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: Dick & Viola Sadlier
INTERVIEWER: Ann McGrath
DATE OF INTERVIEW:    June 21, 1985
TRANSCRIBER: Jackie Kinney (12/1985)

This is Ann McGrath interviewing Mr. & Mrs. Sadlier for the Oral History Project of Teaneck. We are at their home at Van Buren Avenue. It is June 21, 1985.

(I) Mr. Sadlier, when did you, how long have you lived in Teaneck?

(D) Since 1939.

(I) And how did you move here? Why did you move here?

(D) My work was in New Jersey. I originally lived in Brooklyn and to make it convenient, we were looking in New Jersey to see where we could live that would be closer to my business and that's why we settled on Teaneck.

(I) When you say we, who do you mean?

(D) Viola and I because we were married and looking for a place to live.

(I) What was your job here?

(D) When I moved here? I was working in a manufacturing concern. I was in business with two other people at that time. 

(I) In what area?

(D) In North Bergen.

(I) And why did you pick Teaneck?

(D) Well we were looking through a friend of ours who was in real estate.

(I) Can you give me his name? 

(D) He is no longer living but is it Frank Mucino from Hoboken. 

(I) Someone might have mentioned him before.

(D) And we looked in the whole area. It wasn't that we just concentrated on Teaneck. We looked all through Hackensack and Bergenfield around and at that time, this was 1939, we were in the Depression and prices were very low and we liked this house and it was in the process of being redecorated, completely done over.

(I) It wasn't a new house then?

(D) No, it was not a new house. It was built in 1927. And it was owned at that time by the bank and the bank had been renting it and got so disgusted with people renting for a short time and then moving away and then they would have to redecorate and at that time, they said, we are going to sell. We are not going to rent again. And that was the opportunity that we had to buy.

(I) Did you both like, you had no children of course. 

(D) No, we were just newly married.

(I) Did you think of that as a possibility. Did you look at the schools or did you just like the house? Were you both working? Viola, were you working?

(V) Not when I got married. I stopped working.

(I) And moved out here. And then how soon did you have your family? 

(D) We moved here in 1939 and 1941 our daughter was born and 1943 our son was born. 

(I) And what was her name?

(D) Viola. And our son is Robert.

(I) So they went through the whole school system here.

(D) That's right.

(I) Do you remember what schools they went to? Where did they start off?

(D) In Longfellow. And then my daughter went I guess back from Longfellow, she didn't go to the junior high. They weren't built yet. And she went right to the high school. And my son went to Benjamin Franklin from there and then to T.J. and then to the high school.

(I) We will talk about their education later but let me ask you some other questions. Where did your original families come from? Let's start with Viola because, what was your maiden name?

(V) Viola Betts.

(I) And what nationality is that?

(V) American, well the background is Holland Dutch. And English. My family came from Kingston, New York.

(I) And you ended up in Brooklyn? 

(V) Yes.

(I) And how about your family? What does Sadlier mean?

(D) Sadlier is my father's name. His family, his mother was Irish and his father was French and that's where we get the name but I know very little about his family because I, my understanding is that he was brought up by an aunt. I believe something happened to the family but I don't know exactly what it is. I never really got into it. I was too young when my father died to show that much interest in the background.

(I) But your father grew up in America?

(D) Oh yes. He was born here. My mother was too. My mother's background is German. 

(I) And where did they live?

(D) In Brooklyn. When my father was young, a child, he lived in Greenwich Village. That's where he was originally brought up.

(I) Who was Nana Sadlier? 

(D) My mother.

(I) And she moved to Teaneck with you?

(D) No, she had a house in Brooklyn where I lived and was born. And during the war time, she sold the house and went to live with my sister and about 1947, she came to live with Viola and I. That's why we had a room put above this. Had this kitchen made bigger and had a room put up there for her and she just passed away this year, this February.

(I) How old was she? 

(D) 92-1/2.

(I) And she was this wonderful cook?

(D) Right. At Christmas time, she used to make a couple of thousand cookies I guess and gave them as presents and supplied them to the church.

(I) And she'd bring things to church affairs. 

(D) Oh yes. Cooked pies and

(I) I was going to ask you what her specialty was because I am sure she cooked Americana. Do you remember what her, your favorite dish was?

