information, see Agricultural handbook #271 and the section about Juglans Cinerea].

As you can read from the official placard below, the tree stands on the site of the 18th century Mead Farm.

Chapter 4 of Lucy A. Meyer's book Kinnelon: A History [available for reference from the Kinnelon Library and worth diving into] is dedicated to The Butternut Tree. From that chapter, I learned the following delicious details...

[Butternut Tree in Spring 2009.]
The Butternut Tree was scheduled for the chopping block [well, more likely the saw] when the Mead farmhouse and barn were torn down in 1972 to make way for the Kinnelon Mall. [Note: a Smoke Rise Blog readers who grew up in the area, but has since moved away, remembers when the barn still stood. He has offered to share some of his memories from those days.]

Lucy Meyer saved the tree, calling in state officials who 'judged' in 1976 that the tree was between 150 to 200 years old: on 11/5/1973, State Forrester Santiago Porcella III verified that the tree measured a circumference of 144", a height of 65 feet and a spread of 84 feet.

I knew nothing about Butternut Trees before reading Chapter 4. I'm stunned at what I learned and am willing to wager that many of you aren't aware that...

Native American Indians used the "crushed hulls as a depressant to catch fish." "They boiled nut meats until they released oil which solidified into butter" [hence the name] which was used for cooking and trading with the colonists.

The nuts were dried and used for food as well as for flour. They were often found in a mixture called "sappaen" with cornmeal mush or hominy.

The tree's sap was extracted and used as sugar.

During the Civil War, "the uniforms of Confederate soldiers were often made of homespun dyed with butternut hulls" [and the soldiers were referred to as butternuts].

The nuts were also used in baked goods and for pickling as a condiment for meats.

The wood itself is magnificent given that the tree is a member of the walnut family.

But, the tree also has medicinal properties as related by the botanist Dr. Barton. Early settlers treated dysentery with Butternut Tree bark whereas the Indians used it to treat rheumatism. During the American Revolution, it was used as a laxative. According to Dorland's Medical Dictionary, the green hulls were effective against fungus infections like ringworm.

Impressive, wouldn't you agree? I have renewed appreciation for our Butternut Tree.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meet Katy Schrope, Kinnelon Cub Master For Scout Pack 277

This guest post comes from Sunita Narma, Smoke Rise resident and Cub Scout den leader, who recently interviewed Katy Schrope, Kinnelon NJ's Cub Scout Pack 277 Cub Master.

Sunita has lived in Smoke Rise almost 12 years. She moved in the week of her oldest son's first birthday. Prior to moving, she and her husband lived in Jersey City right by the waterfront -- just a block from her husband's current office location! Despite that level of commuting convenience and easy access to NYC, both wanted better schools and a back yard for their -now- three boys to play in.

What does Sunita love about Kinnelon? "The open spaces, the green trees and old fashioned summers at the beach for the kids. It's great to be minutes from a major highway that connects to anywhere you want to go to and yet you feel a world away from the hustle bustle of a big city. It's quiet and peaceful, earth friendly and just a wonderful community for the kids to grow up in."

Sunita recently launched her own blog: the Flower Car Lady's Blog.

Here follows her post about Kinnelon's Cub Master, Katy Schrope.

Meet Kinnelon Cub Scout Pack 277’s Cub Master.

Kinnelon Cub Scout Troop 277 has a new Cub master and SHE is a woman. Our own Smoke Rise’s Katy Schrope has taken on the role of pack leader for the local Cub Scout pack and is leading the boys on their scouting adventure for the coming year.

When you think of boy scouts, don't you immediately picture campfires and boys fishing and doing outdoor activities with their dads? While all of those images are true, turns out women play an increasingly important and hands on role.

I have been a Den leader with the troop since 2003 & have met several moms and dads who volunteer for the pack as leaders, Cub masters and committee members. Katy Schrope is the first female Cub master that we have had since I've been involved. Recently, I sat down with Katy to get her perspective on Kinnelon Cub Pack 277.

SN: How did your son get involved with the scouting program?

Katy: My husband is an Eagle Scout, and he uses his scouting skills just about every day. We thought that scouting would be a great opportunity for both of our boys.

SN: What made you decide to step into the role of Cub Master for Pack 277?

Katy: The Cub Master before me was moving on with his son to the Boy Scout Troop. I saw what a great job he did with the Pack, and I felt like I wanted to continue that tradition. I like to work with young children. They have a great interest level for just about anything.

