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.

NARRATOR: Ruth Landrine
DATE OF INTERVIEW:    May 30, 1985
TRANSCRIBER: Jackie Kinney (12/1985)

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(I) Tell me about your children. Where they went to school and ...

(N) Well we lived in Maywood and Lee, our children, went to Maywood schools and then Lee went to Bogota High School and when she graduated from Bogota, she went down to Hood College in Maryland and she graduated from Hood College as a nursery school teacher and she married a man from Frederick, Maryland and they lived down there for a while and then, he loved it. It is beautiful down there. Have you ever been down to Maryland? And but Lee wanted to live up this way so they came up and they lived in Oak Ridge for a while and now they live in Port Murray and we two grandchildren and our granddaughter is also a school teacher and our grandson is a surveyor. And we have a great grandson too. Casey.

(I) Tell me about the Glenpointe project. Were you in favor of that when that ...

(N) No. You know, they went down there and in the paper they called it Frogtown. We never called it Frogtown. We never did. They said it was a depressed, not a depressed area, a well it was a poor area and it wasn't. The people down there had very modest homes. They had nice homes. But they went in there and they actually made these people sell. It was cut and dry. And then they gave them what, a menial sum? Now these things that I say maybe someone would object to what but this is the way

(I) No, we get everyone's opinion. All sides are covered.

(N) And they, I know we went to a meeting, oh I can't remember just how far back it was, I think Burr was the mayor then. And, oh yes long before they started building. And the people from Glenwood Park which we always called it were up to the meeting. It was up in the Municipal Building. And some of these people, when they heard them such disparaging remarks made about their homes, and where they lived, it was heartbreaking. And one woman was so upset about that she'd have to move out of her home, she had a heart attack right there and they had to take her to Holy Name Hospital. I don't know how she made out. And we weren't involved in it but we went there because we felt, this isn't the right thing to do but and I know I took a ride down there one day and this was of course the meadows and the Glenwood Park area used to be my hunting grounds and it was after they had started to pump out, you know they dried up the meadows first, and then they started digging there and the houses were gone. You could go in through the streets and it was in the spring and I drove around there and I felt very sad because I felt sad for the people and I felt sad for what was happening. And there in a little hillock I guess you'd say there were dog tooth violets growing. You know what dog tooth violets are? They looked so pretty. And I thought, this used to be full of dog tooth violets and look what they are doing. They are bulldozing all of this away and they're going to destroy this for what? For some building that they are going to put up here which of course is just what they did. Dried up the meadows, there aren't any cattails there anymore. To me, it is very sad. Even the raccoons come up and they live in our barn because they have no place to go.

(I) I was going to ask you, did you notice the influx of animals?

(N) Skunks and especially raccoons. You get them up there? And you live over on Queen Anne Road?

(I) Yes. Any other animals that have come up?

(N) Of course rabbits came here but they didn't stay long because we have a cat and he made short work of them and I was glad because they were eating up everything in my garden. The raccoons, they are a nuisance enough but they chew holes in the barn and they get up in the barn, on top of the barn.

(I) Do they live there?

(N) Yeah, we even had one in our coal cellar one night, one day. I was down, under the porch there is a door and then there is a coal cellar and we keep that door closed and I didn't know it but there was a window broken in one of the windows there and I found out that the cat was getting out of the house so I closed up part where you couldn't get into the coal cellar from the other part of the cellar but I went out there to get something one morning and I didn't light the light and I heard something and I thought Trampus had gotten in there and there was a huge raccoon and he'd gotten in through a hole in the window. Well then I really fixed it so that they couldn't get in anymore but he was really living in there and they are so dirty. You know cats will go out and dig a little hole and

(end of tape 1 - side 2 - begin tape 2)

(I) I just want to follow up on Glenwood Park. What do you think of that. What do you think of what's been put up there?

(N) Well of course I don't like it. 

(I) Do you like the building?

(N) No, I think it is horrible. And you can't see now because of the leaves but when you look down there from our dining room window, I'll take you in there afterwards, they have red all, strips of red that they have there. Have you noticed?

