You all know the old joke, right? “Why does New York have all the lawyers and New Jersey all the toxic waste sites? Because New Jersey got first choice.” Well, New Jersey gets a bum rap; it actually has at least several scenic or historic places that are perfect for exploration…
Okay, all joking aside, it actually has hundreds or even thousands of such places, and I managed to find quite a number of them. As usual, my partner in exploration was this trusty 2013 BMW 335i convertible, now with close to 40,000 miles on it. It ran perfectly, whether it was tearing up Interstates, carving backroad corners, or inching along while its eccentric driver searched for Interesting Stuff in the adjoining bushes. Here it is, in the steel, waiting for me to finish looking at the Prallsville grist and linseed oil mills. The site dates back to 1720 and retains most of the original operating equipment.
I’ve Looked at [the Delaware River] from Both Sides Now
After an initial 150-mile jaunt from Maryland, my trip followed the Delaware River as it wound its way between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, continuing up into New York. Fortunately, there are many bridges across the river, so visiting places on either side wasn’t difficult. This one is the Centre Bridge, built in 1926 following a lightning strike that destroyed the earlier wooden covered bridge. (Edward W. Redfield’s painting of “The Burning of Centre Bridge” courtesy of Knickerbocker Style and Design.)
Over in Bucks County, PA, the Isaiah Paxson Farm is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a “gentleman’s farm” from the 1700s. In addition to farming, Paxson was an astute businessman, with mills, a cooper shop, fishery, and other interests.
The farmhouse is pretty much hidden by the tree-lined “allee” leading onto the farm, but the stone barn is in plain sight. The left side was built in about 1785, while the slightly larger part on the right was added by 1813. To the right of the barn is a small house, the original purpose of which is unknown.
Back on the New Jersey side of the Delaware, I found the handsome Stockton Presbyterian Church, built in 1867. Its windows were particularly striking.
The historic Stockton School is largely obscured by telephone poles and wires, foliage, and trash bins—but it is the oldest and smallest school in New Jersey that is still in use. (Postcard of the Stockton School in 1910 courtesy of The West Jersey History Project.)
Just down the street is the Stockton Inn, which practically drips interesting history. It was built in 1710 on a site recommended by Delaware Indians as being flood-proof. (They were right: the rest of the town has flooded repeatedly, but never the inn.) Over the years, the Stockton Inn was visited regularly by such luminaries as Helen Hayes, Clark Gable, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Oscar Hammerstein, Robert Benchley, Damon Runyon, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Richard Rodgers wrote “There’s a Small Hotel (with a wishing well)” based on the Stockton Inn. For good measure, a young Peggy Mitchell Marsh stayed at the inn in the late 1920s, working on a novel for hours every day in the dining room. I’m told that the result did very well… (Photo of Margaret Mitchell reading her masterpiece courtesy of Victoria Wilcox’s Art of the Story.)
Okay, just because I can’t resist, here are two of my favorite Dorothy Parker quotes:
- Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
- I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
This photo looks a bit surreal, with moving water above and still water below, and some leaves suspended unnaturally at the junction of the two sections. Can you figure it out?
It was taken from the bridge seen in the background of this picture, looking out over Wickecheoke Creek where it pools above the dam before emptying into the Delaware. It was a brutally hot day, and I was sorely tempted to go for a swim like the boys in the foreground.
This young fellow was also enjoying the stream. (He’s also in the first photo, if you look really carefully.)
A covered bridge was built across the Delaware in 1855 and operated until 1944, when it was condemned as unsafe. Three years later, New Jersey and Pennsylvania joined forces to build the Lumberville-Raven Rocks pedestrian bridge, using the original stone piers. It offered a nice view of the river, which is about 700 feet wide here. (Small world: only later did I realize that I’d visited the other end of this same bridge back in 2012; see The First of the Roller Coasters, the Last of the Covered Bridges.)
Toxic Waste After All
The hamlet of Raven Rocks, NJ clings precariously to a narrow strip of land between the cliffs of the Hunterdon Plateau and the Delaware River. As best I could tell, it hasn’t changed at all since the mid-1850s. Out of the dozen or so houses in Raven Rocks, this trio was my favorite. The stone house on the left is the oldest (circa 1810), and the frame building on the right was once a store, complete with a “gable hoist dormer” for hauling stuff up to the second story. The little frame section in the middle was added last, sometime around 1850. The whole lot was so cute that you almost expect to see friendly Hobbits gardening in the front yard.
