The Real Lone Ranger?

Here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, most of our storage units are filled with things like beds, refrigerators, boxes, and totes, but every once in awhile we hear about something very interesting being found inside one of our storage spaces. This past weekend the family of one of our longtime self storage customers began going through the items in a unit that belonged to their grandfather. “Grandad” had passed away some time ago, and they were just getting around to sorting through the contents. About midway through the day, I stopped by the storage unit to see how they were making out. I spoke to the man’s granddaughter, Peggy, who showed me a large envelope that appeared to be quite old.  Written on the outside of the envelope were the words “ The Real Lone Ranger”.  Inside was a picture of a man, and a document signed by someone named Bass Reeves. They both appeared to be from the Civil War era, but neither of us knew who Bass Reeves was, so we did what any red-blooded American would do, and asked Google!

Here is what we discovered….

Contrary to what classic westerns might have us believe, one in four American cowboys was actually African-American. It turns out that the true inspiration behind The Lone Ranger (and possibly Django from Django Unchained) may have been real life US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, an African-American who fled the Civil War, befriended the Seminole and Creek Indians, and eventually became one of the greatest lawmen of the Wild West.

Bass Reeves was born a slave in 1838. When the Civil War broke out, Reeves went into battle with his master and fought for the Confederacy. It was during the Civil War that Reeves made his great escape from slavery. Reeves took refuge with the Creek and Seminole Indians. He learned their languages and customs, and sharpened his skills as an ambidextrous marksman. During the chaos of the Civil War, Indian Territory became the hiding grounds for outlaws. In 1875, U.S. Marshal James F. Fagan was ordered to lead 200 deputies in the pursuit of these outlaws. The stories of Reeves’ familiarity with the land and his own fugitive past got around to Fagan, and Reeves was soon hired on as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. Reeves, along with the other deputies, was ordered to bring the outlaws back  — dead or alive.

Reeves took his job as a marshal very seriously. Six feet, two inches tall, the slender Reeves rode a large white stallion as he patrolled all 75,000 square miles of Indian Territory. The rough and tough lawman, with his intimidating black hat, two colt .45 Peacemakers strapped at his sides, slick suits, and polished shoes, brought over 3,000 felons to justice – far more than Wyatt Earp or Bill Hickok.

By all accounts, Reeves was also a master of disguise. He would appear to felons as a cowboy, farmer, or even an outlaw (wearing a mask).

And when he wasn’t in disguise, he was easily recognized by the silver dollars he left as his calling card. Reeves was also known to have traveled with a native American who helped him track outlaws.

Despite disguises and calling cards, Reeves treated his position with great respect. Even in the face of morally conflicting circumstances, Reeves held the law above all – He once arrested and jailed his own Son for murder.

In 1907, law enforcement was put in the hands of state agencies and Reeves, now nearly 70, joined the Muskogee Oklahoma Police Department as a patrolman. However, shortly after, on January 12, 1910, Bass Reeves passed away due to Bright’s disease.

There you have it – the story of a man who many consider to be the inspiration for the fictional character The Lone Ranger. I don’t know if the picture or the document are worth anything, but it sure made for an interesting day at The Storage Inn. Well, I gotta go – it’s time for me to ride off into the sunset – now if I only had a horse!

The Storage Inn team investigates the origins of popular sayings!

Biting the Bullet during The Dog Days of Summer

So, the “Dog Days of Summer” are officially upon us here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. It’s been extremely hot and humid as we head out of July and into August. The “Dog Days of Summer” thing was brought up to me by one of our storage space  customers who also happens to be into astrology.  

I always assumed that this saying referred to the weather being so hot that even the family dog did not want to move out of his resting spot. But, Cindy, our astrological self storage client, informed me that the “dog days of summer” are the hot, sultry days of summer that coincide with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius (also known as the dog star) from late July to late August.

This got me to thinking about all of the sayings that we use, but probably have no idea where  they came from.

