Sunday, June 18, 2006

What's In a Name?

Ryan's back, this time with a story that explores the origin of our town's name. I heard a similar explanation as a child, only mine involved a broken "W" on our fiscally-challenged town's printing press. Either way, it speaks volumes.

Quick side-note: Richie Rich plans on sending a story about "the time Zak's fist met my face," as well as a tennis team first. I'll leave it at that so as not to ruin the surprise. Also, Andy Bodine is working on something about a "yearly event" in Bridgeton. I have no idea what event, but I'm looking forward to his submission like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Finally, I spent the day yesterday baking in the sun at the 23rd Annual Bridgeton Folk Festival. There, Dave Headrick (author of "Fly") reminded me of The Great Chicken McNugget Fiasco of 2005. When this story finally sees the light of day, it's going to make "Super-Size Me" look like an infomercial for Jenny Craig.

And now, back to Ryan, who reminds us that knowing our history does not prevent us from the certain doom of repeating it. But it certainly explains things.

"What's In a Name?"
by Ryan "holaolah" Olah

As an elementary schooler, I took a field trip to Bridgeton. Given our close proximity (Editor's Note: Ryan went to Bridgeton Christian, which is right on the edge of town), we saved $3 dollars on gas for the bus. Hell, we might've even walked.

Anyway, we toured the town, stopping in at historic sites and places of interest. The creme de la cremey climax of the visit was a stop at the newly-opened (and now long-closed) Jersey Cow Cafe.

The thing I remember most about this tour of my hometown was when our guide explained the origin of the name "Bridgeton." As this Bridgeton legend has it, the name of the town comes from the apathy that abounds in this little corner of South Jersey.

The guide said that the town was founded as "Bridgetown" because of our bridge over the troubled waters of the wandering Cohanzick river. The Bridgetown town sign eventually fell into disrepair and the W "just fell off" and the new name of Bridgeton "just stuck".

Don't know if it's true or not but it sure is prophetic.

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