|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.|
|DATE OF INTERVIEW:||March 26, 1984|
|TRANSCRIBER:||Jackie Kinney (9/30/1984)|
This is Anne McGrath and I’m interviewing Bill Lindsay at the Teaneck Fire House on Teaneck Road. The date is March 26, 1984.
(I) Do you know why your family moved into Teaneck and when?
(N) They moved in Teaneck about the last 1900s and my Father came into Teaneck about the early 1900s. He came into Glenwood Park. My mother’s father lived over in West Englewood and he was a carpenter and he worked in the big hotels over in New York City and for Macy’s and then he retired and he had a carpenter shop on West Englewood like that.
(I) Do you know where it was?
(N) Right now his shop would be where National Paint Store was. He was the first President of the Chamber of Commerce in Teaneck when he was there and he had three daughters, which my mother was one of them, the youngest one. One of my mother’s sisters was Chris Chef who was President of the Board of Education here for thirteen years and during World War II he took over the Lloyds of London Insurance Company and he just passed away when he was 92 years old.
(I) What was your mother’s father’s name?
(N) James Fuller.
(I) How about your own father?
(N) My father’s name was William, the same as mine, William Lindsay. He, my grandfather worked on the trolley lines over in New York City and then he moved here to Jersey and he was one of the first councilmen in Bergen County. My father, my grandfather, was a councilman in Teaneck, one of the first ones in Bergen County. In fact, when he retired and they formed the police department here in Teaneck, he worked on Teaneck Road and DeGraw Avenue down by the trolley lines with the old stop and go metal signs that they used at the time. My father was Volunteer Chief of the Teaneck Volunteer Fire Department in Glenwood Park and he later went on the Teaneck Fire Department in 1929. He was one of the first ten men that we had on the department here in 1929.
(I) Was it volunteer?
(N) He was a volunteer when he went into the paid department in 1929. He was a Volunteer Chief then.
(I) How did they get to New York and back then?
(N) Well they used to have a Trolley line then that they used to use and I guess going over old Fort Lee Road. I can remember it going up through Leonia. I know my father used to talk about the movies they used to make down the railroad station that’s down there in Leonia. And as you know, the movies first started with the films and everything here in Fort Lee. And he was involved in that before my father went on the Fire Department, he was an electrician and he put the first fire alarm system in that they had here in town and also he wired the Bergen County Court House and he also installed the first traffic light in Bergen County. My father used to be an electrician. He used to have a store down here right opposite St. Anastasia’s Church on Selvage Avenue. It used to be Lindsay’s Electronics. And that’s when I lived up here on Teaneck Road opposite the and then they moved out of that house and bought a house on Oregon Court.
(I) Is that where you were born?
(N) That’s where I was born. No I was born on Teaneck Road when I was born right opposite (Planikan’s).
(I) You were born in Holy Name Hospital.
(N) Holy Name Hospital.
(I) And when did you move to the other house?
(N) When I was two years old I moved to Oregon Court. And I’ve lived there since then. 1931 they moved to Oregon Court.
(I) What were your earliest remembrances of Teaneck as a Child? What did it look like?
(N) Well, a lot different that it is today. I remember when we had one high school and four junior high schools and we were on the safety patrols. We used to go down there behind Phelps Manor Golf Course; they used to call it Pine Forest. We used to go down there for picnics and then we used to go out there for picnics and then we used to go out to Flatbrook, which was in Englewood. We used to walk out there. They had seven grammar schools like I said and we had a lot of open spaces like down where I used to live, down in Oregon Court, down in Herliman and all that, they were all woods down there. I can remember the homes being built up by the Teaneck Armory and then during World War II when they had the English soldiers used to come up there and train. Like I say, Votee Park was a lot of woods, there wasn’t so much down there. I can remember when Dick Rodda first came to town. I played on his first baseball team they had here. And I was on the committee that formed the Little Brown Jug across the street.
(I) Where did they play?
(N) We played baseball in Tehune Park and the park down by Fort Lee Road there and played down here in Votee Park, which used to be Central Park then.
(I) What would you do for recreation as a family?
(N) Well we had a place up in Erskine Lakes and we used to go up there. For years we went up there from when my father retired we went up there around twenty-two years. We had a place up in Erskine Lakes. I used to go up there in the summertime the day school was out and
(I) Is there anything you do around Teaneck?
(N) Only when I was around when we played on the recreation team in the parks, that’s all, and each park used to have at that time there was nothing over here at Borden’s Field. Borden’s Field used to just be a little baseball field but it wasn’t actually a park then. They never, they only used Votee Park, Tehune Park there was only about four or five parks they used. Clark’s Park down in Glenwood Park.
(I) Can you tell me what schools you went to?
(N) Well I went to a half dozen of them in town here. I went to Bryant School. I remember Miss Recourt up there. She was the principal of the school and she was my fifth grade teacher. That was the last year I went to school up in Bryant School because they were building homes up the Armory and around Palisades Avenue and actually north of Bryant School up to Hamilton Road. That used to be all woods up there, only scattered houses up there. And then they built all of them new houses up there and went down to Englewood Line so we were transferred I believe at that time everybody that lived south of Englewood Avenue and from Avenue south we came, was transferred down here to Number 2 School and at that time, Number 2 School wasn’t safe and they were building a new school back there and
(I) What was Number 2 School called, do you remember?
(N) That was Washington Irving School. And they were building the school behind which they use now.
(I) And it is called now?
(N) It is still Washington Irving.
(I) They tore the old building down?
(N) No the other one is now the Town House. That’s what the Board of Education is using. And then I went to Teaneck High School and Teaneck High School had a junior high school on the Market Street side and the senior high school was on the Cranford Place side. And then after I graduated there in 1947, I went into the service.
(I) Can we back and ask you if you remember any of the teachers, say in grammar school. Do you remember any of them?
(N) Grammar school I had Miss Recourt.
(I) Did you start in kindergarten?
(N) Yes, I started in kindergarten and my kindergarten teacher there was Mrs. Dale and since then she was transferred over here to Washington Irving School. She retired. I had Miss Recourt. Like I say, then she wound up being principal of the school. I had Mr. Swan up there, he was my history teacher. He taught us history up in Bryant School and at that time, George Swan. And then I went over here to Washington Irving School and I had Mrs. Wonder and Mr. Bookstaver who later would up being the principal over in School No. 7 before he retired. Then I went to high school and I had Don Brysh and Mr. Finn. I had Miss Smith. In fact, until she retired, I was working with Mrs. Smith because I handled the Boys State for the American Legion since Boys Town (inaudible) College in the school year and I, oh; I had Mr. Moore for English. I remember Mr. Moore. I still see him peddling his bicycle around town. I guess that’s about it. I had.
