2020 – Collections/Recollections: Teaneck, New Jersey by Bob Leafe
(ignore May 1, 2017 publlsh date – this was published on March 5, 2020)
(this was a t-shirt my mother owned)
What do ’50s teen idol Ricky Nelson and I have in common? (aside from the fact that my job brought me to Madison Square Garden in 1983 to photograph him):
We were both born in Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck. His family lived in Ridgefield Park. My father – who went to Teaneck High School – used to tell me when I was a kid that he played on the THS football team against Ricky’s father, Ozzie Nelson, who played football at RPHS. It wasn’t until years later that I found out that Ozzie was born 15 years before my father, so Dad must have been about 2 when he went up against Ozzie. I hope he was wearing a helmet.
I grew up on Cumberland Avenue and had relatives on the street behind us (Sagamore Avenue) and just across the tracks on Cherry Lane, where my cousin Larry Robertson lived. Larry and I share the same birthday – August 17 – but he was born two years before me.
Here’s a picture that I’m guessing my mother took because I found it in one of her photo albums. It was taken at a party at Larry’s house when he turned 7 and I hit 5. He’s in the foreground and I’m in the back with the sparkling eyes and the palm trees shirt I had just gotten in Florida when we visited my paternal grandmother.
The following month, I started school for my only year of education that took place in Teaneck: kindergarten at Lowell School. Some of the classmates names that I remember were Robert Teitelbaum, whose family ran Parisian Cleaners on Cedar Lane, Stewie Halperin, who lived down the street from me, and Russell Ross, who lived on Sagamore Avenue, a couple of doors down from my relatives, the Mulligans.
I don’t know if this was a school picture, but it was taken when I was 5, when Mom made sure that everyone knew my name.
MR. PHELPS PARK
When I was around 5 or 6, I wanted to join the summer programs that Teaneck had at all their parks. As you can see from the below map, there is a park at either end of my street, Cumberland Ave. I think it’s the only street in Teaneck where that happens (corrections always welcome). I wanted to go to Sagamore Park because Phelps Park was still kind of raw and swampy-smelling, but my mother wouldn’t let me cross Garrison Ave by myself, so I had to walk up and down the hill and go to Phelps Park every day.
The only event I can recall there was some sort of contest by the pool (which I think was more like a fountain). I must have looked good at 5 or 6 in my bathing suit because I was named Mr Phelps Park. Maybe I was the only entrant. Fortunately, I was allowed to cross Garrison Ave the following year to get sunburned at treeless Sagamore Park.
Being a big baseball fan, I tried out for Little League as soon as I could. In the first year, we played in Central Park, a year or so before it was renamed Votee Park. “What the heck is a Votee?”, we all wondered (sorry, Milton).
Mom had me suit up on the back porch:
The remaining seasons were played at nearby Sagamore Park. You can see the ball field in the above map. Our Western League team was called “F&S”. You can see in the below certificates what that stood for and why “F&S” was SO much easier. Of course, very-mature rival team members substituted a couple of 4-letter words for our abbreviation.
This was our team photograph. I think it was taken in ’59 or ’60. I’m in the middle row trying to perfect my Elvis sneer and Russell Ross is above and behind me. Our coach was the tall man in the middle, Herb McCullough, and the manager was Bob Blackwell on the right…….BOTH great guys:
Bonus – we got to march in Teaneck’s 4th of July parade. If I recall correctly, we assembled on DeGraw Avenue by Queen Anne Road and then walked up Queen Anne to Votee Park.
There was one game in my LL career whose details are forever burned in my mind. First, some background: I was a pretty good defensive middle infielder – short hops and accurate throws were my specialty. However, unlike most Little Leaguers, who usually bat around .750, I think I was around .245. I DID make the All-Star team, but only as a second baseman and NOT for my bat. I was also……….how can I put this nicely?………the ace right-handed pitcher. Before you start screaming “EGO FREAK!”, you should be aware that I could say that because the absolute best pitcher on the team was left-handed: my old pal Russell Ross.
