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calendar   Tuesday - January 06, 2009

Mr. Bunnsy has a small adventure

So I got my fingerprinting done late this morning for my NJ firearms ID card. I had to go to the local mental institution psychiatric hospital to get it done. I didn’t even know we had one! So I went up to Glen Gardner (which is a town, not some brand of scotch, even though I once knew someone with that name) and took a drive up the mountain to the place. Through the deep dark woods. The woods that grow the 400 pound bears that they run over down in the town. And I kept going up, and up, and up. And the road got worse as the woods got heavier. Finally I found the sign for the hospital at the proverbial fork in the road, and bore to the right. I was expecting a bear on my left, but they’re all probably hibernating now. I managed to miss the sign where the road split into 4 even smaller roads, but at least I found the place. So I had a nice drive around all the old whitewashed stone buildings, going down all the dead end streets and blind alleys. Finally I decided I’d ask someone, so I found the Administration building and parked. A delivery guy I met in the parking lot pointed out that I was only off by one building, so I at last found the place.

I left myself plenty of time to get there, and needed most of it. You sign up for this task online, and the web page is quite authoritative. Appointments are little 5 minute windows. You pay in advance online. No refunds. No missing appointments. Definitely gives you the “Zhu vill not be late, or zhu vill be shot!” intimidating kind of feeling. So I parked, walked around the building until I found the little entrance nook on the side ("Zhu vill not use zer front door or zhu vill be shot!") and went it. And met two very pleasant and charming young women who did the task in a couple of minutes. They have an optical scanner attached to a PC. No ink. No mess. A full set of prints, both hands, glommed onto a file and emailed back to the police station with a single mouse click. Here’s your receipt, here’s your paperwork to drop off, thank you have a nice day. I mentioned that the website was a bit intimidating. “Oh that’s just to make sure people keep their appointments. If we didn’t do that folks would just show up whenever they wanted to.” She has a point. Keeping appointments and reservations seem to be one of those arcane acts of society that we’ve lost along the way.

Still no bears visible, just the usual deer, so I got back in my car, drove over to the police station and dropped off my paperwork, then drove home. Nothing else to do now except wait. My reference letters have already gone out, been filled out and mailed back. Let’s see how long it takes the state to process this process.

Now here’s a funny thing. This hospital is pretty old. It has that look of age that some fieldstone buildings get after a century or two. And I noticed that at least one of the buildings was in pretty awful condition, just about ready to fall down. So I come home and do a little ‘net research, and find out that this place was funded in 1902 by NJ State Governor Murphy, a Progressive Republican! (and Civil War veteran), along with fellow vet and eye doctor Charles Kipp and it opened as the NJ Sanitarium for Tuberculosis Diseases at Mt. Kipp in 1907. (scroll down to the G section). The funny part is that the place seems to be a geriatrics center, or at least a psychogeriatric hospital , and a center for drug alcoholism treatment ... and yet, at the same time, others seem to think this is another one of NJ’s famous abandoned hospitals and institutions. We have loads of them. Once upon a time, people flocked to New Jersey to recover from illnesses. Must have been that pure country air and water. I think the “here’s another spooky old mental hospital” guy was just sneaking around in the one falling apart little building. The rest of the place is immaculate.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/06/2009 at 02:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeGuns and Gun Control •  
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