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Weigh In - What is the best thing you ever got for free?
10/31/2010 - By Teja Anderson

Weigh In - What is the best thing you ever got for free?

Are the best things in life free? It all depends on your answers...

This issue the answers to our question were quite varied. Some of you recalled things you had won:  contests, concert tickets, watches, trips and sports equipment. Some of you recalled things you had  found: money, jewelry, and again sports equipment. Some of you thought of things you just can’t put a  price tag on such as your children’s early artwork, the genetic makeup inherited from your parents, or  your friends’ support and advice. And many of you took the question in a more metaphorical way,  feeling that life itself was a gift indeed.

In fact, we found many optimists who felt that the best things in life are indeed free; family, friends, the  air we breathe, and our very existence! But then there were a few pessimists who reminded us that  nothing in life is free. There were also several men who thought that wives and ex-wives were out of the question as far as being free, but none of them wanted to use that as their answer and came up with  something else.

The biggest differences between the towns were that folks at the Jersey Shore had a lot of answers  about boats, fish, and fishing equipment. Our inland towns, Colts Neck, Marlboro and Holmdel, replied  more about cars, skateboards and baseballs. The biggest difference between the sexes was that women  thought of their babies and children as the best thing they had gotten for free whereas some men  thought first of well, (ahem)….the act that brought about those babies and children.

On a personal note, the best thing I ever got for free was our beagle, “Jackson,” who three years ago was  abandoned in a swamp by our home when he was just a few weeks old. I heard him howling and climbed  a ten foot, poison ivy covered fence to retrieve him. He has grown into the most loyal, clever and  affectionate companion our family has ever had…and he didn’t cost a penny!



My family!

-Susan Lewis

-Dion Daly

A friend…

-Pauline Collins & Edwin Ahlstrom

The love and gift of my family!

-Carolyn O’Connell

I won a Billy Ruff skateboard when I was 14!

-Shane Remolina

Every year my friend Angela gives me fresh tomatoes out of her garden and I don’t even have to ask.

-David Nimmo

No Picture

You don’t want to hear the answer to that! I was a marine once and I was quite a looker so you can imagine what I got for free…

-Steve Contantino

No Picture

Tickets to the commissioning of the ship the USS Alabama in Alaska.

-Bill Wise

No Picture

My daughter, Allyssa, and my soon-to-be born son, Caleb.

-Monique Manning

No Picture

My library card. I read over 100 books a year, so this can be an expensive addiction. Luckily, the library is a free and unlimited resource.

-Mrs. Dettwieler

A photographer took modeling photos of me for free last summer.

-Leigh Victor
No Picture

My little kitty, Jerry. He was outside my door, meowing, one stormy night. It was the best gift I ever got and I never had to leave my house to receive  it.

-Matt Goodfellow

All the artwork that was given to me by my daughters when they were young. It hung all over the refrigerator and as one was taken down it was  replaced by another.

-Warren Ryllo

 (No picture)

My girlfriend’s parents bought this really expensive Canon® SLR digital camera. They wanted us to teach them how to operate it, because they could  not figure it out on their own. Unfortunately for them, they never wanted to sit down and learn how to use the camera, so we ended up permanently borrowing it.

-Oscar Griete

I got my smile from my mom and my eyes from my dad!

-Beth Stadler

I found a cell phone on the ground once; I guess that was free.

-Russell Burke
No Picture

Not my wife! That’s for sure. You think you get them for free but you don’t.

-Donald K.
No Picture

Is this a family magazine? I don’t think I should say then…

- Kevin Licht

I got free tickets to a Jets and Redskins game once and I gave them to my husband and son.

-Cathy Klug
No Picture

My amazing life, husband, and family. Oh and my dog...I love my faithful rescue dog!

-Jessica Slattsky

My boyfriend and his father took me on a trip with them to Washington D.C.

-Jamie Burnett
No Picture

My college and graduate school educations were both free. I received full scholarships for both. A freebie that keeps on giving.

-Geremy Griffon
No Picture

My twin nephews and my three godchildren. I never wanted to marry and it never quite worked out for me to have my own kids, so I got all the fun of  kids without the labor or school fees. Doublefreebies!

-Brooke Galston

My kids…but I guess they aren’t really free anymore.

-Nick Sommaripe
No Picture

My first horse, an Appaloosa mare, very gentle and only five years old.

-Wilma Wolfe

Nothing is for free. The bottom line is that there is always a catch.

-Vivian Wertepny
No Picture

In junior high school I won a 10-day trip to Japan. It was an experience I will never forget!

-Judy Spacer

My life!

-Karin Vogel

My grandchildren!

-Gerri Moro

A new baby brother!

-Shawn Curly


-Ashley Rescinio

I once found a 5” Gerber Knife®…

- Nick Dunn

We got each other for free! But he’s probably the worst thing I got for free, too!