Our biggest rival was a team called Rotary, so this Sagamore Park home game was really important. Their best pitcher – a lefty named Jeff Steinberg – went against Russell and both pitched their hearts out. At the end of regulation (six innings), it was a scoreless tie. There was a LL rule that no pitcher could pitch more than six innings, so they brought me in to pitch the top of the seventh.
I had been pitching well lately, but I just did not have it that day and gave up two runs. In the bottom of the seventh, Rotary brought in Stewie Halperin to pitch. Three-quarters of the pitchers in this game were from my kindergarten class! Stewie pitched like me and loaded the bases, but he DID get two outs.
Unfortunately for F&S, the game now depended on their “slugger” with the .245 batting average. I thought I heard a few groans as I approached the plate. Stewie quickly got two strikes on me. I’m not sure if the count was full or not, but I knew it could be all over on the next pitch.
Stewie had a very rhythmic pitching motion that was easy to time. I’m not sure, but I think I closed my eyes when I swung at the next pitch……………and hit it! I don’t recall where in the outfield it landed, but I wound up on second base and had tied the game! Semi-redemption! And the next batter – I wish I remembered who that was – did the same and drove us in for the walkoff win!
The ensuing euphoric celebration was short-lived for me. I saw Russell and his parents walking toward their car. He had tears in his eyes and I immediately understood why: he had pitched magnificently for six innings and didn’t get the win. I pitched like crap for one inning and got the win. It was WAY beyond unfair.
When I asked Mr. Blackwell about it, he told me that those were baseball’s rules (but it doesn’t make it right), so if there’s ANYONE involved with today’s Teaneck Little League with the power to do so 60 years after the fact, I would urge that person to somehow correct this injustice and present Russell Ross with a declaration stating that he was the winning pitcher of that game.
I’ve never felt deserving of it and I’m sure Russell’s always felt cheated.
MY EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY
My first premeditated photo got its own post in this blog – https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=249 – and while I had my mother’s camera, I took two others that day, so please read the setup in that other blog post and then come back for these two:
That first shot was taken on Wyndham Rd. I don’t know why I walked from there almost to Queen Anne and Cedar Lane to take this shot………….maybe I had an early inkling that some of the things in the picture wouldn’t be there forever, like the Peoples Trust bank sign, the tall Food Fair sign and the big red oak tree at Cedar and Palisade (“Gee Ma, why didn’t you have a zoom lens so I could have cropped all the extraneous stuff out?”):
Oh, look – more stop-action! I should have included this in that blog post: falling tree on Wyndham, dumping leaves on Cumberland (by the Leafe house!). This was taken at Cumberland Ave and Helen St. I’m standing in front of our next-door neighbor’s house:
I do photo walks all the time, so I guess this was the first one.
The story I went with for years was that I was sick one day and home from school when I was in the 4th grade at Hackensack’s Holy Trinity School, turned on the radio and haven’t turned it off since. That’s probably incorrect on both ends.
I definitely turned the radio off years ago when music stopped rocking and became boring, but as for the early days, I think I grudgingly accept that I didn’t find all of Mom’s early-to-mid 50s music intolerable. I’ve even put a couple of “house” tunes from George’s aunt Rosemary Clooney (“This Ole House”, “Come On-A My House”) in my iTunes library, along with one or two others from that period that I liked.
But I was absolutely hooked on guitar-driven rock…………..so much so, that I wanted to learn to play guitar. After much pleading, my parents let me go to some building in Hackensack whose front faced a municipal parking lot and I think had the word “Conservatory” in its name. But they had rules that I was neither expecting nor was interested in.
“Oh, you have to learn the accordion before we can let you learn guitar”. Oh, goodie – more lessons to pay for! I humored them for a while and then insisted on the guitar. Finally, they gave the OK.
Here I am on the old back porch with their guitar:
I’m glad Mom took this picture before their next unwelcome rule was revealed. They said that after X number of lessons – I forget how many, but it was in the lower single digits – we had to buy the guitar!
