austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Huff and puff till I blow this world away

We were going to Asbury Park, for the obvious reason. If I go twelve months without laying eyes on the Stone Pony catastrophe might overtake me. And yeah, we would see the Stone Pony, although once again we weren't really going there. We were going to the Silverball Museum.

In time. We first walked along the boardwalk, particularly to the building that used to house the city's carousel. The antique carousel was sold off decades ago, and the building sat idle for ages. This time, there were ... signs warning about signing liability wavers around it. Turns out that the interior's been built into a skateboarding park, with half-pipes and ramps and other stuff to go have fun and/or get yourself killed on. Far better than the building going to waste, of course, or being demolished or something, but it is a shame the city can't get an antique carousel or get a modern-carved wooden one. It would be a nice addition to the boardwalk.

... Which was a busy place. bunny_hugger said it seemed to her that the boardwalk was much busier than it was when she used to visit. I agreed that my understanding was that Asbury Park's been doing better. And we found in a local free weekly an article about Just Why Asbury Park is doing better. The essayist credited the long-running drawn-out failure to complete this massive apartment building supercomplex, which the city's been trying to build for decades and can't get to quite work. The essayist argued the never-quite-progressing project ate up the attention of city officials and Big Money projects, so that they couldn't launch this white elephant on the city, and instead a variety of smaller projects, ones that could succeed or fail unaided, could grow instead and create a better balance of shops and stores and small businesses and residences. Seems plausible enough. bunny_hugger also asked me why Asbury Park got to be as run-down as she had seen, and understood, and could see evidence of when you got away from the boardwalk. (It's always had a significant black population. So it's easy for county and state officials to starve the city and let it crash.)

Anyway, our real goal was the Silverball Museum, with the plan being to spend as long as we felt like at the place. We got there just early enough that we didn't quite qualify for the evening half-day fare. They gave it to us anyway. We'd end up spending the rest of the night there, all the way to the museum's closing and the turning-off of tables.

The museum had much of the same collection as last time. Some things had moved in, including Jersey Jack's new Dialed In! table. Some had drifted out or been rearranged. Most fascinating to me: an elder couple, man and woman, setting up their camera on a tripod to take close, careful photographs of the early 60s tables, the oldest ones they have in playable shape. We remarked: hey, it's us in thirty years.

Some of the tables were games we had played in Dallas, and which we played seeking revenge or vindication or at least proof we could so play the game. We also wanted to get in some quality time on Dialed In!, since the game was just starting to appear in our pinball league venues and nobody had the chance to play it. We were both able to get onto the daily high score table, in time, although I'll admit the time I did I have no idea what happened. I just had this long-running multiball sequence. Since then I've got a slightly better idea how to start modes, and finish them for high values, but that's not to say I've got the hang of it.

And on Road Show --- which had spent half a year at the Blind Squirrel League, but had just left --- I managed, for the first time since the glory days of the 90s, through to the wizard mode, doing the road tour across the whole country. I was able to get bunny_hugger's attention for this, happily, since she'd have hated to have missed that. (The mode involves the bulldozer-driving pair Red and Ted reaching the west coast and accidentally breaking the planet.) It's quite silly.

And, eventually, we reached the end of the night, when the museum would close. It was a low-key day, but that's what we needed. We'd drive home, and stop at Wawa to get hoagies (Hoagiefest was on) and take that back to the hotel room to eat. We'd have Rye Playland for Thursday.

Trivia: J C Penny's stores extended no credit to customers before 1958; the operation was cash-only. Source: The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of America's Great Department Stores, Robert Hendrickson. (Hendrickson does not specify whether the stores took checks.)

Currently Reading: Acceptance, Jeff Vandermeer.

PS: exploring the museum at Earlham.


Peering down the stairs to the museum's basement, showing off where the mummy is and then all the nature exhibits off to the right.


The Mummy. Earlham College's museum has a real actual mummy brought back from Egypt back in 1889, when college presidents could just go over and buy a mummy and bring it back without anyone asking questions. The mummy was believed for decades to have been that of an ancient Egyptian king, until x-rays revealed it was a five-foot-tall woman about 20-22 years old. Also the hieroglyphs said who it was.

Tags: fifth anniversary trip, new jersey, pinball, reunion

Posts from This Journal “fifth anniversary trip” Tag

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