Nate Jennings
Staff Reporter

It was an opportunity of a lifetime, the possibility to prove that he was the best of the best. Marty Manuel was a local, regional, and national Karate champion. Before he lost all use of his body in 1977, the New Jersey Black Belt Association, and the Elvis Presley Memorial Award, which over 3,000 Karate fighters compete worldwide, ranked him number one. When he was asked who was his inspiration, he replied, “ well that’s easy, my grandmother.”
He was born and raised in Pocomoke Maryland, and then moved to the Garden State in 1967 where he met his best friend Lance Jackson who introduced him to the arts. Manuel was at the age of 13 when he craved a thirst for the art of self-defense.
He trained with Lance for two years, and in 1970 he studied the art with Mr. Joe Artesi.
“I was picked on as a child for a very long time and I wanted to learn how to protect myself,” Manuel said.
He began teaching the art of karate in 1971-1973 as a student under his instructor as a Black Belt. By the time he was 17, he became a Black Belt in Karate. In 1974 Manuel finally turned Pro.
As he continued to train, there was a lot of preparation involved and it became very strenuous. He worked very hard putting much strain on his body. In the midst of one of his vigorous workouts he did a few splits. Suddenly he began to experience some numbness in his arms and legs. Two weeks later he felt pain racing through his right hand.
With the world title drawing nigh, he thought that it would be a good idea to check into the University of Pennsylvania hospital so that they could see what was causing the numbness. Manuel went through a number of tests and some strenuous examinations. Following the examinations he was diagnosed with a rare condition, which would spoil his long time dream.
Manuel was diagnosed with spinal arachnoiditis, which is an irreversible inflammation of the spinal cord, that caused paralysis below the neck was also. After surgery he went against doctors wishes and continued training. At all cost he was determined to keep moving forward, but the Professional Karate Association (PKA) dismissed him from the ranks because of fear for his safety.
His body finally gave way to the disease, which left him wheelchair bound, but Manuel didn’t give up; he started teaching from that wheelchair in 1980, opening up his own school under the name of U.S.A. Goju Ryu Karate.
“My favorite Martial Arts person is Bruce Lee, I love Gospel music, football, and my favorite singing group is the Temptations, but most of all I love God and teaching young people the art of Karate,” said Manuel.
He has been teaching Karate for 35 years. He is Disabled, but not Dysfunctional, and is an inspiration to all in the city of Vineland New Jersey.

The Oral History Project
By Nate Jennings

The Salem County Historical Society (SCHS) has produced and distributed a remarkable DVD titled “The Oral History Project” which details the struggles of African-Americans in Salem County. The documentary depicts the problems they had faced during the 1960s. Those who were interviewed spoke of the problems their elders faced as well.
“It was one of the most emotional experiences that I’ve ever had interviewing some of the people who still live in Salem County,” said SCHS Director Tamara Barnes.
The SCHS came up with an idea for a project and called it the Training Workshop (TW). It teaches volunteers the art of interviewing people. These volunteers interviewed about 11 people. The result of the SCHS project was this one of a kind documentary, complete with those 11 emotional interviews.
The program was funded by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (a State partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities) making it possible for the SCHS to distribute 1,000 of these DVDs to Non Profit organizations, Colleges, High Schools, and Elementary schools.
Thanks to SCHS, now over 300 students of all races have watched the film. These students were also graced with the opportunity to interview the actual people in this documentary who went through some very hard times in 1964. SCHS showed students the movie in the morning and had a viewing for the adults in the evening. Everywhere this DVD was shown had a positive turn out.
The people who were interviewed for this documentary are as follows: Ida M. Accoo, William Accoo, Edward W. Dorn, Anne W. Henry, Mabel Johnson, Salem County Freeholder David Lindemuth, Donald L. Pierce, James Pope, Bennie Reaves, Carl Skinner, and Josephine Wisher.
Praises and special thanks were given by SCHS to: Tamara Barnes Executive Director, Beverly Stanley, Librarian at the SCHS, as well as to all the volunteers, those who were interviewed, and all those who helped put together this wonderful DVD.

Jersey Devil Here? Now?

By Jen Athey

   On a stormy night in 1735 Mother Leeds gave birth to her thirteenth child. It was rumored that she was cursed by a gypsy woman or may have even dabbled in the black arts. Lucifer himself cursed the thirteenth child, the child now known as the Jersey Devil.

