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Black River Ramblings

Jolly Green 26: The Story of the Larry Maysey Memorial 

in this week's Ramblings.


Our Special Photo Feature this month is from our Summer 2013 article,"The Hidden World of Willowwood." 

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​Our Featured Advertiser this month is Morris Animal Inn.

Black River Rovings

The Larry Maysey Memorial sits on a small island of grass in the center of Chester Borough. It includes a curved granite wall inscribed with the names of all of

Chester’s veterans from the Revolution to the present

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche...

5/14/17 - We spent Saturday night with the "sisters" of the "Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein," in Chester Theater Group's production of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, and we are still laughing today! Many thanks to Director, Lauri MacMillan and the fabulous cast of Nikki Simz, Julie Camelotto, Lynn Langone, Tracy Lee Witko, D'Angelique Dopson, and all the folks at CTG for a fun-

Photo of the week - Grogan's Pond

5/17/17 -  After cutting the grass during the early blast of summer weather this week, I couldn't resist the temptation to take a dip in the pool - unheated pool. I went from near heat stroke to borderline hypothermic shock in about 30 seconds. It'll take a few more above 80 days to warm up the water enough to make it bearable but I couldn't help reveling (between the shivers) in the realization that summer is just around the corner. It's time to start thinking about our favorite swimming holes again. When baby-boomers growing up in the Chester area needed to beat the summer heat, there were three popular places to try out their first doggie paddle, splash around with their friends, or engage in a little sun-worship. According to local historian and photographer, Joan Case, the first local swimming area that bathers flocked to in the late 1950s throughout the 60s, was Seals Pond on Parker Road, near the Chester/Long Valley border. Owned and operated by Dick Seals, the site had its grand opening on July 4, 1958. In addition to a swimming pond, the park also boasted an authentic 15” gauge steam railroad that chugged along on a one-mile loop around the pond, and a railroad museum. Another favorite location was Hacklebarney Pond also known as Kay’s Pond, on State Park Road. Many of Chester’s kids, including Joan, learned to swim at Hacklebarney Pond under the watchful eye of swimming instructor June Hinds. The real swimming hotspot of the 1960s and 70s, however, was Chester Springs, more commonly known as “Grogan’s Pond.” Owned by the Grogan family, Chester Springs, now the site of the Chester Springs Shopping Center on Rte. 206, was the local place to go in the summer to take a dip, get a tan, tee-off on the driving range, munch on burgers, hot dogs, and crinkle-cut fries at the snack bar, or test your courage on the high-dive board. Ah, summer time.

(Lee Wolfe)

filled, memorable night! CTG is local theater at its best in an intimate setting, where you feel like you're part of the cast. Be sure to experience one of their productions this season. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum opens June 30. Visit chestertheatergroup.org for more information and tickets.

Above: A vintage image of Grogan's Pond(Photo Courtesy of Willard Apgar/The BRJ 2008)

We've got plenty of Roving to do, so stop back soon.

Memorial Day Special Feature

Chester, NJ native Larry W. Maysey was just 21 years old when he shipped out to the Republic of Vietnam in the fall of 1967. Larry was a member of the United States Air Force’s elite Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) - the self-sacrificing para-rescue-men affectionately known as the PJs (para-jumpers). The PJs are a highly-professional, versatile force that has become the 911 for downed pilots, US Special Forces, NASA, and a host of other services and scenarios. According to an article in Stars and Stripes magazine, “They can sneak in and out. They can do recon. They can take out targets.” But what they are trained to do best is save lives. Larry Maysey was on just such a mission, on November 9, 1967, when he was killed during a covert operation deep behind enemy lines, while trying to rescue members of a Special Operations team, giving his own life, fulfilling the PJ’s solemn motto – “That others may live.”

To read more about Larry Maysey and his friends back home, who took it upon themselves to make sure that his sacrifice was never forgotten, please visit our Ramblings Page or click on the article link,  Jolly Green 26: The Story of the Larry Maysey Memorial.

We hope that everyone will take some time this weekend to remember those who gave their lives for our country.

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