One thing my father noticed on our recent trip down Route 295 and across on Routes 70 and 30 to the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial (see previous post) was a lack of signage directing visitors to the most decorated battleship in the history of the U.S. Navy.
Sure, there were several signs that said “Waterfront Attractions,” but nothing that bragged of the great warship’s presence on the Camden waterfront. We knew where we were going and had planned our trip, so we didn’t need the signage.
But my father, a World War II Navy veteran who served in the Pacific, wanted to know why the presence of this treasure wasn’t trumpeted along the heavily travelled highways. Put another way: Why wasn’t New Jersey bragging about the presence along its shores of the U.S.S. New Jersey?
My dad considers it a sign of disrespect to simply lump the great warship with its history of defending this country and our men and women in uniform in among “Waterfront Attractions,” fine as they may be, like the aquarium, the stadium where the Camden Riversharks play or the Susquehanna Bank Center concert venue. All of those are steps from the Battleship New Jersey.
Good point. It should have its own sign. Some folks working there that day said the signs were made but some kind of bureaucratic morass was in the way of actually getting them posted. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, though we at NJN News could and should look into it.
The next day, my father, visiting from Long Island, and I took a trip to the United States Golf Association’s Museum in Bernardsville. I knew it existed because of a single highway sign I’d seen for years whenever I travelled Route 287 in the Morris County area. The sign caught my eye and as a fan of the game I intended to look in on that museum one day.
That day came the day after I took my father to the U.S.S. New Jersey. Off we went to the USGA Museum, with is many mementos from greats of the game with names like Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods, Hogan, Inkster and Sorenstam.
The museum is ensconced on the grounds of the USGA headquarters in a beautifully appointed former summer mansion of a wealthy family from long ago.
We two duffers marvelled for a time at the mementos of the gods of the fairways.
And it’s an experience and place we would’ve missed were it not for that highway sign.
So, yes, by all means, get some signs up trumpeting the Battleship New Jersey’s presence here. Maybe before the 10-year anniversary of the museum and memorial opening that’s upcoming next year. It’d surely help boost attendance.
And then there’s this note: My dad, who grew up just blocks from Yankee Stadium, always expressed an interest in visiting the Yogi Berra Museum housed on the campus of Montclair State University. It was closed while undergoing a renovation during my dad’s visit here, so we didn’t get to take that one in this time.
But I’ve promised the man who’d long ago taken his kids to museums and historical sites from Cooperstown to Gettysburg that I’d get him to Yogi’s place.
I’m not sure about the signage for that one but I will say this. If we come to a fork in the road while headed there, we’ll take it.