The needler in the haystack.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tees from the GOP convention

Variations on a theme: Wall Off Trump
Among tee shirts spotted at the GOP convention.

I couldn't resist going "national" for a moment.

Hope Plainfield Today readers will enjoy checking out these 100 Tee shirts spotted at the Republican National Convention which ended last night with the longest acceptance speech ever.

These are from a New York Times story; you can view the complete collection here.

Next up: The Dems. Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia starts on Monday.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Services announced for Eric Watson

Eric Watson, Director of Public Works and Urban Development,
previously served as Executive Director of the
Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority.

The City of Plainfield released a schedule of services for Eric Watson, Director Public Works and Urban Development, who passed away suddenly on July 17. An obituary appears in today's Courier (see here).

Here are the scheduled arrangements --

Friday, July 22, 2016
Lying in Repose at City Hall 515 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Friday, July 22, 2016
Wake at Plainfield High School 950 Park Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tributes: 6:30 pm – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
7:00 pm – Masonic Ritual Service

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Viewing at Plainfield High School 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Funeral Service – 11:00 am
There will be a repast in the Plainfield High School Cafeteria immediately following the service.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Services for Lillian McGowan, former Library Trustee, set for Friday

Plainfield Public Library Trustee Lillian McGowan (r.) with
Board President Anne Louise Davis and Library Director
Joe Da Rold at an event in the late 1990s.
(Photo courtesy Joe Da Rold.)

Services have been set for Lillian McGowan, who served two terms as a Trustee of the Plainfield Public Library after a distinguished 36-year career that ended when she retired as Head of Circulation in 1989.

The funeral will be held at Rose of Sharon Community Church, where Lillian was a member for more than 70 years. Viewing at Noon on Friday, followed by a service at 1:00 PM.

Rose of Sharon is at 825 West 7th Street. Parking on site. ROS is an accessible building.

Below is an obituary supplied by the family, which will run in tomorrow's newspapers --

LILLIAN VERA McGOWAN of Plainfield, NJ passed away peacefully in her home on Friday, July 15, 2016 at the age of 92.  Lillian, better known as “Puggy” to her close friends and family was born on May 21, 1924 in Harlem, NY and raised in New Brunswick, NJ.

Lillian graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1941 and during her high school years she was involved in different sports but excelled in basketball.  She began her professional career in 1953 with the Plainfield Public library where she worked for 36 years before retiring on July 31, 1989.

At the age of 18 she relocated to Plainfield and on July 13, 1942 she married the love of her life, Daniel “Danny” McGowan.  Eleven years after their marriage, Lillian and Danny purchased their first home on Spooner Avenue making them the first African American homeowners in that neighborhood.  During their 50+ years of marriage, Lillian and Danny were blessed to travel throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the West Indies. And with each trip they would call the family together, pull out the movie projector to watch 8mm tapes for hours – yes 8mm tapes of their vacations. 

It was important to Lillian to make sure her children enjoyed their childhood so there were frequent visits to the Jersey shore and amusement parks like Coney Island and Palisades Park.  She was also adamant about introducing her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the joys of reading, and they can attest that The Jungle Book and Where the Wild Things Are were two of the first books she read to them. And without a doubt she made sure that her great grandchildren had every Dr. Suess book ever written. Even as Lillian’s family grew family values and traditions remained.  Every year she would host either Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner where the day did not end without a game of charades.  And not to say our grandmother cheated, but somehow her team always seemed to win.  And the most exciting part of Christmas would be the gift from Gramma & Pop Pop because you knew it was going to be great. 

Lillian was extremely generous.  Whether it was assisting financially, or opening her home to help others get on their feet, she was always willing to help her immediate family and extended family in any way she could. 

As an avid lover of the theater Lillian was a member of the Crossroads Theater group in New Brunswick, NJ and one of her favorite pass times was taking in Broadway shows.  Puggy also loved crossword puzzles and at any given time you could find her at her kitchen table with the NY Times crossword puzzles – completing them with no real trouble at all, while enthusiastically watching whatever football was on.

Lillian was a member of the Rose of Sharon Community Church for over 70 years, originally under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Ovie Lattimore.  She served as a volunteer in the church office for many years and on the hospitality committee.  She was later appointed as a church Mother by her much loved Pastor Bishop LaVerne Ball.

Although frail in body, the woman we know as Ma, Gramma, GramGram, Aunt Puggy, Lillian and Mother McGowan kept her love for people, her humor and quick wit even to the end.

Left to cherish her memory are her brother William Patterson of New Brunswick, NJ, her sister Edith Collins of Plainfield, NJ, her daughter Carolyn Reese of Lawrenceville, GA, her son Robert McGowan (Virginia) of Plainfield, NJ, her two step-sons Daniel McGowan (Shirley) of Jersey City, NJ and Ronald McGowan (Maria) of Bayonne, NJ, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.  Lillian was preceded in death by her husband Danny McGowan and her sisters Marjorie Patterson and Flora Taylor.
I will always remember Lillian's good humor and dedication to the Library when I was an employee and she was a Trustee. My condolences to her family. She will be missed.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stop sign flashers, skate park draw comments

The proposal is to convert a parking area at West 2nd Street
and Central Avenue into a skate park. The Madison Avenue
Playground occupies the other end of the block.

A sparsely attended special Plainfield City Council Monday evening saw public comment on only two points, and unanimously adopted all 26 resolutions and two ordinances on first reading.

It was a bare-bones evening on the dais side too, with Councilors Tracey Brown, Bridget Rivers Gloria Taylor not in attendance. Council President Cory Storch phoned in for the beginning of the meeting and arrived in person at 7:21 PM, which meant Councilor Rebecca Williams served as president pro-tem for about fifteen minutes.

Councilor Barry Goode served as chair pro-tem in the absence of Councilor Taylor.

Residents David Graves and Lamar Mackson were the only two to speak on resolutions on the agenda, and both commented on resolutions concerning a proposed skate park and LED flashers at the city's ten 4-way stop intersections.

Graves felt the proposed location of the skate park was dangerous and too small, saying there were larger locations that could be considered (though he did not specify any).

Mackson was excited about the prospect of a skate park, but said $15,000 was "insufficient" for construction. He evidently misunderstood the resolution, which provided $15,000 for DESIGN. Later in the meeting, Director of Administration and Finance Ron West responded that the total projected construction cost was estimated at $250,000, the funds to be drawn from the Open Space Fund council established last year.

On the matter of the LED flashers, Graves objected that they would be an annoyance as his home is right on one of the corners. Mackson, whose corner on Central Avenue has a blinking light, seemed skeptical that the flashers would make a difference, saying accidents at his corner often involve vehicles ending up on his front lawn.

In other business, Cassandra Corbett, Esq., was appointed as an additional municipal court judge to fill out the remaining term of Harold Fullilove, Jr. She was sworn in by Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh after the meeting was adjourned.

Council also unanimously approved the appointment of Nancy Jordan and Kelly Shaw to the newly revived Plainfield Youth Commission.

The Council will apparently schedule another double-header meeting for August.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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