SN: What is the role of the Cub Master?

Katy: The Cub Master plans the yearly program for the Cub Scout Pack. This means that I get to plan out the monthly meetings that we have with all our Cub Scout Dens. That's nearly 200 boys! We have one of the biggest, if not the biggest Pack in our Council.

SN: What has the reaction been from the parents in the pack when they see a woman as the pack leader?

Katy: I don't think they see me as a "woman Cub Master," just as "Cub Master," which is great! That's the role I would like to fill. For this role, there are advantages to both being a woman or a man. Either way, it's really all about the boys!

SN: What are some of the activities you have coming up for the troop?

We have an outing to Skyland’s Ice World, an outing to Raceway Park, and we are hoping to have an overnight campout at a local college baseball game. I would also like to plan a real campfire and a Raingutter Regatta for our Welcome Back Picnic in the fall. I am trying to establish a Leader Reference Library for the pack at the Kinnelon Public Library, and I would like to document/commemorate the history of Pack 277 in Kinnelon by creating a memorabilia/scrapbook with photos, certificates, interviews of prior pack leaders, etc.

SN: What other groups are you involved with in Kinnelon?

Katy: I am a religious education teacher in the Summer Program at Our Lady of the Magnificat church (my 6th summer!). I also co-chair the Children's Liturgy Ministry at OLM with my good friend, Tonia Ramirez. I am a class parent for my 1st grade and 5th grade sons, and I am the Publicity Chairperson for KEHSA [Kinnelon Elementary Home and School Association] at Stonybrook School. I am also the Secretary of the Smoke Rise Stingrays Swim Team Parent Board.

[Note: see Swim for a Cure event caps holiday weekend for Katy's role in the 2008 event.]

Cub Scout Information

If your son (1st through 4th grade) is interested in joining the Cub Scouts, here is the link to the Kinnelon Cub Pack 277 website. It has all the information you need regarding scouting and the activities of Cub Pack 277.

You can join at any time, but typically they follow the school calendar September through June. They recently held a recruitment night at Kiel school and, as of now, have 28 new scouts signed up for the upcoming year. New dens are being formed as we speak so contact them if you are interested in joining.

If you son is older, 5th grade and onwards, you may want to check out the Kinnelon Troop 277 website and join the action there.

Here are additional links if you want to explore further.
Here is a link to an interesting article talking about the changing role of women in cub scouting.

There is always so much to do with the scouting program in town -- camping, summer camp, hikes, pinewood derby car racing just to name a few. My oldest one just went kayaking two weekends ago in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and loved every minute of it. This past weekend the boy scouts went on a trip to Gettysburg. Last fall they slept on the battle ship New Jersey. In the past they have had scout sleepovers at the Liberty Science Center and the NJ Aquarium in Camden.

All three of my boys got involved with the BSA program starting in first grade and they continue to enjoy, learn and grow with all that the program has to offer.

Thank you Katy and all the volunteer dads and moms to help run the scout programs for our kids and help shape them into wonderful young men. See you at the next pack meeting!

And, Sunita, many thanks for introducing us to Katy Schrope and to the Kinnelon Cub Scouts Pack 277!

If any of you have questions about the Cub Scouts program, please don't hesitate to ask as I know that both Sunita and Katy would be delighted to respond.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Save July 5, 2009 For St. Hubert's Chapel Visit

Did you get to experience [or at least see] the glorious sunshine that appeared today? My friend Jeanne Byington said it didn't make its way to Manhattan until much later... Nonetheless, I assure you it truly was sunshine -- just in time for the weekend and just enough to have me anticipating lovely holiday weekends at the Smoke Rise beach, and an upcoming tour of St. Hubert's Chapel.

That's right! The next major beach events coincide with July 4th weekend. If you haven't experienced them yet for yourselves, these are worth taking part in!

Fireworks, sand-castle-building contests, minimalist regatta [which I promise myself I will participate in some day!], beach activities and tons of other marvelous activities... And, my very favorite: tours of St. Hubert's Chapel in Smoke Rise led by Tom Kline, the ultimate source of all knowledge relating to this magnificent edifice!

From the schedule, tours will take place on Sunday, July 5, 2009 from 1pm to 4pm, when lovely boat owners will ferry us to the Chapel and back for the experience of a lifetime....

You will come, right?

And let others know?

I've been on two of these tours so far, and can't wait for my third - especially given the marvelous story that John J. Connelly recently shared with us [see Discovering Kinnelon's St. Hubert's Chapel in 1965].

