The East Main Arms

Posted On: Tuesday - February 26th 2019 9:14AM MST
In Topics: 
  General Stupidity  Race/Genetics

The beautiful Berkeley Arms - Rutherford, New Jersey

(Of course, it's in New Jersey, so caveat emptor, amigos.)

While spending some time in a far-away city the other day, I did a whole lot of walking on a day that was free of work. It was 60 F outside, and as I left the main part of town, I headed out on what looked like a nice country road. That brings me back to childhood and James Taylor, walkin' on down a country road ... ♪♫♬ ... with the bright sunshine off my shoulder.

Rather than being a nice area to walk in, things got fairly ghetto-like in a short while, so rather than cotton or soybean fields, there were small un-kempt houses, one after another. Long ago, the kids would make fun of black people whose cars were worth more than their living quarters. I figured they were exaggerating. Nope, one could do the math. Yes, a Cadillac could have cost well more than the 500 ft2 shacks they parked in front of. Well, years later that still holds! Additionally, the vehicles have gotten bigger, or at least the pick-up trucks. I really wanted to pace off both a large shiny modern pick-up along with the small beat-up house it was parked in front of, but yeah, it WAS the ghetto, after all. I mean, if it were only aligned a little bit better, I could have been sure, but I believe it was as long as either dimension of the rectangular house!

That aside, upon walking more and looking down the narrow street, I noticed big letters across a one-story building down at the t-intersection 200 yards away ... just a low-sloped symmetric-roofed structure that seemed to be a store, East Main Arms, or something like that. Hey, why would there be a gun store here in the ghetto? That's usually a bad idea. Now with nothing against gun stores, I planned to check it out, but upon another 100 yards of walking as I got past more trees, I could see this was a small apartment complex, not a gun store. "Oh, the East Main Arms." How fancy and NY City-sounding that was!

I had to look up more about this apartment-building naming with "Arms", usually associated with old high-rise structures even not in NY City. Where I lived for years in a medium-sized city, there is just the one old 15 or 20 story building called the XXXX Arms. Does it bring back memories to the reader, as it does for me, of times long past? The answers in the forum site linked-to above explain that the name "arms" came from inns or pubs back in England with their coats of arms shown on flags out front.

OK, but a one-story 20-unit apartment complex in a mile-out-of-town ghetto area being the "East Main Arms"? Is that not a little pretentious? Ought it not just have a plastic banner in front - "Bad Credit? No problem." or "Free Toaster with first payment. No deposit back for burned-down units."? Well, I really expected a gun store.

Walk on down, walk on down, walk on down,
walk on down a country road...♪♫♬

Not only could I not find any youtube clip on this song that wasn't fuzzy, hell, even lots of the pictures are blurry here! Oh, well, I did learn something about JT on youtube, in that I have been on the very road that he wrote about, as this was about the road near the mental hospital he voluntarily spent some time in near Boston, Massachusetts for depression (should have listened to some music for the depressed instead, 'cept this was a coupla/three decades earlier).

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