I had the great honor to cover the story of the premier of Dad’s pictorial history book about the town of Lincoln Park.
Faith, Perseverance and Hard Work, Bring Dream to Life
By Richard Mabey Jr.
My Dad was a very humble man. As a result of his humility, I don’t think people realized just how smart he was. In January of 2000, my Dad had one of his kidneys removed. It was filled with cancer. Dad knew then that he did not have long to live. But he didn’t mope and feel sorry for himself. Instead, he began working like mad on a book that illustrated the history of Lincoln Park, New Jersey through photographs.
Dad was a devoted and loving husband to my dear Mom, Janet Kemmerer Mabey.
Dad spent hours upon hours researching old photographs of Lincoln Park. He would find an old picture in his own photo album or in the files of the Lincoln Park Museum. Some of the pictures were given to him by some of the old time residents of Lincoln Park. Dad would then take his 35 mm camera and capture that very same scenario, how it looked in the present time. When I tell you that Dad worked hard on this book, believe me, he put his heart and soul into this book.
Dad standing beside a photograph of his uncle, Earl Mabey, who was killed in World War I. This photo was taken in the Lincoln Park Museum.
In November of 2000, Dad’s book, Then and Now was published. Here’s the amazing thing. And, I mean this is amazing. Within six months, the total cost of printing the book was totally met from sales. That meant, from that point on, every book sold was pure profit. Every red cent of the profits went to the Beavertown (the old name for Lincoln Park) Historical Society. The book made a lot of money for this nonprofit organization. Dad had done a great thing!
My Dad was a great American, standing here in this photo with his late cousin, Delbert McNeill.
But, there were the critics. The small minded people. The jerks who didn’t have the gumption, the courage, the vision to create a pictorial history book of Lincoln Park. “There was an ink smudge on page 12.” “You should have included this or that.” “That picture wasn’t from 1912, it was from 1915.” And on and on the criticism went.
Dad standing beside the propeller of a B-25 Bomber Plane at Hickam Field, Hawaii during World War II.
But guess what? To all the small minded morons who sat on the throne of judge and jury and criticized my Dad’s book, you didn’t have the vision nor the where-with-all to publish a book on the history of Lincoln Park, did you?
For over 25 years, my Dad served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170.
I don’t mean to sound harsh. But there was this small minded fraction of people that lived in my old hometown. The squirrelly cowards who never had the guts to stand up and be counted. Instead, they chose to put other people down. They loved to criticize the people who did have the courage to stand up, work hard and try their best to make a worthwhile contribution to benefit the town of Lincoln Park.
My Dad and the late Reverend Fred Herwaldt. Together these two great men taught the God and Country classes for dozens upon dozens of Boy Scouts of the church.
Sometimes I get homesick for my old hometown of Lincoln Park, but then I think of these small minded cowards and I wonder. I wonder if truth be told, could I deal with that fraction of individuals, who were such cruel critics of the people trying to do some good for the town. Believe me, my Dad and I took our share of criticism from these type of men and women. These cruel critics had no real backbone.
Dad standing beside his tribute to Charles Schulz display at the Lincoln Park Public Library. Dad designed dozens of theme displays for the Lincoln Park Public Library.
My Dad was a great man. He was true to his word. He worked hard. For over 25 years he gave dedicated service as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170. For over a decade he served as the Vice President of the Beavertown (Lincoln Park) Historical Society. Dad served as the official Advisor and Liaison between the Boy Scouts of America and the First Reformed Church, in teaching the classes for scouts to earn the God and Country Award. Dad served in this role for over a decade. Dad worked closely with the Lincoln Park Public Library and created and designed well over a dozen displays for the library’s large display case.
Dad was a full fledged Lay Leader of the United Methodist Church. He presented many sermons. Dad presented some of these sermons beneath the big tent at large evangelical church gatherings.
I don’t think that average person in Lincoln Park had any idea of what a great man my Dad was. Although, he was often the victim of some people’s unfair and unjustified criticism. For two full summers, my Dad studied theology on weekends at Drew University. This was a very serious thing. This was no small potatoes. At the end of his studies, my Dad was recognized as being a full fledged Lay Leader of the United Methodist Church. Dad presented many original sermons. He presented some of these sermons to large groups during big evangelic tent meetings.
Dad was a genius with a camera. This is a rare photo of Dad behind the big television camera, filming an episode of Cable Television Network of New Jersey’s “Cross-Talk.”
Dad was a genius with a camera. Besides having taken all of the “now’ photographs of his book, Then and Now, Dad served as the Head Cameraman for Cable Television Network of New Jersey’s award winning television talk show, “Cross Talk.” Dad filmed the weekly talk show for five years, having filmed well over 200 television shows.
Dad was a handsome, intelligent, good hearted gentleman. Looking back, I think that his mean spirited critics were just plain jealous of him.
My Dad was a great man. He didn’t always get a fair deal from some of the people of Lincoln Park. I used Lincoln Park as a backdrop for well over 200 published articles that appeared in various publications and newspapers. I admit now that I presented a rather romantic and idealistic perspective of the town. The fact of the matter is that there were a lot of good people in Lincoln Park. But, it was also a fact that there were a considerable amount of hypocrites and mealy-mouthed cowards. And, it was the squirrelly, mealy-mouthed cowards who would put my father down, behind his back.
But to all those men and women, who put my father down behind his back, I forgive you. You know who you are. But, I ask this of you, please stop putting other people down. It’s a most hurtful thing to do.