(D) Oh, I guess as far as a mean was concerned, it would be sauerbraten. I know when she made pies for the church, she would make a lemon meringue and anything she made just from scratch, you know, no, she would never make anything from a box. Everything from scratch. And she had them sold before they arrived at the church.

(I) That's what I heard. Let's ask another cook, what were her specialties?

(V) Oh, she was very good at pies. Apple pie especially. 

(I) Would she bake them all the time?

(V) Oh constantly. She was always thinking of somebody that she could make something for. In fact, her great granddaughter Catherine said she should have been, entered a pie contest in Allendale at her, her apple pie would have won the prize.

(I) We are going to talk about church. I think I am going to save church-related things to the end but you said she would bake for the church affairs. Exactly what would they be like? Social gatherings?

(V) Well like we'd have a rummage sale and then we'd have a cake sale with it and she'd make it for that or if you were having like a family night supper or something like that, she would always contribute that way. That was her strong point. She loved cooking. She really did love to cook. And one minister said, he called hers a cooking ministry because she was always giving them to somebody. They'd come to see us and she'd say, give them a can of cookies before they'd go. 

(I) So she lived here quite a long time. 

(D) Yes, since 47.

(I) Was she active in anything else in the town? 

(D) No, only just the church.

(I) So your children, Robert was old enough to go to junior high, to B.F. and then where did they go on, to other schools?

(D) My son went to the University of New Hampshire and he was there two years and he, his marks went down too low for them. They told him he would have to stay out a year. And when he came home, I insisted that he go to work until such time as he wanted to go back again and after about a year, I guess, he joined the Marines. He was in the Marine Corps for four years and it was about the time of the Viet Nam situation so we were very fortunate and he was very fortunate that he never went to Viet Nam. He went through all the training at Parris Island and Quantico and he was approached, if he would give an extra year of service, he signed up for three when he went in, they would put him in the 8th and I in Washington which is the barracks where they have the drill teams so he was on the Drill Team for all of that period and for the first couple of years, no one from the Drill Team was ever taken to Viet Nam and about three months before he was to come out, some of his buddies were taken for Viet Nam and he, as I said, because he only had three months left, they would not send him so we were very fortunate and he was too that he never had to go but he did lose a couple of his friends over there that he had been in the Drill Team with. And he had quite a few experiences at the Drill Team. He was at the 69 World's fair in Queens and they put on exhibitions and he went all over the country with the Drill Team and put on these drills for various

(I) You would go whenever he was near and watch?

(D) Well in the World's Fair, we went every day I guess while he was on exhibition.

(I) And where is he now?

(D) In Garden City. He works in New York City. He is in the jewelry, costume jewelry business and he has been in it now for ten/twelve years.

(I) And how about your daughter. Where did she end up?

(D) Well she went to William and Mary and she graduated from William and Mary and she had quite some honors and she was vice president of her sorority and she worked with one of the deans to earn money, you know. She was like a secretary to one of the deans of the college. She loved William and Mary and we always did too to go down and visit. 

(I) And where is she now?

(D) She is in Allendale and she is married and has two children. My son is married but they don't have any children.

(I) Did you like the education they got in Teaneck? We will ask Viola.

(V) Yes, it was very good and Teaneck at that time was rated one of the best schools in the country really.

(I) Do you remember any of their teachers? How about their kindergarten? How about the ones that you liked that just hit you?

(V) Let's see, there's faces. I know Mr. Moore was a favorite in high school. And Mr. McCallant, Ed McCallant. 

(I) Do you remember who the principal was in the high school?

(D & V) Helen Hill. She was very good.

(I) Were you involved in P.T.A. work at all?

(V) Well just as a member, as a mother. Never held an office or anything like that. But we always supported everything that they had.

(I) What type of a person was Helen Hill? Did you ever hear her speak or go to meetings?

(V) Yes, I think she was a very outgoing person and she was for the young people. She did everything. But there was a lot of discipline too. I mean they weren't allowed to get away with a lot of things. She was very fair, I would say. She was a very fair principal. I remember Mr. Dolan who was principal of Longfellow School where they went in elementary school. I am trying to think of some of the names of the kindergarten teachers. I can see their faces but can't think of their names.

