Attention commuters!   Doc South here with the morning traffic report for Ruth Lane near Port Murray, New Jersey. First the weather! Skies are clear. Chilly and breezy conditions prevail through morning mist. It’s a beautiful day along the Musconetcong River.

One pickup truck passed our vantage point about one half hour ago. It was on an emergency run to the fire hall with coffee creamer and from there to work. Speed limit today will be reduced from fifteen miles per hour to ten miles per hour due to rain drainage ruts on the west slope. Expect construction delays of up to five minutes shortly after lunch when our neighbor and his kids rake loose gravel into the ruts using his Farmall LawnTractor.

On her morning stroll down the lane, Millie the Hound left a surprise along the shoulder of the road right near the dead tree stump. Avoid this area at all costs till it rains again. Take care as Millie expects to once again patrol the area just before the afternoon homeward rush.

Detours are in place at the Old Turnpike Road junction. The bridge is still out. Once again, motorcyclist are reminded that it is forbidden to jump the bridge. All terrain vehicles may however cross at their usual ford in the east shallows. Please do not rev your engines if trout fishermen are present.

Leaves placed on the roadside will be picked up in the Spring…maybe.

Be wary of night crawlers crossing the roadway during the early morning hours. Worms have feelings too. Remember that low flying birds in search of worms do have right of way. Horse riders are reminded that elongated morning and evening shadows seen on the roadway may cause premature ejection from your mount.

There have been reports of vagabond squirrels dropping black walnuts on passersby. Be alert and always use the buddy plan when walking down the lane.

Out on the river channel, bubbles are moving right along with a minimum of backed up foam. Fish are reporting no congestion in all channels moving both up and down stream. However, there is a plank of driftwood blocking the side channel one hundred yards downstream from the bridge construction and a small slab of concrete has reportedly fallen from the bridge before construction began. Work crews have this situation under control and will retrieve the block before bridge completion.

Rowdy gangs of geese have been spotted. Patrols of snapping turtles have been beefed up to move them along. Noise complaints from screech owls are being investigated. This concludes your morning Ruth Lane Traffic Report on I may do an evening rush hour report if my nap doesn’t take too long. Stay tuned.




There was this wonderful girl named Joanne that I had known for years. This was back in 1981 and, I was just back from the Carolinas. Now and then she and I would go out on a date to have a bit of fun. We’d drive out to the Meadowlands and play the horses. It’s a bit of a drive from the track back to Hackettstown so we’d get to talking. She liked hearing of my adventures from down south. They weren’t anything too special really, but it was fun for me to tell them. She especially liked me talking about my getting into radio down there with an oldies show. We’d yak all the way home.

It turned out that Joanne was a dee jay too. She told me she had this show on a college station running out of Hackettstown. She said the call letters were WNTI at 91.9 on the FM dial. It was part of Centenary College for Women. I thought it might be fun to hear it while we drove so, I got it on my car radio. We were about twenty five miles away from Hackettstown and the signal was coming in pretty darn good. It was Friday night and some coed was playing Led Zepplin and having a pretty hard time getting her words out. I think the record skipped a bit too. I thought how I was no stranger to skipping records myself and Joanne and I scrunched into the car seats and dug the show out there tooling along on Route 80. She told me the name of the girl on the air but, I forget it now.

This was a long time ago and I might be wrong on exact details but Joanne, I think, told me how she did a folk music show on one of the week nights.  She said how the station played a little of this and a little of that. We sat quietly listening as the night passed by. All of a sudden Joanne spoke up. “You know! She said, “you could probably do your oldies show there. I’ll bet they’d like that.”

I was intrigued. I did mention that I’d have to figure out how to get around the fact that Centenary was a girls school. Joanne said she’d lend me a dress if I needed one but the beard would probably have to go. Being a stickler for detail and a worry wart, I asked if they had mens rooms at Centenary. She said they did but since there weren’t that many men there, I’d better be careful. I think her exact words were, “Get in and get out and make lots of noise. Oh, and knock first.   Knock a lot.”

