RAHWAY, NJ — If we had taken much longer to deliver Rahway High School (RHS) senior Connor Mackay's $25 Target gift card, we probably would have had to throw in a complimentary lightsaber or one of those Hasbro Baby Yodas (yeah, the expensive animatronic ones) as interest. If you recall, in early May, Connor was the winner of our inaugural "May the 4th Be With You" TAPinto Rahway Star Wars contest. And as the title pretty much makes clear, this was way back on May the 4th.

So we finally made our way over to Connor's house, and apparently his German Shepherd had also already been informed that we were something like a month late in our visit, and she wasn't at all happy with the belated status of our delivery.

At least that's how it sounded to us when Connor's stepfather answered the door and assured us, despite the barking and snarling and all-around I'm-going-to-chew-the-leg-off-of-a-burglar sounds coming from behind the front door, that the dog was harmless but why take any chances. (I may have made that last part up or heard him wrong. I was mildly afraid and maybe not thinking straight, and, remember, I'd left my lightsaber at home.)

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Anyway, the dog must have gotten shooed away to another part of the house, because the barking subsided and Connor emerged. It was great to see our contest winner and Star Wars Lego aficionado. We had the chance to chat with him for a few minutes.

It turns out that Connor is headed to Rutgers University in New Brunswick next year, where he'll study computer science and probably make things or invent things or discover things almost as cool as a Millennium Falcon or a version of Darth Vader's helmet made out of a million tiny Lego pieces.

We gave Connor his gift card, wished him the best, told him we hoped to see him at graduation, and offered him congratulations one last time on winning the contest. It was time to go. TAPinto Rahway was on assignment, as usual, and had events to cover, people to interview, and breathtaking nature shots to capture just as the golden hour breaks. Plus, I may be wrong, but I swear I heard that dog again.

But seriously, all in all, it was great to meet Connor and, to be honest, it's pretty terrific right about now to have the chance to get out and see anyone in person. It looks as though things are beginning to turn around post- or beginning-to-be post-pandemic—in Rahway, in New Jersey, and all around us.

And that whole thing with the German Shepherd, that was a joke, you know. She was a delightful dog, and I wasn't scared at all. I mean, not at all. You know? You believe me, right? Uhh, right? Wait, what, no?

Well. I have to say. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

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