Every highway was at a complete standstill. The sheer volume of humanity, peaceful as it was, had surged through the fences taking down any notion of a paying customer. The backers stood to lose $2 million. To make matters worse, the crowded highways made it impossible to get the talent to the stage. That’s when Glen Ridge resident and seasoned publicity agent Dick Gersh became involved in three actions that helped save the Woodstock Festival and preserve its place in history for generations to come.
One of the most compelling things about the series Mad Men is its success as a period piece. But unlike treatments of the more distant past, this is a period many of us remember. We remember it so well, that the series reminds us of how much we’ve forgotten — styles, attitudes, cigarette smoke, to name some of the obvious few.
Marlon Brando was offered the lead role in Lawrence of Arabia before Peter O’Toole. Jack Nicholson turned down both the Brando and Martin Sheen parts in Apocalypse Now; Sheen was way down on a list of candidates that included Steve McQueen and Harvey Keitel. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn were the original Thelma and Louise. Barbra Streisand was an early choice for Sophie’s Choice, which brought Streep an academy award.
Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, when asked what he did in winter when there was no baseball, famously quipped that he stared out the window and waited for spring.
Avid fans who choose to while away the empty months by reading about the sport should really pick up our latest addition to the Fitzgerald’s 1928 Writers’ Bookshelf: “I Don’t Care If We Never Get Back – 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever.”
The trip began with a meal at Fitzgerald’s 1928.
Let there be light. Everything in life is a production. Sometimes making something happen depends on someone who remains invisible.
Meet Glen Ridge resident and Lighting Designer, Jill Nagle. Thanks to lighting by Jill, I saw five plays at the remarkable New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch before she became visible to me, and before I learned at a post-show reception that she lives in town. We continued the conversation on another day at a high table beneath the gentle lighting at Fitzgerald’s 1928.
This Sunday, Fitzgerald’s 1928 will host its annual Father’s Day Brunch (11AM – 3PM) and on each table you will find for sale at a Fitzgerald’s Father’s Day discount a copy of Father’s Day: Encounters with Everyday Life by town resident Raphael Badagliacca. The book contains more than 60 stories; most take place in Glen Ridge. He calls the stories “non-fiction shaped like fiction.” It’s a quick read that will have you laughing and crying by turns.
As Memorial Day approaches, it’s time to remember that the greatest gift our veterans have given us is the freedom to forget. The thoroughness of their success has extinguished the daily reminder that what we value has been at times threatened within an inch of its life.
But there are three gentlemen who never forget this. You can find them nearly every Sunday eating dinner together at Fitzgerald’s 1928 where we refer to them fondly as the Joint Chiefs of Staff. James Waters, US Army, age 95; Kenneth Underwood, US Navy, age 85; and Dan Martin, US Air Force Strategic Command, age 84.
What does it mean to be adventurous? Ask town resident Noreen Connolly the next time you see her in Fitzgerald’s. She received the news while sitting in the office of her oncologist. When she posed the inevitable question, he said “Go for it!” She had just learned, a woman in her 60’s, that she had won a prize previously reserved for kids in their 20’s — a trip with NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to the developing world.
She recovered fully from the cancer, but never from the trip.
A man came up to me with a book in his hands.
I had just stepped off the field at historic New Bridge Landing after playing a vintage baseball game – no gloves, 1864 rules. I have my own books to sell so I know how it feels to share work into which you’ve put your soul. But I could not talk. I was rushing to an old-style daguerreotype team photo where the pose has to be held for ten minutes. After that, I could not find him anywhere. That book is the newest addition to the Fitzgerald’s 1928 Writers’ Bookshelf.
Glen Ridge is a town with distinctive buildings. Within 50 yards of Fitzgerald’s 1928 – a restaurant with its cornerstone in its name – stands the library. The two buildings have this in common: they are community meeting places dedicated to nourishing us.
Consider this: if you have a book club, the Glen Ridge Library will collect as many copies of your chosen book as you need and Fitzgerald’s 1928 will host a special prix fixe dinner for your monthly meeting as long as each member shows up book in hand.