When I (meaning my parents) refused, the company had me take a music aptitude test. Doing well on it was supposed to change everyone’s mind about not buying the guitar and dropping the lessons. I was doing really well on the test when the eagle-eyed instructor interrupted me and played some sound that I had just heard and responded to on paper. He wasn’t happy with whatever it was that was my answer, so he kept playing it until I realized that there was a better answer, so I changed it.
He promptly marked my paper “100%” and said that I really shouldn’t stop my lessons when I was so musically-inclined.
Even at that tender age (11), I had fully-functional BS radar and that was the end of my guitar-god dreams.
I sort of made up for it in other ways (http://bobleafe.com/).
If you can’t join’em, shoot’em:
One very tenuous connection to a Teaneck singing star: I never met Linda Scott (“I’ve Told Every Little Star”), but if I barrelled out of my Cumberland Ave driveway in my GTO straight onto Helen St to a point just beyond its southern terminus at Maple Ave, I might have demolished her garage. She lived on Elm Ave on the corner of Maple and the garage was behind the house, facing Helen St………..a literal direct connection (see route map below).
Of course, there’s a post about this part of my life on this blog – https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=272 – but that’s about the best part of having been a carrier………….and it happened in Washington, DC. THIS part is about my paper route and will only have relevance for those familiar with Teaneck’s streets.
My route stretched from the railroad tracks to River Rd. The below map is the same as the above one, but I’ve added where my home was, the paper pickup location (Beatrice and the track-side of Windsor Rd) and the red route markers (Beatrice to Garrison to Cumberland to Martense to Lincoln and Martense down to River Rd (and then the uphill walk back home):
I think Robert Teitelbaum got me a job at Parisian Cleaners. That lasted about a week (WAY too hot!). Lasting slightly longer was my job at the Phelps Manor Bowling Alley as a pinboy. Despite the acrobatics you’re taught to keep out of harm’s way, my leg kept getting belted by a flying pin. It wasn’t much fun limping out of there. My only real regret was that I never got to bowl there.
As a kid in the 50s, I remember going food shopping with my mother at the IGA store on Cedar Lane – a few doors east of Davis Toys. It was owned by Herbert Panzenhagen, our Cumberland Ave neighbor. His son, Billy, was a year-older friend I used to play with at his house. He introduced me to HIS friend, Dickie Kunath, who will be mentioned later on.
Back to the store. The butcher always cut me a slice of baloney when he saw me with my mother. There were lots of Panzenhagen brothers of both the father and the son working there. In the 60s, they moved to another Cedar Lane location between the two Catalpa Ave sections and became Foodtown, where I worked when I was a little older. In the 70’s, I worked with Werner Panzenhagen at Blue Cab.
Speaking of which……….when I worked at Blue Cab, I was the entire midnight shift from ’70 to ’73 while I was a full-time college student. If you took a Blue Cab after midnight in those years, I was probably your driver. The whole story and some pictures can be found here: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=6541
There IS one picture that’s not included there because I recently found it while researching this post. It’s the Blue Cab cat (I don’t think we named it), who I actually taught to fetch a small ball of rolled-up aluminum foil (yes, it can be done). We bonded because it was just me and the cat from midnight until 7am:
That’s not me in the background – that’s the late Sandy Nussbaum dispatching.
Here’s one reason I was so qualified for this job and also my music photography career (Mom must have had a premonition years prior):
Almost forgot: I worked at Bischoff’s in 1964 for $1.00 an hour. After 9 months, I received a big raise to $1.10. Two weeks later, I was fired for “making too much money”! That’s what I was told. Good old Ralph Brunkhorst……….
