2020 – Collections: The Garden State Parkway

(ignore May 1, 2017 publish date – this was published on March 19, 2020)


I’ve already featured the 1951-opened New Jersey Turnpike (https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=9096), so next up is the 1955-opened Garden State Parkway, starting with some of my old postcards.


Toll booths:


The Raritan River Bridge:


This is a pretty boring scene, but the flip side is why I’m posting it. According to the card, the shown metal grating was made by the Borden Metal Products Co. in Elizabeth, NJ, where the card was mailed in 1958. It was sent to the chief engineer of the chemical division of the Borden Co. in Philadelphia by someone named……….Borden. I couldn’t tell you if it was a one-off to a company friend or part of a mass-mailing to everyone in the company by the boss. Either way, it’s a bit less boring that the picture:


Two questions:

1. I don’t know anyone who has EVER had a picnic alongside the Garden State Parkway…………do you?


2. Who wants gum? (I HAD to have this card):





I took this slightly-odd-at-face-value shot on the GSP in June, 1978:


Twenty-nine years later, I took this shot on Route 4 in Paramus, NJ, where it approaches the Garden State Parkway overpass, shown on the far right. You can see the GSP emblem on the overhead sign above the word “Saddle”. The story about this shot can be found here: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=939


In December 2015, I was in a moving car when I took this shot of GSP tollbooths:



Wrong-state GSP errors on eBay


New York is the Garden State?


“Garden”, “Golden”…………..easy to mix up, I guess (if you’re a moron):



The Garden State Arts Center


You have to take the GSP to get to the GSAC (currently the PNC Arts Center), which opened in 1968. This picture was taken in 1967:


An early postcard:


A nice evening PC:

(is that a comma or a piece of something between “State” and “Arts”? Neither belongs there.)


I shot a bunch of shows there. Here’s the sophisticated crowd at one of them showing their paper airplane skills:


Three other GSAC shows I shot, beginning with The Outfield:

If their name’s unfamiliar, maybe this won’t be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N1iwQxiHrs


Great White:

You may know their cover of an Ian Hunter hit (which is much better):



Meat Loaf

I think the woman sitting on the milk crate and facing the audience was an usher. I also think the reason she looked up was because she started getting hit with drops of moisture from above (Meat sweats profusely on stage).





There’s only one item I still have from my youth that I tried to buy whenever I happened to be in a GSP rest stop back then. The men’s room had a machine filled with useless stuff and the only one I enjoyed was the SWISS WARBLER BIRD CALL:


I think they were 3 for 50 cents and they came in this box that’s probably between 55 and 60 years old:


I just Googled it and was surprised to find they’re all over the place! Here’s one on eBay: https://tinyurl.com/SwissWarblerBirdCall


The best deal I found was 12 for $10.00 (not that I’m in the market or anything……).


Other GSP/GSAC things I got on eBay 20 years ago:


(Paterson? Never happened.)


I think this is also a keychain (the inner ends pull open):


Iron-on GSP patch:


I had no idea what this burwood(?) dish/bowl was for or why the top has 8 holes, but it’s got the Howard Johnson’s logo, so I know where on the Parkway it came from:


I just found another one for sale on eBay and now I know that it’s a nut bowl:


I didn’t buy the next two, but found them interesting, starting with another HoJo’s GSP item:


and finishing with…………….GSP hankies?



Lastly, here are the magic coins that helped us traverse the Parkway……GSP tokens:


I still have a hundred of them:


There must be a better way to present these things (but this ain’t it):


I didn’t have all day to fool around with this, so here’s what you get when you have 100 tokens, but no patience, imagination or even a ruler to make things straight:



We’ve come to the end of the road. I was originally going to combine this with the place the Parkway took me to more often than anywhere else, but that will have to be the subject of the next post.


One Comment

  1. E March 20, 2020

    Thanks Bob, you’re always interesting.

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