muriel j smith 120 2018John R. Snedeker was a man to be reckoned throughout his life in Atlantic Highlands.  He was also faithful to his friends and determined to help them at all times.  Even when he was 3,000 miles away from home.

Snedeker was Chief of Police in the teen years of the 20th century, and according to newspapers at that time, demonstrated “a determination that solved crime mysteries and brought bad men to the bars of justice.”

So, in  1926, after he had retired as Chief and had taken up travel in an RV with his wife, that determination was still there.

His fried Harry Johnson, was running for Sheriff in Monmouth County, and Snedeker wanted to vote for him. Easy enough, he thought, simply write and request an absentee ballot while still enjoying the open road and an extended trip to the west coast of the United States.

So Snedeker wrote a few months before the election requesting the ballot. He was shocked when the response from Monmouth County advised him the law had changed;  absentee ballots had been discontinued, and to vote in New Jersey in 1926, “the voter must be in person at the polling place on election day.”

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That left only one thing for a determined friend to do.  John and his wife turned their Rv around and drove the 3,000 miles back  to Atlantic Highlands in October, to be sure to be here for the November election.

And the newspaper went on to describe that RV, a new way of travel in the 20s.   “It is one of the finest motor houses man’s ingenuity ever put together, “ the reporter wrote. “It is a miniature yacht, mounted on a Graham truck and cost as much as a modern six-room dwelling. The interior is mahogany trimmed. There’s every sort of convenience and storage for enough food, water and gas to last four days.”

So the Snedekers were home to have the former chief of police cast his ballot. His friend won and became Monmouth County Sheriff.  The trip meant that between April, when they started the trip, and October, when they detoured back east,  the Snedekers put 15,000 miles on their traveling home.  They then  stayed on a bit after the election, before heading back to Spokane, Washington, to continue their interrupted journey and goal of reaching Alaska.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, in...