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'So Close to Civilization And Yet . . .'
Airdate: Saturday - February 17, 1968

Last Update: 04-22-2019

Show Description
METUCHEN - Jean Shepherd, resident humorist of radio station WOR in New York, came to New Jersey for an evening last night "after debating with myself for six hours over whether I should or not." At the end of a ride down the New Jersey Turnpike which was characterized by the air pollution which he considers symbolic of this state, Shepherd said here that ''I made the wrong decision" in coming. But it was said in jest maybe in the midst of dozens of lampoons which he aimed at New Jersey, television, the Holland Tunnel and numerous other facets of contemporary American life which give him cause for concern. Shepherd lives in Greenwich Village "where I can look out the window and hear people getting stabbed and see, in the span of five minutes, four people being mugged." More than 500 persons, many of them Metuchen High School students, packed the MHS auditorium for Shepherd's appearance, sponsored by the Metuchen chapter of the American Field Service. After describing some of the swampland along which the turnpike passes between here and New York in graphic detail, Shepherd said: "What a brave state Jersey is. Only a state with the guts it has would dare to call those rotten, dirty swamps 'meadows.' "We're living in an age of canned programs and tape recordings and when l got out of my car outside a student came up and asked me: "Are you on tape?" l had to think for a minute to decide whether I was live or on tape," he continued. He said that a motorist coming from New York to New Jersey through the Holland Tunnel has the feeling that, "although he is not yet in Jersey, he has already left civilization. "That must be one of the worst things about living in Jersey," he continued, "You are so close to civilization and yet . . ." On the way here last night Shepherd said he was driving behind a 1953 Dodge, which he described as "a typical Jersey car."
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February 17,1968

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

Airdate History ' - Original' date is earliest known broadcast)
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