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Angelo Cafarelli 

(Interviewed by Ann McGrath on 11/28/1984. Transcription: 13 pages)

Summary: 
Mr. Cafarelli resides at 324 Frances Street. His family moved to Teaneck in 1924. He describes his father as a lithographer by trade and an artist by heart's desire. During the depression, his father produced a painting a month under the W.P.A. art project which the government took. The narrator says four of these commissioned portraits are in the Paterson Courthouse. Three are of judges and one is of a former governor. Many of his father's landscapes are in the homes of friends, and he has personally undertaken a search for his father's painting of the Arcola Mill in Paramus and of the Steuben farm house in New Milford (p. 1-2 of Interview #2). His mother, who studied art, painting and sculpture, was an art critic for a small local paper called THE INTERBORO NEWS, and she spoke on art on radio station WBNX Hackensack where she reviewed various art galleries in New York. Born in St. Louis, his mother grew up in Cincinnati. The narrator believes his mother had three Jewish grandparents and one that was English/Dutch Protestant. He adds that his mother's mother was a suffragette and walked with Susan B. Anthony and knew her personally (p. 13-14 of Interview #2).

Angelo Cafarelli attended Longfellow School in the 1920's. He says that Emerson School was closer, but Cedar Lane was considered dangerous for walking; the trains went right across Cedar Lane, and there were gates. Jr. and Sr. High were at Teaneck High School, which had only been opened; it was called the million dollar school (p. 1). The narrator remembers being very fortunate to receive a scholarship during the Depression to attend the Mannis Music School.

Mr. Cafarelli from pages three through eleven reminisces about the early days of Teaneck, offering word pictures of a rural Teaneck with open fields and scant building. He remembers that in 1920 there were only four houses on Frances Street. He remembers the Limones and the Dorio families had farms in the vicinity of Palisade Avenue, then called Heasley Avenue (p. 3 of Interview #1; p. 4 of Interview #2). In 1924 Teaneck had the smell of brand new stores -- "fresh paint on everything". Other strong childhood impressions he recalls were as he walked all over the town "you would see the horses pulling the plows that were digging land for new houses". There was a corner market called Sheffield Farm run by a Mr. Hollenbeck, and he recalls the familiar request "Go to Holly's and get ...". The narrator says there was nothing at all between Grayson Place up to West Englewood Avenue on either side of the tracks, and going to "Hackie" was the big thing. In Hackensack there were three movie theaters and three five and ten's all in a row on Main Street (p. 4-5 of Interview #2). As a teenager, Mr. Cafarelli raised pigeons; he says his neighbors were not pleased with his hobby (p. 7 of both Interview #1 & 2). During the Depression, his family received canned food from a relief center on Teaneck Road and Forest Avenue ( p. 8 of Interview #2).

Mr. Cafarelli has taught music in his home for 30 years, and he and his wife are members of several music organizations and part of a performers group from their Professional Music Teachers Guild of New Jersey (p. 4-5 of Interview #1). Mr. Cafarelli's first piano teacher was Mrs. Lippmann, who was the founder and president of the Teaneck Women's Club. The narrator recalls walking to the Lippmann home on Teaneck Road crossing fields where there are now many streets, developments and homes.

He says that he has watched that large house change throughout the years (p. 7 of Interview #1). The narrator relates an amusing childhood event that occurred a few years after Mrs. Lippmann had been teaching him piano. He was asked to play for the Women's Club meeting; but the young pianist that particular day was afraid to perform and ran out of the building. His mother, who was the art chairman of the Club, was also in attendance at the meeting, and she ran after him and brought him back to play for them. Mr. Cafarelli continues that years later the BERGEN RECORD wrote an article about him as an adult and including this childhood event had as the headline of their story "NO MORE COLD FEET" (p. 10-11 Interview #2).

Interview Comments:    Labeled Interview #1; Interview #2 has Helen Klein recorded as interviewer.

Transcription Comments:    Transcription for Interview #2 is 15 pages.

 

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