A bit further northwest on Highway 29, one finds the old Saxtonville Tavern, portions of which date back to 1782. It operated as a tavern from about 1820 to 1870. Based on its current storm doors, stainless steel chimney, and roof-mounted TV dish, someone used it as a home until recently. Like many towns in the eastern U.S., Raven Rocks initially prospered from water power, grew with the development of a canal and railroad, and ultimately declined following the Great Depression.
So far, New Jersey was actively disproving its reputation as a state with nothing but pavement and toxic waste sites—but then I came to this abandoned house near Milford…
The house is located mere feet from what was the Curtis Specialty Paper Company, an 86-acre paper mill that operated from 1907-2003. With soil and groundwater full of PCBs, volatile organic compounds, and other pollutants, the mill is now an EPA Superfund toxic waste cleanup site. Perversely, it is also eligible for recognition by the National Register of Historic Places. Go figure!
The Case of the Missing Railroads
Remember how Raven Rocks was perched between cliffs and the Delaware River? Farther north, there’s just barely room for a single-lane road and a parallel set of railroad tracks. Thankfully, I encountered only two pickup trucks coming the other way.
Unlike most of my tours, so far it hadn’t rained and I hadn’t been on any dirt roads. Consequently, the all-conquering BMW was still fairly clean. The building in the background was probably a depot for the long-defunct Belvidere-Delaware Railroad. (The tracks still exist, however, and are used occasionally for excursion trains.)
Although I’d been this way 3 years earlier, when my 335i was brand new, I’d somehow failed to notice this row of old iron furnaces.
As usual, I managed to park “on the wrong side of the tracks.” Apparently this section of the old Bel-Del Railroad only sees occasional use by railcar inspection “speeders.”
I stopped in Phillipsburg, NJ to see what was left of the once-popular Centerville & Southwestern Railroad. My understanding was that some of the line’s locomotives and rolling stock were now at the city’s Railroad Historians Museum. I managed to find this structure easily enough.
You’ve all seen railroad tracks before, I’m sure, such as the ones in this ground-level view.
But have you ever seen railroad tracks with a giant, historically minded tourist towering above them? That’s me, incidentally; there weren’t any other giants readily available.
The tracks continued on, past the museum on the left and toward the old concrete siding in the distance. They didn’t look like they had been used recently.
As it happens, the C&S Railroad tracks are only about 9½ inches wide. It was a one-sixth scale model railway that operated from 1940 to 1972 in Roseland, NJ, about 60 miles from Phillipsburg. After the miniature railroad closed, the Railroad Historians acquired two of its three diesel locomotives and much of the rolling stock and track. They bring it all out and provide short rides on special occasions such as Halloween and Christmas. (Photos courtesy of the Phillipsburg Railroad Historians.)
The C&S Railroad’s pride and joy was this 7,000-pound, 4-8-4, steam-powered locomotive, shown here at the line’s turntable in Roseland. The locomotive was displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan for many years but is now privately owned. (Photo courtesy of the International Brotherhood of Live Steamers.)
The Railroad Historians also have some full-size equipment, including this caboose and boxcar.
Much of the equipment at the museum seems to have suffered from vandalism over the years, as indicated by this fire-damaged GE 44-ton diesel locomotive, which was originally owned by the U.S. Army. Note, too, the burned-out World War II caboose behind the engine.
As for this railroad car, it looked to be an incredibly large and complex weedwhacker. In reality, I think it might be the ruins of a “flanger,” used to clear debris from in between the rails. All of its wooden superstructure had burned away. It’s a shame that the Railroad Historians, who have done so much to preserve railroading history and to provide exciting rides for Phillipsburg residents, have suffered so much from vandals.
