When you say New Jersey, I think everyone can at least picture something, as opposed to maybe some other states. It has this interesting, gritty kind of toughness, [and] there’s this weird kind of connection I think people have with [New Jersey] who grew up here and they can’t escape it.
“They still can transport to that very moment, which is a really interesting moment. Their hopes and dreams were tied up into this trip. So when the Pope is shot, they literally are like, ‘We must do this expedition for the Pope.’ I wouldn’t say everyone in the expedition felt that way, but a good number were like, ‘We need to be successful because our country will fall apart if we don’t.’”