A day or two later, I went to the professor who was in charge of the station. We hit it off and I got a show. I think he liked the dress I was wearing. He said he’d seen Joanne wearing one just like it a week or two ago. He did mention that I could stick to guys clothes from here on in.   He also liked how my high heels matched my beard. He took me down to the control room and showed me the control board. I ran through a practice session off air just playing to a tape deck. I didn’t make too many mistakes. Just maybe only a dozen or so. He said, I’d be on from 9pm to midnight starting this coming Wednesday. He liked the idea of an oldies show. Boy, so did I. Even back then it was hard to get an oldies show on the air. Cousin Brucie had the market cornered.

With a show coming in a day or two, I went into full panic mode and started planning the show from start to finish. That meant every word jingle and song was scripted out to the second. I was forgetting the good advice my friend Uncle Sam from WVOT down in Wilson, NC gave me. Sam maintained that a good dee jay never used a script. The best thing to do according to Sam was to grab a fist full of records with five minutes to go before air time. Then go get a coffee in the break room, slug it down on the spot and pour yourself another for later. Walk into the studio and sit down at the controls. Cue a record as the news is signing off and then hit the top of the hour jingle and start the record. As the record starts to spin and play, let the magic take control, and start talking like a born fool. Sam knew I could do it. Me, I wasn’t too sure. Still, I tried.

Thanks to WNTI’s kindness, it’s great signal, and lots of great records from the early days of rock and roll, the show did OK I guess. Eventually, the script disappeared. Coffee sales rose and, I started talking like an idiot. Eventually, I got to pulling an on air shenanigan or two. In time, I would often just start telling stories right off the cuff. God, it was fun. I think the audience enjoyed it too.

Best of all, soon, other dee jays got snuck in. And they didn’t have to wear dresses. Soon, their own personal brand of craziness took hold on their shows. The student’s got pretty good at doing shows too. They weren’t so uptight anymore and they dug into all kinds of music styles. I don’t know if any of them got into regular radio after school but, at least they can say they had a ball in college and a chance to let it all hang out. Not too many people can say that anymore.

I heard today that WNTI for whatever reason is going dark. I guess, the frequency was sold to a network. I know these things happen. When I’m not running my own internet station, I work for the A&P. The company has been around since before the Civil War. Heck, the guy I was in a past life could have shopped at an A&P back then. Well, the A&P is closing its doors too.  There seems to be an epidemic of this kind of stuff.

Being an oldies dee jay, I find the past to be a great treasure trove of wisdom, beauty, and foolishness. WNTI has entertained for a mighty long time. It’s a very old and valuable station. God Bless that station and I hope it can somehow still survive. The past has got to stick around or it’s curtains for the future.





That girl you see on the cover of my books is my granddaughter Sadie. I love her to death. She among others, is responsible for my getting into writing blurps.  I have a lot of the little Granddaughter doo dads that she’s given me over the years. I save them all and keep them in my room well in sight.

There’s a kind of clay figurine she used to make and sell at flea markets for candy money. She calls them blobbys. They come in all sizes and colors, and look kind of like a sea serpent neck and head. They sold OK for her. I forget the occasion but she decided to give me one or two. I guess she had a surplus. I still have them. A real small one sits on the octagon window above my bed. It’s in charge of scaring off nightmares. I think either Sadie or I cut a door into the bottom of an old toilet paper tube. The door is kept folded out into the open position. I pretend that the tube is a castle guard tower. At night, I place the tube over the blobby to give it shelter. Doing this prevents nightmares from getting to Sadie or me wherever we might be sleeping.  I know. I know. I guess it is silly. That’s a grandfather for you. We’re crazy.

As I think about it, my writing these blurps, along with the shows I do is not much different than what Sadie did making those little blobbies.   My stories and shows really aren’t that much different from the clay figures Sadie made back then. Like her, I’m making little nothings to chase the blues away and put a grin on your face or a pleasant thought in your head. A blobby, a book of blurps, or a dumb show full of oldies and stories are all one and the same thing really. I guess if any of that kind of thing lifts your balloon, that’s a good thing. Right?

