Daily Archives: June 12, 2014

In Memory of Ruby Dee of Kearny

We just heard the news that Ruby Dee died. Five years ago, in honor of Black History Month, we did a post about her.  Here it is again, in her memory…

IoA_Kearny_p62Photo credit: AT&T Archives.

Actress and civil rights champion Ruby Dee, who was born in Cleveland in 1924 and raised in Harlem, worked at the Western Electric Company’s Kearny Works during World War II, soldering wires on an assembly line.

She graduated from Hunter College and got her first Broadway role in a play called “Jeb,” about a black GI war hero. The star was Ossie Davis, whom she married two years later.

Both Davis and Dee were active in the Civil Rights Movement throughout their careers. Dee has been involved with the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Dee starred in “American Gangster,” set in part in Bergen County, in 2007.

For more information on Ruby Dee, click here.

For more information on Kearny’s Western Electric plant, click “Continue reading…”  Continue reading

More Skimmers at River Barge Park

IMG_9865Although NJMC staffers saw “only” four or five Black Skimmers at River Barge Park in Secaucus on Sunday, Jana Brusich reported (and photographed) a dock-full.

We tried counting all of them but gave up. Best viewing time is typically near high tide. To find when high tide is at River Barge Park, get the tide tables for Garretts Reach here.

Needless to say, it has been a great year for Black Skimmers in the Meadowlands.


Don Torino: ‘Lost Bird’ Eco-Art Project


Photo copyright Don Torino, 2014

Don Torino, who helps lead many of the walks we do with the Bergen County Audubon Society, wrote his latest column for wildnewjersey.tv on an art project for kids, based on the documentary “The Lost Bird Project,” which we screened in DeKorte Park in Sept. 2012.


“The student’s art projects consisted of drawings, sculptures and poems to honor the lost birds,” Don writes. “Through the eyes of these children, one could not help but be touched by their emotion.

“To make a child come to a realization that there are birds that once existed that they will never see is tragic, and then to explain that even today there are many more birds that could be lost by the time they become adults is perhaps even more difficult. I could feel them asking, ‘How could we let this happen?’ No answer I could think of could suffice.”

Don’s column is here.

‘Soprano Land’ Map of Meadowlands


More than a decade ago, TV Guide put out “Sopranos Companion,” a special magazine about the HBO series “The Sopranos.”

We recently discovered a copy at a yard sale. 03 008 AAInside was a map of “Soprano Land,” with a cool section on the Meadowlands. Sadly, the map did not include Pizza Land in North Arlington.

The series reinforced some old stereotypes of the region but also gave it some newfound notoriety.

We can only guess how popular the series would have been if it featured more Meadowlands sunsets, egrets, skimmers and terrapins.