All interviews were taped and documented.They are available through the Reference
Department of the Teaneck Public Library. The Library is not responsible for the accuracy
of the statements nor does it necessarily endorse the opinions expressed.
Mrs. Frances Manno, Eva M. Gemp, Lucille M. McBride
Mrs. Manno (Age 84): I came to Teaneck from Clifton--it was near Clifton. Papa bought the barber shop. We lived in back of the shop. Lucille was 8, Tony was 6 and Eva was a year and a half. I saved all my money. We were rich.
We had a toilet on the first floor. No bathtub. My children had to have a bath. In summer when it was so hot I'd fill the tub with cold water. I wanted a different tub. I went to the department store and got a galvanized tub shaped like a bath tub. I put it on an old chair. I wanted water with the kettle.
We had a range, but I think we had one burner that was gas. There was no hot water at the sink. I'd rinse my dishes with hot water. I remember the first time I had a washing machine. The man used to come and pick up the laundry. One day the doctor (Dr.Louie Rusch) came and said you work too hard. I used to wash the children's delicate clothes. The children looked beautiful. Did I know about sewing? That was born in me. My mother was 100 percent stylish.
When I was young I go to work to bring money to my mother to pay the rent. Your father didn't bring much to me. I sewed for people. I had a summer home. I sold some things. I bought material in New York, around 34th Street. I designed and made clothes for people. Mrs. Zeeb was a good customer. I was stylish. She wanted a Russian blouse, that cost $50. She sketched it for me and Oh Boy did I make it!
You originated the brother and sister outfits? Yes. They were sailor suits. I made them first then saw them in a magazine.
I'd go to New York taking the train, the boat and the trolley. I loved New York, I had to get some one to take care of my children. I got a colored lady--she was blonde (albino) I wanted some one German or Irish. There was a Pollack woman upstairs. She made pastries which were such dainty things. I couldn't get a lady like I wanted to take care of my children.
I remember the DiBellas in West Englewood. There was a small A &P store on Teaneck Road and West Englewood Avenue. There was a small Grand Union. I liked the A &P better. Mr. Cutler's store was on Railroad Avenue--Now Palisade Ave. Joe and Henny Weiss had the taxi stand next to us. When they put it in the back I put in a few chickens. I used to go to Hackensack to get fresh vegetables -- carrots and turnips and green beans.
Lucille McBride: We had a Billy Goat. I wanted a goat for fresh milk for my children, but we got a Billy Goat. One day I was fitting a lady's dress and the kids brought the Billy goat into the parlor. Some one brought me a rabbit, but he was dirty. I made hassenpfeffer out of him. One time I brought home two kittens from New York--and I had three children.
Later we moved to a beautiful five-room apartment over the delicatessen (where West Englewood Market is now). He went to John Marshall Law school with Tommy Costa. They graduated together. Tony passed the bar exam a couple of years before Tommy. He was a clerk for Judge Ferry and was active in the rotary Club--not in politics, but he was behind the scene. He put Tommy forward, got him going. Tommy was a good guy but not so aggressive.
Mrs. Manno: He used to invite us. He said Tommy Costa's mother wants to see you. I didn't want to go. One day she come to see me. It was very pleasant -- everything was so nice. I still had the piano and she played the piano, she was a musician.
Lucille: Bob Morrill wrote a beautiful tribute for the Rotary magazine. I went to work for Lawson Graffin, the insurance man. That was my firs job. That was after I went to Packard Commercial College. It was a nicI job. but I didn't like a hick town. I wanted the big city and lots of men.
Mrs. Manno: At that time she was pretty looking, we called her Clara.
Lucille: My Aunt was a sample maker for Maurice Rentner. She said they needed a bookkeeper. I worked there a while, but I get tired of the garment industry. My friend Marge Diggleman got me a job in an advertising agency. After that I worked for a couple of advertising agencies till I got married to John McBride of 285 Morningside Terrace, we've been married 36 years and have three sons--John Patrick J., Timothy Michael and Gregory Anthony.
