First Person Arts Fall Grand Story Slam

Story, photos and video by Luis Fernando Rodriguez

Bike Part Art Show

Text and Photos by Luis Fernando Rodriguez

Port Republic, New Jersey

The Road to Port Republic

When I first arrived to Port Republic, NJ I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect. Besides a few pictures I saw on the internet when I did a Google image search and two of my friends telling me it was one of the smallest towns they’ve ever seen… I really wasn’t prepared for how small this town actually was.

Port Republic is only a little over an hour away, so I felt comfortable driving there. I set my GPS to what I thought was going to be the town’s center and went on my way.

As I drove up to the town limits I was happy to see a beautiful shore and houses surrounded by plenty of trees. As my GPS said I were getting closer to the town center I started getting confused. Where was the ‘Main Street’? Where were the little shops?

My GPS basically led me to a fork in the road and I had to keep driving. After driving a few more minutes to see if I would possibly end up in Port Republic, I realized I had ended up in the next town over. I stopped at the side of the road and started searching my GPS for Port Republic points of interest.

I searched restaurants.

No results found.

I searched cafés.

No results found.

I searched shops.

One result, the ‘General Port Store.’

I set my destination for the shop and finally had some luck. The store stood by itself, with a post office attached to it. I walked in and spoke to the owner, Mickie Cavileer, who had owned the store with her husband for 31 years. I asked Mickie where I could find another store in the area. She chuckled and simply responded, “this is it.” I laughed in disbelief, and she repeated herself, “No, really. This is it. This is the only store in town.”

I asked Mickie to give me suggestions of where I could take some photos and talk to people. She told me I could go to a main crossroad behind her store and either go to the lake, where people fish, or I could go to the other side of town where the beach is, along with the town church, recreational fields and cemetery are.

I went to all of the places and not surprisingly the only person I actually saw was Mickie. I did manage to spot a rather large family of ducks….