(I) What were your favorite subjects?
(N) Well a little history. Mostly I liked History.
(I) Did you have any extra-curricular activities in school?
(N) I played baseball and football and soccer. I played in junior high school and in high school I played football and soccer.
(I) We discussed where you played. Did your family go to church?
(N) Yes I went to Church up here St. Paul’s Lutheran Church up here on Church Street.
(I) Was it a new church?
(N) No it was the old church. The old church used to face Beaumont Avenue use to come out on the corner of Beaumont Avenue there. As a matter of fact, when I came home from the service in 1951, I helped rededicate the new church on Longfellow Avenue. I participated in the program there. I had thirteen years in Sunday school there and I also served on the council for three years up there. I was on the council for three years.
(I) When you say thirteen years, you taught?
(N) No, I was thirteen years in Sunday school. I studied in Sunday school.
(I) Do you want to tell me about the council?
(N) I served on the council for three years.
(I) Do you remember the dates?
(N) 1974 to 1977.
(I) Did you have any hobbies as a child besides football?
(N) Well, I used to fish and I used to play with railroads.
(I) Where did you fish?
(N) Oh I fished all over. I fished up in Erskine Lakes, I fished in tropical fishing. I went up here to Harrington Park. I used to fish over here when they used to stock Nova’s Pond. In fact, I used to ice skate there and that’s where I met Dick Button and Dick Button used to come from Englewood. That’s where he used to practice. On that pond over there.
(I) Did you play hockey there too?
(N) I played hockey there and I played hockey down there in the Hackensack River and down here when they made this skating rink here in Votee Park.
(I) What was the Hackensack River like in those days?
(N) Well they made a nice; I guess they filled in the river there to make a pond there because it had tidewater.
(I) Exactly where?
(N) That’s on Academy Lane. They used to have steps going down there. The DPW made steps and they used to have fires down there and they used to have lights down there so the people used to skate down there all the time.
(I) Would you ever fish in that river?
(N) No. I never fished in that river.
(I) People did?
(N) They did.
(I) Was there any boating on the river?
(N) The only boating that there used to be that I can remember there used to be an Oritani Boat Basin up there in Hackensack. I think there is a car dealer there now. But they used to have boats motorboats there and stuff like that. Right opposite Vander Walker where the swim club is now. That used to be a boat basin. I think Wilson was the last one that operated that.
(I) When did you go into the army?
(N) I went to the army October 1, 1947.
(I) Was that right after high school?
(N) Right after high school.
(I) Tell me a little about the army experience.
(N) I was down Fort Dix for eighteen weeks and then I went to Fort Mammoth and I left Fort Mammoth and then I went over to Korea. I was over in Korea for about eighteen months and then I got transferred to Japan and I went over on the third plane with General Dean when the War broke out in Korea.
(I) Did you see active duty in Korea?
(N) Yes. I lost quite a few men over there.
(I) What was your rank?
(N) I was Sergeant. In fact, I was with a boy here from town that I went to school with and I saw him. His outfit relieved our outfit and he got killed over there. He was missing in action and that was Dickie Jewitt.
(I) Any other men from Teaneck did you see over there?
(N) Oh, I met Dickie Beaumont, Pete Villardi. Pete Villardi works in the post office. Dickie Beaumont now lives up in Waldwick. I met them over there on leaves in Korea, in Seoul.
(I) Did you actually fight with any of these men?
(N) No I haven’t been fighting along side them, no. They were in different outfits.
(I) Do you remember any names of the places that you fought?
(N) Well I landed in Tai Jon. We were supposed to go twenty-one miles before we hit enemy and we didn’t quite make it. We went to Da Gu and that’s when we got ambushed and the seven men that was with me from 24th Signal Company, there was only two of us alive. The other five got killed right in that ambush.
(I) Did you ever come home while you were in active duty?
(N) No. I came home when I got out of the hospital.
(I) You were wounded in Korea?
(N) I was wounded in Korea.
(I) And where were you in the hospital?
(N) I was in the 104th Station Hospital in Japan. I left Japan, I mean Korea, in a hospital ship and wound up in Japan and I stayed there and then I came home.
(I) Do you remember the year you came home?
(N) I came home in 1951.
(I) So how long were you away from Teaneck?
(N) I was actually time overseas and everything; I was away from Teaneck about three and a half years.
(I) How did you meet your wife?
(N) My wife worked in Bendix. I worked in Bendix before I started here. That’s where I met my wife.
(I) And can you tell me her name and where she came from?
(N) Her name is Margaret and she came from Saddle Brook. Saddle River Township actually now. Saddle Brook now.
(I) And her last name?
(I) What was it like working for Bendix and where did you work?
(N) Well in Bendix I worked in the Engineering Department of Bendix. I worked on the first line, first class secrets.
(I) Where was that?
(N) It was in Teterboro and I worked on Air Speed Instruments and testing of Air Speed instruments for the government – Army and Navy. My wife used to work for the engineers and she was Secretary for the Engineers.
(I) How would you commute, what route would you go?
(N) At that time, I used to take Teaneck Road to Cedar Lane and Cedar Lane into Hackensack and used to take Green Street in 46.
(I) When you and your fiancé went out, where did you go? Where did you go dating, around here?
(N) Around here we went to, we used to go to the Rusty Nail there. We went to Blue Swan in Saddle River on 46. A lot of times we used to go up to the lake. We used to have dances on Saturday nights at the lake. We had a place up at the lake. So I used to go to the dances up there.
(I) Was there any social activities in Teaneck or in this area that you could
(N) No, we went around a group of us, I guess the last time we went any place around here was we went out to Elmwood Park Country Club when they had dances out there. We used to go there at night.
(I) Now tell me when your children started coming?
(N) Well, let’s see. One is 27.
(I) Well just how old are they now?
(N) Well let’s see Bobby is 25; Billy was born in 1955; Eddie was born in 1956; Bobby was born in 1957; and Jimmy in 1958.
(I) Where did they go to school?
(N) They started out in school in Longfellow School and then they got involved in the busing and they went, I think the only schools they were bused in was in Bryant School and then they went to junior high school across the street, TJ, and then they went up to the high school.
(I) Were you pleased with their education in Teaneck?