    Born as a beautiful baby boy with dark hair and fair skin, the baby soon changed into something not sent from heaven. The baby boy opened his eyes to reveal two fiery red discs. Its eyelids and cheeks peeled away and his face became more angular and elongated. The body doubled in size and a serpent’s tail immerged.  What had once been small arms and hands became gigantic appendages that ended in razor sharp claws. The child’s feet changed into hairy legs and hooves. Monstrous bat wings rose from its back. The creature turned and began to feed, feed on its other siblings and then on to its mother, ravaging her body with its sharp claws.  

   For over 250 years this mysterious figure has haunted the New Jersey Pine Barrens. His tale has left a lasting impression on
New Jersey residents across the state. The question remains though, is it folklore or is there truth behind the story.

   “I don’t believe in the Jersey Devil anymore,” says Angelika Athey, “but when I was younger I did. My parents use to tell us kids that if we stayed out late we were going to be attacked by him. The story kept us kids from staying out past dark.”

   Although it seems as though many people at young ages believe more in the Jersey Devil there are still some older adults that believe he truly does roam the
Pine Barrens.

   “The story still scares the hell out of me,” says Heather Hennessey. “I believe that the creature may still roam the woods and I take no chances. I stay far away from dark woods, especially if I am by myself. My husband thinks I’m being ridiculous, I think I might be too but better safe than sorry.”


Sub head- My search for the Jersey Devil

   With these interviews and all that I had researched in mind, armed with my camera and wild thoughts skipping around in my brain, I began my journey to the
Pine Barrens. I began my search at

Village located in
Batsto, New Jersey.

   The sun was bright and warm as I pulled up to the

Center. I began traveling down some dirt paths checking out the historical farmhouse, local store, and saw mill. The solitude of the old town was quite creepy. My desolate surroundings made me uneasy with every step and I was only ten minutes into my search. The leaves crept along the gravel and dirt path, leaving my mind to wander, wondering if there was something lurking behind me. The sky grew overcast and gloomy.

   Before I knew it I had reached a large lake situated in the center of the village. It was truly a beautiful site. I took a walk down another dirt path, this time side by side with the lake. Still I saw nothing, but really I mean nothing. I didn’t see any squirrels or fish or anything else living, I seemed to be the only breathing being around. When I decided that the village wasn’t going to assist me in my search any longer, I got in my car and drove down the scariest road I had ever been down.

   There were no houses, just hundreds of pine trees and acres upon acres of woods. I stopped at the first dirt road I got to, parked and stepped out. Then I began another excursion, this time into the heart of the
Pine Barrens. I must have walked for an hour down, around, through and under everything that was ahead of me. Then I stopped, looked around and began a fast pace back to my car. I had walked for so long and so far I was beginning to scare myself. I just kept thinking about the what if’s. What if I did see the Jersey Devil, what was I really going to do about it. So I turned around, not only was I tired of walking but I had come to the realization that I was by myself and defenseless. So I gave up, at least for the day. There are plenty of other days to continue my search. The story will live on and people will either believe or not. I still believe the Jersey Devil dwells in The Pine Barrens of New Jersey and will continue to do so.


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  • One Book One College

    By Jen Resnick Since 2004 there has been a One Book One College program here at CCC. The Students and staff are requested to read a book, which is chosen for that academic year. The book brings students, staff and even community members closer together by discussion. The CCC staff members are responsible for choosing the book. Professor Catherine Kewish chose this year’s one-book one-college novel. She chose Snow Falling On Cedars, by David Guterson. “The number one reason that this book was picked, [was] because it lent itself to so many different classes and different academic areas. It could easily be discussed, paper assignments, research papers and things like that and it also lent itself to multi-culturism diversity, which really are key words in the classes today,” stated professor Kewish. Snow Falling On Cedars had great reviews and is known as a “must read” novel. This gripping and impeccably written masterpiece is based on Japanese tradition. There will be a day of Japanese tradition held here at CCC in the Conference Center Banquet Room on Wednesday, March 21, 2007. Professor Kewish is very excited about this upcoming event. “This book gave us the opportunity to work with Japanese culture and we will have a whole afternoon of Japanese culture, tradition, Japanese dancers, maybe the Japanese drummers if they could get here, [and] things like Japanese calligraphy, origami, flower arranging, a Japanese tea ceremony. It’s going to be gorgeous!” said Kewish. This event is opened to the community. CCC has offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the author of this riveting novel. David Guterson, will be here on campus on Wednesday, April 4, 2007. Guterson will be at The Fine and Performing Arts Center in the theatre at 7pm. In the past the other “must read” books included, The Color Of Water and My Sister’s Keeper. You can find any of these books here at CCC’s library, CCC’s bookstore, and online.

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