Eva: I went to Washington Irving and to Junior High School after the high school was finished. I worked down one hill through the mud where Route 4 was to be and up another hill to school. When I was a junior I fell in love with Ray Ward, who was to be my first husband. I got a job with Richter the plumber at Cedar Lane & Palisade Ave. for $5 a week--later I got a raise to $6.
My father told me there was a job open at the bank for $12 a week. Frank Weber hired me. He asked me why I wanted to work in the bank and I said because I liked to meet people. Ray was killed in World War II-- He was a paratrooper at Normandy. Is his name on the monument? 1 didn't know. I was at the bank eight years. While working there I went to banking school but I didn't do much but flirt with the teacher. I left the bank because everyone who came in would offer their condolences and I couldn't take it. I went to Florida. My first job when I got back was with the Teaneck Sunday Sun. Mr. McNamara hired me. Jobs always came to me. I was at the Sun until I married Jim Gemp of Maywood. We have two children--Robert & Sandra..
When we were kids there was no one to drive us around. we went swimming at Crestview Lake or to the shore--Belmar & Point Pleasant.
Mrs. M: I used to say I'm thankful my son does not go on the high dive. One day he comes home with a trophy. I said Where did you get that? He says Mama I can't help it. High Diving. Well.
Lu: Our parents had a car--we had two cars. On Sundays we'd go for a ride in the Ford with Izing glass curtains that rolled right down. When it was not raining we'd fold the top back. Then we had a Model T sedan with real glass windows. Pop would toot the horn at all the chicks. He'd say: "Sing, kids, Sing." My father liked having a car. We didn't have much, but we had a car. Then we got a brand new Auburn. He sold that and got an Oldsmobile almost new. He sold that and got that '55 Buick with 3900 miles on it.
When we were real little we walked through the snow to Washington Irvine School. Mother used to wrap newspapers around our legs and pack our lunch. We used to go sleigh riding on Beaumont Avenue with George Beaumont, Ellie Norton and other kids.
Mrs. M.: I was worried about skating. I wanted to go to town hall and ask them to block off the street because of traffic.
Lu: We used to go to Miller's Pond in Englewood. It's a good thing my mother didn't know how deep Miller's Pond was. She used to say why don't they find a place and flood it a little for skating. That's what they finally did at Votee Park.
My father used to sell cigars and cigarettes in the barber shop. He had a little case with all the popular brands.
What about weddings? We didn't go to many around here. Most of the ones we went to were in New York. Italian weddings were famous. I was married in St. Anastasia's and Eva in Christ Church. Ray was not a Catholic and they would have had to get married in the rectory. She wanted a church wedding.
We went to catechism in the little old St. Anastasia Church on Sunday afternoons the nuns had classes. In those days all businesses were open on Saturday and my father was open a half day on Sunday. We would go for a ride and he didn't want to wait until after the 3 p.m. class was over. He'd have a fit. He wanted to go some place. Picnics? We used to go to Lake Hopatcong,. There were no town picnics. As a kid we had field days on the 4th of July. I'd win the 100-yard dash. One year I got an umbrella and another year a linen handkerchief -- first prize. I marched with the Girl Scouts, so did Eva. Her Scout leader was Bess Gilliland. Tony belonged to the Boy Scouts with Joe Culver.
Tony was popular in high school. He was well liked. He graduated with the first class at Teaneck High, then went to John Marshall Law School with Tommy Costa and got his law certificate on the first try. He died of a heart attack 11 years ago. It was quite a shock to the community. He had offices at 362 Cedar Lane. He helped many people, not just through his law practice. I will read the tribute Bob Morrill wrote in the Rotary Club publication High Gear--It starts out--"Tony has left us."
Here is another article by Merrill Tucker which appeared in the Times Review June 23, 1963 telling about his great interest in the Teaneck Athletic Boosters, a column by Mildred Taylor saying the town will not be the same with Tony Manno gone--dead at the age of 49. There is another column by Bob Henderson in the Times Review of June 23, 1963. That's all.