So being the detective that I am, I decided to investigate a few popular sayings.

“Bite the Bullet”

Meaning: Accepting something difficult or unpleasant
History: There was no time to administer anesthesia before emergency surgery during battle. The surgeon made patients bite down on a bullet in an attempt to distract them from the pain.

“Break the Ice”

Meaning: To commence a project or initiate a friendship
History: Before the days of trains or cars, port cities that thrived on trade suffered during the winter because frozen rivers prevented commercial ships from entering the city. Small ships known as “icebreakers” would rescue the icebound ships by breaking the ice and creating a path for them to follow. Before any type of business arrangement today, it is now customary to “break the ice” before beginning a project.

“Butter him/her Up”

Meaning: To flatter someone
History: An ancient Indian custom involved throwing balls of clarified butter at statues of the gods to seek favor.

“Caught Red Handed”

Meaning: To be caught doing something wrong
History: This saying originated because of a law. If someone butchered an animal that didn’t belong to him, he had to be caught with the animal’s blood on his hands to be convicted. Being caught with freshly cut meat did not make the person guilty.

Give him/her “The Cold Shoulder”

Meaning: A rude way of telling someone he isn’t welcome
History: Although giving someone the cold shoulder today is considered rude, it was actually regarded as a polite gesture in medieval England. After a feast, the host would let his guests know it was time to leave by giving them a cold piece of meat from the shoulder of beef, mutton, or pork.

“Cold Turkey”

Meaning: To quit something abruptly
History: People believed that during withdrawal, the skin of drug addicts became translucent, hard to the touch, and covered with goose bumps – like the skin of a plucked turkey.

“Kick the Bucket”

Meaning: To die
History: When a cow was killed at a slaughterhouse, a bucket was placed under it while it was positioned on a pulley. Sometimes the animal’s legs would kick during the adjustment of the rope and it would literally kick the bucket before being killed.

“No Spring Chicken”

Meaning: Someone who is past his prime
History: New England chicken farmers generally sold chickens in the spring, so the chickens born in the springtime yielded better earnings than the chickens that survived the winter. Sometimes, farmers tried to sell old birds for the price of a new spring chicken. Clever buyers complained that the fowl was “no spring chicken,” and the term came to represent anyone past their prime.

“Rule of Thumb”

Meaning: A common, ubiquitous benchmark
History: Legend has it that 17th century English Judge Sir Francis Buller ruled it was permissible for a husband to beat his wife with a stick, given that the stick was no wider than his thumb.

“Saved by the Bell”

Meaning: Rescued from an unwanted situation
History: As scary as it sounds, being buried alive was once a common occurrence. People who feared succumbing to such a fate were buried in special coffins that connected to a bell above ground. At night, guards listened for any bells in case they had to dig up a living person and save them “by the bell.”

“Sleep Tight”

Meaning: Sleep well
History: During Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. In order to make the bed firmer, one had to pull the ropes to tighten the mattress.

So in conclusion, let me Break The Ice by inviting you to visit The Storage Inn for all of your self storage and packing needs. We promise not to give you The Cold Shoulder, and may even Butter You Up a bit – and if you rent from us, you’ll be able to Sleep Tight, knowing that all of your items are safe & secure!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

 

Breaking News – What’s the Big Scoop on Eating Ice Cream in July?!

Holy Frozen Cow! The crew here at the Storage Inn has just been informed that July is National Ice Cream Month. This made us all so happy that we jumped for joy and decided to share our ice cream enthusiasm with everyone! Now, as a nation, we all have a great reason to curb our diets and celebrate with ice cream!

How did this amazing discovery come about you ask? Well, as the manager at the Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township, I have the wonderful opportunity to speak with so many storage rental customers everyday. Today I was having a conversation with one of our tenants, Mr Giordano.

