Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Official - NO Iselin Fair This Year

 Yes, it's official.  And I suppose you already knew this, didn't you? But there will be no Iselin Fair this year.  It's a sad story... but last year, if you made it to the fair, you made it to the end of an era.

The one constant in life is change, right?  And everyone seems to agree that the fair isn't what it used to be, anyway.  The handwriting was on the wall, long before the fair moved over to the parking lot and away from the old fair grounds.

A new facebook group, "Iselin Fair Timeline," which you can see here,  has a bunch of people sharing their memories.  Did you know that the fair was started in 1933, and that the famous pizza was sold for 45 years?

We're gonna miss that pizza...

30 comments:

  1. Total catch 22.... Luckily I was there for the last fair (who knew!!) ...but even so, I totally enjoyed the company and totally hated the fair....You can't go back home people.
    Here's to all the wonderful memories of the fair. Time to make new ones in my new home town with my kids at our local church fair...
    Beth

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  2. I didn't know that and I am a bit sad... as you know, I grew up in Iselin and the Iselin Fair (at the old fair ground) was a staple of Iselin "culture."
    My older sister went to Woodbridge High School and graduated there (because JFK was not built yet) and I attended ad graduated JFK (Go Mustangs). Thanks again for keeping me posted on what's going on in my old hometown (as it sure has changed since I moved away).
    Cheryl

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  3. I was hoping to get the reason for why no more fair? what happened?

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  4. I called the church and asked if the fair was off, and they said yes, but I didn't ask for details. Basically, though, I do know that St. Cecelia's is closing their school. The fair was always a fundraiser for the school, and the parents of students there were the main volunteers.

    Plus, even I must admit that over the past few years, the fair has dwindled down to a fraction of what it used to be. Last year, a few people tried to rekindle interest, but it wasn't the same.

    With so few volunteers, and people staying away, how could they continue?

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  5. You can Thank All the Dot Heads for this...

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    1. If the old Iselinites didn't move away, your 'dot heads' wouldn't have a place to move into. So who do we blame now? If we loved Iselin so much we shouldn't have moved out.

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  6. I really don't like hate speech on my blog. I wouldn't have even published it, except I wanted to respond to it.

    I don't blame anyone, because change happens.

    I especially don't blame any particular ethnic group for moving in. If anything, how about blaming everyone who moved out? If you all stayed in Iselin, and sent your own kids to St. Cecelia's, there would still be a school. If you volunteered and worked as hard at that fair as your parents, there would still be a fair. Even if you didn't volunteer, if you showed up at the fair, it would have been making enough money for the church to probably feel it was worth doing.

    But, again, I don't really blame anyone. You all who moved out had every right to do so, more power to ya. You all who still live here, like I do, probably realize the truth of the matter more than those who left do: you can't go back in time. People and places change. Nothing stays the same forever. It isn't SUPPOSED to stay the same. That would be boring.

    And -- going forward -- please know: I love comments. But, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.


    PEACE.

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  7. Marianne SchmidtMay 22, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Very Sad. So many memories. So many good times for St. Cecelia's Famlies. The Iselin Fair was the social event of the Summer. I am blessed to have the memories.

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  8. Just because someone may have moved out of Iselin or the surrounding area for whatever reason(s) doesn't mean they can't return as long as they live within close proximity to continue supporting the church/school/fair, etc. I lived in Colonia and attended the St. Cecelia's fair more then St. John Vianney which could never compare. After I moved out in 1991, I still went to the fair almost every year for the pizza and ribs. Speaking of ribs, when they discontinued this, that was the beginning of the end. They brought back the ribs a few years ago, one of the last years at the old grounds and it made me realize they were the best I ever had. Sadly they didn't continue it. It's too bad they couldn't continue the fair to support the church with the parishioners volunteering. I'd be first in line.

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  9. Hi Anonymous
    I agree with what you say, people could return to support the fair. And maybe someday they will bring it back... that would be great. It would be hard to make it what it used to be, though. I wish that we, as a community, could find new ways to come together to celebrate. Seems difficult, though.