(N) Not really because all four of them, as you can see, were only a year apart. I had problems with each one of them because each one got involved in the new math and then there was four different types of math in Teaneck and each one of them got them. When they got into college, Billy and Ed and Bobby, I had to give them special courses in math. They had to take an extra course in math to learn math. They all took the Smith Courses in school. In fact, three of them graduated from college with honors. My oldest one got the Athletic Scholar Award from Western New England and he graduated third in his class. They all did very well in school. They are all doing well.
(I) What do you think the strengths of the school? What do you think the schools gave them?
(N) Well I consider myself very fortunate with all the problems that they had in school and all the dope they had all around. I think they had good teachers in the beginning to, they wasn’t caught in, like I say, the only thing they really got caught in was math. They got good educations and they, I never had any trouble with any of them. They were never in trouble with the cops or anything else. They were all close together. They all played sports and
(I) Did they do school activities too? Were they on the teams?
(N) They all played soccer for Bill Polley; they all played baseball for Mr. Savino; and they went on to college and played baseball and soccer.
(I) What did each one of them go into?
(N) Billy he is Head Staff Accountant for ITT up in Marlboro. He works up in Marlboro. Eddie and Bobby both work for General Foods and Jimmy works for Coca Cola.
(I) How Different was it from, for them when they were in school than it was for you? Did you think the schools were really different?
(N) Well the only differences I seen is that they had busing which I didn’t have busing. A lot of them had my teachers, some of my teachers, so like I say, I didn’t really see any difference. The only problem I had with them was math. I could sit down and do it my way, the older way, but they can’t.
(I) Do you think the social climate was different? The way they
(N) I think they had more than what we had when we were kids.
(I) What kind of things?
(N) But again they were fortunate too. When they got to high school, they were in, before they went to high school. They played Little League and stuff like that. They were involved in that. And they were involved in the American Legion. The summertime came, they went down the shore. When school was out and came back until they got involved in baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, American Legion Baseball so they stayed around here. Normally like I said, they always got a place to go and so I really didn’t have any trouble with them. They had plenty of activities going on.
(I) When did you decide to be a Firefighter?
(N) I really didn’t. My father talked to me into it. They were short men here and he asked me if I wanted to go on the Fire Department I was having problems in Bendix, you know. The Korean War was just about getting over with and the government wasn’t buying all their equipment like they were and he wasn’t making as much and at one time, it was like anything else. The overtime was good money and everything else and they cut out the overtime, you wasn’t making much money. And in fact when I quit and came here, I wasn’t making much money. I was only making $3,100 a year when I took the job back here.
(I) What year was that?
(N) That was on February 15, 1954.
(I) Did they have a paid fire department?
(N) Yes. Paid department started in 1929 and in about 1937, they went fully paid and at that time, even when I came on in 1954, they only had thirty-three men.
(I) And they were short handed?
(N) No, we wasn’t short handed then. We only had two firehouses. We used to work twenty-four hours a day, around the clock. We don’t work like we do now. And like I say, I was only a fireman for three years and then I went to the Fire Alarmtry (?)
(I) Where were the firehouses?
(N) When I first started, the firehouse was on Kendall Place, which was No. 2 Fire House; No. 3 Fire House is still in the same place and headquarters was across the street. They just moved over in this building.
(I) Now for three years, you were a fire fighter and you said you were trained where?
(N) Well, I went here to, we had schooling here and we had the Fire College here. It was run by Chief Murray. I went up to the Mahwah School that was just opening up there, training around different departments. They didn’t have a main station then. I went around there.
(I) Was the Firefighting School here on-the-job training?
(N) That was on-the-job training. That was run by Chief Murray. He used to run the school every year with volunteers from other departments coming here and everything else.
(I) And what would you do? Do you remember the procedures?
(N) Well, you had hose work, you laid out hose, you had different type of nozzles, you hooked up engines with hydrant pressure to tell you what type how much pressure you can have, different lengths of hose. You had ladder work. We used to have a drill out here in the yard. We used to scale the building and we used to slice the rope, do rescue work. Just to give training and courage to go up and not be afraid. You used to put smoke bombs in the tower and we used to put masks on and go in there. Then they taught you how to operate the desk. At that time, we had the First Aid, we had the rescue. We used to use resuscitators. We used to go out on heart cases. We used to go out on automobile accidents and stuff like that.
(I) Did you have good equipment?
(N) Yes. We have good equipment.
(I) And was it very different than your equipment now?
(N) Oh yes. The equipment we had years ago when I first started, the sat on the right hand side of the truck to drive like you were in England. We have more up-to-date equipment, easier trucks to operate and to quicker procedures to get the draft water and stuff like that. And then you got different type of masks. The masks that we had, we had two types of masks. One that was them Chem-Ox, a little square box that was only good for a half hour; we had another one that used to take you a couple of minutes. You used to have to draw the lungs, pump air into their lungs before you get in. Now we have there Scott Packs that we just throw them on and they are all set. We just turn the valve and you put them on there and you put the face piece on properly and you go in the fire.
(I) Well when you say you worked twenty-four hours, what kind of home life did that allow? Twenty-four hours on and
(N) Well you was on, you were here twenty-four hours and off twenty-four hours. And every eight days, you were off a day, you were off three days in a row.
(I) Were you unionized or did you have what kind of a Union?
(N) No. There was no union.
(I) What kind of a union do you have now?
(N) Now we have two of them. We have the Fire Officers have a Union, which is, they don’t belong to any real basic union, it is just a group that they have themselves. They represent them in negotiations and you got the FMBA which is, represents the Firefighters and they, that’s a state affiliated organization.
(I) Do you have a good voice for making decisions for the force here?
(N) Do I what?
(I) Do you have a good voice; do the firefighters have a good voice?
(N) Not really. My job is to work with the Chief and take care of the alarm system and operating the desk, that’s all I do. Firefighting procedures that stuff is up to the deputies and stuff like that.
(I) Do you have rank now?
(N) I am a Superintendent of Fire Alarms.
(I) You became that after three years as a Firefighter?
(N) No, I was a Fireman for three years and then I was a Repairman for three years and then I became Superintendent of Fire Alarms.
(I) So you were in the force six years before you got the job you have now?
(N) Right. No. Actually I left the force after three years. I came into the Fire Alarm Bureau and I was a Fire Alarm Repairman for three years and then the superintendent retired and I took over as the superintendent.
(I) Was that a big decision to become a Firefighter and leave Bendix for you?
(N) Not really. I looked at the job, the retirement benefits that you have, the security part like I said, you know, working at Bendix, you cut out on overtime you didn’t know if you were going to get laid off and, in fact, the last year that I worked for Bendix, I bumped four fellows because every time I went from one department to another department, I got laid off but I bumped somebody (End of Side 1 – Begin Side 2)
(I) Can you compare Teaneck with other towns as, can you compare Teaneck’s Fire Department with other towns fire departments.