I’ve always known that Mr. Giordano is a teacher because he stores his extra classroom items in a storage unit all summer long. But! it turns out that he also has a very delightful summer job. He’s an ice cream man!

That’s right! – During the hot summer months you can find Mr. Giordano cruising around your neighborhood in that big white truck that plays the music you can hear from 5 blocks away!

During our conversation, he informed me that July is indeed National Ice Cream Month; so in honor of National Ice Cream Month and Mr. Giordano, here are some fun facts about America’s favorite frozen treat…

Fun Facts About Ice Cream

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by over 90 percent of the nation’s population.

The waffle cone was created at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis when Abe Doumar, a traveling salesman, encouraged an ice cream vendor to serve their ice cream on rolled waffles made by another nearby vendor when they ran out of paper dishes.

The first known ice cream recipe was handwritten in the recipe book of Lady Anne Fanshawe in 1665, and it was flavored with orange flower water, mace, or ambergris – an intestinal fluid from sperm whales.

Chocolate ice cream was invented long before vanilla, and the first documented recipe for it appeared in the book The Modern Steward, published in Italy in 1692.

Vanilla ice cream may be the default flavor today, but it was quite exotic and rare in the late 1700’s, as vanilla was difficult to acquire before the mid-19th century.

Many ice cream flavors popular in the colonial era in the United States are still mainstays – vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, coffee – but others, like oyster, parmesan, and asparagus – didn’t have staying power.

The Häagen-Dazs brand was established by two Americans – Reuben and Rose Mattus – and the name was made up to sound Danish and sophisticated.

Ben & Jerry’s was the first company to sell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in 1991, and the flavor was created based on an anonymous suggestion on a board in their Burlington, Vt., shop.

Food photographers frequently use modified mashed potatoes as a stand-in for actual ice cream in photos.

“Brain Freeze” happens because the nerve endings on the roof of your mouth are not used to being cold, and they send a message to your brain signaling a loss of body heat.

Apple pie a la mode was invented at the Cambridge Hotel in New York when a customer named Professor Charles Watson Townshend regularly ordered ice cream with his apple pie. Another diner, Berry Hall, coined the dish’s name.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors are full of chunky mix-ins in part because co-founder Ben Cohen has no sense of scent, and a lot of his pleasure in ice cream comes from its texture.

The sundae was invented when soda jerks in the late 1890s bowed to criticism from religious leaders for serving “sinfully” rich ice cream sodas on Sundays. They started serving the ice cream and syrups without soda water and called it a “sundae.”

Dreyer’s and Edy’s are the same brand, but the latter name is used in the East and Midwestern United States, and the former is used in the West and Texas.

Hawaiian Punch was originally created and marketed as a syrup intended as an ice cream topping, but it became more popular mixed with water as a drink.

Professional ice cream taste-testers use special gold spoons which allow the tester to taste the product with virtually no trace of flavor left over from what was last on the spoon.

Blue Bell Creamery and Dreyer’s/Edy’s both claim to have invented cookies and cream ice cream, and there is no substantial proof as to which brand was actually first.

The earliest versions of Neapolitan ice cream were made of green pistachio, white vanilla, and red cherry ice cream and was made to resemble the Italian flag.

So, there you have it, a few things that you might not have known about America’s favorite frozen treat!

Boy, all this talk about ice cream reminded me again of Mr. Giordano. Where’d he go? I was gonna, ahem, suggest I keep a close eye on his ice cream truck while he took his good ole time rummaging through his storage unit. 😉

Happy National Ice Cream Month Everyone!

 

 

 

The Storage Inn investigates the history of the American Hot Dog!

Hot Diggity Dog!

It’s Mid-July here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and It’s been very busy with customers running to and from their storage spaces. Most are retrieving summer items such as barbecue grills, lawn chairs, bicycles and even surfboards.

Just today, one of our storage customers, Carl, stopped in the office for a complimentary bottle of cold spring water, and was proud to announce to us that he had just purchased 200 hot dogs for his annual Hot Dog and Beer Barbecue party!