Enough about me. Let’s get to The Collection:
I think this is my favorite piece. I’m not familiar with Cedar Park, but if it’s one block from the trolley, I’d have to guess it was somewhere near where Glenpointe is today. I’m sure some knowledgeable person at the library has an answer to post. I’d also like to know where this “Home Office” actually was located since there’s no Elm/Washington intersection in today’s maps:
I found this online under “Corporations of New Jersey”. The columns on the right are titled “Act Under Which Incorporated” and “Date of Filing Certficate”. Given the “prospects of bridges and tunnels in the very near future” statement, I would guess this pamphlet to be from around 1920, give or take a few years:
This pre-1909 item shows a house on 4 acres for sale or rent somewhere in the Queen Anne Road vicinity:
I can’t find an address in the West Englewood section of Teaneck for the Roosevelt Military Academy, but it was founded in 1920, sat on 23 acres and was to move to the Washington, DC area in 1924:
The stories within this 1931 booklet are very interesting to those people into Teaneck’s history, as are the ads (a Hackensack house mover relocated the Teaneck VFW building) and the ads from supporters (I recognize the name of a former Teaneck mayor from 1958-1962):
What is this 1870 log about?
I doubt anyone in town is unfamiliar with the name “William Walter Phelps” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Walter_Phelps). I find this 1875 document quite interesting:
I was surprised I got it so easily on eBay. Here’s the seller’s description:
Here’s another eBay find:
Even Mrs. Phelps gets into the act (though without a signature):
I have over 50 Teaneck PCs and here are a few of them.
The writing and the year are a little hard to decipher (1900? 1910?) and I have to guess that the person, the house and the vehicle pictured on the reverse show the writer in a West Englewood location:
Route 4 wasn’t even named (or finished) in this card that shows “Teaneck and Geo. Washington Bridge Road”:
I think you can barely make out the “Entering Teaneck Township” sign at the old Esso station by the Hackensack River (and I KNOW you noticed the 14 cents a gallon sign):
This isn’t a postcard, but I found it on my hard drive. I can’t find another picture of it anywhere. Practically next to that Esso station on the river was a Sea Scouts barge that sat there for years. I saw it every day coming home on the school bus from Holy Trinity School:
One other old Teaneck gas station:
Gotta have at least one Cedar Lane Business Section card, right? Here are three. In the first one, I can see tall signs for Food Fair, Big Bear and Buick. I’m only familiar with FF being on Cedar Lane:
As for the third one, I just found this card on September 1, 2020, and I’m glad I did because it’s got the Phelps Manor Bowling sign on the left. Also on that side, I can barely make out signs with the words “restaurant” and “bakery” (could that be “Butterflake Bakery”?).
On the right under the Stillman & Hoag Buick sign is a building that says “W.J. Linn” – the office supply store. Continuing down that side, you can see the word, “GULF” and the sign for Parisian Cleaners:
Outs (no longer there):
I think someone named Fairleigh Dickinson currently resides at this address:
When you open this:
…it folds out to show 10 images:
…and here they are (Captions – top to bottom, left row: “Entrance in Winter”, “Living Room in South Dormitory”, “Dormitory Room”. Middle row: “North Dormitory”, “Fine Arts Laboratory”, “Science Laboratory”. Right row: “South American Students Attending Bergen”, “Cafeteria” (cash register shows a 30-cent sale), “Basketball Team”, “May Fete” (shows no feet):
The Bergen Junior College 1949 yearbook:
The yearbook’s inside cover shows what’s currently the FDU entrance on River Road in the vicinity of Ramapo Road:
Dorms for the ladies:
…and BARRACKS for the men! (I smell a discrimination lawsuit):
A couple of decades later, this might be showing FDU students shopping for munchies at 4am – around the corner at the Pathmark on Cedar Lane:
(This CBS Radio ad came from the April 2, 1973 issue of Newsweek.)
I have no idea when this was from. I also had no idea that Shea Chevrolet was ever in Teaneck…….I always knew it to be in Hackensack. Somebody wanna clear that up for me? Clarence Lofberg was around a long time:
“The History of Teaneck” by Mildred Taylor
I think this was my mother’s copy:
Honestly, I’m really not sure if it was her copy or if I bought it on eBay because I found this on my hard drive:
…and I seem to recall that my mother knew Mildred, who had signed a copy for her.