I want to add that my father, Benjamin Manno, had the second barbershop in Teaneck on Railroad--now Palisade Avenue. He loved people and always had a smile and a ready hand.
My sister Eva was captain of cheer leaders at Teaneck High. She was active in scouting and used to help a girl on Longfellow Avenue who was in a wheel chair. She'd go there nearly every day to encourage her to walk.
My sister Eva had her wedding reception at the Old Plantation. I had mine at the Rustic Cabin where Frank Sinatra sang. I can't remember where my brother's reception was.
The West Englewood Market was once owned by Branhoff. I remember the bandshell in Windsor Park on the West side of the railroad. Mayor Kelly paved all the streets and caused a hubub but it turned out to be a good thing. I remember the railroad station in Victorian stule. Mr. and Mrs. Hanks lived there. He was station master. Where the West Englewood post office is now was where my father had his first shop. We lived in a house behind before we moved to Beaumont Avenue.
Second Interview taped by Lucille McBride & Janet Schmitt, 1976:
Lucille McB: Mama, tell about Mr. Etten's market. I used to go over there. They had wonderful service. He and his wife would talk. They didn't think I knew what Schoene meant. He said Mrs. Manno I'll walk home with you. I only lived on Beaumont and the meat weighed 3 or 4 pounds. He was walking with me. Schoene means nice?
I remember Mr. Zitelli the shoemaker with his wife. Lots of children in his store. They had a big family. Mr. Frei had the hardware store. Mr. and Mrs. Frei were nice. Mr. Zitelli moved into a store that had been a general store. You could buy anything from a shoe lace to anything. The old woman before Mrs. Hagen -- Mrs. Goodman, she had everything. You go with a sample, she'd find it. My mother and my brother lived on West Englewood Avenue. A big old gray house with a porch all around and a big yard. They bought the house from Mr. and Mrs. Butterfield. That was when Lu was about 13.
Lu: I graduated from Washington Irving School in 1926 and from Englewood High in 1930--so that must have been in the 20s. We moved from Clifton in 1918 or 1919. I remember Uncle Joe came home from the war. When he bent to kiss me he burned me with a cigarette. It was after that we moved here. My brother went to Washington Irving and to Englewood High for two years then came back and was in the first graduating class at Teaneck High.
Eva: I remember Miss McGrath, a red head, and Miss O'Riley and Miss Beckwith, Mr. Sodowski and the music teacher, Miss Kennedy.
Mr. M.: I remember when Tony was in school they made a play. He was the most important man. He was sitting on a desk and when he got up he ripped his first long pants. Well, he said what he had to say.
Lu: Tony was always active in sports.
Mr. M.: When the teachers couldn't control him they'd call me. One time two teachers came together. They told him Tony if you don't behave you put the whole class in an uproar and we can't teach. I say Tony keep your mouth shut. Once the principal sent a note. I said, Tony, from the principal--for YOU. O.K. Tony, teachers report you are an excellent student. He was full of life. I said to the teacher if you give kids a little they take the whole thing. I went to school 2. They said there was no better. Boy. When I go home I said, Tony I went to the principal. They all like you, but they'll expel you if you behave like that. Tomorrow go sit down and be quiet. Next I had a note he was a gentleman. If you give a finger, they'll take a hand.
Lu: Tony was very tiny when he was in Englewood High--the smallest in his crowd They selected him to give the speech at the Monument one year.
Mrs. M.: He delivered Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. He didn't tell me he had to go over there. I went over and was in the crowd. The music played. My hand was shaking. I stood on one side. People were saying what a lucky mother. I didn't turn around. I was so proud of what he was. Then he came home, I didn't tell him I was there. It was such a great feeling for a kid to do that. He got $10 in gold and he said, This is yours, Mama. I said who gave it to you? He said the mayor. What 1 did--I gave it to Ruth when they got married.