-Don & Jacob Ditzel

The first thing that pops into my head I probably can’t say…but ultimately, love.

-Pat Van Wagner

My life and the free air I breathe!

-Michael Dwyer

I got free headshots taken by my friend’s mom who is a really good photographer.

-Daphne Laufer

My friend Jeff gave me a watch for free from his company.

-Brian Bonnett

This diamond earring that I am wearing was given to me by a very special person and every time I touch  my ear and feel it there I think about them.

-Rick Nowel

I found an autographed Yankee baseball.

-Mackenzie Mahoney

My babysitter Allie gave me Coach® nail polish!

-Cate DeSousa

This baby I am carrying…. so far, it’s free.

-Jen Ditzel

Life! And, my daughter.

-Christel Atkinson

No Picture

My free membership to Yahoo personals where I met the greatest man in the world for me. A guy I  probably never would have gone out with if I'd met him in person. Been together 5 years now. It was the best free thing ever!!

-Ivy Fernando

My mom won a skateboard and I got to have it!

-Chris Rescinio

No Picture

Love is the best free thing I could ever hope for and receive. But my Audi S6, that I won, is too awesome!

- Kenneth Hope

Ernie’s boat slip!

-Dick Keller

I found 20 bucks once on the ground.

-Kyle Gironda

Good health!

-Angela Frangalie

My friends!

-Ernie Brina

My family!

-Hannah Levy

One of my teachers once gave me a really nice fly fishing rod...

-Austin Van Dyke

I won Tim McGraw tickets and they turned out to be amazing front row seats and I got to touch him five times! I got to go with her for free.

-Kathryn Stubing & Olivia Dunzelman

Well, it’s bittersweet. I won a 52” flat screen TV for free but then I had to pay to redecorate my whole living room to fit it in.

-Gary Dunzelman

I won this Nautica® dive watch that I am wearing on a cruise. It was a free raffle; you didn’t have to pay anything to enter.

-James Cattelona

No Picture

I won some trip to a day spa for my mother.... Not really something I got for free, just something for someone else.

-Cathryn Rather

My boat; a guy just said he didn’t want it any more and if I wanted it I could have it for free. Of course, I’ve had to put a lot of money  in to it since then…

-Bob Howie

I found $505 at a bowling alley once but my mother made me turn it in.

-Vinnie Manfreda

I found $80 on a ride at the Strawberry Fair in Oceanport this year.

-Nicholas Crochet

I caught a really big fish!

-Riley Cole

My boat!

-Joey Dunzelman

No Picture

I won a free 42” plasma TV by accident. It was by accident because when I bought an ipod® I did not realize every purchase gives you  one chance into the drawing, and I won!

-Thom Walker

I won a fishing rod from a tournament! I got him!

-Tyler & Nancy Wong

We won a free trip to Napa Valley!

-Merrie & Josh Samilow

I got salvation for free.

-Phyllis Josko

Just today I got the new Halo Reach® from my girlfriend!

-Isiah Jones

My daughter!

-Lisa DeCarvalho

I won a free trip to Nassau in the Bahamas.

-Joe Diefenbach

The best thing I get for free whenever I really need it is great advice and support from my closest girlfriends.

-Joanne Kirschner

I was given the gift of foresight and premonition in times of danger for loved ones. I have actually been able to save lives by warning people  in time…including a former President of the United States!

-James Kane

A friend gave me free tickets to a Yankee’s game once and the seats were right behind the dugout!

-Curt Ciumei

My dog Max! We got him as a puppy from a rescue place. We thought he was a mutt but he turned out to be a Portuguese water dog. He  lived for 16 years and he was just the best dog ever!

-Mark Herskowitz

I picked up a five dollar bill right outside my car in the parking lot and I went inside and bought myself some flowers!

-Eleanor Hutzley

My husband won $50,000 in a weight loss/transformation competition and we were able to open our own business, a gym actually, with the  money.

-Jody Phillips

I got my first car for free as a graduation gift from my parents. It was a white Cutlass Supreme!

-Theresa Forcenito

No Picture

I got free tickets to a Radio Head concert.

-Anthony Yonus

I got free gas at a Wawa; I had asked for $20 but they weren’t paying attention and filled my tank. It came to $49 and all I had was the twenty.  They knew it was their mistake so they told me it was on the house!

-Patricia Green

The absolutely best thing I got for free was to be born…I love my life!

-Vickey Grant

I got a two-week trip for free with my friend whose company paid for it; one week in San Francisco and one week in Hawaii!

-Steve Cochran

I got published in a major hairstyling book and got to work with a really great photographer and got a lot of free PR, too!

-Sandra Baliya

Nothing is for free in New Jersey; nothing. Not even the beaches any more.

-Janette Bender


Eagle OaksThe Grove At Shrewsbury

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