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  10. I met my wife, a St Cecelia's alumni, while we were both in college back in the late 70s. Growing up in Hoboken, I knew the local church fairs put on by two churches in town. She proudly introduced me to the fair the year we started dating. I always found it fun, charming and something we later introduced our kids to. Unfortunately, it wasn't difficult to see the changes and shrinking of the fair year after year. The car raffles disappeared in the 90's. Someone else mentioned the BBQ ribs vanishing. The fair's name changed from the St Cecelia's Fair to the St Cecelia's Iselin Fair to the Iselin Fair in the past decade for what I have to assume was political reasons. Then the biggest change of all was the development of the fair grounds into homes. Organizers valiantly tried to stage the fair in the parking lot of St Cecelia's but the magic was gone. What I knew as a spralling, unapologetically loud fair had been reduced to a "tea party". Nothing against tea parties, but, it wasn't the same.
    Sad news indeed.

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  11. Anonymous... (I love the way you write!) And yes - you really could see the fair shrinking year after year - I could see it fade, based on the parking from my house. I remember years when the people parking their cars to go to the fair would come all the way back to my house on Benjamin, almost by Merrill Park. Then, as years went by, it got easier and easier to park closer and closer - and by the time the fair moved to the parking lot at the church, it was already over. The people who used to go had stopped going. Great memories, though.

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  12. The Fairs are put on by the Catholic Churches and their volunteers throughout Woodbridge Township. The For Sale sign by the St Cecelia School signals a further deteriation of business conditions both at the school and of the local Christian community as a whole.

    The non Christian community imported on non immigrant visas some valid and others purely invalid are displacing the opportunities of those of us who live here.

    Please note the saturation of New York Taxis with out of state plates parked on the streets or in local drive ways in Iselin. Take special notice of all the lawns and driveways crammed with cars of foreign nationals who have been hired through the non immigrant visa system that displaces American tech workers. Many of the people that have stayed in Iselin either work for Woodbridge Township, the County or State or Public Utilities. Most of the people I knew including family have moved out of the Township or out of the state due to the lack of jobs, high taxes, and the excessive abuse of non immigrant visas etc.

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    1. Hmmm... I'm trying to think of examples of where people I know work. In many cases, you are correct about who the major employers are... many people are employed by the township, county, state, or utilities. My husband, however, is an American tech worker, and he's still working. Hopefully he'll continue to do so!! :) Plus, the city is a big place -- I would imagine that many jobs are available just a short train ride away?

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    2. My sister has been in information technology as a Lotus notes manager since the 1980’s going from one place to another as the firms began outsourcing their IT operations using the non immigrant visa system. She had to finally move out of NJ back in October 2011 because she could not find anything in her field thanks to firms outsourcing using HB1 contract labor. She sold her house and her husband had to give up his full time job at Barnes & Noble an take a chance on a new life in Florida where the taxes and other costs are much lower. When her husband got to Florida he found out his employer Barnes & Noble only had part time work. My sister got a job as a recruiter of students for a shady University that’s under investigation.
      As for my situation the Tech Bubble in 2000/2001 ended my adventures in Electronic manufacturing as the already declining manufacturing sector outsourced the jobs off shore. Like many I found myself at Wal-Mart where the abuses of the managers cost me my job along with another co worker in June of 2009. The economy for people over age 55 is far worse because of the discrimination, few jobs, and plenty of young cheap labor available. It’s too late to retrain no one is going to spare an entry level position when your a couple of years from SSI.
      The election in the fall will have no bearing on the economy as neither party wants to give up the corporate money and take a stand like FDR did in the 1930’s. The USA can’t survive on the unfair trade and Global mess the government has gotten us in. Corporations have us back in the 1930’s with their executives fleecing the citizens just as they did before the Unions built the middle class. Take note the manufacturing jobs are leaving or shutting down. The few more modern plants are using fewer workers to do the same job yet are hiring cheap labor on visas any where they can.
      My ancestors came to what is now the USA back in 1648 when England was in its 2nd Civil War. Because the family had so many famous descendants their studied by Historians and Genealogists which documents my actual connection to them.

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    3. "I would imagine that many jobs are available just a short train ride away?"

      If that were true the President would not be so close to losing his job.

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    4. Mr. Doughnut, as much as I wish I could tell you that you are all wrong, I have to agree with what you have to say here. I wish you the best of luck!

