Remember comedian Rodney Dangerfield? He made one-liners famous. The one I recall most is, “I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.”
Forget the part about politicians; I'm as tired as the next guy of even hearing the word. Focus on the start of the quote about not getting any respect.
There is a forgotten namesake in lower Cape May County, it's Cold Spring. Not the Lower Township community, but “the” real Cold Spring. Thousands of motorists pass it daily without knowing it unless they look very hard to find it.
Once upon a time, there was someone who cared about the actual spring that once provided fresh, cold water to British sailors. They erected a gazebo atop the spring and put wire over the spring's opening so no one could get into it. Since then, tall weeds and grass have nearly overgrown the Cold Spring.
Those who use the county bike path may get a glimpse of it as they cross a tiny bridge. Similarly, motorists who know what they are looking for may spot the roof of the gazebo atop the growth. Other than that, it's left to its own devices. For people who cherish history, as many do, it would be great if some Scout would decide to undertake the project to trim around it so that the spring could be visible to everyone.
Visitors to Historic Cold Spring Village are 99% "there" by the Cold Spring. It's just south down the rusting railroad tracks.
As with many things historic, the Cold Spring has fallen into disrepair. If it were maintained properly, it could be a stopping point for curious tourists, and perhaps it could be part of a new historic site trail that they could follow from one end of the county to another.
Speaking of things historic that are languishing, the original Cape May County Courthouse is in dire need of help. Recently, I looked at the poor thing that is the centerpiece of this county's seat. It is in serious disrepair. There is a broken window pane on the second floor. I believe it has been that way for at least a year if not longer.
The belfry where I photographed a county worker who rang the bell for the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, and which killed my hearing for at least a day, needs help.
The entire structure needs a serious sanding and paint job to bring its beauty up to snuff. Some wooden fixtures have fallen off and should be repaired before water and weather do more damage.
This is the revered spot where debates are held between candidates seeking our votes. This is, after all, the building in which Superior Court judges take their oaths; where county prosecutors and surrogates are sworn; and where the county Board of Chosen Freeholders convened for a reorganization attired in Colonial-era garb.
This is the building at the base of the towering flagpole that I wrote about earlier this year when the flag flew at half-staff until a county worker was placed in a high-rise basket and sent aloft to repair the broken pulley.
I know money doesn't grow on trees, and other things have prior claims on the county and local funds. There is an antique bridge in seeming need of constant repair that siphons loads of cash from the county coffers. There are railings on other bridges that need fixing, and there are potholes that have to be fixed.
In spite of those things and others that cry for county funds, it would be beneficial for tourism to polish up the heritage high points for all the county's tourists to see.
We wouldn't want tourists to go home and think Rodney Dangerfield had been here because historical things didn't get any respect.