What Lies Beneath
Right across the Delaware from Phillipsburg is Easton, PA. It seemed like a good opportunity to find the modest stone Parsons-Taylor House, which William Parsons built in about 1755. He was a cobbler from England, moved to America in 1720, married Christiana Zeidig, and began a study of mathematics. That study led him to become friends with Benjamin Franklin and to be named Surveyor General of Pennsylvania in 1741. A later resident of this house was George Taylor, a signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. For the last 111 years, the house has been owned and maintained by the Daughters of the American Revolution. (Unless otherwise noted, historical photos are courtesy of either the Library of Congress or Wikipedia.)
A few blocks away stands the extraordinary Herman Simon mansion. Herman and his brother Robert were German immigrants who invented a power loom that could weave silk perfectly, and they built a state-of-the-art textile mill in Easton. They were very successful, and Herman built this mansion for his family in 1902 with hand-carved wood finishing, gold-plated fixtures, and a stained-glass skylight. In 1930, his widow Elizabeth sold the mansion and its furnishings to the Easton YWCA. (Interior photo courtesy of Paul McClure on flickr. Skylight photo courtesy of Artists in Unity[/url].)
Continuing along the eastern bank of the Delaware, I stopped here to see what was left of the Harmony Speedway. Where once there was an active, 5/8-mile, D-shaped oval dirt racetrack, now there is a large stand of trees and part of a farmer’s field. Although Harmony Speedway wasn’t as well known as its rival in Nazareth, PA, it still put on a lot of great racing during 1963-1975. Mario Andretti didn’t race here, but his twin brother, Aldo, did. (Historical photos courtesy of Harmony Speedway Memories.)
Like many other sites along this tour, what was once here is gone and almost nothing remains. Although the area is all fenced off, I did spot the massive concrete grandstands still lurking in the woods as shown in the satellite photo below.
Across River Road from the old speedway site, the Witco Chemical Company operated a large specialty chemicals plant. Like Harmony Speedway, the buildings are all gone—but extensive soil and groundwater contamination remains. The Witco area doesn’t qualify as an EPA Superfund site (so far), but it is being cleaned up. Maybe New Jersey should have chosen the lawyers after all…
The text under this Witco advertisement extols “Modern kitchen equipment with Witco vibration dampeners, scientifically compounded asphalt compositions which are readily sprayed on the under surface of steel utility cabinets, dish washers, sinks, window ventilators and ventilating ducts.” We were all so innocently happy back then.
While looking at the Witco site, I couldn’t help noticing a towering wall of dirt and rock in the distance. I couldn’t imagine what it was, so I zoomed in for this photo. Later online digging revealed that it’s the far edge of a huge quarry—on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, almost a mile from where I took the picture. It seemed much closer, and I’m glad it’s not a humongous pile of toxic waste!
Eminent Domain and a Search for Waterfalls
River Road continued to follow the Delaware, seemingly forever, offering many pleasant views of the river. Since the road was only slightly higher than the water level in many places, I wondered whether flooding was a common problem.
A quarter mile farther on, I got my answer… This house appears to be at least 20 feet above ground. (For the record, the Delaware River crested at 38.85 feet above flood stage in August 1955.)
A few miles further along, I stopped and waded through some tall bushes to get a picture of the Martins Creek power plant. Contrary to appearances, it’s fueled by natural gas rather than nuclear power.
When you’re wandering off the beaten path, it’s a good idea to leave a landmark so that you can find you’re way back.
By mid-afternoon, I arrived in Belvidere, NJ and began admiring its Victoria architecture—in this instance, the 1890 William Titman House. Note its very unusual tower roof and the round “horseshoe” window on the first floor. (Why don’t they build houses like this anymore?)
I also spotted a number of old mills, powered by the Pequest River, which runs right through the center of town. These are the “twin” McMurtrie’s Mills…
…and this is the “Upper Dam” on the Pequest River, with another old mill just visible in the distance.
But my favorite house of the entire tour was this one, the Victorian Italianate Mackey House from 1870.
Belvidere merited a lot more exploration, but by now it was late afternoon and I still had many miles to go before reaching my overnight destination in Middletown, New York. Pressing on, I recrossed the Delaware at Columbia, driving to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in search of waterfalls.
