I can’t say much for New Jersey drivers (well, I can, but I shall restrain myself). But I like the turnpike, so long as two Jersyites haven’t tried to make their vehicles occupy one space. Even though atoms are supposed to be really far apart, that still is not possible.
The Jersey Turnpike is a marvelous piece of engineering. Anyone who has driven both it and the Garden State, as I have many times, sees how well-engineered the Jersey Turnpike is. And, unlike the Pennsylvania Turnpike, it is Not Boring. (The Garden State calls itself a parkway. Cars are often parked there. Only Pennsylvania could build a road through some of the most beautiful mountains in the country and make it Borrrrriiiiinnnnngggg.)
One of the NJT’s quaint features, if a feature of such a magnificent paean to the automobile may be considered quaint, is that its rest areas are named after famous Jerseyites, such as Walt Whitman, Thomas Edison, and Molly Pitcher.
Now comes word that New Jersey is considering pimping out the names of the rest areas.
“The ‘Nike Stop’ . . . maybe that would be worth $10 million,” Simpson said in a recent interview, pondering ways to wring more money out of turnpike concessions.
So I offer a pome, not by Henry Gibson:
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovey as a tree,
But unlovely as this poem may be,
Take it. You don’t get no tree.
I have read Hamlet and Othello because I wanted to and almost all of Robert W. Service (“A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon” etc.), T. S. Eliot, and e. e. cummings.
I’ve also read everything I could ever find by my favorite author, “Anonymous.”
I have never been able to read Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees” all the way through.
And it is a damned sight shorter than The First Men in the Moon.