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You are probably from Downe Township if you...

1. Know the difference between a greenhead and a strawberry fly. Bonus if you can tell which arrives earliest in the season.

2. Know what a 'Cricker' is. Bonus if you are one.

3. Know how where Turkey Point is. Bonus if you can tell where the "Bridge to Nowhere" really goes.

4. Know what you would expect to smell at the South end of Fortescue on a warm summer night.

5. Know the shape of the animal which invades Downe beaches in the Spring. Bonus if you know not to pick them up by their tails.

6. Know what Downe Township has which makes Downe the third largest in the whole state of New Jersey. Bonus if you know that it is over 67%.

7. Know the name of the man who lives behind the Inconvenience Center. Bonus if you know what airborne unit he served in during his service time.

8. Know someone who has a well, a septic tank, a greenhead box, a pick up truck and wears white socks. Bonus if you do.

9. Know how many traffic lights there are in Downe Township. Bonus if you can tell where the only two flashing traffic lights are located.

10. Know how much the numbers 08315 mean to some Downe residents. Bonus if it is your number.


Answers and Scoring for Downe Resident Screening Questions

Answers to the above questions are subject to considerable debate and disagreement. Disagreement seems to be a requirement for living in Downe Township and, quite obviously, because of our infamous bug population this is a screening test.

1. Know the difference between a greenhead and a strawberry fly. Bonus if you can tell which arrives earliest in the season.

A greenhead is a rather large, flying and biting insect whose bite packs an amazing wallop. The green head is actually the fly's complex and multi-lens eyes. In fact, the eyes take up most of the 'front' end of fly.

The green color and the huge size of the eyes give the fly it's name. The eyes are quite fascinating but the bite of the thing is what you will remember.

Even more interesting than the eyes and the bite is the exceptional intelligence and mind-reading ability. Trust me; they can read minds.

They some how know just when you have your hands full with groceries or that you are on your back under your car with your hands full of tools. They really do know the very best time to attack...when you can't strike back with a slap.

Greenhead bites leave a painful, often swollen welt, at the point of bite. Greenheads have nine lives. You smack the dickens out of a greenhead with a really good slap and they will come back to life to torment you again. All Downe residents and visitors know that killing a greenhead requires a special kind of slap-twist to the hit. Without that extra twist the darn things spin around in circles on the ground for a few minutes and then get up to bite again.

The hot tip on killing a greenhead is to brave it for half a second or so by waiting until she has just started her drilling into your arm. Slapping before she starts to bite is usually a waste of time and your effort. Their eyes see your hand coming and they are gone. You want to kill a greenhead? Be brave and let her start the bite.

Strawberry flies are the much smaller cousins of the greenhead. Another name for this fly is 'deerfly'. This fly has a sleek, stealth bomber triangular shape. They are dark brown and dirty cream color. Their eyes are pinheads compared to the greenhead eye.

Because the eyes are not as well developed they can't see your hand coming when you slap so they are much easier to kill. They usually don't need the special slip-twist movement of your hand; a really good slap will do fine.

The worst part about the strawberry fly is that they attack in huge numbers. Greenheads are not exactly solitary but they don't attack in full wave after wave of flying platoons the way the strawberry fly does. It's quite common to be attacked by a few dozen strawberry flies on a really hot, humid May or June day. They seem to have limited mind-reading ability also, but nothing like the greenhead.

 Bonus Point: Strawberry flies arrive first in May or early June. Greenheads in late June and into July.

2. Know what a 'Cricker' is. Bonus if you are one.

A Cricker is a resident of Dividing Creek, NJ 08315. Some people have told me a true Cricker is one who was born 'in the crick.' There are a few Cricker wannabes who have a post office box in DC but who don't actually live there.

Bonus Point: Are you a Cricker? Give yourself a bonus point if you are.