(N) Well the only comparison we got in Bergen County, there is only five paid departments. The other towns have volunteers. I would say we’re on up to up and equal with Hackensack, Ridgewood in the pay department. Englewood right now is having troubles. They have a smaller department than we have and they’re now, they are in the same position we were at times. We had to depend on each other for help if we have a bad fire. Edgewater is getting to a town where they are only having paid drivers. They’re going down slowly. They lost all their industry down there so their fire department is going down and Cliffside Park only has drivers now. Bergenfield only has drivers. And the rest are all volunteers.
(I) Is this a dangerous situation?
(N) Yes and no. It costs you a lot of money to have a fire department and you got volunteers, you’re great. If you got the people in there with the right ages and they got the jobs and they work in the communities and they can take time the time off. But there were times you find a lot of these volunteer towns, they have problems. At night, after 5 O’clock they got plenty of men. During the daytime, they don’t have that many men and you find some people that don’t have that many men and you find some people that don’t have their employees take off so the advantage of having a fire when, or the disadvantage of having a fire when you have a fire, the first five minutes of that fire is the important time. You either can save the building or you can’t save the building and so the speediest response and get there with equipment and manpower is what you need to have a fire department.
(I) So is Teaneck called out very often by these towns?
(N) Well, just like right now, they are over in Englewood. Englewood has a fire; we have one truck over there assigned to cover the town over there in case there’s another fire, than we have to call men back.
(I) How many fires do you have a day in Teaneck? How do you figure your
(N) Well, it varies. Last year, we had a total of 466 box alarms; we had roughly 1,900 fires last year. You know it runs. It varies. We go out on water leaks, we go out emergency calls, blackouts and everything else like that and we are a paid department, we are here to service the community.
(I) Do you think Teaneck needs a paid department?
(N) Yes. Every town needs a paid department. Like I say, we started years ago. It isn’t like starting today. It costs an arm and a leg to start a department and stuff like that. You get a lot of these towns, the town owns the building, but the equipment is owned by the volunteers. They go out and they collect the money from the town to buy equipment.
(I) What advantages can you see in your fire department if the men did have more voice in making decisions?
(N) Well I think they all have a voice in making decisions. They sit down and talk it over with the Chief and different things like that and their union representatives today go in but I mean the Chief makes the main decisions.
(I) But he talks to the men also?
(N) He talks to the officers and he talks to the men.
(I) Is there a regular meeting?
(N) Yes, they have regular meetings.
(I) What are the most dangerous aspects of being a Firefighter?
(N) Well, if you do your job right, it really isn’t dangerous but the problem of today is the contents of what’s is in these buildings. We have in-service inspections so we sort of keep up on what we have in these buildings. I mean you read it over in New York all the time, you read down Newark, they go in here they have all types of chemicals in the buildings and stuff like that. That’s what is the dangerous to the job. You don’t know what’s, what you’re fighting. But normally if you go out to a regular house fire, the people are out of the building and they give you the proper information, the job isn’t that dangerous but when you get there and you get the wrong information, then you have to send somebody in there and they say people are in the building and you get in there and there’s nobody in there, you have men in there searching for people which could have a back draft, you could have an explosion in the apartment and people could get hurt like that.
(I) Could you describe your job now?
(N) Well my job is Superintendent of Fire Alarms. I am responsible for all the street boxed that have the Township of Teaneck.
(I) How many is that?
(N) We have 241 boxes total; we have 103 street boxes, we have 30 school boxed and we have 108 boxes that are connected to public buildings and they all come into this office out here which is the Nerve Center and they are retransmitted out to the outhouses. We have an automatic system and all four houses receive at once. I am also responsible for the telephone system. We have out own telephone system in here in town, which connects the lines to the four outhouses, the police station and to any offices here, the Clerk’s Office, the Deputy’s Office, the Captain’s Office, my office here and Headquarters. Outside I have cable outside. I have twenty-four miles of open wire and I got two and a half miles on the ground and I got ten miles of figure eight cable that I’m responsible for. And I’m also got all the communication lines for the radio systems, which we have a tower here that takes care of the DPW, the Police Department and the Fire Department. We have another system, a backup system, which is under Holy Name Hospital. That is also for the frequencies that we have in town here.
(I) Do you need any more equipment?
(N) Oh I need a lot of more equipment if I could get it but.
(I) What do you need?
(N) They could put a computer in and make it much easier for the dispatching of firemen and it costs a lot of money and like I say, being a paid department here you can get these things but you can put a computerized system in, we can cut down on a lot of paperwork, the general orders can be all printed out. The officers in the outhouses just have to rip it off but for some reason, Teaneck is way behind the times to get these.
(I) Does Hackensack have a computer?
(N) No, they don’t. The only one that just went in, in fact I feel very bad about it, we were the first department here in Bergen County and in fact I transistorized systems. I put a computer in on the desk area there. The boxes come in and print out for the boxes. I was supposed to expand it but what happened when we lost all our money down here in Glenpointe, they cut back on the fire department. We were the first one to get cut back on. And we never went ahead with it.
(I) When you say they lost all their money at Glenpointe, what do you mean?
(N) Well, when they sold them homes down there and they had trouble with Haztz Mountain, they gave that money back, they had to make up the money someplace and that’s why.
(I) The council, you mean?
(N) The council did and that’s what happened.
(I) What kind of communication exists between the fire department and the council and the?
(N) Very poor and number one, you know, we have a city form of management here in Teaneck.
(I) Do you have good communication with him?
(N) The City Manager, he’s the boss. We have no problems with seeing him if you do things right. We are not in politics here in town really. The Council has nothing to say to the township employees. Werner Schmidt is the boss; he hires and fires and does whatever he wants. He reports to the Council but the township employees are strictly with the Township Manager.
(I) You don’t deal with the Council at all? Even your Fire Chief would not deal?
(N) It goes strictly to the City Manager.
(I) And you said he communication is poor. What did you mean by that?
(I) How would you like it to be?
(N) Well, right now I don’t have no problems with it but people in the fire department, the Firemen, I realize that they have problems. Out contracts are not getting signed here but then you know they hire an outside negotiations, they have a lawyer, they go to the lawyer so you only a little block getting down
(I) So you are talking mainly about your contracts. What about your equipment? Do you have any trouble with that?
