Categorized | Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: THE COMMUNITY VOICE

Perth Amboy Needs Panache …

LetterIf you are passionate about this city as much as I am, doesn’t it make you cringe when people associate it with the vernacular of being a poor, decayed urban city void of any promising future.

It sure agitates me when this historic city that is neatly nestled along the Eastern Seaboard, of the State of New Jersey, that possesses magnormous possibilities has repeatedly failed to capitalize on its attributes.  Other cities and towns along these same peripheries have ferried themselves to fortunes, whereas we have sat ineffective for many years, and watched aimlessly as our sister cities have eaten our lunch.

Geographically our city lies in the soils of some of the priciest real estate in the country with boundless opportunities.  Yet we toil along capitulating to the voices that we are an impoverished city that has reached its ceiling.  We need to raise our possibilities, impose higher expectations on ourselves, fabricate a limitless ceiling and imagine greatness.

We are mired in the smog of complacency rather than one of panache.  Perth Amboy doesn’t have to be this poor city. An upward crusade starts when our elected leaders of today and tomorrow, are called to task, and begin laying the groundwork to make Perth Amboy something special, so that its rich resources and potential can be passed on to the great citizens of this city to enjoy.  They deserve it… so “lead, follow, or get out of the way” …

Dr. James Wolff

The Sport of Gambling

The trip to Atlantic City is not what it used to be. Perhaps it is my age catching up to me. In any event the gambling in the casinos has gotten to be dull and boring. Every casino pays off at the same rate and odds at the tables and slot machines. The only difference is the change in scenery.

I was sorely disappointed when I went to play the slot machines and discovered that you do not play with coins. Each quarter slot machine is equipped with a gadget which takes in paper money. Then you press a button in order to play. If you wish to cash out all you get is a receipt which you have to take to the cashier to be paid in cash. Slot machines without coins! Zounds! What is this world coming to? This, of course saves the casinos the expense of dealing with coins. But I have noticed that this has not been reflected in the odds or payoffs. Another example of never giving the sucker an even break.

In spite of the above, it is still a great adventure to go with a group like the gang from the Knights of Columbus on High Street. We are like a bunch of kids on an outing. We forget about the cares of the world for a few hours. No telephone calls. No bills to worry about. The Helfrich bus ride from Perth Amboy to Atlantic City exactly 100 miles usually takes about 1 hour 45 minutes. No stops at toll booths. The Parkway south is one of the best highways in the country. It follows the contours of the countryside. The scenery is marvelous! What’s even more enjoyable is the absence of the huge tractor trailers, the kind that make driving on the Turnpike and Rte. One extremely dangerous.

Come to think of it gambling was much more fun when it was illegal. In those days when shopping for the day’s lunch in the local grocery store there were usually about a half dozen ladies chattering in different languages. All bought numbers after consulting the dream books on the counter. Bets as small as 10 cents were written on pads with carbon copies. And the mob paid off at 500 to 1. This is better than the state pays today.

Once J.D. Lightweight, as distinguished from J.D. Heavyweight, both local well known gentlemen, whispered to me in church to play 451. I thought this was divinely inspired and bound to hit. I told Butch who ran the poolroom to put a dime on it until it came. They even took numbers on credit! Well! After a few months the number came out. After the credit was deducted, I walked off with 40 plus dollars. Gee! I felt richer than I feel now! And that was a few weeks before I joined the army in July 1942! Don’t you think that I am overdue to hit a winner. But not at the payoff by the state.

And then here were the crap games at the lumber yard. They would begin after payday on Friday and continue through the weekend. When it began to get dark matches would be lit to see the numbers on the dice. The only time the games were raided by the police was before Election Day. For obvious reasons! The kids would have a field day scrambling for the coins on the ground while the players fled the gendarmes!

SmallBookYes! They were certainly the Good Old Days! Thank you for your courtesies.

Very Truly Yours

Peter Book a.k.a. Pedro Libro

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

 

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!

South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!