Personal Narrative: My Trip To Clementon

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t 's been a few years since I 've been to Clementon, so having the day off last Wednesday I took a ride up to see the town. In the 1970s I lived in an apartment on Blackwood-Clementon Road in Lindenwold and had a friend who lived on top of the Park Grill. The town had a distinct look, with its older buildings, pool hall, and feed store – something you don 't usually see at the mall. Most of my time there was spent drinking beer in the Park Grill or drinking beer and eating seafood at the Palm Garden, so my memory may be fuzzy

On the way up there on the White Horse Pike from Absecon, I passed Philadelphia Avenue in Egg Harbor City, lined with old-time storefronts and homes; then cut over to Bellevue Avenue in Hammonton with its historic district of restored homes and commercial buildings; then on the Pike again through Berlin 's quaint downtown. Following the sign to Clementon, I passed the Berlin Mart, looking no worse than it did 40 years ago. Winding downhill, with the water slide sticking out above the trees, I turned on White Horse Avenue, parked my bike at the library, and walked to Harper 's Pub.

After a few beers, I walked out into the afternoon sun, adjusted my eyes, stepped down and stood on the corner of Berlin Road, looking towards the park. After starring at 2 blocks of tree-lined sidewalks
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She seemed excited to have a visitor who was interested in the town 's history. I asked her about the urban renewal project that modernized the town 36 years ago. She brought out some documents, but I didn 't have the time to plow through them. I just wanted to know why they bulldozed the downtown and replaced it with strip malls instead of trying to preserve the buildings for reuse, as other towns have done. She told me the stores were losing business to the large chains that were opening in the area, but she wasn 't privy to what the town 's elected officials and movers and shakers were up to back

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