She is the most powerful woman on the east coast. If not the entire east
coast, If not the entire east coast certainly the most powerful woman in
the state of New Jersey.Maybe not the entire state of New Jersey: the most
powerful woman in northwest New Jersey. In fact,in Mendham.
Her power is great enough to control the flow of commerce throughout the
state.That might be a slight exaggeration and I don’t want to lose
credibility, so I confess that she might not control all the commerce
throughout the entire state, but wields her formidable control of traffic
in and out of Mendham.
She the single source of traffic control. She is legend. She causes missed
appointments and late arrivals. She alone manages the stops and starts
along Mendham’s busy one lane road during rush hours.
Route 124 is a one lane road pretending to be a highway. In and out of the
town of Mendham and all points west is where the problem begins.
Jerseyites know they have to be off the road between Morristown and
Mendham both in early morning and early afternoon. Or Else! The stories
told over time from scores of travelers ignorant of this fact propel her
fame, or her notoriety.
She is the traffic guard for Mendham High School, the crossing of which lies
right on Route 124. Whenever she sees fit she marches straight ahead, stubbornly
and staunchly through the lines of traffic, one coming, one going, holding her
“STOP” sign high up above her head. She turns in every direction so drivers in
both directions have to see it. The longer the lines get, the more she glowers
at the drivers powerless on both sides of her. She feels her power,and it feels good.
Trucks from Mendham all the way up the road to Chester shiver in their
trailers if they’re on the road anywhere near school dismissal in Mendham
when the Road Ruler emerges.
But no matter how she uses her position in Mendham, no matter how infamous
she becomes in stories from driver to driver, outside of the short time
between the start and dismissal of school, she is nothing more than a
traffic guard. It is only the “STOP” sign that gives her the brief reality
of ruling the road, ruling the northeast section of New Jersey,ruling the
Who is this woman? I don’t know. But if you venture into her territory you
will become quickly and thoroughly informed.
NOTE: This story is dedicated to Carlos and the other drivers’ of Terry’s
Taxi in Morristown, who made me aware of this traffic situation.