(N) Well the equipment, that goes through the Chief. The Chief has to present it to the Purchasing Agent, the Purchasing Agent he accepts it or rejects it or he goes to the Council with it. Whatever you put in your budget, if it is reasonable, I think you’d get it. He’s not bad, you know.
(I) Is there any piece of equipment that you really need now besides you’d like a computer. Anything else?
(N) Yes. I’d like to update our switchboard downstairs and stuff like that.
(I) How old is the switchboard?
(N) Our switchboard down there is about twenty years old. I got stuff in here that my father moved from the other building over to here.
(I) When would that be?
(N) That was back in 1947.
(I) How do you compare living in Teaneck today, right now, with living in Teaneck when you were sat five years old?
(N) Well, number one, I think you a different class of people. You had more family class of people years ago. You knew quite a few people. I think that Teaneck has always been a bedroom community anyway from New York to Metropolitan area where they work. You have more so today. You have people that are just come home from work and they get in the car and they take off for a weekend and that’s it. I remember, like I said, years ago working for the American Legion, different types of paper that you used to pick up. I used to pick up paper once a month. You used to find more New York papers than you did Bergen County papers. That was a change. I think that today you got more different types of groups, people in Teaneck, and they are more Clannish and stick together, not like they did before.
(I) Are there any other comparisons you can make? How do you think the children’s lives have changes?
Well, you know the kids today; they are a lot different that they were years ago. They are going to school earlier. They are getting more mixed group of children playing together than you did years ago and I think it is benefiting the children since getting older and growing up and when they get in adult life, it will be a lot different that it was a kid growing up today.
(N) What organizations have you been involved in since you came back from Korea?
Well I belong to the American Legion. I was belonged to the Kiwanis Club; I belong to the Teaneck City Club. I belonged to the International Municipality Association.
(I) Can you say that again for us?
(N) International Municipality (Sickmans) Association.
(I) What is that?
(N) That’s the (Sickmans) Association, part of the Superintendent of the Fire Alarms of the State of New Jersey, parts of Pennsylvania and Susquehanna River. This association I belong to.
(I) And what does that involve?
(N) Well we have meetings three times a month. Public safety.
(I) Three times a month?
(N) I mean every three months. Public safety. It actually deals with public safety.
(I) Tell me about the American Legion and your work with, when you started to and what you do?
(N) Well I did quite a little bit of everything. I was, I joined the American Legion thirty years ago. I was Post Commander twice in Teaneck.
(I) Do you remember what years?
(N) 1960 and 1980.
(I) And each time for how long?
(N) For a year. I was County Commander back in 1964 I was County Commander. I served in Bergen County Organization, represented the Department of New Jersey for twelve years as Department Executive Committeeman.
(I) What kind of work do you do in the American Legion?
(N) Well right now I am on the National Legislative Committee. I deal with the Congressmen, Bob Toricellis’ representative in the 9th district. I go to the national conventions. I am on resolution committees and stuff to get some procedures for the Congressmen and the Senate to act upon.
(I) What issues are you working on now?
(N) Right now I am not working on anything but.
(I) Past issues?
(N) Well we were on our third nursing home up here in Bergen County. We were fighting for that one. We were on for backing up the President on his defense budget and stuff like that.
(I) What social activities do you have for the American Legion?
(N) Really nothing. We just have dances and we have one, it’s a memorial fund. We give four nursing scholarships a year. We have a big hand in December on that. We have Tie-in Night, we have Corned Beef Night and we have Nights at the Races and stuff like that.
(I) And can you tell me something about the building here, the American Legion Building?
(N) Yes. I built that in 1970. I took eight weeks off from this job here and I was the sub-contractor of that building.
(I) How long did it take and who worked with you?
(N) Mostly after we had the four walls put up by a contractor, we finished up the insides. It took us about a month and a half to finish off the inside.
(I) Who was the contractor?
(N) I don’t remember. Salvatore something in Cliffside Park.
(I) Okay. And tell me who the men were who helped you?
(N) Oh I had Joe MulQueen, Arthur Ridley, he’s dead now. Al Kuhn.
(I) Do you remember anymore?
(N) Oh yeah. There was a lot more. Bobby Brown, Eddie McDonald, Gary Gunner.
(I) And what? You would work on it all day. Tell me how you worked on it?
(N) Well we got down there about seven o’clock in the morning. There was another fellow and I, Al Kuhn and I were there all the time together. Then we had fellows who were salesmen and used to come in in the afternoon, some of them came in and helped. At night we used to get there and we used to clean up. I wouldn’t pick up a board if I dropped a nail or something like that; I left it on the floor. They would come down there after they came from work at night after supper, they would clean the whole place up so it was nice and clean and everything. Al and I came back the next morning and messed it up. And then they were there on weekends. Like one night, we laid the whole floor down in the building in the one night.
(I) How many rooms?
(N) We have a bar area, two offices, one for the Ladies Auxiliary and one for the men, the kitchen and two bathrooms and a foyer and the bar.
(I) And you built all of that then?
(N) We built all of that.
(I) Where did you get your equipment? Your lumber and your supplies?
(N) Well the lumber we got from Palisades Lumber Company, we bought it from there. They bought it in and we had a tile man that came in who worked for the Bogota American Legion, Tom Smith. He was a legionnaire. He was a tile setter. He came in. He got us the tile and he put the tile down.
(I) Who designed the building?
(I) Did you make drawings?
(N) No. I designed the building the way I wanted it and off different plans that I had and then I took it to Jim Kennedy and he drew up the plans for us.
(I) Is there anything else you can tell me about the American Legion in Teaneck?
(N) Well I am going to retire in August but up to July, I am the Chairman pf the Central Leave Committee and that’s a program we have about $250,000 in. It is made up of four men, pardon me, five men and four ladies from the Ladies Auxiliary and we help needy veterans and their families in Bergen County. This money is raised from $0.25 of the legion membership, which is over $8,000. We collect from each of those $0.25 per members and that’s how we have this money. We invest some money in stuff like that.
(I) Does it cost money to be a member?
(N) No. It only costs you dues. I don’t pay no dues because I am a life member. But dues is $14. That’s all it actually costs you.
(I) And what does that enable you to do?
(N) That enables you use of the clubhouse and you attend meetings and you get the Legion Magazine. From there on out, whatever you want to spend, whatever you do, it is on yourself.
(I) How busy is the clubhouse. How many people are there every night and what about the weekends?
(N) Well we operate a legion function that’s all. We are open every Thursday night. That’s our meeting night for the men and the ladies. We are open Friday nights and Saturday nights is when we have affairs and we have an affair once a month. That’s the only time that we are open.
(I) Who runs it when you are open? Who bartends?
