Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Try as I might to make
one, there really wasn't
any comparison to be
had between Avenel
and my new location
in Pennsylvania. If old,
colonial Avenel had
once and long ago
been like this, it sure
hid it well. But, at the
same time, I've seen
photos of the 1880's
and even before, of all
those Avenel lands  -
as stretches of nowhere
farmland, dirt, village
roads, shacks and
shanties, streams and
brooks. No denying
that. What a world!
How changeable.
Two hundred years,
I guess is two hundred
years  -  at 30 years
per generation  -  you
figure. The first family
has 3 kids, in 1870,
then those 3 have 3
each; that's 9; then,
another 25 years,
those 9 have 3 each,
that another 27; then
in 25 more years,
those 27 have 3 each,
and that' suddenly, 81!
And that's only ONE
family. And it's not
even 1940. Technically,
that's called the 'exponential
rate' of population growth,
where, as I said, 1 has
2, those 2 have 4, those 4
have 8, etc. The 'exponent'
changes  -  mathematical
equation talk. There was
a guy, back then sometime,
Paul Ehrlich, who wrote
a book  - big, trendy best-
seller too  -  called 'The
Population Bomb'  -  about
the soon to be famine-infested
world, dying off in droves,
through over-population
and starvation. It started a
controversial set of events
going  -  population control
clinics, birth-control hand-outs,
even Eugenics and selective
breeding talk. All weird. I
had a friend in Vermont, at
that time  -  she got in all
sorts of hot-water up there
by espousing family-planning,
running clinics for abortions
and birth control (she was a
Nurse, RN, managing
somewhere in Rutland).
All those crusty Yankee
ladies got all mad about
her, this upstart from Port
Reading, NJ, moving there
and 'talking all her filth
about our personal
and bedroom matters!'
It was the same time as
the Watergate Hearings,
with John Dean, and
Ehrlichman and H.R.
Haldemann, and Nixon
and John Mitchell too.
What a bunch. I can
remember sitting up there,
along the wooded road they'd
built for her some sort of
platform/lumber wooden
desk and seat  -  really neat  -
where she, or anyone I
guess, could sit (as I was)
and comfortably read or
write in the open air,
beneath wondrous trees.
It was nice in the summer,
but the endless Winter's, high
on that isolated, mountain
ridge (Hubbardton Road),
did really suck and were
endless. Anyway, I'd see
those Watergate guys on
her one-channel TV, and
just think someone should
have stopped them from
being born, so what was
the big deal. In later, biker,
years, I used to see a Biker
(wise-ass) tee-shirt that
said 'the best part of you
dribbled down your mother's
chin.' Meaning, I guess, you
should have been a blow
job and not a conception.
I never knew, but it always
made me think of those
crotchety Vermont ladies.
Paul Ehrlich and that book,
(funny too how Nixon's guy
was 'Ehrlichman'), caused a
stir, and it was all based on
antecedents. Adam Smith,
and Malthus. Adam Smith
was an 1800's maybe British
economist with all sorts of
big ideas about the 'invisible
hand' ruling the markets, the
economies. Keep Government
out of it (laissez-faire), and
everything will find it's own,
workable level for the benefit
of all. Population, starvation,
it was all economics, and it all
came to its own end. Like water,
seeking its own level. You
can dam and plug up and
diver all you want, but the
water is still going to go
where it wants, and for as
high as it needs. And then,
this Thomas Malthus guy  
-  another apocalyptic, 
over-population, starvation 
guy. He wrote  about the 
'subsistence catastrophe', 
when need actually outruns
production, and people die 
off. John Hobbes, another 
one, in a book titled 'Leviathan'
1680 or so. I think he's the
one who said the life of the
average man, in primitive
societies, would always be
'nasty, brutish, and short.'
I always found that to be an
amazing phrase, and concept.
Nasty, Brutish, and Short,
like a nightmare law firm.
These guys were writing all
this before pencils were even
invented; man, they were
worrying way back whenever.
I'd bet when an early caveman
had 20 people over from his
wife's side, to help dine on
some wild boar meat, he too
was already worried about
something. 'Quick, Helga,
we're running out of booze,
get the Jesus guy you know.
Here, take my....wheel?'
So, anyway, point was, old 
and primitive Avenel, up
against current and primitive,
enough, 1970's Pennsylvania.
Who could have thought any 
of this? Me, Avenel buddy to
trains and bricks, riding shotgun
on a '52 Chevy pickup truck
through wooded, dirt lanes,
around bends, over cricks and
hollers, (that's how they said 
that stuff), chasing down 
runaway cows and pigs, on
the road with rifles and
guns. Distant cousin, somehow
to someone's 'Uncle Burley'
from Avenel, NJ, who used to
ride his horse and wagon over
wooded, dirt lanes, around bends,
over cricks and hollers? Hmmm?
Made a guy think, for sure.

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