Whistling in the Pines at Double Trouble State Park

This week I traveled to Double Trouble in Berkley, NJ deep in the Pines. This was the home to a lumber and cranberry operation. The town was named for the fact that muskrats breached a local dam twice in one week.

The Double Trouble Historic Village was originally a cranberry farm and packing plant. The Double Trouble Company was formed by Edward Crabbe in 1909 to sell timber, millwork products, and cranberries. Many sawmills have been in the town since the mid-18th century. The village consists of cranberry bogs and fourteen restored historic structures dating from the late 19th century through the early 20th century including a general store, a schoolhouse, and houses. The sawmill was restored in 1995, and the cranberry sorting and packing house were completed in 1996.

Here is a little light flute from that day:


A Bike Ride to Hammond Castle and Tales of Tesla and Mark Twain

Hello everyone,
Here is another amazing place I have been to this month. It is Hammond Castle in the Magnolia section of Gloucester, MA. It was inspired by a failed attempt to take over the Transvaal area of South Africa before the Boer War, an ass-kicking, and a possible lynching that the ever-interesting Mark Twain stopped.

John Hammond Sr. was a geologist working for Cecil Rhodes who created Apartheid and the nation Rhodesia. After their failure in that revolt and near death, John the father was recuperating in England as his son ran around playing in the ruins of castles. He liked this activity so much he brought many of the ruins back himself to build his own. Castle, not ruin.

In time Mark Twain would meet Nikola Tesla and bring him north out of the fancy restaurants in NYC and introduce him to the Hammonds. John Hammond Jr. was so enamored by Tesla he wrote for some time trying to get the famous inventor to create the Tesla-Hammond Wireless Electric Company. In the end, after some psychic experiments, the Hammonds would screw Tesla over with the father investing heavily in copper to make wire for utility companies to hang from telephone poles crushing Tesla dreams of free electricity and his son robbing him of expired patents which would make his fortune with remote control missiles and boats.

Either way, it is a cool mansion you should check out!

Hammond castle and Chris DowginHamond Castle doorhammond Castle towerHammond Castle arcade and Ocean viewHammond Castlehammond Castle

Abbey Road’s 50th Anniversary in Salem MA

A few years ago we did this quirky little photoshoot in Salem with Michael Naimo ( who owes me hundreds of dollars) and Scott Lanes (never got to see his photos) of several Salem locals. These were the familiar faces of those who participated in the downtown community. A time as one person said, “If you throw a stick up in the air, you are guaranteed to hit a Bohemian when it came down.”

The shoot happened on Front Street, not far from Old Town Hall which was in the movie Hocus Pocus. It is also was a door away from an Italian restaurant that existed in the 70’s which had a cook that started in London. This cook might of met John Lennon on the other side of the pond before he chose to wash dishes for him. The other reason Lennon could of been in town was because of Bobby Hebb, a notorious local who shot his witchy wife (who lived) and spent a few years in the Salem Prison (where they would break him out for the weekend to perform at barbeques). Hebb wrote a song called Sunny that made more money than the Beatles when it was released. Hebb toured with the Beatles and bought a car from John that he drove in Salem for years which was like lime green. Hebb was with The Beatles at their last Massachusetts show in 1966 at Suffolk Downs before finishing the tour in California. That was the last tour ever.

So for the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles Abbey Road, I present you with the artistic people of Salem.