(I) On the buildings.

(N) Yeah. To me it looks like Red Square. 

(I) That's what you call it?

(N) Yes. I think it is terrible.

(I) Have you been down to see the townhouses?

(N) I saw them from the back, from Glenwood Park, in the back and the lighting and so forth looked very nice if you like townhouses but I don't like Glenwood Park, Glenpointe, at all. Anything about it. And I know that answers the question.

(I) Now I wanted to ask you, do you remember the peddler. Someone was telling me about the peddler from Hackensack that used to come through here. Do you remember him? You don't. What do you think of the services the town provides now. Do you think they are adequate? Are you happy with them?

(is) The services for what?

(I) Public works and garbage and police, firemen?

(N) The Public Works, I seem to be on a good standing with the police and the public works and so forth. Whenever I have called them up for any, of course we have had a lot of problems with putting this new road through here.

(I) I was going to ask about that later.

(N) Of course that we take up with the contractor themselves. 

(I) What kind of problems have you had?

(N) They told us that they weren't going to touch anything on this side of the street at all and the first thing you know, they've got a, one day when I was ready to go over to our place of business, they had a caterpillar right up on our sidewalk up to the hedge. A huge thing right up there while they were digging a trench across to put these pipes through. And I made them shut it off, it was making an awful noise, and I said, what are you going to do about this sidewalk? Anything that it hurt at all, we will take care of it. I said the hedge too because they were right up into the hedge. And so I got Mr., I don't know, I can't remember his name from the Engineering Department, not Robbins but Muller I think his name is. And he was down here in no time at all and he checked on what I was talking about because when they brought that caterpillar up, the two sections of the sidewalk sunk that much. Well the fellow that was with Cement Concrete Corporation, he said, how do I know but what it was that way before? And I said, that's when I called Muller up and he came down and I said now you check because I said that has sunk that much. Well they put two sections in.

(1) They already have?

(N) Yeah. They've put that in. But they, when they did the work here, we had an awful storm a few weeks ago and everything that they did had to be done over again. The sidewalk buckled across the street. You would have thought that there'd been an earthquake. They had to take the whole thing out and do it all over again. And it's unbelievable. And I was very interested because our, when they did work a few years ago, not this town or anything at all, I don't know, they did work a few years ago, I didn't have any water and I was doing my wash and I thought well now what's happened and I went out and they were working down on DeGraw Avenue and Teaneck Road and I said, I don't have any water. Where do you live, they said. I said down there. They said, oh, it can't be because we haven't been up there. So I said yes, but you're working down here. Well then they found out that that's where our connection was because see the house was built in 1902 so well we had a lot of problems and Mr. Robbins said, as soon as they start working outside, as soon as you see a Hackensack Water Company truck there, get in touch with them and tell them where your connection is and you know, they even had a problem when I went out there and told them and with all the machinery and all the noise out there, then they had to get someone up from Hoboken I guess it was where Hackensack Water Company is located and well it was like a circus going on here. It was like, oh that's another thing. I am digressing here. When I was a child, the movie industry was over in Fort Lee and Max Senet comedies and Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, they'd have moving pictures up and we'd be watching what was going on and we saw all these actors.

(I) Good, I am glad we didn't miss this. 

(N) It was fun watching them.

(I) Would you just go over and stand and watch them filming? 

(N) Right up on Teaneck Road, sure. They'd have 

(I) Do you remember any names of the films?

(N) I don't remember the names of the films but Richard Bartholomew in French pictures and they'd be riding horses and especially up in Phelps Manor which is the other side of the funeral home over in there and we'd be on the sidelines and we'd be watching and then Max Senet comedies with their cars and this is what we loved to watch as kids. But that's what made me think about it because this was just like a Max Senet comedy because these fellows from the water company and they didn't know where our water was connected and then they found out that we had three connections and they were all down at Teaneck Road. Now they've changed it so we have one connection in front of our house here.