I don’t want to steal from Mildred’s work too much, so I’ll just mention a couple of things that caught my eye:
1. The look of the 1914 Teaneck police department……
… and how they looked a decade later:
2. The drawings on the inside front (Cedar Lane) and inside back covers (Teaneck High School):
Cedar Lane was my downtown. I must have spent half my life there. My father graduated from Teaneck High (he was the editor of the Te-Hi News). I thought I would attend THS also (I wound up at Bergen Catholic). But what these drawings have in common is the artist – Richard Kunath: the “Dickie Kunath” childhood friend I mentioned earlier and the guy I hired sometime around 1967-68 to do a job for me that you’ll have to go here – https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=2761 – to read about and to find out what else Dickie wound up doing.
One last THS item: I found these on eBay and bought them because this would have been my graduation day, had I attended THS:
Is it possible to be sentimental about something you had no real connection to?
The Casa Mana
(includes two interlopers…………other Casa Mana items in next pic)
Glasses………my chance to mention Feibel’s, where I bowled my 3 highest games – all 242! And Lou Feibel was a really nice guy:
Halvorsen’s folding yardstick:
“Get Tough Teaneck” closeup (I cleaned it up a little…………..dunno who the opponent is):
TPD wooden nickels:
Teaneck Coal & Lumber pen (with a Hackensack phone number):
For those who want to cast a write-in vote for Paul Ostrow:
No idea where I got these:
Two NY Mirror pistol tournament tie clips (wasn’t the pistol range down by the DPW on River Road?):
This is in two pieces and I know nothing about the event:
If this medal is for the high jump, why are 4 runners depicted? The date is July 4, 1923, so it wasn’t a high school event. Did Teaneck have 4th of July medaled athletic events?
More from gun-happy Teaneck (and I ain’t done yet):
Still in its unopened bag from China:
If I could, I would use the knife to cut out that misplaced apostrophe:
Another more-recent item:
I thought it was a letter-opener, but it looks like a very dangerous tie clip:
Perfect for note-taking at the TPD or for scoring your bridge or canasta game during a wake:
This blotter has a questionable apostrophe and the phone number has an extra digit:
Is that cop shooting into the hospital vehicle?
Anyone know the approximate age of this shield?
Pistol tournament patches:
Frosty the gunslinger:
’37,’38, ’64, 76:
Richard Kilmurray on Cedar Lane:
Even Mom got in the act. I don’t know how she acquired this, but when you work for the court as the court clerk, chances are, you’re not gonna put yourself in a situation where you’d wind up having to pay a fine to yourself:
She also probably didn’t climb up any stepladders to remove these signs. That’s just a guess based on the $20 sticker on one of them:
NOT MINE/CAN’T FIND THEM/DON’T HAVE (except on my hard drive):
Problem on the Casa Mana roof? (pssst…….the photographer did it)
Fairleigh Dickinson was founded in 1942 (MCMXLII) in East Rutherford. The Teaneck campus was acquired from Bergen Junior College in 1954 (MCMLIV – those 3 years of Latin at Bergen Catholic sure paid off):
Since when does 0.999 silver turn red when it tarnishes?)
Mom wrote her initials on it so no one would steal it:
I think this is a belt buckle. Why does it show the GWB? At no point in the nearly-3,000 miles of Route 80 between San Francisco and Teaneck do you ever encounter or even see the bridge:
If I recall correctly, the Imperial Diner was a couple of doors east of J&J Drugs and its menu offered you a free…..something if it was your birthday:
Sometime between 1959 and 1962, Kahn’s became Rocklin’s. I remember Rocklin’s getting a jukebox in that back room on the Chestnut Ave side in 1962 and us making Charlie Rocklin sick of hearing Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion” when we played it a million times:
Reel her in!
(it says “1952” in the file name)
Never saw these before:
Late addition (I have no idea what this is):
I used to play on this pedestrian bridge over the tracks:
Wow – the GWB is only a block away!
