Published in The Coast Star November 15, 2007
A sign that was originally made by Joe Garratano, “who created signs to encourage Camp Evans employees to sacrifice further and donate more to the war effort by purchasing more War bonds,” was recently recreated by 13-year-old Evan Wagner, according to Fred Carl. Mr. Carl is the director of the InfoAge Science & History Learning Center at Camp Evans.
Mr. Garratano was an artist-on-staff at Camp Evans during World War II said Mr. Carl. “They needed people to do illustrations of radar equipment,” for soldiers in the field.
“Their job was to make technical illustrations of radar equipment so G.I. and Signal Corps technicians could easily understand complex repair manuals. This was all done in secret,” Mr. Carl stated.
Mr. Garratano’s son, Nat, provided InfoAge with a number of photographs of projects that his father had worked on during his tenure at historic Camp Evans.
Evan, a student at St. Catharine’s School in Spring Lake and a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 21 there, said he was originally putting in time at InfoAge for his Confirmation hours when he came across the photograph. During his hours, he was archiving vintage newspaper articles by photographing and cataloging them for InfoAge.
On his initial visit to Camp Evans, Mr. Carl provided a tour to the Wagner family of the World War II era camp. During that tour, Evan saw a photograph of the sign Mr. Garratano had created and he was inspired.
“We were walking around the building and I saw the original photo hanging up,” explained Evan.
Evan’s mother, Linda, had suggested her son recreate the sign.
Over the course of a few weekends from August into October, Evan and his father, Eric, worked tirelessly to recreate the sign.
“He did the majority of the work,” said Mr. Wagner, who supervised Evan as he sawed and cut the wood, as well as painted the sign.
“I felt relieved to be done with it,” said Evan.
The duo only had the photograph to work from, so they had to estimate the size of the original sign.
“We were working with the photo so we had to figure out the scale,” said Evan.
“It was constructed so it can go outside,” said Mr. Wagner, adding that the sign was painted with exterior paint so it could withstand the elements if Mr. Carl wanted to place the sign outside.
“Mr. Carl was very appreciative,” stated Evan. “It made me happy.”
“It’s a great, full-sized thing to show people,” said Mr. Carl. “It was such a treat to have this young man and his dad go away and come back with a completed project.”
The sign is currently on display in the foyer of the InfoAge center.
“We’re so happy, we have it right up front,” Mr. Carl said.
“It was such a nice job, it inspired others to do recreation projects,” Mr. Carl stated. “One good work may lead to others.”
The InfoAge Science/History Learning Center is located at 2201 Marconi Road in Wall. For more information, please call 732-280-3000 or visit www.infoage.org.