Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy Birthday, New Milford


My hometown -- New Milford, NJ -- quietly celebrated its 340th birthday this month. Looking through photos I've taken in recent years, here are five things I've noticed about the place:

1. Time doesn't stand still. Sometimes its passage is marked by the side of the field house at the high school track (see above). Or, in early summer, when the sun aligns with the pink flamingos on the lawn of the municipal building...


2. We're always prepared. Thanks to the Scouts. The photo above of "New Milford-henge" was actually a "Get Flocked" fundraiser held by the Boy Scouts last year. At the other end of town a little less than five years ago, the Girl Scouts installed a permanent mural dedicated to New Milford's veterans on Merschrod Bridge. And, this year... like every year... before Memorial Day, Boy Scouts placed flags on the graves of veterans at the historic French Burying Ground across the street from Borough Hall.


3. There's something about Mary. More common than pink flamingos -- or ADT home-protection signs -- or even the sometimes colorful lawn decorations (I call this one "potheads")...


...are the devotional Marys that adorn many lawns and gardens. Here are 15 examples:


Meanwhile, near the Post Office (which is currently advertising itself for rent), at the Gloria Dei Church, there's still also worship space available for rent...


4. Speaking of signs, there's something about small business. Whether it's the Boulevard Funeral Home advertising for business during Small Business Saturday...



Or, a personal favorite, the extraction of a lawn tooth (before, top; after, bottom) on River Road:


5. There's something about baseball. Little League baseball is very big here... whether it's the bleacher sign in homage to "Bad News Bears," or the magical realism of an ordinary game night.




Happy 340th birthday, New Milford! Here's to many more Memorial Days.. and Tree Lightings... and Nights Out... and inflatable penguin sightings...








 
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