With that in mind. Please remember that my station and my writing efforts must have donations to continue. Time spent writing or broadcasting takes me away from gainful employment. The station itself and self publishing also costs quite a bit. I can use donations from my fans. If you wish to help, you can go to my go fund me site and donate. The best way to get there is to visit my web site and click on the blue banner ad at the top of the page. That will take you to my gofundme page. Remember that every $25.00 donated, will get you one of my books in the mail sent to anywhere in the continental United States. For example, if you donate $100.00, that’s four books. In such a case, I’ll send you four books. You can give them to friends, relatives, or charity. If you just want to get one book, for your donation over $25.00, that’s ok but, I’ll see to it that a charity or a needy person gets the books you paid for. I’ll be happy to let you know where the books went. Of course, I’m happy to autograph the books for you too. If you’d like further details on any of this, just email me at   Please remember that I’m not a registered charity. I don’t think I’m tax deductible at all.   Thanks friends.




My son Burgess called a while back and asked if I knew what the heck it was that my mom used to cook for breakfast sometimes when we were all together for a weekend. Burg described it as something sort of like French toast but crispy but soft in the middle all covered with syrup and it tasted like corn and bacon. I remembered exactly what it was.   I told Burgess that he was remembering fried mush. You know, I’d forgotten about it but, now that I think about it boy it sure was good. Mom had a winner there.

Here’s how you make it. Go to the store and get some corn meal and pick up some bacon too. The night before your special day, boil the corn meal in water until it becomes mushy. You know, kind of thick with most of the water gone. Stir a lot or you’ll be all night trying to clean the pot with a jack hammer. Now, when the mush is done, pour it into a two inch high greased glass baking dish. Let mush cool quietly in the refrigerator until morning.

In the morning, the mush will have congealed. It’ll look kind of like mush pudding. Be glad you greased the baking pan as you flip the slab of mush out onto a big plate. Slice the slab of mush into one quarter to one half inch thick slices. Fry the slices in oil with maybe a little bacon fat in it. Turn the slices every now and then. They are done when they get lightly brown on the outside and tender in the middle.   Put some butter and syrup on the slices and serve with crisp bacon or sausages and hot coffee. There is nothing better on a Sunday morning. Well, maybe White Castles would be better but, that’s about it.

Now for lunch.   My Aunt Barb taught me this one many decades ago. It’s so cheap and very very good. It’s easier than pie to make too.   Barb would get Uncle Bill to fire up the grill to cook hamburgers. While he was doing that, she’d take a bit of the hamburger and fry it loose in a medium frying pan. When the meat was browned, she added Hunts Tomato Sauce. She said this was the key secret to the recipe. If you didn’t use Hunts, the recipe would fail. In later years, I tried substituting when no one was looking. The results were awful. I’m back to Hunts from now on. The Hunts sauce is very thin and almost like a thick tomato broth than sauce.  You only need a cup or so. Add the sauce to the meat and stir it up.

Now, here’s the key step. This one is almost more important than using Hunts Sauce. What you got to do is throw all caution to the wind. Forget about reason and all that is sane in this life as you head for the cupboard and get out the pepper. You’ve got to push your limits as you add pepper to your creation. Aunt Barb would get this look about her as she shook and stirred black pepper into the burger sauce. She’s get this wild look in her eyes as she turned to me and said how if you’re going to make this burger relish, you can’t wimp out. Then the pepper would fly.

She’d be stirring this concoction on low heat when Uncle Bill would come in with the burgers on a platter. The burgers were fine just plain but, when you added a spoonful or two of Barbs special sauce well, words fail me. God, they were good. But, you can’t wimp out on this one. Also, take my advice and don’t try to improve on this recipe. You’ll just be tugging on Supermans cape.

Now for supper. I came up with this one. I’m sure others have tried this too. I can’t be the first to have thought of it but, let me share this with you. For each serving, dice up half of a raw Jersey Tomato. If it’s a small tomato, dice it all up. Put the diced tomato and all of the juice into a soup bowl. Chop up a small clove of garlic for each serving. Add that to the tomato. Shake in some parsley. Dried parsley is great but, dried is okay. Add some pepper to taste. Add some oregano to taste. If you have some cooked chopped hamburger, add that too. Pour olive oil into the bowl till you think you’ve got enough. Then, while you are boiling your favorite pasta shape, nuke the vegetable mixture for a minute. Stir the mixture a bit and let it sit and fester. When you are draining the cooked pasta, nuke the tomato mixture for another minute. Put the pasta into a bowl and pour the “sauce” on top. Add spaghetti cheese and some pepper. Stand back, cause this is going to be very good. Make enough, and you won’t need desert. You’ll be too full.