(N) Various volunteers are the bartenders. Our Commander is the boss of the club.
(I) I was asking you about other organizations that you belonged to. Kiwanis. When did you join Kiwanis?
(N) Oh, I guess back in the 70s I joined the Kiwanis. In about 1978 I guess I was President of Kiwanis.
(I) Do you remember and of the people, who was President when you joined?
(N) Hal Braun was the President.
(I) And what do you do as a member of Kiwanis?
(N) Let’s see, in 78 I was President. Well Kiwanis is an international organization. We are interested in community affairs. We participate in community scholarship in Teaneck here. Actually, it’s a friendship; it’s a business club. We have guest speakers every month.
(I) You meet once a month?
(N) No, we meet once a week. We meeting in Deleers on Queen Anne Road.
(I) And how large a group is it?
(I) And what about the Teaneck City Club?
(N) The Teaneck City Club, that’s another club that’s in town here. Made up on businessmen in town. Every week we meet on Tuesday. We have guest speakers. We learn about community affairs. It is the same thing. What’s going on in the county? What goes on in the community? And the last Tuesday of every month, we give out a good citizens award to a good citizen of Teaneck High School, boy or girl.
(I) When did that start?
(N) That started back in 1934.
(I) Do you remember who started it?
(N) I couldn’t say.
(I) Are there any other organizations you belong to?
(N) No. The only thing is I’m President of the Teaneck Fireman’s Exempt Association which you are entitled to belong to an Exempt Association after you are seven years on the fireman’s job. I’ve been President from there since 1971. And since 1974, I have been Secretary of the Fireman’s Relief Association.
(I) Okay. Let’s take the first one. What does the first organization do?
(N) It’s a social organization made up of your firemen. You have to have seven years on the job to belong to the exempt.
(I) And when you say social, when do they meet?
(N) We meet; well we are not very active now. We also have volunteers that used to be volunteers belonging to this organization. We meet once a year. The only thing we do is we elect Officers, we have a death benefit in there and we pay a death benefit when you die.
(I) And the Fireman’s Relief Organization, what does that do?
(N) Yes, that’s where you collect money from your insurance policies and it is turned over to the state organization and they funnel money back to you Teaneck Relief Association and that is also like a Central Relief Committee that we help needy firemen and stuff like that. And really what it is is to be sure that a man has a decent funeral. And it has a death benefit too.
(I) That’s a serious group. Do you remember any instances where someone was really helped lately?
(N) Oh yeah, we help all the time. It is confidential but we have helped people. We have helped retired men who are in their 80s and 90s. We pay their fuel bill and stuff like that hearing aids and stuff like that.
(I) Are there any other organizations?
(N) Well I belong to the POAB.
(I) Okay. What is that?
(N) Patriotic Observance Advisory Board.
(I) And what do you do there?
(N) Well I did. I retired. I was a Legion Representative, which was made up of your Veteran Organizations in town from 1958 to 1964, I was the Legion Representative. And then I was the Township Representative appointed by the Council from 1965 and 1966 and in 1967 to 1983, I was the Secretary appointed by Mr. Schmidt. And since 1961.
(I) Now why were you appointed by Mr. Schmidt?
(N) Because I was the secretary. A township employee.
(I) And he appoints them?
(N) He appoints them. Members are appointed by Council. Your secretaries are appointed by the, that’s what their Advisory Boards are. And then from 1961 I was the Parade Chairman.
(I) Okay. And other organizations?
(N) No. That’s it.
(I) That’s plenty. Tell me what, who you worked with on the Council of St. Paul’s?
(N) I worked with Bill Bing.
(I) What does the Council do at St. Paul’s? Do they run the whole church?
(N) They run the whole church. Bing was the President of the Council. I was the Property Chairman. I was the person in charge of the property. I took care of the lighting, the amplifier systems, the grounds and stuff like that. And the building, the painting and stuff like that.
(I) You were in charge of that. Did you have all volunteers helping you?
(N) Well for certain part I did. I had certain members of the Council to help me. I had certain members of the church to help me. Like the painting and something like that. The amplifier system, that, what I couldn’t do was done by Lindsay Electronics and lighting was done by (his brother owns Foodtown) In fact his brother was on the Council. He passed away. Panzenhagen.
(I) Can you tell me a little about St. Paul’s? Their youth program. Did your children go through them?
(N) My children didn’t go through the youth programs there. My children went through Sunday school there just like I did. We didn’t participate in the Boy Scouts. They were in another Boy Scout Troop. They didn’t belong (inaudible) not the CYO. They had another youth organization down there. They didn’t participate in it.
(I) What do you think Teaneck will be like in another ten years?
(N) The truth? If they don’t watch it, it will be just like New York.
(I) Okay. You mentioned Toricelli. Have you worked with Toricelli or have you done anything in politics?
(N) No. I am not involved that much in politics. I have worked with Bob. I have had Bob as a guest speaker at a couple of occasions in the Legion and I went to a couple of dedications with him. I had him for a couple of speeches on the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board and we had speeches given at ceremonies and participated in since he got involved in politics. I like the man. He is young. He is ambitious. And I think he is going to go a long way.
(I) Good. Otherwise you have not been in politics at all?
(N) Well I have been in politics, in and out all the time, being involved in the American Legion and that, you know. I have a lot of problems because Matty Feldman who I’m very close with and worked with him as the Chairman of the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board was the Chairman of the Democratic Party. Nelly Gross went to school with him. I played football with him. He was the Chairman of the Republican Party. I know Johnny Gannamord. I know Bill McDowell. I am involved with all of them.
(I) Are you a registered Democrat or Republican?
(N) No I am a registered Republican but I have worked with Democrats and I have worked with Republicans.
(I) Ever work actively for anyone getting into Office in Teaneck?
(I) Do you think it is a good idea for someone in your position not to?
(N) Well we always had to handle the policy. The closest thing I got, two years ago I was going to run for Council. If I got elected, I was going to retire. They can’t stop you. But then I had a heart attack and I dropped out the picture.
(I) How do you picture your retirement?
(N) Well I hope I enjoy it.
(I) What are you planning to do?
(N) I am going to to Poconos.
(I) To live?
(N) We are having a place built and it should be ready in another couple of weeks.
(I) Why do you think you son James decided to stay in Teaneck and live here?
(N) Well because he isn’t married. It is very simple. He, in fact he is going to move out soon anyway. He was going to probably move up to New York State to where he works. Right now he has an hour and a half ride to work but he is home, he don’t pay no board and he has a good living and I guess he likes his house. That’s why he is home.
