Flemingtoon™ 10.13.09

Stan Mack is best known for his series, “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies”, which ran in The Village Voice for over 20 years. I take inspiration from him for a new series— Flemingtoon™.

In “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies”, Mack reported actual conversations from the streets of New York verbatim. His promise was that all “conversations were reported verbatim”. For “Flemingtoon™”, all the conversations reported will be actual conversations from running into people on Main Street in Flemington, at Borough Council meetings, at ShopRite, Blockbuster Video, Home Depot, and Higgins Newsstand —as well as many other placed in and around Flemington. The title is equally inspired by Mark Alan Stamaty’s long running strip, Washingtoon. But, I won’t be drawing anything, cause I can’t draw. Maybe I’ll use clip art periodically. And names will be changed to protect my professional and personal friendships.

Flemington is the county seat of Hunterdon County, and as Republican as the rest of Hunterdon. As the only lifelong Democrat on the Borough Council for many years, and the Chair of the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee for two terms, I have encounters many interesting folks on both sides of the aisle, as well as straight down the middle.

What is now Flemington was originally formed as a town by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 14, 1870, within portions of Raritan Township. It became a village as of June 11, 1894, still within Raritan Township. Flemington was finally incorporated as an independent borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 7, 1910, based on the results of a referendum held on April 26, 1910, and was formally separated from Raritan Township. The borough’s incorporation was confirmed on April 27, 1931. Flemington is an independent municipality located entirely within (and completely surrounded by) Raritan Township and is located near the geographic center of the Township. In 1756, Samuel Fleming purchased part of this land, and built his home which still stands on Bonnell Street, and “Fleming’s Town” was born.

I moved to Flemington in 1990, and my first experience was a memorable one.

I stopped in front of Higgins Newsstand to buy a newspaper, and looked for a parking spot. Not being able to find a spot, and as was the standard practice in New York, I parked in the “No Parking Anytime” Zone, and scribbled a note, “Be Back in Five Minutes” and placed it on my windshield. Unbeknownst to me appeared a police officer.

About three minutes later, I came out with the Star Ledger in hand, as the Sergeant was finishing writing me a ticket, and left it under my windshield.

He drove away, as I picked up the ticket—written on the ticket: “Take your time.”

Lesson learned: Flemington is not New York.

Flemingtoon™  10.13.09