      (As for your ancestors - I also had some of my ancestors coming in from England in the late 1640's, that branch of my family started out in Lewes Delaware. Other branches of my family came into the country in Plymouth, not on the Mayflower but shortly after - and some of my ancestors were actually Native American.) I don't mind people immigrating here - but yes, it should be limited and controlled, and there should be regulations to protect all workers, no matter where they come from.

      No one should have to cobble together minimum wage jobs to get by - American OR immigrant!

      It also concerns me that our children, for the most part, haven't got the appreciation of education that immigrant cultures do, and so they are being left behind; plus, after graduation, I see so many kids with a failure of ideas of what they can do once the graduate. The standard fallback position seems to be to head to college and become a teacher or police officer. I don't know any boy who is interested in training to become a plumber. (That doesn't mean there aren't any, though - I hope - because we need plumbers!)

      However, this is all just anecdotal evidence, and I sincerely hope that we aren't in as bad a place as a country as it sometimes feels. I tend to be very Pollyana-ish, because I prefer the view thru my rose colored glasses. Plus, it's pretty hard to change anything... do you have any solutions? THATS the real issue! How do we fix what is broken?

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    5. Simple solution, close the borders and secure what is ours. Seize all property that belongs to anyone that is here illegally, sell it at action and use those funds to deport those illegals, also use facial recognition to enter the US. Anything that is imported impose a tax on and use it to retrain LEAGAL US citizens. The imposed tax would drive up the cost of everything making it cheaper to manufacture here. But, this will never happen because the politicians sold us out to big business a long time ago. Now take off your rose colored glasses and wake up!

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    6. Dear Anonymous, I posted this -- I'm not posting your other comment, it was straight out inflammatory. In reply to that comment, I accept that you are entitled to your opinion. I also accept that many people may hold the same opinion, but I don't share your opinion, and this is a blog, not a community forum, so I don't have to post it. It would probably be for the best if you don't live in Iselin, because you obviously aren't (or wouldn't be) happy here.

      In reply to THIS comment - I certainly would agree with tighter immigration controls, and people who are here illegally do not belong to be here. Of course, not every immigrant here is illegal, and I don't get crazy over who is and who isn't, because there isn't much I personally can do about it. And I agree with your position on the politicians having sold us out to big business. Every politician is in the game for personal gain of some kind, no doubt. Some want money, some want power, and maybe some really do want to live in a good place. Whatever.

      But where is the benefit in taking off my rose colored glasses? You are the person who is all stressed out, I'm not. Yes, my taxes are crazy, but right now, I'm getting a LOT for my tax dollar, and right now, I have a job and can afford to pay them. My children got a great education at JFK High School, and learned along the way that they will need to compete for jobs with very intelligent people from all over the world. It's a world economy now, do you disagree? I can choose to hate the people and place I'm in, and have that hate eat away at me, or I can choose to accept and enjoy and not stress out. I can certainly imagine many worse situations to be in.

      We do have a representative democracy. You could try working with your representatives and lobbying for change -- or you could try running for office yourself, and make changes. I know many people with similar opinions to yours, and you might enjoy a lot of success.

      In any case, I wish you luck and peace.

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    7. Ok, first that’s what’s wrong with this country when someone tells the truth and it happens to involve a minority or immigrant, we are censored by someone like you because it’s not PC. I’m not stressed out at all, as a matter of fact I moved out of the s#*thole that Iselin and much of Woodbridge Township has become in 1987 as has all of my family except for one brother in-law who owns a home in the JFK HS area. So, this is our only dealings with this area unless I’m driving on the Parkway around mile 131 and see them driving WTHUTA going on a rice and spice run. I merely came across this site looking to see when the Iselin Fair was this year. I don’t worry about competing for jobs, I have worked hard all my life and have saved for retirement. I’m very comfortably retired at 55 and have started my own business and doing so I have been in contact with a lot of hotels. I can tell you that it is impossible to do business with them because they are all Indian owned (or another race from the same geographic area of the world) and they DO NOT buy from us white folks. Don’t say it was me because there are many people in the same line with what I’m selling in other areas that have the same problem yet there is one Indian guy that sells to all of them (who’s the racist now?) BTW, I’m ¼ what you might call Indian, but we prefer Cherokee Native American. I do agree that it’s a world economy, BUT….. it is slanted and one sided with a barrage of illegals, cheaper labor here on work visa’s and everything made off shore, NOW…do you disagree with this? I would never join the political ranks and spend the rest of my life trying to right what others have screwed up, a$$ kissing and back stabbing is not my forte. I’m not letting any hate eat away at me, it’s a matter of preference just like some people like fattening foods and baked goods, I do not, but you or someone else may and not realize that it’s not to their benefit to consume that because they are “looking through rose colored glasses”. I would be surprised to see you post this and I couldn’t care less. I’m merely responding to your statement. Now go out for some curry and sit back with your rose colored glasses as you and your family are squeezed out of your neighborhood. Enjoy…..FIN