This area deserves a further mention. Following the massive flood in 1955, the Army Corps of Engineers decided that a flood control project was in order. They used eminent domain to seize and demolish 3,000 to 5,000 homes, displacing approximately 15,000 residents. A huge pushback from residents, historians, and environmentalists ensued, however, and the Corps of Engineers also discovered that the planned dam would be located on an active geological fault line. As a result, “the whole dam project” was shelved, and the land became the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Slateford Creek runs through the recreation area, and you can find trails to the creek’s three waterfalls from National Park Drive—but only with a lot of luck: there are no park rangers, no signs, and no evidence whatsoever that there is a national park anywhere within miles! Anyway, I found the trail to the lower waterfall, but it looked downright dangerous. I opted instead for the upper falls, which had a relatively easy trail. The falls were beautiful, and, with more time available, I would definitely have hopped in the pool at the bottom. (The temperature never went below 92 degrees throughout the day.)
In view of the late hour, I skipped a few other sites and proceeded directly to Dingman’s Falls State Park (complete with rangers, bathrooms, etc.) A convenient boardwalk crossed over Dingman’s Creek several times along the way, offering pleasant views.
Eventually I reached Dingman’s Falls, with its 130-foot cascade (the second tallest in Pennsylvania). It’s named for Andrew Dingman, a Dutchman who settled in this area and began operating a ferry across the Delaware River in 1735.
The same trail also features Silverthread Falls, so named for its very narrow, bright appearance. There I met a nice couple from New York City who were touring the numerous waterfalls in the area.
In Search of Beemerville
There’s not much left of the town of Dingman’s Ferry (thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers), but a few buildings were moved from their original locations to higher grounds. The 1850 Dutch Reformed Church was one of them. However, it became a private residence shortly after its relocation and remains so today.
The Delaware Cemetery lies across from the Dutch Reformed Church. Many Dingmans are buried here, along with unmarked graves in the Olde Poor Lot, and Chief Thunder Cloud (1856-1916). He was a Blackfoot Indian who served as a scout for the U.S. Army and participated in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. He is also believed to be the model for both the U.S. “buffalo nickel” and $5 gold coin. (Drawing of Chief Thunder Cloud courtesy of Find A Grave.)
Although I’d only visited 3 of the many waterfalls in this corner of Pennsylvania, it was time to move on. I crossed the Delaware yet again, this time on the Dingman’s Ferry Bridge. After operating the ferry for 100 years, in 1836 the Dingman family built a bridge. It soon succumbed to a flood and was replaced by another, which blew down in a windstorm. Yet another bridge just fell apart of its own free will within 5 years, and the Dingmans went back to ferrying passengers. The current bridge was constructed in 1900 and, against all odds, has held up quite well. It’s one of only a handful of privately owned toll bridges left in the U.S. (If I’d been on my way to church or a funeral, I would not have had to pay the $1.00 toll. Ferry photo courtesy of Dingmans Choice and Delaware Bridge Company.)
I drove to the top of Sunrise Mountain to admire the view, although I arrived much closer to sunset. Somewhere out there is the town of Beemerville, home (no doubt) to many BMW motorcycling families. As best I can tell, there is no sister village of Bimmerville for us 4-wheel types. I zoomed in but seem to have found Soccerville instead…
I finally made it to Port Jervis, New York at about 7:30 pm and located the magnificent Deerpark Reformed Church. The congregation was originally formed in 1737, and the current church building was constructed in 1838. The late, “golden hour” sunlight really lit the place up.
As luck would have it, that evening the church was holding a “soup kitchen” dinner on behalf of the disadvantaged, so I parked the BMW out of sight, wandered in looking disoriented and hungry, and got both a free meal and a look at the sanctuary! No wait, I made most of that up… I actually parked in plain sight, wandered in, and made a donation to their mission. A church elder was happy to show me the sanctuary. (I kind of like the made-up version better, given my favorite Mark Twain quote: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”)
Back outside, I admired the stately manse next door…
…and the Port Jervis Railroad Station in the last of the sunlight. To my surprise, there is still passenger railroad service here.
With a final look at the 335i, it was time to press on for dinner and an excellent Sleep Inn at Middletown, NY.
As for that tower, by the way, I have no idea what it is or was. It’s part of the Riverside Park in the city and must have some sort of significance. At least it was photogenic.
