This is the last week of Summer and it seems as though we have been subconsciously filling in these final days of the season with many adventures, though being blessed with wonderful weather and the time to do so is truly appreciated. Our destination earlier today was meant to be the Heritage Glass Museum, as visiting Wheaton Arts and learning about how significant glass-making is in South Jersey a few months back had reignited my interest in the craft. Many of the surrounding tows had their own glass works that produced items that were both useful and decorative. Glass is quite an amazing medium, considering it can go from a solid to molten state, be re-shaped and then cool down into a solid form again. Though I own far more ceramic collectibles than glass, I have been keeping an eye out for pieces in antique shops and managed to pick up a few.
When I was younger blue glass was a prized possession on account I had not really seen colored glass outside of trips to the recycling center, but in my wiser years I am completely enamored by carnival glass for reasons that extend beyond the name. Then there is the fact that I have performed broken glass routines for many years in the past, which is one of my favorite acts to do as well as being one of the more dangerous ones. It’s just amusing to be that some glass I want to save and cherish, as it has history and sentimental value, yet other pieces are just a bottle or jar that gets smashed and added to the newest pile of glittering shards I have been slowly building. This was a lot easier when I drank more and lived with people who were basically alcoholics, but I want enough to execute an idea I’ve had for a while now, plus an extra pile to set on fire when I want to.
Anyway, this isn’t about my exploits in playing with broken glass, but rather about our afternoon in Glassboro and finding disappointment in the fact that the museum was closed. Well, I suppose that one of should have checked on hours of operation prior to departing, but we do so enjoy driving when the sky is blue and the sun is shining that we figured it would still be worth seeing the town. Though I feel kind of silly for not having taken a picture of the museum, though now that we know when it is open, I am sure there will be a revisit in the future. However, it is worth noting that the building was erected in 1926 as a bank and served three other purposes before becoming what it is, which happened to fall on the 200th anniversary of the founding of Glassboro.
The South Jersey Museum of American History is also located down the street, which is something else we plan on going back for, but today we just checked out the abandoned movie theater that appears to be in renovation even though there is a tree growing out of the basement. With not much else to see on that street, we headed down a different one and passed a cute little diner – one of those old school chromed out dining cars that has two other buildings tacked onto the back of it. They had a decent crowd and even though I was kind of hungry myself, we skipped the packed diner and opted for a slice at the pizza joint on the next block. While waiting for said slices to be warmed up, I was amused by the menu of fat sandwiches, as I haven’t seen those since late nights in New Brunswick doing the drunken zombie walk to the grease trucks. The pizza wasn’t bad and at least had some flavor to it – sorry Philly, you tried really hard but you just can’t do pizza the way Jersey does.
We walked down to Barnes & Nobles after that, as it’s been quite some time since we have even seen one since we moved back. Most of the large chain stores around here are Boarders or BAM!, and while they are all basically the same, books are books no matter where they come from and it doesn’t hurt to look. Besides, having the opportunity to inadvertently scare college kids who obviously are still living in their little bubbles is always fun. Apparently wanting to stand there flipping through a book about South Jersey history is too much to ask when you have tattoos, stretched ears and a non-conventional hair cut. You don’t see me pointing out people’s appearances in a very loud and obvious manner in an attempt to belittle them and instill a sense of insecurity as a means of covering my own, as I am pretty certain that they would get upset and then I look like the asshole.
Then again, I did get some satisfaction about putting my hands all over their precious books and then leaving without making a purchase.
On the way home we spotted this little park that we didn’t even know existed which happened to be right down the street from where my husband works. It’s called the Willow Oak Natural Area and was a Boy Scout project funded through donations – there’s some plaque and monument in the gravel parking lot that had these details on it. At the beginning of multiple trails is a hand carved sign that designates where the trails go, though there is no indication of how far into the woods they reach. Since it was still relatively sunny out, we did not mind the shade that welcomed us as we began wandering the not so visible path, more signs naming the various trees and plants that surrounded it.
Not much later, we were getting attacked by swarms of mosquitos and decided to turn around. Usually we are coated in bug spray before even attempting to hike through woods, but I guess the energy of a nice day caused us to forget. We also seem to be out of the aerosol kind, as bugs haven’t really been an issue lately and so we didn’t even realize that. Oh well, I suppose this is just another one of those places we will have to come back to again.