I think this was my mother’s (so many animals on Cedar Lane!):
Grand opening of the Teaneck Theater. It only says “September 24” on the marquee, but the year was 1937:
A railroad station in Teaneck:
This photo hangs in my apartment. It was taken from the Cedar Lane bridge over the tracks and shows not only the pedestrian footbridge, but also Sagamore Park (open space up top in front of the houses). Windsor Road appears to only be a couple of tire tracks:
The rest of these show train pictures from various collections and what was written on the backs:
Westbound on north-south tracks?
On October 8, 1964, she took a picture of Goldwater headquarters, where the old IGA supermarket used to be:
On September 24, 1964, she photographed Barry’s son Michael at what she referred to as “Teaneck’s Cow Palace” – a place I can’t identify. Anyone know where it was?
On October 28, 1967, she photographed George Romney (Mitt’s father), Max Hasse (who I knew from his involvement at Blue Cab) and others on Cedar Lane. Maybe they were going to the Imperial Diner? George looks ready to shake Mom’s hand:
My mother was a longtime customer of Teaneck Camera on Cedar Lane and knew owner Henry Forrest well. By osmosis, so did I. Years later, the store moved up the street to where Hallmark Photographers was on the NW corner of Cedar Lane and Palisade Avenue. I took some pictures:
By this time, Henry was in ill health and the store was being run by a likable guy named Charlie. One day when I went to see him, he was busy with a customer, so I waited my turn.
He and the customer were having a lively conversation that was pretty funny and at one point, I heard something that I had the perfect line for and blurted it out. They both laughed and the customer turned around and gave me a big grin.
When they had finished the conversation, the customer left. Charlie says to me, “You know who that was, right?”
“That was Ben E. King!”
“Holy shirt!”, as I turned around to try to catch up with him and attempt to set up a shoot sometime. I knew he lived in Teaneck, so I was all ready with my spiel.
He was gone. I never saw him again.
In 1982, I did a shoot from a seaplane that was based in Ridgefield Park. It was a very interesting shoot – https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=620 – and on the way back I happened to notice Glenpointe being built and took this shot:
That same day, I was on Cedar Lane and took a shot of the Cedar Lane Cinema:
In 1983, I took a picture of my parents and the house I grew up in. I used a fisheye lens to get it all in – well, most of it – and that’s why things have a weird curvature to them:
I moved out of Teaneck in 1971, but stayed local for the next 9 years. In order, I lived in Englewood, Leonia, River Edge and Ridgefield Park. In 1980, I moved back to Teaneck and lived on West Englewood Ave – about a block east of Queen Anne Road. In 1986, I shot a big fire down the street, nearer the tracks. The whole thing is written up with photos on my site (http://bobleafe.com/).
You’ll have to scroll down to T and find the “Teaneck, NJ” listing. Before (and after) the fire photos, there are other interesting things like the “Hands Across America” event in 1986 and the 1984 shot I took of my mother, who worked for the town for 3 decades (it was supposed to be her retirement photo, but………….).
In 1988, I moved to Hackensack and I’m still there.
Late addition I just found a week after posting: In that Teaneck section on my site, I mention (and show) a photo that was on the front page of the local paper. I just unearthed that front page:
The Teaneck-to-Hackensack Thanksgiving Day Football Game Parade in 2010
Do they even have these anymore?
I took these two shots on State St just before they made a right onto Central Ave on the way to the Hackensack High School field:
THE BIG RED OAK TREE (NE corner of Cedar Lane and Palisade Ave)
I took this shot of the bare tree somewhere around 2012 or 2013 after I came out of the bank on the SW corner:
State Senator Loretta Weinberg is a family friend and I knew that this tree had personal meaning for her, so I wanted to create a special photo when I heard that it was going to be taken down, so on June 1, 2013, I trudged up Cedar Lane at dusk, set up my tripod and took 3 identically-framed photos of different exposures and ran them through an HDR (High Dynamic Range) program and this is what I came up with:
There was talk about that picture being used on a plaque or something, but that never happened. I did shoot the tree being taken down piecemeal, but this is all I’m gonna show you of that:
However, I was interested in the milling of the tree. For months the big pieces of tree sat in a lot in Rochelle Park. I finally got word that some of it was to be milled in Westwood, so I arranged to shoot that:
(Quick! Count the rings!)
