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(Interview taped 6/13/1977)
We came to Teaneck in 1909. My father built the house on Congress Avenue. My father was very strict-- didn't want you to have company. There was my sister, Hattie and Josie who married Henry Crede. They got married on the sly on account of Papa. My brother Jimmy was the oldest. He was in World War I and belonged to the Legion. Then there was me. Laurence had the ice business. He palled with the Clausen boys.
On our street there was Brunos. They farmed around West Englewood. My brother would go along when the Brunos went with a horse and wagon taking a load of vegetables over Fort Lee Road. Louie used to sell milk. Laurence likes horses. Then there was Ben Lewis and Agnes and Marion who had a farm in the woods back of us. There was a dirt road. Our playground was where Route 4 is. We played in the sand. Stevenson was a farmer--he had apple orchards. Matt Scott lived on Teaneck Road.
De Ronde had an apple orchard in back. We had fine apples on the ground. If Mr. Stevenson would catch you, you would get chased. He grew corn and pumpkins. We'd steal them around Halloween.
Emily Kaltenbach lived next door to us. Then there were the Lellonses. The Phillips's -- John, Teenie, Jim and Anne lived near where Peinecke is now. My oldest sister was friends with Teenie. Jim was kind of a tax collector. He lived on Tuxedo Square, my oldest sister lives on Summit Ave. The Montgomery house is next to my sisters. She is in Florida.
Dick Verlini's sister still lives in that bungalow style house. George Ahrens lives on Robinson Street. I graduated from school with George. My brother Conrad married Ethel Ross on Garden Street. She worked for the Phone Company. He worked for the gas station. My brother Freddie was a manager. My brother Connie went to Monticello on his day off. We tossed a coin if I should go with him but I went to work. He went fast, went over an embankment, ended up in a hospital. He was buried from the Rossi home on Garden Street.
I was with F. W. Woolworth over 25 years. I have had two eye operations and a gall bladder operation, I went back after my operation. When I was getting ready to retire after 25 years, we had a dinner. I didn't work full time all the time. After father died, I couldn't leave mother,
My father was so strict. My sister Hattie got friendly with Milton Vanderbeek. He'd come with a horse and carriage but Papa wouldn't let her go.
Mrs. Prigge had a store on Congress Street. She was related to Bublitz. She had a son. He had to walk a couple of miles to my house. He come to see me but when he got there I was gone.
Papa was a plumber. My brother Jimmy was a plumber. He was in World War I. When hard times came he was a janitor at the high school in later days.
Woolworth used to be in the center of the block on Cedar Lane. There was a delicatessen there. Then they enlarged Woolworth (at the Corner of Garrison and Cedar Lane--NW corner). I got $10 a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with either lunch or supper. I worked on the lunch counter. When they started with hot dogs and ice Cream sandwiches. You couldn't keep up with the business.
Papa built our house at 1098 Congress Street. There were no improved streets, no electricity. Neighbors gave us water. Papa and Kaltenbach had to dig from Congress to Summit when the well went dry. Mama caught rain water to wash clothes and cook. We had a coal stove and a kerosene stove. Later we got a furnace. Papa was a plumber. In later years we shut off 2 back bedrooms. We didn't have a toilet till the sewer came in later years.
When Camp Merritt was dedicated we put a wreath on the monument in town. Mrs. Gertrude Guthrie and I rode up Teaneck Road when they unveiled the monument. We were with the Ladies Auxiliary VFW,
There was an apple orchard on Robinson Street. Larry was in the ice business through John Phillips. Connie worked in the fields at Brunos near Teaneck Station. Katie Bruno still lives on Congress Ave. During the Depression I had to get a job. They raised the bus fare. If I worked in Bergenfield, how much would be left?
Sunday afternoons we would take a walk around the woods. Freddie was friends with George Ahrens. There were black walnut trees. We'd put the nuts in the attic and crack them in the winter
Inez and Dorothy DeBaun was my teacher in 1911. I remember Bessie Murphy, the chief's daughter. She was my best friend. They lived in the Selvage section.
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
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