2018 – A Century of Progress (?)

(Ignore above publish date – this was published on November 2, 2018)


Today – November 2 – would have been my father’s 97th birthday. It is also El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). As most of you know, it’s not a spooky day like Halloween, but rather one that celebrates loved ones who are no longer with us.

It also has nothing to do with this post’s subject matter, which is a year older than Dad, but it’s nice to throw him a shout-out on his birthday.

(Also unrelated, but leading up to………something): Yesterday, I received my complimentary contributor’s copy of the brand new Metallica remastered deluxe box set that celebrates the 30th anniversary of their “…And Justice For All” album (a couple of my photos are in it). It’s got a TON of stuff in the box and costs a couple hundred dollars (thank you, Q-Prime Management).

I had to rearrange things on a shelf to accommodate it – it’s large and heavy. I have a lot of diverse collections on those shelves and one of the things I unearthed under a pile of other things was a piece of sheet music……………….from 1920!

Here’s the front cover:

The song was published by Irving Berlin, Inc., but – as you can see – was not written by him.


Inside are the music and lyrics (click to enlarge):


Because the lyrics might not be fully-legible, I looked for them online to copy and paste here, but they were kind of jumbled paragraph-style – not lyric-style – so I typed them up:



(First Verse)

There’s a certain little state

No one thought was up-to-date

Jokes about it made a lot of fun


But folks are getting hunches

Going there in bunches

A mighty mob has started on the run


Tho’ small in size

That state is wise

Nobody hesitates

Its population soon will be

The whole United States


(Second Verse)

People living there are fine

Each one has a friend named “Stein”

Anderson had better watch his step


The cops are in a fury

Each kitchen is a brewery

They brew those hops

That fill you full of pep


From California, Massachusetts

People far and near

A train they take

To join the wake

And gather ‘round the “bier”



Everybody’s on their way to Jersey

Everybody’s going there to stay

And it’s not to get the air

That they’re going over there


There is something doing, something brewing

OH! BOY! Buckets of joy


Three and a half percent in dear old Jersey

Is not the dividends the bankers pay

Just hop on a train and tell the man

That you want to go where they rush the can

For everybody’s on their way to Jersey


(Hmmm………..a little non-PC in that second verse – and what’s “rush the can”?)


I DID find a “Click here to play this song” link, but after downloading it and then having to convert it to another format, all I got was an instrumental. So if you read music and play, maybe you can sing along with the prior image.


Here’s the back cover, in case you want some Berlin song hits for your Talking Machine or Player-piano:


Back to the front cover image: The very affluent-looking (and 100% MALE) Jersey-bound crowd of Mister Monopolys is split between two transportation choices after work in Manhattan: ferry or train (Hudson Tube under the Hudson River).

The ferry bunch looks quite unhappy while the tubesters are quite the opposite. The much newer tube option appears to be the preferred choice…………..by far.

Nearly 100 years later, contrast that with these recent images (I think they were taken this week and copyright credits go to CBS New York and PIX11 New York, respectively) of what seem to be an almost-daily occurrence in Manhattan with the trains to New Jersey (in this case, the ancient Portal Bridge in New Jersey was stuck in the open position – something that happens on a regular basis):


I don’t see any smiles.

This is progress?



Well, there IS a little progress…………….at least it’s not all male.


I’m glad that – in my job – I only had to “commute” (by car) at night (though Alice Cooper DID do a lunchtime show in Times Square once).





  1. Jim Wright November 2, 2018

    Great post! I’m guessing Prohibition had just begun?

  2. Bob Leafe November 2, 2018

    Congress passed it in November, 1918 and it went into effect in January, 1920, so, good memory.

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