(I) It is hard. Usually they pop right in your mind. Did they join any school activities or outside activities, Recreation Department type things? Did they have hobbies?

(V) I don't know about in school.

(I) Well, we can pick up on Little League because you said you were involved in that. Were you manager for a team or coach? 

(D) I was a coach.

(I) What was your team called?

(D) Firemen. Merrill Tucker was the manager. He used to be postmaster here in Teaneck.

(I) Did you know him personally? Well you worked with him, I know. Who sponsored the team?

(D) Fire. I am trying to think of the initials but it is the firemen from the town. I guess similar to P.A.L. sponsor, the Police that do that. The fire group sponsored this team.

(I) What was Mr. Tucker like to work with?

(D) Very good. He was, the boys really looked up to him. He really was a fair, the way he treated them, and firm too to the extent of not letting them get away with things but he was a very good manager.

(I) Do you remember what your season was in those days? When it would start.

(D) Oh, it would start somewhere around April and you had to be finished by the end of June because then they started the All Star teams and then you would compete gradually to go to Williamsport, if you'd get that far.

(I) How did your team do?

(D) In most cases, we got into, we got passed the town, like a couple of times we lead the southern league and the western league and the northern league, and we were pretty well near the top each time. Merrill Tucker really, he had been a baseball player and he didn't get, he got just about up to the big league.

(I) He was in the minors though? 

(D) Yeah, but I don't know whether the war came along and prevented it and I know he was in the service too but then, at the end of the season, they would pick an All Star team from all of the teams in the southern league and in the western league and northern league and then they would play, I don't think we, as far as I can remember, I don't think the Teaneck teams went all the way through to the top but we would then play Palisades Park or Bergenfield or Hackensack until teams were eliminated and then somebody went to Williamsport or

(I) And how many years did you coach?

(D) Well, I think it is when your son is involved so he was involved about three years I guess and then I stayed into Little League a year or so after that even though he went on to Babe Ruth League from there.

(I) You never graduated and went on to

(D) I did, yes. I did later on and I was president of the Little League and then I was president of the Babe Ruth League.

(I) What does it involve, being president of the Little League?

(D) Well you have organizations, you have the coaches that represent each team and you have a treasurer, president and vice president and you have to figure out sponsors, how much they are going to pay, how much money you really need to buy uniforms for the boys and buy equipment, bats, baseballs, things of that kind and you didn't have to do it all yourself, you know. You had an organization that would do it and certain people, you didn't have any problem with the firemen and the P.A.L., there was no questions, being from town and all, they paid whatever it was, $75 or $100 a year or something like that at that time.

(I) Do you know what it would be like now?

(D) I really don't know. I haven't been involved in it at all in the last fifteen

(I) But $75 to $100 would sponsor a team?

(D) That's right. Something like that, yeah. And later on, it got to be like $200 or $225 or something like that as the cost of uniforms went up and equipment went up and things like that. And the town, as you can see, built some ballfields for us.

(I) You didn't have ballfields then?

(D) In the very beginning, we used like in Central Park they would make, they didn't make it specifically for Little League but there were fields available, town fields which we'd use. Now they have it fenced in and they have a clubhouse and all this sort of thing which they didn't have in the beginning. 

(I) Did the ladies sell hotdogs in those days?

(D) I don't think so. Not when we were in it. I think they did later when they had the clubhouses.

(I) How do you get to be president of Little League?

(D) All those who are represented, you know part of the organization the coaches and the managers and those who have been officers in the first place would select somebody and then, it usually was somebody who had been in the organization for a while like I was as a coach, and not everybody wanted to take it.

(I) I know. And I know why. And then you went on and later became president of the Babe Ruth League. Now what ages is that?

(D) That was like 13 to 15. And Little League was about 9 to 12. And then later on, they had younger ones, another league, I forget what they called them but they didn't have them when we were involved but they had another league for lower than 9 to 12's, like 7 and 8 year olds, you know. Not quite as organized although I think they went to the point of having T shirts for them, not regular baseball uniforms. But the Little League had regular baseball uniforms.

(I) What was your best year? What was your memory from both leagues? 

(D) I can't think of any best. I know we had one bad one.

(I) That's what you remember - the worst year. What was so bad? We will put it down in history - the worst year.

 

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