“Wow – a hot dog and beer party – sounds like fun! “ I said. “Yeah, we do it every year. We supply the hot dogs and beer, and all of our friends bring a side dish or anything else they wanna eat or drink. Always a great time!” Carl replied.

As Carl strode out of the eht storage rental office, I began to think…

“Wow, that’s a lot of hot dogs! – I wonder how many hot dogs Americans actually eat?” And what about that old saying folks like to use… “American as hot dogs and apple pie?”

“Did we invent hot dogs? “ I pondered. I decided to do some digging, and here’s what I found.

  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans consume seven billion hot dogs!
  • The most popular condiment is mustard. Then come onions, chili, ketchup, relish, and sauerkraut.
  • Nathan Handwerker opened Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs (which remains a Coney Island institution) in 1916.
  • To counteract the stories of unhealthy ingredients in hot dogs, Handwerker hired men to wear surgeon’s smocks and eat lunch in his restaurants.
  • The largest seller of hot dogs is 7-Eleven, with 100 million served annually.
  • If you ask for a “hot dog” in New Zealand, you’ll get it battered on a stick like a corn dog. To get one on a bun, you have to ask for an “American hot dog.”
  • A “Chicago-style” hot dog never includes ketchup.
  • According to Guinness, the most expensive hot dogs ever were 3/4-pound, 18-inch dogs sold for charity in 2012 at a Sacramento, California, restaurant. Topped with an impressive array of fancy condiments—moose milk cheese, maple-syrup bacon, organic baby greens, whole-grain mustard, and cranberries—the dogs cost $145.49 each, with proceeds donated to a children’s hospital.

  • The most hot dogs (with buns) consumed by one person in 10 minutes: 72 – Joey Chestnut holds the record set July 4th, 2017.
  • The world’s longest hot dog stretched 196.85 feet and was prepared by Japan’s Shizuoka Meat Producers in 2006.
  • In the 1880s or ’90s, frankfurters (from Germany) and wieners (from Austria) became known as “hot dogs”—possibly because of the sausages’ similarities to dachshunds .

So, there you have it – a little hot dog history! I never know what I’m going to learn talking to our customers here at The Storage Inn. Well, I’ve got to go – I have a sudden craving for a chili cheese dog and an ice cold beer!

 

Tips for keeping your pet safe and cool this summer.

6 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Summer Heat

The July heat is on here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, but it doesn’t seem to slow down our self storage tenants. They just keep motoring to and from their storage spaces like the Energizer Bunny, stopping into our rental office every once in awhile for a complimentary bottle of ice cold spring water.

Today I had a visit from one of our tenants, Sergeant DiPiano – he’s a K-9 Officer, and always has his dog, Trooper, in the back of his vehicle. I asked him how Trooper handles the heat.

“No problem “ he answered “ He loves the AC! “ – “I do end up rescuing a couple of dogs from cars each summer”, he added. “I just wish people would realize how dangerous the heat is for their dogs!”.

Right about then he said he had something for me and headed out to his cruiser. He came back and handed me a stack of pamphlets entitled “6 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Summer Heat”.

Here are those tips courtesy of Sergeant DiPiano.

1. When the temperature is high, don’t let your dog linger on hot surfaces like asphalt and cement. Being so close to the ground can heat their body quickly and is also an invitation to burns on sensitive paw pads. Keep walks to a minimum.

2. Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can help prevent overheating, but never shave to the skin. Dogs need one inch of protection to avoid getting sunburned.

3. Provide access to fresh water 
at all times. Make certain an outside dog has access to shade and plenty of cool water.

4. Restrict exercise when temperatures soar, and do not muzzle the dog because it inhibits their ability to pant.

5. Many dogs enjoy a swim, splashing in a wading pool, or a run through a sprinkler in warmer weather which can help bring body temperatures down.