(I) Off DeGraw.

(N) Yeah. Oh, and then they took the signpost, and you asked about the town and their cooperation. They took the signpost off DeGraw Avenue and Gifford Place and they laid it right next to our hedge where we want to cut the grass and it just laid there and they were not doing anything about it. So I called up the Public Works and in a days time, they were down here and they said, we'll take care of it. They said they had taken signs down all over and they don't tell us they take them down. They just lay them there and we are glad to know this so they were, I mean they cooperate.

(I) It sounds like they are very responsive to your needs. That's good.

(N) And the Police Department, yes, they are good. We've had problems with people leaving cars, stolen cars and things like that. You see them and in no time at all, they are down and they respond very quickly. And I've never had any problem thank goodness with the Fire Department. And the ambulance department, yes, they are good because I was almost killed in an automobile accident last July 7th. An ambulance ran a red light up on the corner of Queen Anne Road and Cedar Lane and they ran a red light. It was a private ambulance, Ambucar, and they were just transferring, a transportation case, taking someone to the hospital, not an emergency, and they ran a red light and they demolished my car and they almost demolished me. And when the police came and the ambulance from Teaneck came, why they wanted to take me to Holy Name Hospital and I said, no, I don't want to go to Holy Name Hospital. I want to go to Hackensack. 

(I) Naturally.

(N) Well you are right here. But I am a graduate of Hackensack Hospital and I want to go to Hackensack and they said, oh, let us take you right here. I said, no. I want to go to Hackensack. And they took me over to Hackensack.

(I) And you got good care. This is a volunteer ambulance too.

(N) Yeah, very good care. Of course being a nurse, I am never cooperative because I, what should I say, I try to tell them what to do.

(I) How would you compare Teaneck today with the Teaneck you grew up in as far as the people?

(N) Oh, you can't compare it at all. There is no comparison. 

(I) Do you feel that you are living in the city now?

(N) I don't know as I'd say I feel I am living in the city but of course you know the traffic that goes through here and of course the Teaneck that I grew up in, well we were all relatives. Either we were relatives or we were like these organizations that my mother belonged to, you knew everybody. You knew everybody in the town. And yet you didn't know everybody's business. Maybe we didn't know everybody's business because we weren't that type of people to look into everybody's business but there were all different, well when I was talking about nationalities, we had Polish, Hungarian, and Johnny Kachutsky who we grew up together with in school, he went way up in the Coast Guard. I believe he was a captain. He just recently died. He lived up in Connecticut. And you've interviewed John Sullivan.

(I) I haven't but somebody has, yeah.

(N) He's an exquisite artist. Did you know that? You should see some of his paintings and he went to school with me. John Sullivan. I've forgotten. He lives right up on Teaneck Road you know where the Exxon Station is? The other side of Oakdene Avenue? Well going north, he is the first house on the left hand side. And he can give you a lot of information.

(I) I am sure they must have interviewed him. Is there anyone else left from this original group that you know?

(N) That lives in Teaneck? I don't think so because they've all gone different ways. They've all moved different places.

(I) How would you describe Teaneck now to someone if they asked you, what kind of a community you lived in?

(N) I would say it this way - it is a busy community but I live in a little estate of my own. I'll have to take you out in the yard after. Another thing about the yard here, when my father built a tool house, the first building he built, structure on the property, he wanted to build a tool house and but where he wanted to build it, there was an apple tree and he couldn't build that so many feet over this way or so many feet over that way, no he wanted it right there so he built it and the apple tree grew through the tool house and then from the tool house, well then my mother wanted chickens and he added a little chicken coop and then he had to have a place for the hens to lay their eggs so he had to add on to that then he had a hen house and then he had to add on to that and he built a second story to store things and then he had to have a place to store his ladder so he added on to that and then he bought a car in 1910 which was a Ford, strictly for pleasure. And then he had to build himself a little garage onto that so this is I don't know about five or six rooms I think it is. And I always used to wonder, now how did that apple tree get through the roof.

