Waterbury

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Holy Land USA
Waterbury, Connecticut 

Holy Land USA was once an 18 acre Bible-themed park located in Waterbury, Connecticut. The park had about 40,000 visitors a year until it closed in 1984 for renovations. Holy Land USA never opened back up again due to the death of owner John Greco in 1986. It has been abandoned ever since. The abandoned acres of the theme park have been watched over by groups of nuns for decades, but the place keeps getting more and more creepy as the park continues to deteriorate. 

On top of the vandalism and eeriness the park gives off, a teenager was murdered on these abandoned grounds in 2010. Since then police records have shown that the amount of trespassers have been decreasing which just means abandoned Holy Land USA is as creepy and deserted as ever.

Home Town Radium Girl.

Waterbury is the home of the Timex factory. Back in world war II, when women entered the work force, a lot of local women got jobs with Timex. Painting the hands of the wrist watch with glow and the dark paint.

They licked their brushes to get a fine point. 

They wore it as lipstick, as a surprise in the bedroom.

Most of the women died horrible deaths due to cancer. That glow in the dark paint. Who would have thought.

northeast kingdom

Over the past several months, Katie (my girlfriend) and I have both expressed interest in taking a trip to Vermont.  For me, the draw is the outstanding breweries that have been established there.  For her, it was the landscape, food and Vermont spirit, which I can attest is indeed something special and unlike anywhere else.  And yes.. beer.

Last weekend, we finally made the trip.  It was her birthday on Saturday, and I plotted out an itinerary that would take us to some of the most renowned breweries in America (and that’s saying something these days), as well as through some beautiful, rustic landscapes and to accommodations that forced us to ‘go off the radar’.

Full write-up after the jump

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Stephanie & Dan talk about their time on the Newsies Tour on Better Connecticut.
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Photos of Holy Land U.S.A. in Waterbury, CT found here

The first photo is of the 50 ft cross, standing at the very top of Pine Hill in Waterbury, CT, you can see it from I-84 and it marks the very spot of where the religious theme park, Holy Land U.S.A. use to be. 

Back when this park was in full operation, it brought about 40,000 visitors per year. After receiving a message from his God in the 1950’s, attorney John Greco created the park as a homage to the Holy Land in Israel where he created miniature towns of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. By the time he was done, he had created over 200 unique structures in his park. Unfortunately, Holy Land U.S.A. closed in 1984 and the park is now closed to the public. Yet, the curious, and the vandals still make their journey out to the park. Most of the park is in ruins or either slowly crumbling, and looks nothing like it did in the 50’s. 

Me and my friend tried to knock on the nun’s door (who now own the property) but no one was home at the time, so we just walked around for a little bit to take pictures. The park is very creepy and has almost a post-apocolytic feel to it with everything being demolished and in ruins. Seeing the cross at the top of the hill is quite a site to see, with an absolutely beautiful view of Waterbury down below.

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Caught off guard: who startled who  (Part 1 of 2)

At 11:15 am, Freshman, Brandice ‘Brandi’ Helling accompanied by her friend, Freshman, Lauren Waterbury, took a bathroom break and then went to call their moms on the pay phones near the drinking fountains in the front entrance lobby area. She was engaging her mother in conversation when she noticed an unidentified male student running from the west down the main hallway and out the main doors around 11:17 a.m. Brandi recalled hearing “popping” noises coming from the west end of the main hallway, describing them as being firecrackers that were definitely in the upstairs area of the high school.  She recalled several more students running down the hallway from the west end of the school and heard one yell “Somebody has a gun, get out!”  

Brandi not knowing what was going on, started to walk north down the hallway and that her friend Lauren dropped the receiver on the phone and went to the women’s  restroom.  Lauren later came back out and picked up the phone to continue to speak with her mother (her mother was on the line the entire time).  Brandi was north down the hallway, from Lauren’s position, near the counselor’s office.  Brandi then described hearing someone running down the hallway and that a white male came down the hallway and stopped abruptly near Lauren’s position at the pay phones. Lauren described this male as being very tall, wearing a long coat, had some type of black hat on and that his coat was pulled closed.  Brandi described the individual as appearing surprised to see Lauren there and Lauren’s presence surprised the individual so bad that as he was running down the hall he actually came to a screeching halt.  Brandi described the individuals footwear actually made some type of noise on the waxed floor as he stopped. 