6. Never leave your pet in a parked car! Not even if you park in the shade or plan to be gone for only a few minutes. The temperature inside of a car can reach oven-like temperatures in just minutes, often in excess of 140 degrees. That quick errand can turn into a disaster and could be fatal for your pet.

Any pet that cannot cool himself off is at risk for heat stroke, but some breeds and dogs with certain conditions are more susceptible. Heart disease, obesity, older age, or breathing problems put the dog at higher risk, and for these animals even normal activities in intense heat can be harmful. Dogs with shorter snouts – like Pugs or Bulldogs – have a harder time panting out their body heat, and certain breeds don’t tolerate the heat as well as others. This group includes English and French Bulldogs, Boxers, the Saint Bernard, Pugs, and Shih Tzu.

Well, there you have it folks, some great tips for keeping your pup cool in the summer; and if you bring your four legged friend with you to The Storage Inn, be sure to stop into the rental office for some ice cold spring water for both of you! Have a cool and happy summer!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Summer Fun Facts from The Storage Inn

Summer is officially here in Egg Harbor Township and The Storage Inn is bustling with warm weather activity. Landscape storage customers are shooting in and out, retrieving items from their storage spaces. Families are grabbing barbecue grills, surfboards, and bicycles from their summer storage rentals, and I even saw one of our younger self storage tenants on roller blades!

Everybody loves summer! To celebrate, I’d like to share a few interesting facts about summer with our readers.

 

In the United States, the top 5 most popular summer vacations are

1) beach/ocean (45%),

2) a famous city (42%),

3) national parks (21%),

4) a lake (17%), and

5) a resort (14%)

 

The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer.

 

In the summer heat, the iron in France’s Eiffel Tower expands, making the tower grow more than 6 inches.

 

The month of June was named after  Juno, the wife of Jupiter. July is named after Julius Caesar, and August after Caesar Augustus.

 

The first Olympic Games in the modern era were the 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the Olympiad in Athens, Greece. The Games featured the Panathinaiko Stadium, the first giant stadium of the modern world that housed the largest crowd to ever watch a sporting event.

 

Watermelon, a summer time favorite, is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually.

 

The popsicle, another summer time treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905 during the cooler part of the year. He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning it had frozen solid. A little time later in life he began selling them at an amusement park in New Jersey. Cherry is the number 1 popsicle flavor in the United States.

 

Before the Civil War, schools did not have summer vacation. In rural communities, kids had school off during the spring planting and fall harvest while urban schools were essentially year-round. The long summer holiday didn’t come about until the early 20th century

 

The record for the most people applying sunscreen was on January 8, 2012, in Australia with 1,006 participants applying sunscreen for 2 minutes.

 

There you have it – A few things that you may not have known about Summer! Happy Summer everyone from all of us here at The Storage Inn!

The Heat is on!

Its mid June and the temperatures at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and The Storage Inn of Ocean City are starting to soar! The heat and humidity, however, does not seem to deter our customers from shuttling in and out as they rearrange and retrieve items from their storage spaces.

As a courtesy to our self storage customers, we keep a refrigerator stocked with cold water to help them stay cool. Working in high heat and humidity can be dangerous, especially for our senior tenants, so each year we offer a few extra tips on avoiding heat-related problems while working outdoors.  

Here are this year’s tips…

1. GRUNT WORK FIRST

Minimize your own energy loss by doing the heavy lifting early, so you can spend the hot hours in the shade, slowly patting yourself on the back.

2. BUCKET COMFORT STATION

Put an empty bucket in the shade and fill it with icy water to keep your drinks cool, your washcloths wet and your cold packs charged, or to give yourself a reason to kick off the work boots for an invigorating foot-bath. Just don’t drink out of it!

3. GET MISTY

Using the garden hose to give yourself a spritz to the back of the head on the “mist” setting gives a relieving rinse, while a little jet action to bare feet cools you off and freshens you up. The more settings you have, the more satisfying the shower.

