Monday, June 6, 2011

Goodbye, Hometown

Wood Avenue, Linden, NJ

Last week we made an unexpected trip to New Jersey, sadly for a funeral.  While there, we realized that this would most likely be our last trip to our hometown, Linden, New Jersey.  It's not a place to go to for fun and relaxation, and the funeral marked the passing of our last close relative in that city.  So we did a final tour of Linden, passing by all of the Super Fund sites that sit empty as the chemicals leach from them, including the plant where my father worked for 40 years.  We drove by the homes that Barry and I grew up in, the schools and synagogues that we attended, and bid them all farewell.

My childhood home in Linden

I've always thought that growing up in New Jersey was somewhat of a blessing because everyplace else that I've lived seems great by comparison.  And that still is true.  Coming back to Denver was a breath of fresh air, both literally and figuratively.  

I'm not exaggerating about our home town.  If you ever have an extra hour and are in NJ, drive south a few miles from Newark Airport on Route 1-9 and take a look.  It's ugly, dirty and congested.  No place you'd choose to spend time.   Or, if you choose the New Jersey Turnpike route, going south from the Airport, you'll see and smell Linden when you pass all of the oil tanks that surround the Turnpike.  And you'll pass Exit 13, our exit and the very same exit that Tony Soprano takes in the opening credits of The Sopranos.

There are definitely some good childhood memories encased in this ecological disaster of a city but, all in all, I'm ready to say goodbye to my hometown.

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