Author Puts Cranbury on His Trail Map: a Q&A with Neil King

By Gale Scott

Editor’s Note: As part of book project, writer Neil King decided to walk from his home in Washington, D.C. to Manhattan. He put Cranbury on list of stops. Gale Scott caught up with him by phone a few days later as he hiked across Staten Island.

Q: How was your visit to Cranbury?

King: Beyond fantastic. It was Audrey Smith, Karen Kelley, Peggy Brennan, John Chambers, and me. I heard the whole of Cranbury’s unique history. What made Cranbury what it is was being the midway point on stage routes and the people who had spent the night there, or almost spent the night there.

Q: What did you learn that you hadn’t heard?

King: We talked about the forces that had preserved the place, and how Cranbury got the highways re-routed and though took some commerce away it helped preserve it starting in the 1960s. That was when Cranbury had that awakening moment and didn’t allow things to ruin the town.

Q: You’re walking the trip, but why?

King: I’m on a slow observational walk. I left March 29 and today is my 21st day. The whole premise of the walk was that between Washington and New York, the I-95 corridor is defined by things that you normally speed by. My mission was just to take it slow and see what I found along the way, including weird or funny things. I’m sending out daily accounts to people on an email list. It will be a book and I’m in touch with several publishers.

Q: What are your impressions of our town?

King: It’s one of the best-preserved towns