Here is the rest of the process:
I got a couple of large, thin pieces that I thought might make a nice clock, but they dried out and cracked:
According to the cracks, it’s about ten minutes to two and 30 seconds.
My Hackensack apartment’s living room window has looked straight out at the Kipp’s Bend section of the Hackensack River for 30 years. In the last year, however, Hackensack’s renaissance construction put a big building between us and I no longer have that great river view. But over the years, I’ve taken a million shots of it that include Teaneck and here are a few of them:
In the shadows on the right is the northern tip of Hackensack’s Foschini Park, but the illuminated river bank (and its reflection) is all Teaneck:
This is a much wider version of the previous shot and it shows the baseball field at Terhune Park and a bus going by on River Road:
Except for the Hackensack car dealer balloons, this is all Teaneck. Actually, I can still see this as it’s a bit north of the above two shots:
This was my best shot during Hurricane Sandy. It wasn’t raining, so I could clearly see what at first looked like a volcano a half-mile away in Teaneck. It turned out that no homes were on fire…………….it was just a lot of extreme sparking from downed wires on North Street:
I just found some interesting online information about cousin Larry:
And there’s a lot more to him than that. Did I mention that he’s also the Teaneck town historian?
I’d like to thank the Township of Teaneck for their wonderful support during my mother’s illness and her subsequent passing. It seemed like every official and co-worker in town visited her at Holy Name Hospital and came to the wake at the Volk Funeral Home.
When the cortege left Volk to head to the funeral mass in Hackensack via Cedar Lane, none of the cars turned left onto Cedar Lane and, instead, continued north on Teaneck Road for a short distance before making a left into the municipal lot.
It seemed like the entire police force was standing at attention in front of the police station (Mom worked in the Violations Bureau). As we continued through the lot, municipal employees lined the route. I was later told that they were all given time off to attend the funeral and burial.
We got another surprise as we turned right onto Cedar Lane: a police escort, courtesy of another cousin – C.J. Mulligan, a beloved Teaneck cop (remember that the Mulligans lived on the street behind ours?). C.J. was known in Teaneck as the motorcycle cop and he got motorcycle cops from many other towns to escort the entourage to Hackensack. He even arranged for the police bagpipes to play at the gravesite.
He once told me a story about when he had stopped a woman for some motor vehicle violation. “She looked just like Aunt Eunice! I couldn’t give her a ticket!”
This thoughtful, all-around nice guy retired in 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApCBOTk97xs
That’s it – I hope you enjoyed MY personal history of Teaneck.
May 8, 2020
I just found an image on my hard drive plus two loose postcards. The HD image is of Lowell School, as taken from across Rt. 4 c.1935:
The first postcard also shows Lowell School – my only Teaneck alma mater (kindergarten):
The other card shows the Grace Lutheran Church on Claremont Ave and Helen St. The church could be seen a short block away from my home on Cumberland Ave. As a kid, I remember playing King of the Hill with friends on that side slope. I took my jacket off one day and forgot to bring it home, leaving it on the grass. The next day, Teaneck police were at my door telling my mother that there had been a burglary at the church and my jacket – with my name and address stitched in – was found inside the church. I guess I was a suspect until they figured out that I had been playing there with my friends and someone must have found my jacket and brought it into the church in case I was a member. I don’t think I ever played there again:
August 8, 2020
Just found a couple of pictures I took on January 3, 1988 from almost the same spot on Palisade Ave:
August 16, 2020
While I was researching something else, I stumbled across this reverse-painting-on-glass (what the little sticker says) Fairleigh Dickinson scene. I don’t know when it was created, but I do recall that the then-controversial mural came about in the early 60s:
September 7, 2020
I just found a lot more items from Teaneck. If you’re reading this in the Teaneck Library’s Archive, it’s unfair for me to ask them to find the time to make the addition every time I find something, so I’ll ask if they can just add a note stating that you should go to my blog post https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=9366 and see the most up-to-date version that contains everything I’ve added from time to time.