If I may, I'd like to encourage you to be ready to donate something in support of St. Hubert's Chapel. After all, it represents a gem in the Smoke Rise and Kinnelon crown and we must support it. It is truly unique and worthy of our appreciation.

I'll be there. I hope you will, too! And, be sure to take your photo by St. Hubert's Chapel and I'll make sure to showcase the photos here and/or on Flickr. Deal?

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kinnelon Conserves - A Vital Kinnelon Resource

Are you familiar with Kinnelon Conserves? It's a grassroots, environmental awareness group created by Avery Hart, with the tagline "A Community Energy Reduction Initiative." If you took part in any of the 2009 Kinnelon Earth Day celebrations and activities, Kinnelon Conserves actively participated.

In 2008, Kinnelon Conserves hosted a Junk Mail Jamboree to help alleviate and eliminate junk mail.

In other words, Kinnelon Conserves represents a Vital Kinnelon Resource!

I recently contacted Avery and asked her a few questions about Kinnelon Conserves.

C.B.: Avery, how did Kinnelon Conserves get started?

The concept for Kinnelon Conserves came to me after watching a science program about rising atmospheric pollution and the resulting acidification of the world’s oceans. I remember feeling thoroughly depressed and utterly powerless about these huge environmental problems. And I began to realize that I wasn’t alone in my sad feelings –many people were “bummed out” about the loss of essentials like clean water and air. As a therapist who often sees children, I am also keenly sensitive to the impact of negative news on children and young people. At that time I was newly retired – though now I am back at work. But in late 2006 I decided to devote one year to create a local social entity that would focus on finding local solutions to planetary problems as a way to cheer people up: The idea was to get the faith community, school officials, local government and anyone else who was interested to learning, and taking action together to solve environmental problems and boost environmental awareness.

I took the idea to my pal, Jo Sippie-Gora, and a couple of other friends, and we approached the borough council to endorse the idea. The council was unable to formally endorse the idea, but each of them endorsed it personally, which allowed us the chance to contact local leaders on their recommendation. In Feb. 2007, Kinnelon Conserves held its first public event: an Energy Vision Summit to which borough, school and faith leaders were invited to explore climate change and environmental education. In April that year we organized our first community wide Earth Day celebration in Kinnelon.

We tried to show up at other events – ex. we had kids collect plastic spoons for reuse at the Library Ice Cream Social. We got 82 families to take a pledge to use energy more prudently by doing things like washing clothes in cold, not hot water. We arranged for Kinnelon families to get a 10% discount off a home energy audit.

By now, we had a core group of about a dozen people, and 82 families who signed on to our mission. We put up the website Kinnelon Conserves and tried to put useful stuff on it for all age groups.

C.B.: How did this past Earth Day go from your perspective?

Avery: This year’s fair was our third and best with 50 terrific green exhibitors. Pearl Miller School was jammed with displays of information and creativity from Kinnelon Public School and OLM students. Smoke Rise resident and Pearl Miller School teacher Noreen LaFergula deserves the credit for that part: she is a petite powerhouse and all around wonderful human being.

C.B.: How might Kinnelon residents make every day Earth Day?

Avery: I have learned that people are made happier by facing issues than by running away from them. Out of ignorance, many of us shopped til we dropped and used Earth's resources carelessly. Today we face the reality of poisoned waters, and limited resources on a finite Earth, and we know we have to become more wise and less wasteful. Kinnelon Conserves volunteers come together in the spirit of fun, non-judgment, and patience. Our goal is to start with ourselves, by boosting our awareness, so that we can discover alternatives to any of our actions that harm the earth. Since changing habits doesn’t come easily, it’s nice to know the people of Kinnelon Conserves – which is open to all – are also out there trying, day by day, to find a high quality sustainable way of living. I know it took me 3 years to remember to bring reusable bags to the store every time I shopped. Now I no longer have a billowing jumble of plastic bags taking up space in my kitchen: Plus, I can be happy that at least no turtle or bird will choke on a bag that I put into the waste stream. That makes me feel good. That’s the kind of thing that kids and all of us have to learn so we can all feel happier about the way we are living on this beautiful Earth.

Thank you, Avery, and congratulations on making a difference in our community with Kinnelon Conserves!

Do check out the Kinnelon Conserves site and explore how you can start taking the kinds of steps that Avery suggests, thereby making every day Earth Day in and around Kinnelon!

Technorati Tags: Tags:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...