(I) Do you think he cut it down originally or built around it?

(N) He built around it because it was there for years and I told my husband about it and he thought you know that's one of Ruth's fantasies but when he put, when Lawrence wanted to put a new roof on, there he found where my father, when the apple tree had died, there was this round and my father had the wood put over it and covered up that hole in there.

{I} I forgot to ask you about the name Landrine. Where it originated?

{N} That's a French name also. And the Landrines when they came over they were French Huguenots, the same as the Demarests. They were French Huguenots. And the Landrines went to Rye, New York and then they went down to Jersey City and that's where most, that was a big family also, but then my husband's father, he was one of ten or twelve children, and my husband's father, well then he moved up to Maywood and Lawrence and I met in high school. We were in the same biology class and Lawrence played football and

{I} I was going to ask you about your hobbies or recreations.

{N} My hobbies? Well you know I was thinking today now when I have time and I don't have to do all these chores for Lawrence and all this moving and everything and I am not called, when I have time of my own, then I'll go back to my painting. I paint also. And I write stories. I love to write stories. I've written stories. I've never had them published. My head is full of them.

(I) They should be written down, at least written down. 

(N) And that's what my husband and I are both hunters. 

(I) Real hunters? You go out hunting? 

(N) We go out hunting.

(I) And where do you go?

(N) Well we go, we always used to go rabbit hunting in New Jersey and pheasant hunting. We had dogs. And then

(I) Do you hunt for game to eat? 

(N) Yes, always. We only

(I) It is not just a sport.

(N) We only shoot something that we are going to eat. 

(I) And you make a rabbit stew then?

(N) You know, I have eaten so much, I don't even want to shoot a rabbit today. During the Depression, I ate so many squirrels and rabbits that

(I) That's how you survived. Wow.

(N) We had other meat of course but this was free. But we hunt in New Jersey and we hunt in Maine and we hunt up in the Adirondacks and in the Catskills.

(I) Any game birds do you hunt?

(N) Now we don't hunt birds. We used to. We used to have a setter and to hunt with a bird dog

(I) An Irish Setter?

(N) No, no. It was an English Setter. Irish Setters are wild but English Setters, they are delightful and to see one of them point a bird, anyone in your family hunt?

(I) I've been studying hunting dogs for another reason. I'll tell you later. And I'll ask you about that.

(N) And then we started deer hunting and bear hunting and well that's, we don't do any bird hunting any more. We don't have dogs. But we do

(I) Will you still hunt deer?

(N) Yes.

(I) And who skins the deer and takes care of it all?

(N) Lawrence does that. I do the wrapping of it. And I always say to him, why don't you take it to a butcher and let him do it. Pay him for it? No. So he does it himself.

(I) So you still like stew?

(N) Oh yes, yes. Venison stew and soup and chops. But we go to in fact I want to send a present, a graduation present to friends that we stay with up in Maine now. He graduated from high school and we are looking forward to hunting up there in the fall. But the men that we used to hunt with, they are not with us anymore. We've lost them.

(I) But you have your health. That's terrific.

(N) Yeah. They've gone to their happy hunting ground and yet when we go up to Highland Lakes, I can see Ed Whipple behind every tree because he hunted for years and years and that's, oh the stories, the hunting stories that I have to tell. As I say, I'd like to have time to write these things.

(I) How about other hobbies, anything else?

(N) Well of course I sew. I have to live a long time because I have so much planned. Right now I have three dresses that I am making and I told Lawrence just yesterday, I said you know we've been wanting to get rid of my mother's portable sewing machine and I said I don't want to do it because I have my sewing machine and I had white thread on my sewing machine and I wanted to do something else with tan thread and then I have to dismantle it. I said no, we'll put up Mama's sewing machine and then I will have the two sewing machines. One can be with one thread and one the other and then I'm in business. But I have a coat to make for Bunny. I bought wool up in Maine when we were up there last year and I have three dresses of my own that I am working on all at once and I knit and crochet and of course I paint and write stories.


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