Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Long Ago

Pages: [1] 2
Hackensack History / Re: 1966 Hackensack High School Graduation Program
« on: January 18, 2017, 01:55:06 PM »
Looking back on it now, it seems we were very fortunate to have had so many good teachers at HHS.  I know that Mr. Bloom and Mr. Fuhrmann both had long distinguished careers there.

I once had a Latin teacher at HHS named Miss Walker.  I remember her because of an incident that I thought was grossly unfair at the time, but which really taught me a valuable lesson.

One day she gave our class a pop quiz (remember those?) for which I was quite unprepared.  After some creative guessing, I left the classroom and remarked to someone that I had failed the test.  What I didn’t know was that Miss Walker had overheard my comment.

When I got my quiz back, I was surprised to find that I only got 3 answers wrong out of 10, which should have been a passing grade of 70%.  Instead, my score was shown as a failing grade of 60%.  She had actually written a 70 on my paper, then lined it out in red ink and replaced it with a 60.

Her explanation was that she gave me the grade I expected, not the one I had earned.  She said, “Always remember this.  If you expect to fail, you will.”  I never forgot the lesson.

Hackensack History / Re: 1966 Hackensack High School Graduation Program
« on: January 16, 2017, 04:30:53 PM »
I am currently recovering from surgery and so have had a little time to go back through some of the older threads on this site.  The list of faculty from the 1965-1966 school year brings back lots of school memories from a slightly earlier time period.

Some of my HHS teachers during the late 1950s that are included on this list were Harold Bloom, Charles Emrich, Howard Fuhrmann , Mary Whelan, and of course coaches Avery and Della Torre.  I also remember my geometry teacher Mrs. Sinnegan, who is not listed here but was elderly and presumably retired before 1966.  She was probably the most enthusiastic teacher I ever had for any subject, but I confess it was hard for me to get excited about mathematical theorems and proofs.

I remember Mr. Fuhrmann very well.  He was my physics teacher, and physics was my toughest class at HHS.  He was very knowledgeable and seemed to have infinite patience explaining how to solve word problems, but he had no patience for academic dishonesty.  I distinctly remember him flunking two students when he caught them cheating during our final exam in the subject.

Miss Whelan was our instructor in biology.  She was a very pleasant person and always seemed to have a positive attitude.  I remember her having a small collection of different types of seashells on display in our classroom.  The only thing I disliked about her class is that we had to dissect a worm and a crayfish, and my biology period was right before lunch.  Yuck.  I guess things could have been worse, though.  One of my sisters once had a class in anatomy (not at HHS) and was required to dissect a cat!

I’m wondering if anyone here still remembers the teachers on this HHS listing of faculty.  If so, who?  Any stories to share?

Although I’ve been gone for many years, the Hackensack Business Center street map is pretty much as I remember it from the old days. 

It’s hard to imagine that Hackensack Hospital was once such a small structure.  It is difficult for me to read the name of the street on the map directly above the hospital, but I believe it to be Hospital Place.  I once knew a family that lived on this street just across from the hospital.  I remember them saying that they would have to move soon because the hospital would be taking over their property.  This would probably have been around 1960.

It seems that the creation of HUMC over the years has displaced a lot of people.  In addition to all the homes in the immediate vicinity of the hospital, some businesses must also have been taken out on the Essex St. hill, including the Grand Union grocery store and Breslow’s.  There were also several large older apartment complexes on the east side of Prospect Ave. just to the north of Essex St. which have to be long gone too.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: The "old style" street signs
« on: January 04, 2017, 07:55:16 PM »
Thanks for posting these photos, johnny g.  Brings back a lot of memories for me, as I grew up in this vicinity of Hackensack.

When I was quite young, the stretch of road between Essex St. and Standish Ave. used to be called just Prospect Ave. If I’m recalling correctly, the road was renamed “S. Prospect Ave” probably sometime in the early 1950s.  I remember when the name change happened, as we had an elderly neighbor who was griping about having to change his mailing address. 

New street signs were then installed to reflect the name change.  From the weathered condition of the street sign in your photos, it seems possible that it is the original street sign from that era.

Kudos to all those who made the Veterans Wall Unit possible.  It is a fitting tribute to the heroes from Hackensack who may otherwise have been forgotten with the passage of time.