4. SAVE THE ALCOHOL FOR LATER

Alcohol is a diuretic, which dehydrates you by causing the body to lose more water than it absorbs. Save it for the shade!

5. SHIELD YOUR SKIN

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, porous clothing. Choose heat-reflecting light-colored fabrics rather than absorbent dark ones, using long sleeves and pants to shade your skin, absorb sweat and reduce your surface temperature.

6. COOL TRICKS

Squeeze ice wrapped in wet washcloths behind your knees, on your wrists, in your armpits or on any major arterial lines. In the South, Little League team moms keep cloths in coolers for kids to wring around their necks between innings. In the yard, you can get creative. Chinese medicine cites the wrists as key to clearing the body’s heat.

7. KEEP A COOL HEAD

“Approximately 20 percent of your blood supply flows to your face,” says Walter Herman, M.D., a retired cardiologist from Philadelphia’s Jefferson Hospital. So you can lower the heat to the rest of your body if you just keep a cool head. If you can’t move your work to the shade, create your own with a broad-brimmed, light-colored hat. A bandana soaked in the ice bucket, or a sombrero left over from Cinco de Mayo would also do the trick.

8. EASY BREEZY

Use a work fan or a garage fan to keep the air moving over you. Fans create wind chill (a term more often used on frigid days). In this case, the sensation of coolness comes from sweat evaporating from your skin more quickly than in still air. You may also fan yourself with any of the hats from tip #7.

9. COOL VEST!

For working in severe heat, you may want to consider a cooling vest. The Cool Vest costs about $130 to $200 and uses chemical cold packs that are inserted into pockets in the vest. After a few hours of exposure, drop them in the ice bucket for a recharge.

10. DRINK HEAVILY

Last on the list, but first in importance: Stay hydrated.

The US Army Field Manual warns that you can’t use your own sense of thirst as a guide. Thirst occurs late in the dehydration process, in many cases hours after you’ve become dehydrated. If you don’t feel the need to urinate hourly, and if your urine has turned from a healthy lemonade color to a jaundiced maize, you’re probably already dehydrated. Stop working and take a swig of water, sipping frequently in small amounts rather than the occasional guzzle.

Add a little lemon, mint or cucumber to a cool glass of water for hydration with a twist. Or munch on watermelon, which is 92 percent water, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

As for all that beer you’ve been keeping cold? Pop one open after a cool shower and dinner.

There you have it folks! Plenty of great tips on staying cool for the summer. 

 

June is National Safety Month

June is Here – Be Safe Out There!

June is finally here, and Summer is right around the corner – the staff here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey couldn’t be happier! It’s great to watch our customers going to and from their storage units with big smiles on their faces, in shorts and flip-flops, driving jeeps and convertibles,on a mission to retrieve their summer items from their storage spaces. One of our tenants, Mr Care, stopped in today to get some packing supplies, but also to remind us that June is National Safety Month. Bill works for the National Safety Council. He left me a pamphlet on National Safety Month, so I read it, and here is what I learned…

Each June, the National Safety Council and its partners raise community awareness on preventing the leading causes of injury and death at work. Each week of June has a different focus area. Listed below are the four focus areas and some info on each.

Week 1: Emergency Responders

The nation depends on emergency responders to preserve the public’s safety and health when
disasters strike. To successfully meet this challenge, emergency responders must be protected from the hazardous conditions that disasters and other emergencies create, whether they be natural or as a result of human action.

Week 2: Be Healthy

Healthy people are statistically less likely to be injured, whether it’s at the workplace or in the home.The keys to staying healthy are diet, exercise, and regular medical check-ups.

Week 3: Watch Out for Danger

While safety is important in all aspects of our lives, ensuring safe workplaces has the potential to save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of injuries and illnesses each year. In 2014, 4,821 U.S. workers died from work-related injuries and approximately 3.7 million workers suffered non-fatal injuries and illnesses.

