Meetings

“Stories from New Jersey Diners: Monuments to Community”

15 November 2022

Cover of the book “Stories from New Jersey Diners: Monuments to Community” by Michael C. Gabriele

With their flashy neon signs and shiny silver exteriors, classic American diners are central to New Jersey culture. Diners have served as gathering places for families and singles, blue-collar workers and CEOs, students and tourists, for more than a century. While many local favorites, like The Excellent Diner in Westfield, exist only in memories, New Jersey was once the hub of diner manufacturing.

Join award-winning Jersey author Michael C. Gabriele as he presents “Stories from New Jersey Diners: Monuments to Community,” based on his book of the same title, at this month’s meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, at the Shady Rest Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Rd. (at the corner of Plainfield Avenue) in Scotch Plains.

Gabriele’s thoroughly researched book recounts stories collected from interviews with diner owners, patrons and experts. He brings to life delicious memories of quintessential diner food and fond recollections of the people who cooked, served and ate it, while chronicling the booming manufacturing industry that brought mobile eateries to Americans from coast to coast.

A graduate of Montclair State University, Gabriele is also the author of The History of Diners in New Jersey, The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in New Jersey, as well as New Jersey Folk Revival Music: History & Tradition.

The upcoming meeting is free and all are welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation. For questions, please email Info@HistoricalSocietySPFNJ.org or call 908/322-6700 Extension 230.

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Nobody Owns the Sky: Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Female Aviators

18 October 2022

Carol Simon Levin as Elinor Smith SullivanWhen asked to name early female aviators, most people can name only one: Amelia Earhart. Earhart was a daring pilot, but the mystery surrounding her disappearance overshadowed and eventually erased any memory of her equally accomplished peers—early aviatrices who defied gravity (and male disapproval) in flimsy airplanes.

This month’s meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood will feature storyteller Carol Simon Levin’s presentation, “Nobody Owns the Sky: Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Female Aviators.” The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, at the Shady Rest Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Rd. (at the corner of Plainfield Avenue) in Scotch Plains.

Impersonating Elinor Smith Sullivan, the only pilot ever to successfully fly under all four East River bridges in New York City, Levin will tell the stories of some of the early female pilots who risked their lives in flimsy wood and canvas airplanes but whose ground-breaking exploits were lost to history after Amelia Earharts famous disappearance.

Levin also is the author of Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots in Petticoats to Presidential Candidates, which profiles 69 women—well-known and unknown—who worked tirelessly for womens rights in America. Levin holds a bachelor’s degree focusing on womens history and history of technology from Cornell University and a master’s degree in library services from the University of Arizona. She is also the founder of the website tellingherstories.com.

The upcoming meeting is free and all are welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation. For questions, please email Info@HistoricalSocietySPFNJ.org or call 908/322-6700 Extension 230.

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PALISADES CLIFF-HANGING PRESENTATION

24 September 2022

 

Photo of New Jersey Palisades

In a presentation called “Palisades Cliff-hanging” Marcia Anderson, PhD, will guide participants through a historical journey to Palisades, NJ, venturing from 200 million years ago to the early 20th century. She will explore geology, plate tectonics, dinosaurs, the American Revolutionary War, the birth of our US film industry and “cliff-hangers” at the September meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27th at the Shady Rest Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Rd. (at the corner of Plainfield Avenue) in Scotch Plains.

Anderson, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Specialist for 13 years who also has a Master’s degree in Education and Curriculum in Earth Science, can explain Giovanni da Verrazzano’s description of the Palisades sill as “looking like fence stakes” along the Hudson River in 1594. She will also detail the Dinosaur Fever that hit New York City when a crocodile-like dinosaur was found in the Palisades. And for us American History buffs, she will look back to a rainy 1776 November night, when Lt. General Lord Charles led the invasion of the Red Coats into NJ to take Fort Lee, an American rebel stronghold. Finally she will answer why the film industry began in NJ, specifically at the majestic Palisades.

Founded in 1972, the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood operates the historic Osborn Cannonball House in Scotch Plains, while providing guest lectures at its monthly meetings and taking care to preserve some of the historic artifacts and legends from the area’s early days.

The upcoming meeting is free and all are welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation. For questions, please email Info@HistoricalSocietySPFNJ.org or call 908/322-6700 Extension 230.

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