With Veteran’s Day just a few weeks away, I recently took another look at the Wall Unit.  I see that among Vietnam vets, the number of names has now risen from 63 to 278, assuming I’ve counted correctly.  But a large percentage of these names are from a single graduating class (1964), and I was surprised to find that I recognize only two of the names on the entire memorial.  This suggests to me that there are probably quite a few names still missing.  I hope HHS continues to publicize the Wall Unit so that all of our veterans are able to be honored for their service to our country.

Great photos!  It is really nice that there is an annual remembrance in Hackensack for the firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty.  Such brave people are sometimes forgotten with time in other communities.

Growing up in Hackensack, I remember there was a fire station on S. Summit Ave. in the early 1950s.  I had a friend at school whose father was a fireman at that location.  Once I went down to the station with him and we were shown all around the place by some really friendly firemen.  Since they weren’t very busy, several of them took time to play ball with us out in front of the station.  At first I naively assumed that being a fireman must be a fun occupation, until my Dad later told me that some firemen had died in an accident while responding to a fire.

On the memorial, two firemen are listed as having died in 1953.  I think these were probably the men my Dad had told me about, and if so, then I may have met them that day at the S.Summit Ave. station.

Hackensack History / The Founder of Hackensack, Minn
« on: June 08, 2016, 06:32:58 PM »
When I was a youngster, back in the days before zip codes were invented, I once ordered a nifty glow-in-the-dark Roy Rogers belt from a merchandise offer on one of the General Mills breakfast cereal boxes.  When the company sent out my package they made a mistake and addressed it to me at “Hackensack, Minn.”  The “Minn” had later been crossed out and someone had handwritten “try N.J.” on the package, and believe it or not I actually received my belt after a long delay.

This was the first time I had ever heard of another Hackensack, and I learned that it is actually located in the lake district of Minnesota.  It is just a small community of about 300 people, and as an advertising gimmick they say it is the home of Paul Bunyan’s fictitious sweetheart.  :)

The Wikipedia entry for Hackensack, MN says it was named after Hackensack, NJ.  Out of curiosity, I did a little internet searching and found out that the town was founded and named by a former Hackensack, NJ resident named James Curo back in the 1880s.  Here is one of the links:

I’ve been trying to find out more about the man who was apparently so proud of being from Hackensack, NJ that he gave the same name to his new settlement in Minnesota, but I’m not coming up with anything.  Does anyone else have any information?  Who was James Curo and why did he move to Minnesota?  Does he or his family have any descendants living in NJ today?

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Superintendent Suspended
« on: May 30, 2016, 08:25:09 PM »
This is perhaps stating the obvious, but it seems to me that more turmoil can be expected before all of this is over.  A suspension can be appealed, and given the circumstances of this case, I expect that it may happen.

Also, the new acting superintendent is already close to retirement age, which suggests to me that there will probably be another search for a permanent superintendent sooner rather than later.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Hackensack Facts & Trivia
« on: May 28, 2016, 12:36:34 PM »
I was also curious about where Schirra may have lived in Hackensack, but I couldn’t find anything from a quick search of online resources.  The dedication plaque at Schirra Park simply says he “was born in Hackensack, raised in Oradell.”  The 1930 and 1940 census records also have him listed as a resident of Oradell. 

I attended school at HTS for three years during the 1950s, and while there I knew a priest who was later accused of molesting an underage schoolgirl.  Most of my friends knew this priest, as he would often mingle with the students during our lunch hour.  Like other problem priests, however, he was never held accountable for his transgressions by the church.  He was simply transferred to other parishes and allowed to continue doing what he did.

Eventually the law caught up with him, but unfortunately it didn’t happen until over 30 years had passed when he was then elderly and retired.  The church settled his case by paying a substantial amount of money to a few of his latest victims.

According to the movie Spotlight, it was estimated that about 6% of priests in any archdiocese were probably pedophiles.

Hackensack History / Re: Hackensack Car Dealerships
« on: April 25, 2016, 12:40:25 PM »
There was a huge pent-up demand for cars in the years right after World War II.  My dad was a veteran, and even with a veteran’s preference he was on a dealer’s waiting list for a few months before he finally gave up and bought a new car from a local gas station.  It was from a Tydol station located on S. Summit Ave. right off an exit ramp from Rte. 17, and he got to choose between a dark blue chevy and a powder blue buick.  He took the buick which we all liked until my Dad discovered he was only getting 6 miles per gallon with it.  He traded it in for an oldsmobile a couple of years later.