Brandi stated that she knew it was Dylan Klebold but she did not know his name until after she saw media reports. She knew Dylan previous to this incident as being a student but she didn’t personally know him or know his name. She described Dylan as having an unidentified weapon in his right hand. The weapon was pointed at the floor and he was looking at Lauren.  He initially had a surprised expression on his face, then he started to smile.  Simultaneously, at this point, Lauren had turned and also saw Dylan standing just south of her at which point she dropped the receiver of the phone and started to run towards Brandi.  Brandi again saw several students running down the hallway toward the direction of the main office. Dylan looked toward these students, raised his weapon and then started firing down the hallway in the direction of the main office.  Brandi stated after this, she didn’t turn back, she just ran north and exited the northwest doors just across from the counseling office.  Brandi explained that as she was going out the doors, she heard the sound of gunfire and heard what sounded like either the pay telephones being shot or the glass doors near the main office being shot. She stated that when she exited the school, she could tell Lauren was running behind her, but once she got out of the school she lost sight of Lauren. Brandi ran north towards the baseball field and a friend of hers helped her over the fence. She then went to Clement Park where she later found Lauren.

In Brandi’s recollection, as she initially saw Dylan Klebold and after she observed him register Lauren there at the payphones, that she briefly made eye contact with him she knew she was in trouble and that’s why she turned and started to run out of the school. She later mentioned she couldn’t look at Dylan because she feared she would see him raise the weapon and shoot her and her only recourse was to attempt to get out of the building.


Part 2 to follow:  Lauren Waterbury’s account of events.

photo credit: tecnine

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Rune ( @runetangclan) took us to Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT for dinner. There was Frenet on draught so of course we did shots with Schlitz 60s Formula chasers. Rune also expertly ordered some delicious starters for us including these heavenly pork rinds, fried pimento cheese balls with a sweet chili dipping sauce and hush puppies with maple butter. Girl Interrupted got the house mac and cheese which was decadent and enormous and I got the house burger with pimento cheese, applewood smoked bacon and fried green tomato. Last but not least Rune ordered the Take A Knee: Tom Cat gin (my favorite) Amaro, honey and lemon and I got the Hill Farmstead Edward (American Pale Ale). I wish we had more time to taste all their beer and cocktail offerings but we’ll have to save it for another trip.

What song would you use to describe each Katie character and which one would you use to describe them all? - (anon)

This turned out to be a bit more difficult than I anticipated. I’m so picky when it comes to music and I wanted to consider legitimate reasons as to why these songs remind me of each character. For those interested, I did create a playlist on Spotify. You know your girl is extra af so it was necessary. Here we go!

Lena Luthor: Rise by Katy Perry

Originally posted by luthorial

I won’t just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can’t write my story
I’m beyond the archetype

I’m sorry but if those four sentences don’t describe Lena, tell me what does! Lena has survived so much and she keeps fighting every day. She knows that even though she is a Luthor by blood, she can rise beyond the dark reputation that comes with the name. There are people out there that doubt her because of her last name and there are others that seek to make her fail but she refuses to give them that satisfaction. It works!

Gloria Miller: Beast by Nico Vega

Stand tall for the people of America.
Stand tall for the man next door.
We are free in the land of America.
We ain’t goin’ down like this!
Come on now!

Sharing time: This is one of my favorite songs. Okay, I mostly just imagine a montage of Gloria kicking serious ass while this song plays (Someone wanna make that?). It’s loud and full of action and a bit of anger but mostly it just sends a message to stand up and fight for your country and for those that can’t fight for themselves. Be a hero. Be a Gloria!

Elizabeth Carruthers: BO$$ by Fifth Harmony

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