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Interesting Visit (Part II)

LogoBy Earl Foster / 

I was certainly glad to see some people share their interesting observations and thoughts on last week's photograph and thank you for sharing you thoughts about what you saw. I am now submitting the photograph again only this time with a red outline around something I see. Along with that I will share some background on where the photograph was taken and the history of the place in which it was taken. Other than the red outline I put it, once again the photo is unedited or enhanced. I realize it is subject to monitor settings, computer graphic capabilities, and of course subjective to the human eye and interpretation. 

The photograph was taken by me last summer in a long forgotten and unused "bank". Its exact location I can only give as Southern New Jersey. In its hay day it was part of a thriving community and very active but now it sits in ruin, unused, neglected, and largely an eyesore as many of the surrounding buildings in the area are. Why one might ask would I go to such a place and even take pictures? What would make a place like this interesting? That question is exactly the point of last week's, and this weeks follow up article. 

This bank had a thriving past, in an area that was rife with activity, financial success. It was a hot spot to celebrities and gangsters alike. It was a bustling town with at that time a promising future. Events occurred that changed its history and time has forgotten this one thriving mecca that was frequented by such names as W.C. Fields, to Al Capone and many others. On a snowy February 3rd morning in 1934 this bank was robbed. The robbers made good their escape in a maroon sedan, with $130,000 in cash. It was later learned that one of the robbers was none other than Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. I have found that not many knew or realized that Pretty Boy Floyd had ever even been in New Jersey let alone rob banks in this state. 

Observe the photo again with the red circle around what I saw that day as I see a man standing in a doorway. The window from which the photograph was taken is about where the robbery occurred as the money was taken from armored car guards who were bringing cash to the bank at the time. The window is actually an elevator shaft that went to the basement of the building and it was used for moving money in and out of the bank by personnel. While I am not sure exactly who the man is standing in the doorway and he was only there briefly I am sure someone was being gracious enough to simply say hello. 


We had several people weigh in with thoughts about this photograph and I enjoyed reading them. That was the point in this article after all. Thoughts about what the place was, or where and when it was taken. Through open minded sharing of thoughts, ideas and interpretations do we learn from each other. Now knowing the back ground history of this place, and why a visit or photograph was taken, did those thoughts or opinions change any? Perhaps not, or perhaps they did. Not everyone would see, or interpret the same things. Its through the process of sharing thoughts and ideas that we learn new things. When we share our thoughts we learn also that we are not alone in our human condition. I welcome comments, email and thoughts about this and I thank those who commented or emailed for their participation. When we share thoughts and discuss things that's when things get interesting. 

(Earl Foster is a lifelong South Jersey resident. He resides in and writes from Brooklawn NJ. Earl can be reached by emailing or on his website at You can also check us out on Facebook now at

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