(I) What do you think the strengths and the weaknesses of this town are?
(N) They cater to too many people, that’s the weakness.
(I) And what do you think is the strength?
(N) The strength is that as long as we don’t change this type of government, what we have here in town is an independent; I think we will stay together. As soon as you start bringing Republicans and Democrats in there, I think you are going to have problems. (Inaudible) Let him take care of the employees, leave the politics away from it.
(I) What would you change if you could change something in Teaneck?
(N) What would I change? School system. Let them go right back to the community basis like it used to be when I was a kid. We went to the school in own neighborhood.
(I) Okay. And where, do you go (end tape 1, side B – begin tape 2)?
(N) Well I just went to the ball game. I don’t think it’s a safe place to walk around with my wife. I even worry about going to a ball game.
(I) Where do you go?
(N) Yankee Stadium. That’s all I’ve been for the last four years.
(I) You never go to the Meadowlands or anything?
(N) Meadowlands. I go to the Meadowlands for Football. I’ve gone there for soccer and I’ve gone down there, I haven’t been in Byrne Arena yet. In fact I signed a petition to change its name. And I’ve been in the racetrack.
(I) When you said you would like to change the schools, let’s go back to that, in Teaneck, that’s the only thing you would change. You’d go back to what?
(N) I would like to see it go back to the way it was when I went to school. The neighborhood schools. I think it is a lot better for the kids and everything else. You waste more time and gas and everything on these buses sending them all around. I don’t think they are learning any more than if they stayed right in their own community.
(I) And what do you think about the closing of the four schools?
(N) Well, if you don’t have the students, you are going to have to close them. This is a big upkeep. You have to have a good program to keep the schools up to shape instead of having them fall apart because you got to rebuild them again and it takes a lot of money. But I think you don’t know what’s going to happen down here in Glenpointe. You don’t know how many people are going to move in here. It is just like me. I am selling my house. I don’t have no children going to school now but I may sell my house to somebody that is going to come in with sick kids or four kids. How do I know how many is going to move in?
(I) Do you agree with the schools they chose to close?
(N) I really haven’t paid too much attention. But I do know from years ago that they did talk about closing No. 3 School. It’s one of the old schools in town.
(I) They are closing Emerson.
(N) That’s Emerson School. Eugene Field, that’s the last grammar school they built. But where are they going to put the kids. Hawthorne School, they just got done getting rid of the portable classrooms down there. I think they should have gotten rid of them a long time ago but they just got rid of them,
(I) Are they safe fire wise?
(N) Yes, they are safe but I mean why ruin the grounds when you don’t need them. They, you know when they put these portable classrooms in, being involved in all these schools all the time with fire alarms and everything else like that, I always see empty classrooms in school. I have never seen every classroom filled up in the school year. Even in grammar school.
(I) What do you think about Washington Irving, closing that? Is that a good plant?
(N) Well yes and no. I think you have the kindergarten over there. I’m not sure what you have there now. But I know the Board of Education wants to use that building so they are not going get rid of it. They have to get out of the town house.
(I) Are they all safe our schools? Do you consider them all safe?
(N) Well as I said to you, I went to this school over here, Washington Irving; they built a new school behind it because it wasn’t safe. So they moved out of there and they made it the recreation building and they’ve been using it ever since. Right. That’s forty years ago.
(I) Are there any other schools that you would question as far as safety?
(N) Well the only read old schools that I would question about being built-in fire stops and things like that would be No. 1 School and No. 3 School.
(I) What is No. 1 School?
(N) Down on Oakdene Avenue, Longfellow. And Emerson. That’s the ones. Now here, here’s No. 2 School right here. This picture was taken back in the 20s, still standing there.
(I) Do you remember any stories about the fire department that you could tell us?
(N) Well just what I have written and what I got from my father that Company #1 which was on Forest Avenue here by Carlery Flannery’s and then it moved across the street to the gas station. It also was in a little white house back here. That was one of the first companies started back in 1904 and at that time, they used to have different sections that they called here in Teaneck as Upper Manhattan Heights which was up here by Bryant School and then there was the West Englewood Park section and then there was the Lowell Teaneck section. And then the other company which was on Morning Terrace, not Morningside Terrace, Kenwood Place and that was built in 1908 and that, there first apparatus was a house in Douglas Barn on Lindon Avenue and then they built the fire house on Kenwood Place in 1912 and that served there and then in 1953, they moved to the fire house on Cedar Lane. And then the Masons took over that building. Co. #3 which at that time was known as Company # 1 which was organized in 1911, that was down on Morningside Terrace and that firehouse was built in 1913 and Teaneck Fire Department still uses that. And then the fourth fire house was in down in Glenwood Park and that was built in 1911 and then they built a house in 1923 they moved up to their new quarters which was up on Railroad Avenue, Old Hemlock Terrace down there by the trolley line and then that had a fire in it and burned down but (inaudible) that’s when we only had three stations in Teaneck and then we got the paid department. And in 1968 they built this new firehouse over here on Windsor Road.
(I) Do you remember the original Mansions of Teaneck, where they were, what they were like?
(N) You mean the firehouses?
(I) No, the Mansions. The big, huge homes.
(N) Oh you mean Phelps Manor. No I only have pictures of that down in where the town hall used to be and the library and Holy Name Hospital. They only old thing that I remember, couple of old things that I remember in town, when I was a kid I used to go up and play with the guinea hens and the sheep when Ackerman had the place where the telephone company used to be. He used to have a big Chestnut Tree there and that used to run all the way back down to almost Queen Anne Road, to what they call Queen Anne Road now and down through the Palisades there. And then there was an old school house down on Fort Lee Road, not Fort Lee Road, pardon me, River Road. That was an old school house. That burned down. That later went into a farm. Then there used to be the two gatehouses that I remember down on Fort Lee Road, was what they used to call a Gate House. They later down and then they widened Fort Lee Road and then there was one down by Hackensack River. Then I remember Heart's Restaurant used to be called the old Fairleigh Dickinson down there, used to be the girl’s dormitory at one time. You came off Cedar Lane down there to where the apartments are now.
(I) What was Cedar Lane like? What did it look like?
(N) Well Cedar Lane, I can remember when it was a cobblestone road going down from Queen Anne Road down to Palisades Avenue and naturally they had a narrower bridge down there. I remember when there was a diner and a gas station on the south side of where Louie’s are in there. Where the Big Bear used to be. And I you had the diner on the other side of the street. You had a diner where the parking lot is now for the bank. Then you had the old movie theater, then you moved it. The Big Bear use to be next to the Teaneck Theater. And you have the five and dime down there. Then actually from Elm Avenue down used to be all woods.