Old Cape Cod
Duly refreshed, I motored off to Cape Cod the next day and enjoyed 2½ weeks with my wife Nancy, several close friends, and Nancy’s sister Louise, our niece Emily, and her husband Ben and irrepressible daughters Diana and Helen. In between guests, I managed to fit in a brief visit to the old Barnstable village, on the bay side of the Cape.
The Barnstable County Court House was getting ready for the Fourth of July, with no shortage of American Flags in evidence. That’s a statue of James Otis, Jr. on the left. He was an American Patriot during the Revolution, best known for saying “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Following an altercation with a British tax collector in 1769, in which he was struck in the head, Otis became increasingly erratic and confused. His career effectively ended when he began throwing papers and firing his rifle out of the windows of the courthouse. He once said to Mercy Otis Warren, “My dear sister, I hope, when God Almighty in his righteous providence shall take me out of time into eternity that it will be by a flash of lightning.” He died in May 1783 after being struck by lightning.
There is also a statue of Mercy at the courthouse. At a time when few women could gain a formal education, Mercy became an accomplished scholar and author, studying alongside her brother and later being mentored by John Adams (second President of the United States). She wrote a number of pamphlets, poems, and plays supporting the idea of revolution against the British, and later became a leading voice championing the inclusion of a Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution—an achievement she was only recently credited with, since all of her writings to this point were under the pseudonym “A Columbian Patriot.”
My favorite quotation from Mercy Otis Warren resounds today every bit as much as it did when she wrote it: “The thorns, the thistles, and the briers, in the field of politics, seldom permit the soil to produce anything.”
Cornelius Crocker opened this tavern in 1754. James Otis led meetings of the Whig Party here, which proved instrumental in persuading Cape Cod to join the Patriot cause. In the 1800s, Herman Melville was a regular at the tavern, talking with the local seamen and gaining ideas for his classic novel Moby-Dick.
I learned a lot about Barnstable from the friendly and knowledgeable docent at the town’s historical society. Among other interesting tidbits, she advised that Barnstable is the most haunted place on Cape Cod and that the old Cobb Hill Cemetery is the most haunted place in Barnstable. The society operates a small museum, with many artifacts from the area.
She also described how Barnstable native John “Mad Jack” Percival (1799-1862) became an American Navy hero and was instrumental in saving the famous USS Constitution. “Old Ironsides” was launched in 1797, at a time when the life expectancy for large wooden ships was about 10 to 15 years. In 1844-1845, after rebuilding the ship for a fraction of the estimated cost, Mad Jack demonstrated its sea-worthiness by sailing it 52,000 miles around the world in 16 months. (The Constitution can still be visited today in Boston Harbor.)
Across Main Street from the historical society, the 1644 Sturgis Library has the dual distinction of being the oldest building in the U.S. to house a public library and the oldest to have held regular religious services.
The Customs House at Barnstable Harbor was the first “fireproof” building on Cape Cod, with brick construction and cast iron pillars and staircases. All of the harbor’s ship registrations, duties, bonding, and other maritime administrative activities were handled here from 1789 to 1913 (with the existing structure having been built in 1856). Since 2005, the building has been home to the Coast Guard Heritage Museum.
The little house on the left of this photo is the “Oldest Wooden Jail in America,” having been built in 1690. The cells still have their original bars and locks—along with the ghost of Maria “Goody” Hallet, the beautiful young lover of “Black Sam” Bellamy, the Prince of Pirates. She was briefly imprisoned here in 1716 and later became known as the “Witch of Wellfleet.” For $10 an hour, you can stay overnight here, in hopes of meeting her yourself. (By the way, the wreck of Bellamy’s flagship Whydah was discovered in 1984, along with almost 5 tons of artifacts, including silver coins, gold, ivory, and other ill-gotten treasure.)
Here is the Cobb Hill Cemetery, with graves dating back to 1720. Despite its haunted reputation, I saw nothing out of the ordinary other than a pair of pre-teen girls going from grave to grave. At least I think I saw them; when I looked again, they were gone…
See the house just beyond the graveyard? It was built in 1750 by David Bursley, originally as a single-story cottage. At a later date, the owner wanted to expand it to 2½ stories—and did so by raising the existing structure using a number of ship masts and then building the new first level underneath! Another example of New England resourcefulness. Or perhaps just eccentricity?
