Arts & Entertainment

An Everlasting Kiss: 40 Years of "Born to Run"

1c1f3912765b077d91fc_092e87e10df82c66daac_bruce-springsteen-1975.jpg
Still  in your cage near Highway 9?  "Born to Run" turns 40. Credits: Courtesy of WCBS FM
1c1f3912765b077d91fc_092e87e10df82c66daac_bruce-springsteen-1975.jpg

Forty years since "Born to Run," and I still haven't run and fulfilled my destiny. Like Bruce Springsteen, I remain pretty close to where I grew up, in a nicer house, maybe, and in a more tree-lined neighborhood, but within an hour's ride of the place that I still name when people ask, "Hey, where are you from?"

In 1975, I was 17 and a student at Montclair State when it was a college and had not yet put on its long pants and become a university. "Tramps like us" were supposed to have walked with a skinny, bearded Bruce "out on the wire." Having gone to 12 years of Catholic school, I thought "tramps" were girls who rolled their plaid wool skirts up just a bit too high and wore two-tone platform shoes. I did not have any clear idea of what "out on the wire" meant, but I wanted to be there with Bruce because he was "a scared and lonely rider." Being one of millions of teenage girls suffering from low self-esteem, I thought maybe I'd have a chance with such an earnest, scared, and lonely guy who just had to know "how it feels." What "it" was still remained mysteriously alluring and very much the subject of discussion.

As for those "suicide machines," well, I never had one, at least in the sense that I think Bruce meant. My suicide machine was not "hemi-powered," all tricked out, or in any way sexy. It was a suicide machine because it was dangerous to drive, a three-block-long blue Mercury Monterey that died an ignominious death on Tonnele Avenue in Jersey City. Once a friend soldered a penny to the radiator to patch a hole; once I pulled the massive front bumper nearly off on one of the logs in the quarry parking lot at Montclair . Occasionally, though, it "screamed down" Kennedy Boulevard (mostly because of leaky brake fluid,) and it did free me from a cage or two on Highway 3. Nobody "combed their hair" in my rearview mirror (there wasn't one.) No heads turned when I made my "last-chance power drive" home from a part-time job at the Palisades Park Burger King, clad in a red and yellow double-knit uniform and the matching hat also worn by Rerun on "What's Happening!"

Sign Up for E-News

About "wrap your legs" around this and "strap your hands" across that, I have to modestly confess that I never sang those parts of the song out loud. Too many years of going to school next door to the convent, I guess. I never played a guitar or rode a motorcycle, but this was a great opportunity to pantomime doing so in front of the record-player, the needle of which bobbed on a cushion of dust and dog hair. I did want to know "if love was wild," though, and I certainly wanted to know if it was "real." Despite my parochial education, I already new that what was wild and what was real generally overlapped in the Venn diagram of human experience.

Who could resist dying in "an everlasting kiss" and "the madness in my soul?" "Wild . . . sprung . . . madness . . . stepping out over the line . . . in a runaway American dream"  I just had to know what it was like, even though death in the streets and suicide lurked in the background and the bones were being ripped (yuck!) from somebody's back, it still seemed worth it to run. Bruce's Wendy ran with him down Highway 9, like Peter Pan's Wendy flew with him out that London window. How did it feel to run with the Lost Boys? Where is that place that "we really want to go?" I still don't know.

It's hard to acknowledge the passage of 40 years since Bruce Springsteen told us all to "get out while we're young." In some ways, I wish I had gotten out. Instead, like Bruce himself, I became one of the "broken heroes" jamming the highways of New Jersey. We are broken because we spent too long huddling on the beach in the mist; we are heroes because we survived long enough to see what exactly is beyond the Palace.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

WHSA TOPSoccer Registration Is Now Open

February 21, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Watchung Hills Soccer Association (WHSA) TOPSoccer registration is now open.

WHSA is excited to announce that the program will be free of charge this season. The season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 28. To register as a player, visit www.whsa.org and click on the “Log In” tab and then follow the registration steps.

TOPSoccer is a ...

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future in North Plainfield

Councilwoman Keiona R. Miller will host the 2nd Annual North Plainfield Community Black History Month Event: ‘A Celebration of Black History.’

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  The Honorable Ronald L.  Rice, New Jersey State Senator and Chair of the New Jersey State Legislative Black Caucus.

SPECIAL ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_fa4fe163698ac5321450_warren_summer_pic

Sat, March 10, 3:00 PM

Spring Academy Warren, Warren

Spring Academy Warren Camp Open House

Education

Obituaries

South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

February 16, 2018

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

February 12, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

WHRHS Boys Basketball: Watchung Hills Routs Somerville, 82-54

WARREN, NJ -  Six Warriors scored in the double digits to lead the Watchung Hills boys basketball game over Somerville on Saturday, 82-54.

Mike Hopwood led Watchung Hills with 17 points, Dan Pilsbury added 14 points and eight rebounds, Steven Bressler sunk 15 points, Gavin DeFuria added 13 points, Micheal Bressler got 11 points and 10 assists and Chad Martini chipped in 10 points and ...

Watchung Appoints New Council Member

February 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ - The Watchung Borough Town Council appointed Maria Alberto to fill the unexpired portion of Debra Joren’s term at the last meeting. The term expires at the end of 2018.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2ReYfGuwPE

Joren retired earlier this year and due to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was required to resign from any public office within six ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Somerset County Preparing for Construction of Finderne Avenue Bridge, Beginning Feb. 20

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Finderne Avenue bridge, between Union Avenue and Foothill Road, will be under construction from Feb. 20 for about nine months, according to a release from Somerset County.

The bridge will be constructed in three separate stages, with one lane northbound and one lane southbound being maintained, aside from intermittent single-day closures as required. In addition, ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Missing Township Teen

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

February 19, 2018

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...