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.

Dorothy Mantena

(Interview taped 7/23/1976)

I lived in Teaneck until 1953. Our family came in 1909. I went to Washington Irving School. Among my teachers were Miss Tepper and Mrs. Keener. We went to St. Anastasia Church. We did our shopping in Englewood--clothing and that we got in New York. I remember we'd get a nickel on Sunday and buy a big dill pickle and go to the woods over where Clausen's is.

My father was a plumber and he carried his tools in bags from Teaneck to New York. He'd walk from our house on Congress Street to Englewood to go to New York. He was one of the first volunteer firemen. My sister Hattie headed the bucket brigade where they were putting out fires. My sister Ada and I belonged to the American Legion. We were flag bearers.

For transportation -- Dick Verlini had a bus that went from Hackensack to Englewood. Later we rode the big blue bus to Hackensack for a nicke.

There was a murder at Forest and Overlook avenues. When the husband came home from work he found his wife dead.

Ben Lewis had a farm at the end of Cedar Lane. He had a milk route and we'd go there for vegetables. There were lots of wild flowers, like Jack in the pulpits. Flowers you don't see any more.

I remember when we got electricity and when we got the telephones. We'd all hurry home and call each other up. They had four-party lines. My father had hot water in our house. We burned wood and coal in the kitchen stove. We'd roast chestnuts and my father would keep busy peeling them.

We'd go down to Mrs. Sitzman's store and get our candy, come home and play dominoes or cards. At Mrs. Sitzman's you really got a quart of ice cream. She piled it high and packed it down. Mrs. Loray had a store at Tuxedo Square. I remember when the Kilmurray house on Prospect Terrace caught fire. Every body tried to help but they couldn't save the houses. George Ahrens lived on Robinson Street -- he still does. Miss Alice Boucher lived in our neighborhood she was a teacher at the high school for many years.

When we'd go down to Mrs. Sitzman's in the evening we had nothing to fear. I was the youngest of a big family.  My brother Connie was killed in an auto accident in 1932.  Lawrence had an ice route.  On Saturday every one would call up to make sure they'd get ice for Sunday.

Fred opened a gas station on Teaneck Road. My brother Connie worked there. My sister Ada lived in Brookchester in New Milford. I have a daughter, Dorothy Carroll. I'm proud of my grandchildren. One boy is studying to be a chef, another is studying biology in college and the third boy is at Rutgers.

 

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