The C&S Railroad Revisited, or The Return of Eminent Domain
On my drive back from Cape Cod, I made a side trip over to Roseland, NJ. Remember the miniature Centerville & Southwestern Railroad that I’d visited in Phillipsburg? My goal was to find where the railroad had been originally. This was Eugene Becker’s farmhouse, which was easy to find since it’s still there. He donated it to the Roseland Historical Society in the 1980s.
His farm, however, and the little railroad that used to run throughout his property, is long gone, replaced by a modern business park.
Becker’s little pond on Foulertons Brook now has a pretty fountain in its middle.
Just past the fountain there’s a pedestrian bridge—and the concrete abutments are marked “C&S RR.” This little bridge used to carry the miniature railroad across the creek, as shown in the old photo (courtesy of rail fan Tom Rose). I doubt that one person in a thousand using this bridge realizes that excited children and their parents used to ride across it in miniature train cars, pulled by a fully operational steam locomotive.
In its prime, the C&S had 2 miles of track, operated on a strict schedule, and gave rides to many thousands of children and adults—with ticket prices of $0.20 and $0.40, respectively. Sadly, Becker’s farm and railroad were gobbled up by eminent domain, first for an interstate highway interchange and then for the business park. Gene Becker tried, and ultimately failed, to save the little railroad, which had been his life’s passion.
I had one more stop to make before driving the remaining 250 miles back to Maryland. As I drove up to the hilltop, this deer casually crossed the road, not even bothering to act frightened or run away.
There are several old Army buildings at the top, and some very large objets d’art. The area is now the Riker Hill Art Park, but it was originally part of a Nike missile launch site.
The rusty iron bases for two radar platforms are still in place. Each Nike site generally used three towers, two working together to track incoming hostile bombers or ICBMs and another to track and guide the Nike missiles launched to intercept the targets. (Radar diagram courtesy of Ed Thelen’s Nike Missile Web Site.)
And through the trees, I thought I spotted something else out of the ordinary. It turned out to be the surviving platform for the third radar guidance system. The structure is still largely intact, although the radar dish and associated equipment are gone.
The Riker Hill Nike facility (NY-79/80) was active from 1955 to 1974. Like other Nike sites, it was originally designed to intercept USSR bombers and was later upgraded with Nike Hercules missiles that had a fighting chance of destroying incoming ICBMs. Following the nuclear disarmament agreement in 1973, all of these facilities in the U.S. were dismantled. (Best not to mention any of this to a certain leader of North Korea…)
With one more opportunity for adventure before slogging home on the Interstates, I briefly contemplated climbing up the ladder to the deck of the radar tower. I discovered, however, that the ladder is missing about 15 feet of its middle section. Someone had helpfully left a knotted climbing rope in place, just for such circumstances, but I decided I’d had more than enough adventure for one tour without adding an emergency room visit to the fun!
With a last look from the hilltop, it was time to spin up the turbocharger and charge on home.
I made excellent time for at least 15 miles before the traffic ground to a halt. It was the Friday before the Fourth of July weekend, and virtually all of New York City was heading out of town. This was a typical view as I inched along I-287 in New Jersey.
After a few Detours of Desperation, I reached the more-or-less open road in Pennsylvania—just in time to encounter several monumental thunderstorms. Eventually the rain stopped, the skies began to clear, and the sun to set. I arrived back home no worse for the wear at about 9:00 PM, having had a most enjoyable round of touring in a highly enjoyable sports coupe.
Once again, I saw firsthand how almost any part of the Eastern United States has a hidden history—sometimes well known (e.g., the Civil War) but often all but forgotten (e.g., Nike missile facilities). For me, “looking under the rocks” for forgotten history continues to be a fascinating hobby, and there’s no better way of getting from rock to rock than a speedy, comfortable, and reliable BMW convertible.
PS: Gene Becker was also a great fan of Pierce Arrow automobiles. He owned a 1917 7-passenger touring model with 350,000 miles on it, which he and his wife drove to the Pierce Arrow Society’s annual gathering for 40 consecutive years. At each Annual Meet, the Pierce Arrow with the highest number of miles driven to the meeting, times the age of the car, is awarded the H. Eugene and Pauline S. Becker Award. Very fitting!