I hope you’ll give these a try. It’s my pleasure to share them with you.






A veteran named Jim was manning a booth at Operation Chillouts Vets Summer Fest which was held a month or so ago. I think his table was set up to help veterans who were suffering from injuries both physical and emotional. The exact details of all he does, fails me a bit. I do know that he does as much as he can. I’m pretty sure, Jim was fighting to alleviate the scars of battle in whatever form they took. He keeps especially busy working to heal the emotional scars. It turns out that those scars may actually do the most damage. I couldn’t help but admire a person with his kind of a passion.

Again, I might be wrong but, Jim was going to either perform or explain the missing man ceremony when the time came to do it later in the day. There is quite a bit of symbolism involved with the missing man ceremony. I can’t remember it all. What little I remember is that on the stage or at a gathering of veterans, there’s an empty chair and a small table. The table is draped with a white table cloth. There’s lemon and salt on the table. There’s a vase with one red rose in it. The vase has a ribbon draped around its neck. A wine glass is empty and stands upside down.   The table must be frail to signify the frailty that takes over the missing and imprisoned. The red of the rose points to their courage and good intentions the missing had when their country called. The white cloth and candle, tell of the purity of their intentions and their hearts. Lemon tells of the bitterness of their plight. Salt comes from the tears shed. The candle is lit to light the way home to friends and family. It’s not the happiest of set ups but, it is telling the truth for more brave men and women than we might realize. I guess there are words said at the ceremony but, the table really says it all.

I think the most touching symbol is that the table I think, is kept near or within sight of an open door just waiting and watching quietly for a blessed return.

I believe Jim said that there are a bit over 1600 missing from Vietnam alone. I remember once interviewing an active duty soldier who works with a recovery team that goes out and finds and tries to identify the remains of soldiers from all of our wars throughout our history. He’s found them from revolutionary days to now. He’s kept pretty busy in Vietnam.

Now, that I think about it, a schoolmate of mine died in Vietnam and was never found. He was trying to rescue an injured soldier when the helicopter he was repelling from got hit and fell on him. I don’t think he’s ever been found. The area was crawling with enemy at the time and the jungle grew pretty fast. I think he’ll be found in Heaven.

Jim spoke of a nurse that was with a religious missionary team serving in Vietnam. Her name was Monica. Her group aided any injured person regardless of the side they were on. She was captured by the North Vietnamese and wound up in the Hanoi Hilton. Other prisoners said that she received brutal treatment. I believe she was the only woman among many captured, to leave the Hanoi Hilton alive.

We talked about PTSD. He said that it’s very real and a big threat to soldiers returning from war. It’s always been around. It’s nothing new. In fact, during Americas Civil War, it was known as Soldiers Heart.

I once saw a reenactment group of civil war artillery in action. They were Yankees. They fired about forty cannons on command across a field. I could actually see the cannonballs crossing the field at chest level and moving faster than anything I can imagine. There could be no dodging the shell with your name on it. I can’t imagine how awful that would have been to face.  Maybe even worse, I can’t imagine how awful it would have been to pull the firing cord to release the volley. I think it would have been pretty hard to get even the smallest of Civil War skirmishes out of your mind and, wars have gotten just more grizzly since then. Soldiers Heart describes the ailment quite well. We discussed Soldiers Heart some more. As Jim talked, I remembered an old photo I once saw of very old Northern and Southern veterans shaking hands over a rock wall at a Battle of Gettysburg reunion maybe fifty years after the carnage. They were smiling at each other where years before there were no smiles at all.

Jim said how there’s now a movement to have Vietnam Veterans go back to Vietnam and tour the area where they had once fought and suffered so hard. I guess some are for it and some are not. Some do go and meet with men who at one time long ago would have killed them on sight and laughed about it all the way home.   Of course our guys felt the same way about them. I’m told many of these meetings wind up being pretty friendly and, the one time mortal enemies part not feeling so bad about one another. I don’t think they talk about being sorry for what happened. Having never been party to a battle in this life, I’m not sure I could even say what goes on in their minds as the two enemies meet. The thoughts must be very complicated and yet very simple too. Somehow these meetings help.

