Hackensack, NJ Community Message Boards
General Category => Hackensack History => Topic started by: Editor on March 14, 2017, 03:22:58 PM
This was posted by Semafore in a 2007 topic (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,604.msg2845.html#msg2845) about W.T. Grant and other stores on Main Street. I thought I'd start a new topic since this neat video recently surfaced on YouTube. Kiddie Wonderlands was located just over the border in River Edge. Garden apartments are located there now, across from Historic New Bridge Landing.
I love those hand-crank trains!
Until I read the comments on 5 and 10 cent stores, I hadn’t thought about Kiddieland for years. It was located on the southeast side of the intersection of Main Street and Hackensack Avenue on the border with River Edge (The streets have been “rearranged” since then and it appears on recent maps to be where the extension or Grand Ave meets Main Street) When I was 13 in the summer of 1953, a year before I could get “working papers” that allowed me to work legally, my mother learned that the owner of Kiddieland “hired” young boys to lead ponies around a pony track. Since one of her friends had a son my age working there, she told me to go up there and see “if they were hiring” rather than to “laze around the house all summer” (my older brother had been working the past two summers at Maplecrest Beach “mudhole”). Although the pay wasn’t regulated by anything like minimum wage and it was always a mystery what we would get paid (depending on the “gate”), which was never very much, I remember it as one of the most fun summers I ever had. Not only were we expected to lead little kids around a dusty track on ponies but actually take care of the ponies…feed, water, curry, exercise during the day ;D ;D ;D ;D. We got there early in the morning and stayed until closing, so it filled my summer. Since there were a band of us boys with piles of straw to wrestle in, ponies to ride and little or no supervision, it was a great experience (imagine an employer taking that risk today!). That was the summer when 3D comic books and 3D movies came out, so much of our modest income was spent on those. On rainy days we would go en mass to the movies and no one would sit near us since we smelled of horses. The other memory seared into my brain was the seriousness the owner showed when he pointed to the image of FDR on a dime and intoned “ he was one of the greatest man to ever live”