I want to share with you a story I saw on NJ.com — and to give credit where it’s due, it’s a great piece written by Rodrigo Torrejon. It’s about what he calls an "evil" clown that just celebrated its 65th anniversary. Or birthday. However real you want to make this.

His name is Calico and he’s been there on Route 35 in Middletown since Jan. 18, 1956. For decades the nearly two-story tall clown with the beguiling smile stood like a sentinel watching over Food Circus, a grocery store that lasted until 1990.

For many landmarks like Calico the clown, that would have been the end of the road. In this case, whatever powers that be decided to keep him and to this day he stands guard over other businesses.

Which brings me to my point.

It’s a small, simple thing. But if you grew up in or around Middletown this has been a landmark of your life. Possibly your entire life. It’s oddly comforting to know something like this has been around for years before I was even born and still is there when so much else has gone away.

That tuxedo-wearing elephant at the corner of Lincoln Highway and St. Georges Avenue in Rahway. That Terry Lou Zoo in Scotch Plains. That Bowcraft Amusement Park on 22. That little hair salon on Westfield Avenue at the end of Kline Place where I used to sit impatiently at 3 years old waiting as my mother sat under a huge hair dryer that looked to me like a bee hive.

We all have lists like this. These little connections to a past that was simpler and better, or at least feels like it was. I’d call it the Betty White syndrome. In a stressful time when it’s easy to doubt, it’s just comforting to know certain things are still with us.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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