I thought back to a year or two ago. I was playing music for a cruise night. Many veterans were in the crowd. I saw a friend of mine who was an Army Ranger in Vietnam. I’m sure he had a wild and brutal time of it back then. I would often tell this man of my nephew Blakes Marine Corps training. He was always happy to hear of the progress Blake was making. Being a proud uncle, I would tell these stories talking kind of like the way actors used to talk in the old WW II movies of the day. To me, the training was a kind of adventure. My friend loved the stories as much as I loved telling them. He’d smile and tell a story or two of his own. It was great fun till one day at a car show.

Blake went overseas eventually. He went to Iraq. While in camp, he heard a scream coming from inside a tent. Blake ran into the tent and saw his Sargent standing on his bunk pointing in horror at something on the ground. It was a very large Camel Spider. The darn things live out in those parts. They grow very large and don’t seem to be very friendly. This one had the sarge cornered. Blake, acted fast and stabbed it with his bayonet. He sent a photo home with his next letter. Darn, that was a big spider.

Back at the car show, I saw my friend walking by my DJ area. I called him over. I figured he’d love the story. As he approached, I started the story with a simple phrase, “Blake’s in Iraq!!!!   He got his first kill!!!!” My friends face instantly fell from a smile to perhaps the saddest face I’ve seen in a long long while. He appeared to be instantly heart broken. He looked to be cussing under his breath. I recovered as fast as I could and said how Blakes first kill was really just a big spider. I was too late. My friend showed relief. Still, the joy had left his heart for the day. I realized then and there that I had no idea what combat veterans go through. This friend avoided me for a few months after that. When he finally came around, sometime later, I apologized for how I told the story. He accepted the apology and just said how he’d rather be over there fighting in place of Blake.


I said goodbye to Jim and left the event for Operation Chillout and headed up to my gig at the Chatterbox.   I had a cruise night coming up that needed music.   I was lost in thought most of the day. I guess when it’s all said and done, war and battle is not simply a John Wayne kind of thing after all. I said to myself, that soldiers have hearts that are bigger than most. Some of those hearts were hurt and are still hurting pretty bad. Pretty bad indeed.

In our time of using initials to describe just about everything, maybe we should take a tip from our Civil War veterans and forget PTSD and call this suffering what it truly is. Soldiers Heart.






I was working in the dairy cooler today when one of my co-workers came in and started crying. She got to crying pretty hard. Between sobs, she told me how she might have to get rid of her two beagles. It hurt to hear this. Those two beagles are like her kids. They belonged to her and her brother. He was a trucker and when they weren’t getting spoiled in the house, they enjoyed riding and getting spoiled riding shot gun in the big rig. I don’t know if they ever went over the road but, I do know that they loved riding around the block.

This womans brother died recently. Since he was the big bread winner in the house she has had to move from the old home. Evidently, the two beagles are doing a lot of barking in the new place and are bothering the neighbors. It looks like they may have to go. I hope I understood and am explaining this situation correctly. I got most of the story as my friend gulped out what words she could between sobs.

I know these two dogs are her pride and joy. They were very helpful in getting her over the loss of her brother. She’ll be utterly alone without them. I thought of how I’d feel if it were Millie that had to go and, decided that I must do whatever I can to help.  So, I got to writing this blurp. Besides, I’m not the worlds greatest hugger.

I told this friend that perhaps putting the two dogs up for adoption might be a bit too hasty. Maybe there’s a way to board them till things get better. Also, I suggested that maybe someone could foster the beagles until she can find a more dog friendly home. Maybe someone who has a bunch of dogs would find it to be no trouble to just have two more tails wagging at the food bowl or two more snores in the bed.

Do any of you know someone who can help? Can you help perhaps? Or, do you have another perhaps better idea? This woman lives near Netcong, NJ. I’m sure she would want to visit her critters while they’re being cared for. She’s a big hearted person. It’s hard to see her so upset. I thank you for anything you can do or ideas you might offer.

