Liza May

Liberty 2016 Update #1 - What are Mugwumps?

Holy Shamoly!

It's not raining!

It will be a BEAUTIFUL weekend this year at Liberty! Sunny and gorgeous!

Except for today. When we're on the roads, and in the air. For that we have thunderstorms planned for your travelling pleasure.

But after today? Lovely all weekend.


It seems to rain a lot for Liberty, doesn't it? Which never makes one bit of difference in the mood here - if anything it makes people giddier, dashing into the lobby under umbrellas, hugging soggy friends, giggling and telling tales about the stormy trip, ready to start dancing THIS MINUTE to shake off the outside world.

I remember Torri and her mom three years ago, DRENCHED, laughing, running into the lobby laughing, shaking totally soaked hair, sandals, shopping bags, after a day sight-seeing in "The City" (that's New York City) in a downpour.

This hotel is right off of Interstate Highway 95 - that's the main North-South highway that runs down the east coast from Maine to Florida. Many of us east-coast-west-coasters will be travelling that highway to get here, stopping along the way at rest stops for coffee and potty breaks.

Rest stops with creative themes and names, like "Rest Stop."

Maryland has three rest stops, creatively named "Maryland Rest Stop," "Chesapeake Rest Stop," and "Rest Area."

New York doesn't have any rest stops because New Yorkers are tough. If New Yorkers have to pee they hold it to the next state.

Interstate 95 would have been a TOTALLY boring rest stop experience.

Until ...

New Jersey! Which goes on forever. NJ goes on so long it takes 12 large coffees to make it to the state border without dozing off.

So to compliment all those coffees, New Jersey gives us 12 rest stops! With names! And history lessons!

The Vince Lombardi

Legendary football player and "Best coach in NFL history" (NY Giants, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins)

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."

"Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."

"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

The Alexander Hamilton

Founding Father of the United States, 1st Secretary of Treasury, star in Broadway show

The Grover Cleveland

22nd and also 24th POTUS ("President of the United States.")

Because of Grover Cleveland we have the great word "Mugwumps" - Republicans who left their party (the GOP) because they couldn't stomach their own candidate.

The Thomas Edison

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration."

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

"Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt is a step forward."

The Joyce Kilmer

"I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree."

The Molly Pitcher


Fought in the Revolutionary War, but is remembered for the much more important job of carrying a pitcher of water to the men, because they were very thirsty.

The Woodrow Wilson

28th POTUS, during the First World War.

"Never murder a man who is committing suicide."

"The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests."

"If you want to make enemies, try to change something"

The Richard Stockton

"Signer of the Declaration of Independence, exorbitantly rich (his father had come over from England, lived first on Long Island, then purchasing 6,400 acres of land in New Jersey (Princeton University sits in the center of this land) which he left to lucky Richard upon his death.)

Stockton is also remembered for having been taken prisoner of war.

"Stockton had been sent by Congress on an exhausting two-month journey to Saratoga and Albany New York to assist in the American Revolutionary War. On his return he traveled 30 miles east to the home of a friend to evacuate his wife and six children to safety.

"While there he was captured in the middle of the night, dragged from bed, stripped of his property, marched to Perth Amboy and turned over to the British where he was put in irons, beat upon, and brutally treated as a common criminal.

"He was then moved to New York - to the most deadly prison of the war. 12,000 prisoners died in New York prisons, compared to 4,435 soldiers who died in combat.

"Stockton was starved and subjected to freezing cold weather. After five weeks he was released - but his health was ruined forever.

"His estate was occupied by the British. All furniture, household belongings, all crops and livestock, taken or destroyed. His library, perhaps the finest in the colonies, was burned."

The James Fenimore Cooper

Author, most famous for "Last of the Mohicans" "Deerslayer" "The Pathfinder," "The Pioneers" and "The Prairie"

Mark Twain's famous satire, often called his funniest, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses," is a biting criticism claiming Cooper guilty of "verbosity, poor plotting, overused clichés, and cardboard characterizations."

The Walt Whitman

Father of American poetry, father of the "American Vagabond" ("hippy") tradition, and the first semi-open gay/bisexual.

"Leaves of Grass" - banned at the time for its explicit sexual content (called a "mass of stupid filth to be burnt, penned by a filthy homosexual free-lover") - is now required reading in American middle schools. "Leaves of Grass" played a prominent role in the TV series "Breaking Bad" (Walter White being a play on "Walt Whitman" and many of the story arcs, themes, and titles derived from poems in the book.)

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart!

O bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

The Clara Barton

Nurse during the Civil War. Founder of the American Red Cross, and the International Red Cross in Geneva.

"I'm well and strong and young - young enough to go to the front. If I can't be a soldier, I'll help soldiers."

"I have faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I go for anything new that might improve the past."

"A ball had passed between my body and the right arm which supported him, cutting through the sleeve and passing through his chest from shoulder to shoulder. There was no more to be done for him and I left him to his rest. I have never mended that hole in my sleeve."


The John Fenwick

Leader of the group of Quakers who emigrated from England in 1675 to establish the first settlement in New Jersey, and the first Quaker community in America.


Thank you New Jersey for your Rest Stop Extravaganza!

We are now extremely caffeinated, properly bathroom'd, and way smarter. And READY TO DANCE!

Good luck all you Liberty Travellers! The Hyatt staff is scurrying around here anticipating your arrival. See you tonight!

Oh, and by the way, the whole weekend will be streamed, free and without ads! Courtesy of the generosity of Rob and Sheila of "Philly Swings"

Click here to watch!

Filed Under: Liberty

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