So I managed to finish the first draft of my book the night before I flew to Virginia to spend the 4th of July weekend with my parents. And yesterday my wife and I started off on our driving tour of the east coast. Today we arrived in Grovers Mill, New Jersey (the first stop on our 'hoax tour'), where in 1938 Martians supposedly landed
, thereby launching a mass panic throughout the United States. Here I am getting out of our rented car in Grovers Mill.
The first thing we went to see was the War of the Worlds Memorial, located in a park in the center of town. To call Grovers Mill a town is actually a bit of an overstatement... a small collection of houses would be a more accurate description of it. To get to the memorial you have to walk across the park. As we did this we rapidly discovered that this park was home to more animal crap than any other park in the world. There literally wasn't a square foot of grass free of animal droppings. I think they were from deer. It was like navigating a minefield. Anyway, we finally arrived at the memorial safe and sound. Just behind the memorial is the scenic Grovers Mill Pond (note: sarcasm... the pond is like a stagnant wasteland).
The next thing we wanted to see was the water tower that local residents had supposedly shot at, mistaking it for a martian. After a lot of searching, driving up and down the main road, we couldn't find it. So finally we asked the guy at the local auto parts/gardening store for directions. It turned out that the tower was right next door to the parts store, but you couldn't see it because trees had grown up all around it, totally concealing it. We had walked right past it. Apparently the man whose property it stands on doesn't like people coming to look at it, so he's allowed it to get grown over. You can only catch a small glimpse of it through the branches of the trees. The guy at the auto parts store told us that a photographer from the NY Times had been out there the week before to get a picture of the tower (because of the new War of the Worlds
movie that just came out, and which I haven't seen yet), but he finally gave up, concluding that it was impossible to get a picture of it.
So that was Grovers Mill. Tonight we're in Roxbury, in upstate New York. Tomorrow we head further upstate to see the Cardiff Giant