3. Know how where Turkey Point is. Bonus if you can tell where the "Bridge to Nowhere" really goes.

Turkey Point is wonderful section of Downe Township with a population of less than ten people. Turkey Point is world-famous for bird-watching and pork barrel projects to pave roads, build towers and bridges to no where... just so outsiders can look at birds while eating a bag lunch.

A link to a few pictures is HERE.

Bonus Point: The Bridge to Nowhere goes across a tidal stream onto the salt marsh so you can get next to a sign proclaiming a State Project. In a way, you could say the Bridge to Nowhere is the back door to Fortescue which can be seen on the horizon.

4. Know what you would expect to smell at the South end of Fortescue on a warm summer night.

This is a family-friendly website. If I answer this I'll get my page banned by the school for using a verboten word.

5. Know the shape of the animal which invades Downe beaches in the Spring. Bonus if you know not to pick them up by their tails.

Their shape is their name. The animal is the Horseshoe Crab which invades the beaches at Fortescue, Gandy's Beach and little in Money Island in May and June. They come onto the beaches to mate, most heavily on nights of the full-moon tides.

Bonus Point recipients know that they use their tail for getting back on their feet after being turned onto their back. Picking them up by their fragile tail could cause them to loose the tail and die from being upside down. They don't bite. Turn them over using their shell. NOT their tail!

6. Know what Downe Township has which makes Downe the third largest in the whole state of New Jersey. Bonus if you know that it is over 67%.

The answer is TAX EXEMPT LAND which is owned by the State of New Jersey, The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Lands Trust.

This question is a ringer. It's included in hopes that some enterprising newspaper or magazine reporter will step up and do an in-depth article about Downe Township's nearly 70% of tax exempt land. We are dying down here in Downe.

Think about YOUR tax bill and what would happen to it if you had 70% tax exempt land where you live.

HINT: Beginning research can be done at these web pages:

  • Tax Assessor Search Page From this page one can search New Jersey tax assessor information in many interesting ways. [Very popular]

  • Tax Exempt Land Issues: Essays, statistical data and perspectives on the huge amount of tax exempt land in the township and county where I live...and what to do about it.

  • Tax Exempt Land in Cumberland County: A break down of land in Cumberland County. A link to the original NJ DEP Green Acres data is included.

  • Tax Exemption Protest Letter: A letter written to the New Jersey DEP which protests the granting of tax exempt status to 1500 acres of Downe Township. We are close to 70% tax exempt at the moment.

Bonus Points obviously go to people who can read the question.

7. Know the name of the man who lives behind the Inconvenience Center. Bonus if you know what airborne unit he served in during his service time.

This is the vanity question.

The bonus point: the 82nd Airborne Division. AIRBORNE!

8. Know someone who has a well, a septic tank, a greenhead box, a pick up truck and wears white socks. Bonus if you do.

I'm working on the pick up and the greenhead box for myself.

9. Know how many traffic lights there are in Downe Township. Bonus if you can tell where the only two flashing traffic lights are located.

Not a single traffic light--meaning red-yellow-green--in all of the 54 square miles and 1605 residents.

Bonus points: a blinker at Fortescue, Landing and Baptist Roads. Another blinker at Barnett's corner of Baptist and Route 553.

10. Know how much the numbers 08315 mean to some Downe residents. Bonus if it is your number.

08315 is the Zip code for Dividing Creek. Quite a few Crickers are upset with their post office being stolen. Well, almost stolen. They hope to get it back.

At least one Cricker wannabe hopes they get it back.

See this link: Dividing Creek 08315


Scoring and your designation

19-17 points: You are obviously a Cricker! Lucky you.

16-13 points: You probably live nearby in Laurel Lake or Cedarville.

12-8 points: You need to visit Fortescue for fishing or Dividing Creek for crabbing. Maybe visit Turkey Point to feed the greenheads and mosquitoes.

7-4 points: Do you live in New Jersey?

3-0 points: Do you live in the United States?


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