(I) Where did people go food shopping?
(N) Well you had the Big Bear which was on one side of the street and you had I think it was an Acme or something down in there on Cedar Lane and you used to have an A&P or a Grand Union or whatever it was down here on Queen Anne Road. I remember the National Store right down here by the second store in from Forest Avenue there used to be a National Store. There used to be another one up here on West Englewood and there used to be all little small grocery stores.
(I) What was West Englewood area like?
(N) West Englewood Avenue down by the bank and all that was all sand. The only thing that was there was the old, well the post office used to be in the Circle Building down in there next to the bank. It used to be a big sand pit down there. I remember that.
(I) Do you remember, did you ever take the trolley?
(N) I took the trolley over to Palisades Park when I was a kid I used to take that.
(I) Did you ever ride the train, go to the train station?
(N) I took the train down here in West Englewood and went into New York. I used to do that with my mother and father at times.
(I) Where did the train take you?
(N) You used to get the train down here at West Englewood. They used to have a gray shack down there and we used to get the ticket and take it into Weehawken and get off and go in that way.
(I) We had a railroad station too down by Cedar Lane.
(N) You had a railroad station at the foot of Manor Court there.
(I) How many people would use that train a day?
(N) Well quite a few of them. I remember living on Oregon Court when I was a youngster, let’s see, there was Millard’s, there was Canflax, Jones, Madden, there was five of them out of thirteen houses that used to take the train into New York, and Rogers, they used to work in New York. Cause they used to walk together down West Englewood Avenue.
(I) Was it good transportation?
(N) I guess it was a good transportation. Quite a few people still use the trains and they are trying to bring them back. And I can remember down behind us there was, it burned down one New Year’s Eve, used to be a nursing home on Englewood Avenue.
(I) Was there always a sanitation department, do you remember?
(N) Yes. No, the sanitation department was picked up, they were by the private owners they had in town, there was about six or seven of them.
(I) They were always private?
(N) It was always that way. They always picked up the garbage. The town never got involved in that.
(I) How long did you wife work for Bendix after you married her?
(N) Two years. And then we had children and the children grew up and then she worked for Garcia and now she works for the Holy Name Hospital.
(I) What does she do at Holy Name?
(N) She’s the Secretary to the Assistant Administrator.
(I) Does she belong to any organizations?
(N) She belongs to the American Legion; she’s the past County President. She served as the Unit President of the local club.
(I) Has she been active in politics at all?
(N) No just working for different candidates at times, that’s all.
(I) How do you think she feels about bringing children up in Teaneck?
(N) Well, she was happy about it. She was active in the PTA at that time.
(I) Do you think you will miss living in Teaneck?
(N) Well I expect to be back quite a bit. It only takes me an hour and half to get back. I am still going to keep some of my affiliations with the Americans Legion.
(I) Tell me about working on the Library Committee.
(N) Well the Library Committee was formed in October, 1973 and the Chairman was Matty Feldman at that time and Gary Sage was the Treasurer and we came up, we figured the library was small and we needed a larger library to serve the 40,000+ people in this community and I thought it was a good idea and I was asked to serve on the committee and I said I would be very happy to. The only thing is when we started this Library Committee, we asked, like I say, 1976, we figured it was a good year, Bicentennial Year, and that we would get a whole 1,976 people to pledge $1,000 each and we would have enough money to start and do what we wanted to do. And I served with quite a few people on this committee, there was Mrs. Taylor and Charlie Strickler, Mr. Robins, Richard Lathberg, Elinor Kielichek, and Sister Kielichek, and Sister Evelyn from Holy Name Hospital, Dr. Berlin and his wife, and like I say, I am interested in this community and I have worked on a good many affairs with Matty Feldman and that’s how we started out. As you know, we ran into trouble with Mrs. Stanarelli with it and everything else and that’s what happened.
(I) Who did you work mainly, what did you do for that committee? Did you do any research?
(N) Well I went out and I got pledges for the committee and went to different organizations. I went to the City Club, I spoke at the City Club, I spoke to the Rotary Club and I spoke to the Kiwanis Club, I spoke to the Woman’s Club. I got donations. I went out and collected different donations from different people.
(I) What was it like working with Matty Feldman? What kind of person is he?
(N) He’s a tremendous fellow. I knew Matty before he got into politics. I knew Matty through Veteran Organizations. He was the State Commander of the JMV when I first met him. He moved in this community. I got to know him better when he ran for Mayor of the town. He served this town as Mayor and then he went into the Senate and I worked with him for the last ten years as the Chairman of the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board and I worked very good with him.
(I) How would you describe him?
(N) Oh I would describe him as a fairly young man, ambitious. He liked to work for the community and other people and I would say he would give you the shirt off his back.
(I) Have you worked for any other special projects in Teaneck?
(N) No that’s the only thing I worked for was that and the Patriotic Observance Board. You know I ran all the
(I) What happened to the money for the library? Do you know just what happened to the
(N) Well, the money that we had was turned in and a couple of debts that we had to pay, we paid the depts. That we had. But not too many people asked for their money back. What did we gave back but it all went for the use of the library.
(I) Do you like the new library?
(N) Yes. I think it is very nice. The concept is still there with the library that we had years ago and they a lot of it in contact and remodeled the rest of it.
(I) Have you, did you have to go down there to set your boxes and make decisions for that? Do you do that?
(N) Oh I was involved with the master plan of the library, putting the alarm system in and all that, yes.
(I) The fire department is very strict about the opening of the library. Do you remember what that was about?
(N) Well number one, they didn’t contend with all the codes that we have in the State of New Jersey. There was shortcuts they were trying to, and in fact the Council misappropriated money now to put the sprinkler system in that should have been in a long time ago. The town adopted the Volker Code; they knew what they had to do.
(I) Now you were telling me about the Volker Code. Paul Volker you were talking about.
(N) Well the Volker Code is a uniform code that was adopted by the State of New Jersey. You know, years ago you would come here to Teaneck and say, hey, I want to put up this building and we say we want ¾ inch sheet rock and you can say well I know an old building in Fair Lawn and I only have to put in ½ inch sheet rock and the architects didn’t know what they were doing and each town was fighting. Now it is all uniform. When you fix a building up in Trenton, you put a building up in Morristown; you build a building in Teaneck. It has to be built all the same way. You have the same codes so the architect knows what he is doing.
(I) And what is this called?
(N) The Volker Code.
(I) Did you work on that on for it?
(N) No. (End of tape)