Speaking of oldsmobiles, there was a dealer in Hackensack named West Oldsmobile.  They used to sponsor baseball teams in Little League and Babe Ruth League during the early 1950s.

I remember that there were jeeps for sale from a dealer on the south end of Polifly Rd.  Perhaps it was Kalman Motors or an earlier version of it.  When I was growing up they used to sell surplus U.S. army jeeps for $100 each. 

The 1948 Tucker Torpedo was a futuristic rear engine car with many advanced features that unfortunately was never mass produced.  If it had been, there probably would have been a dealership in Hackensack.  One of the few models that were ever made was on display in Hackensack for a short period of time.  There was a lot of advertising for it, and there was a rumor at my school that it was a three-wheeled car.  When I found out that the rumor was false, I lost interest in seeing it.  The Tucker had a third headlight centrally located between the two regular headlights, and apparently that fact got garbled into meaning a third wheel instead.  Anyway, my Dad went to see it without me, but he said he couldn’t see much because of how many people there were at the showroom.

Hackensack History / Re: Questions about Hackensack eateries..
« on: April 23, 2016, 06:26:00 PM »
It’s been interesting reading the comments on this thread.  Growing up in Hackensack during the 1940s & 1950s, I never went to very many restaurants, but I do remember two of them.  One was located on Main Street a few doors south of the Oritani Theater on the same side of the block.  I don’t recall the name of the place, but it was usually busy and the food was good.

The other place was a bar & restaurant named Cavalli’s.  It was an older establishment that was in business until the early 1950s.  The exact location escapes me, but it was near a bank on a busy commercial road.  I’m not sure if it was within Hackensack borders or in an adjacent community.  The restaurant had the tastiest pizza, and the owner/chef would make it in the kitchen on the lower level.  When the food was ready, it would be sent upstairs to the main floor via pulleys on a dumbwaiter, where a waitress would retrieve it and serve it to the customers.

The first time I ever saw a TV set was at the bar of this restaurant.  It was one of the first places to have a TV set, and I still remember a large “Television” sign that was placed in the window to attract patrons.  It was also a popular place for sailors on leave after arriving in NYC, and the owner would sometimes accept payment for drinks in foreign coins.  Then he would give a few of the coins to kids as a freebie.  I got a few coins from China and South American countries, which was the first time I had seen such currency.  For me, it was a memorable place.  :)

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Police Captain Promotions
« on: April 22, 2016, 09:58:35 PM »
What an unfortunate situation for officer Prise.  The original article of March 8th was titled “Hackensack appoints first black police captain,” and most of the article was worded as if the promotion was a fait accompli.  At the end of the article it was noted that the promotion was provisional, but the only condition I saw mentioned was that the state board needed to certify the new positions.

The original article never mentioned the need to pass a Civil Service Captain’s exam, and this being the case, why did the department go through all the fanfare to announce officer Prise’s promotion before his exam results were known?  Now he faces the public humiliation of a demotion back to his former rank.

Hackensack History / Re: Holy Trinity School 1950's
« on: April 21, 2016, 02:02:39 PM »
Thanks for your input.  I hadn’t realized that the boy was the organist’s son.  It was tough growing up with such a severe disability back in those days, but I hope he’s been able to lead a fulfilling life.

Hackensack History / Re: Oritani Theater
« on: April 18, 2016, 12:37:47 PM »
Well, I never used the emergency door to get inside the theater, but I was tempted to do so on one occasion.  I had just paid my admission price and was sitting on an aisle seat waiting for the show to begin.  Suddenly someone threw a piece of candy at me, and I returned fire with my Boston baked beans just as an usher walked by.  I was then escorted out of the theater, and they wouldn’t even refund my money.  I thought about returning through the emergency door, but as Sheriff Buford T. Justice used to say, “You can think about it, but don’t do it!”

Speaking of ushers, there was a very friendly elderly gentleman that used to take your tickets from you when you entered the theater.  He was always dressed in a red uniform with gold trim, and his hair was all white.  He used to joke around with the kids and show us how he was able to wiggle his ears.  Does anyone else remember him?

Pages: [1] 2