I’m not going to try and fit late additions into the above topics anymore. Anything I find from here on in will be added below to make it easier for you to immediately find the adds without having to slog through the entire post.
So let’s start with the more common items:
Teaneck High School postcard (unused, no year):
A piece of paper from the Rec department. There’s no other writing and I have no idea why my mother had it:
Three stickers for Teaneck’s 75th anniversary:
This was my mother’s copy of a Teaneck publication called Your Town. Though no date of publication is found in it, it appears to be from 1948. My parents married in 1946, so it seems that she moved from Long Island and got right into life and government in Teaneck:
I’m not sure why she signed the inside front of it………..perhaps to thwart thievery or maybe she was just trying out her new signature:
Aside from pictures of council members, etc., there wasn’t much to see photographically………….except for this one:
It looks like it’s from the ‘40s. You can see tall vertical signs for (from left) Food Fair, Buick, Big Bear, Cedar Lane Drugs (pre-Miller’s), (something)Soda (can’t read that top word……….pre-Hy and Harry’s) and regular signage for Woolworth’s, Teaneck Quality Market and Blue Sea Fish Market.
My father graduated from THS in 1938. Of course, I have his yearbook tucked away somewhere because it doesn’t tell me as much about him as its immediate predecessors do.
Because the one person who never signs a yearbook is the owner, I bought 1937 and 1938 THS yearbooks on eBay several years ago, so I could get HIS high school signature and whatever little things he wrote.
The cover of the ’37 yearbook was not in the best of shape, but who cares? You can make out “HI-WAY” and a year that looks to me more like 1932 than 1937:
THAT’S why I also scanned the first inside page:
In 1937, Dad was one of the two Headlines Editors of the Te-Hi News, and in 1938, he was the editor of the paper. His nickname was Loose Leafe. He even had a special signature for that nickname.
The yearbooks I bought had belonged to a classmate of his named Dorothy Parrish, in whom he seemed to be a bit interested.
This image shows part of the 1937 Te-Hi News yearbook page. Dad is sitting on the far left of the front row. You can see what my apparently-not-very-shy father wrote at the end of his junior year to Dorothy in her yearbook. (And what kind of an editor doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”?):
Hmmmm……….Dad’s mother’s name was Dorothy…………I wonder if there were some mother issues going on with Miss Parrish.
Thankfully, we’ll never know.
Also found in that yearbook in the sponsors’ section was this ad for Feibel’s Bakery:
As mentioned earlier, I knew Lou Feibel from Feibel’s bowling alley. That was Junior. Senior ran the bakery, which later became Butterflake Bakery.
On to the 1938 yearbook……….
The front cover had no mention of the year on it, so – once again – I had to scan the first page:
Inside this yearbook was Dorothy Parrish’s diploma, the commencement program and the 1988 program for the 50th anniversary reunion:
This image shows what he wrote under his picture in Dorothy’s 1938 yearbook. There’s other interesting information about him already typed there:
This is why I purchased this yearbook: to get Dad’s upgraded-from-Junior-year “Loose Leafe” signature with the one big “L” at the beginning and the one big “E” at the end with small “oos” on top of small “eaf” in the middle (the “s” needs some work, Dad).
He seems to be a bit less amorously-demanding of Dorothy this year. The big-time Managing Editor of the Te-Hi News must have moved on to someone else (maybe her louder sister?).
The 20-year Reunion………
Held in HACKENSACK? BLASPHEMY! (is what I would say if I didn’t live in Hackensack for the last 32 years).
Getting a mention in the program didn’t hurt either:
And 30 years after THAT:
I have no idea where this one was held, but I DO recall that Dad was active in helping put this reunion together.