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    8. Alright, thanks for commenting, and have a nice day! :)

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  13. Any one remember the Permanent Parking Meetings and the Iselin residents showing up in large crowds before the Woodbridge Township Council in the early and mid 1990's?

    The residents pretty much summed up what your seeing today. I know I forcasted the closings of most of the manufacturing jobs in the area and surrounding towns.

    Did you know I gave a speech referencing the 1993 WTC disaster and the Avenel residents responsible for it? Did you know I predicted the return of the criminal element to the scene of the crime in the manner in which it took place on 9/11/2001? It was filmed live on Cable 35 with former Mayor and state senator James McGreevy( Future Governor of The State of NJ) in attendance.
    About 5 years after the speech filmed by the Township the Terrorists destroyed both Towers Of the WTC.

    The recent fire at Colonial Gardens was also the previous area where the terrorist in the 1993 attack on the WTC had lived until the FBI took them away. Many of the recent tenants as reported by the Newspapers lost their immigration papers (so they claim) in the fire.

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  14. I have lived in Iselin for over half a Century. I met Mayor Zirpolo as a child during an Easter Bonnet contest! He shook my hand because I had won it!

    The girl in one of the Ivory Snow TV commericals was in one of my classes in Iselin Junior High (Janice Notarro). One of the Typing teachers was a former pro Wrestler. I forget his name. I remember the WWI Hospital which was buldozed behind School #24 in Iselin because I saw the remains of it when traveling with friends along the creek that runs in the back through Colonia.

    Did you know my ancestors both helped George Washington who came through Woodbridge and also hindered him because part of my Family were Loyalist to the King of England? That's correct you heard it right! My ancestors owned Robins Island in NY but The Patriots took it away. The family I heard tried to get it back in 1992 but lost in court.

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    1. My parents still live in Iselin, they are both going to be 89 this year. I went to school 24, Iselin Middle and JFK, and so did my 24 year old daughter. I go to see my parents everyother Sunday for supper with my sisters and brother.....Things are not the same, nothing in this messed-up world is, but there is nothing we can do about it.

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  15. To die for ribs. First thing you wanted to know each year, how much were the ribs and how big an order was. It was nice to know someone at the rib and beer tents. Just a perc for growing up in Iselin. Leave them Indians alone most of them are hard working people just like our grandparents and their parent and so on

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    1. It just became too expensive to live in Iselin and the police are wise guys. My daughter, a nursing student, was involved in a very minor accident(not her fault) and the other driver an 88 year old man called the police. My daughter had her registration in the glove box but ran out of the house without her purse so she did not have her driver license, the cop brought it up on his computer and shown it to her and laughed and said I see your legal but I'm giving you a ticket for no license, that will teach you a lesson. The ticket was $180. This killed our budget for the month.You know these cops give all kind of breaks to someone who knows someone. I told her never cooperate with the police, say I didn't see or hear anything. I know of a case that's unsolved in woodbridge but will never help them

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  16. Oh man, I just saw this after talking about the fair yesterday with my wife. We grew up when it was over at the old Fair Grounds. And yes, the ribs were to die for. The pizza was nick named "Uncle Bill's" pizza after Monseigneur Willis. It was said that in those days the fair paid the entire utility bill for the year. Sad end to the era. Jim G from Correja Avenue

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  17. I'll never forget the Bear wrestling days, i lived on gill lane in those days.

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