Home safety is also very important. Follow all safety guidelines when using appliances, power tools, and yard equipment. Be sure to keep all household cleaners, chemicals,  and prescription and non-prescription medications in a safe place, Be aware and be safe!

Week 4: Share Roads Safely

Distracted driving occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off your primary task: driving safely. Communication systems in vehicles are there for convenience, not safety. Even hands-free devices pose a threat because the brain remains distracted.

Last but not least, do not engage anyone who appears to be having a bout with road rage. Remain calm, pull off safely, and let them pass.

Okay, So there you have it – The four focus areas of National Safety Month! The team here at The Storage Inn wishes everyone a great Summer. Be safe out there!

Remember those you gave their lives for our freedom.

Remembering the Real Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is finally upon us, and the yard is buzzing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. People are visiting their storage units, retrieving their barbecue grills and beach chairs in preparation for the big weekend. As I watch the busy storage yard activity, it occurs to me that many of our tenants and quite a few of our employees are veterans.

Oftentimes we so get wrapped up in big holiday weekend plans with BBQs and beach time, that we forget the real reason for many holidays, including Memorial Day – A day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. To help put things in perspective, below are casualty statistics from the greatest battles in US history.

Highest Casualty Battles in U.S.History

  1. Battle of Meuse-Argonne World War I: 26,277
  2. Battle of the Bulge (WW2) 19,276
  3. Battle of Okinawa (WW2) 12,513
  4. Battle of Gettysburg (Civil) 7,863
  5. Battle of Guadalcanal (WW2) 7,099
  6. Battle of Iwo Jima (WW2) 6,821
  7. Antietam (Civil) 3,654
  8. Battle of Shiloh (Civil) 3,482
  9. Bull Run II (Civil) 3,000
  10. Battle of Saipan (WW2) 2,949

Some famous battles that do not make the list:

Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor: 2,403
Tet Offensive Vietnam War: 1536
Invasion of Normandy (WW2) 1,465

So, as you’re biting into that hamburger, and cooling off with a cold one, take a moment to remember those who gave their lives, to preserve our American way of life.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and God Bless America!

Celebrating Moms for over 100 years!!!

Celebrating Moms for over 100 years!!!

Today is Friday, two days before Mother’s Day, and the rental office here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township, NJ is a buzz with people shuttling back and forth to and from their storage spaces, preparing for various spring activities and events.

Yesterday as one of our tenants, Mr. Hendry, was returning his van rental, I reminded him, “ Don’t forget about your wife this Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day!” “ Yeah”, he groaned, “ Another holiday made up by the greeting card companies.” As Mr. Henry shuffled out the door, and headed toward his storage unit, I realized that this was not the first time I had heard that comment made by someone. I wondered if it was true, so I checked into it, and here’s what I found.

I was surprised to find that Mother’s Day turns 103 this year! The holiday is known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation, but the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace.

Mother’s Day and The Civil War

It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination during the Civil War. The group also tended to wounded soldiers from both sides of the conflict.

In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe – best known as the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – issued a widely read “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.

The Modern Mother’s Day

After Ann’s death in 1905, her daughter, Anna took up the cause, and largely through her efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states around the country, until President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.

Today, of course, Mother’s Day is right up there with Valentine’s Day in terms of of consumerism. Americans will spend an average of $162 on mom this year, with total spending expected to reach $19.9 billion. The U.S. National Restaurant Association reports that Mother’s Day is the year’s most popular holiday for dining out, and the third most popular greeting card holiday behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day! About 133 million Mother’s Day cards are exchanged annually, according to Hallmark. After Christmas, it’s the second most popular holiday for giving gifts.

So, on Sunday, give Mom a nice card and some flowers, take her to a nice brunch, and then take her to see a Civil War reenactment – That is, after all, where this whole thing got started. Happy Mother’s Day!