Please contact me at



I was walking Millie the Basset hound today. We were taking our usual stroll along the Musconetcong River. At the moment, with the summer heat hitting it hard, it might be better to call it the Musconetcong Rivulet. Oh it’s about ten feet narrower than it usually is. I’d guess it to be at least two feet or more below its normal depth. Some odd pieces of driftwood and old hunks of metal are sticking out way above the water line. Usually, they’re well submerged and waiting to grab your favorite trout lure. I saw some fishermen in the river just the other day. Instead of hip boots they were wearing camo-green flip flops. Right now, if Millie were to try and cross the river, about the only spot on her that would get wet would be the area where she used to nurse her pups and maybe, just the tips of her ears.   Actually, at this time of year, she enjoys wading.

We crossed the old bridge and started going upstream along the opposite shore. A school bus drove past us on the side road. The kids were screaming hello to Millie. She paid them no mind. Millie had found a spot where some farmer must have parked his pickup truck. I guess maybe he wanted to check out a favorite fishing hole. Some of his load of straw and chicken feed pellets fell out the back of his truck and Millie had to investigate. She started to sniff and then quick as a wink started to eat the pellets as fast as she could. I was ready for her and pulled her back from the pile. She got a few but, no harm done. This was clean fresh straw so, I wasn’t too worried. If it had been straw that had been on the chicken coop floor, Millie would have rolled in it for sure. Then, she would have eaten all the chicken poop she could find just as fast as she could. Afterwards, a little later in the day, she’d come up to me and lick me on the face. Count on it. In my wildest dreams, I can’t imagine smacking my lips and sitting down to a steaming bowl of chicken poop. But, for dogs, it’s like finding a big bag of potato chips. I guess it’s a dog thing.

So, we traveled upstream a bit to get off the black top area and onto the grass. The black top section was where the old Tri County Fire Hall used to be. There’s a new fire hall down the road a bit now. It’s very nice and something to be proud of. The only thing left of the old hall is the concrete floor and some parking lines on the black top. One spot warns people to not block the fire truck emergency exit. Out of respect, no one to this day even with the fire hall gone, parks in that area. I used to dee jay parties for the fire house. The spot where I used to set up and play tunes is now, just a concrete slab. I sometimes like to stand there and think back to those days.   They always had a great time.

We walked upstream to a hound pasture. That’s a spot where a certain kind of grass grows. Millie finds it with her nose. There’s a certain kind of lawn grass that she along with other dogs, likes to eat. Millie can find it in the dark. I’ve never tried it but, to see Millie chomp it down, maybe I should. She’ll sit down in the middle of a patch of the stuff and start gobbling as much as she can. Some dogs will do this and barf it up. Generally, Millie misses out on the upchucking. Maybe, on rare occasion she’ll lose her cookies after eating this grass. Mostly though, she eats it and smacks her jowls for more. It doesn’t seem to bother her.   Her vet isn’t alarmed. Who knows? Maybe I should boil some up for myself. Maybe I could add some slivered almonds.

While Millie was cutting the lawn, I turned my gaze to the river. I think I saw a perfect trout hole. See if you don’t agree.   There’s this spot in the river where the shore line was cut round into the bank. A bit of a whirlpool developed and appears to have over time, dug a ten to twenty foot wide hole into the river bank. This hole looks to be about two feet deeper than the average bottom depth. The hole is guarded by a big and leafy shade bush. From the shore line, it would be hard to alarm the critters that live in the hole. I think the shade tree or bush has flowers in the spring. That would attract insects to the low hanging branches. You know the trout would be watching them and waiting for their chance. The river cutting into the bank would reveal more than enough worms and grubs to fill a hungry trouts belly. This hole is also surrounded by fast moving shallow water with lots of this and that floating by almost like a conveyor belt of treats. A feeding stream enters the river about forty feet upstream. Think of all the hatchlings swimming from there into the mainstream looking for their shot at the big time. I don’t know but, I think the biggest trout on earth might just be waiting in that pool. Almost makes me afraid to go wading. A fellow could lose a toe.

It was getting a bit too hot and Millie decided that she wanted to head for home. We raced the bubbles to the bridge. The bubbles won.

POP POP SHOW 04/27/15

Pop Pop has some nice auction tales for you with this episode.  Thrill as he gets fifty boxes of antique auto parts for a grand total of fifty cents.  Be there when he and
sandy witness a running fist fight at an outdoor flea market auction.  Just keep your dukes up and give this one a try.