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The life of Larry Lachance in Oakland, New Jersey.  This is the story of the Oakland years, 1957 through 1963
In the year 1957, we moved from Pompton Lakes to Oakland New Jersey
...we left Pompton Lakes in Passaic  County and moved to Oakland in Bergen County, N.J.
(see note)
Somewhere between a 6 and 7 minute drive, a little under 3 miles away, our newly built house was at 161 Page Drive.
NOTEState names were abbreviated, but not like today - notice the periods; and zip codes weren't introduced to the public until 1963, about the time we were leaving New Jersey. Even telephone numbers were different then...ours was FEderal 7-8769.
I have some memory of this part of my life, but not much. What happens in New Jersey ... stays in New Jersey ... and we left in 1963.
Welcome to Oakland New Jersey showing Indian sign, borough logo and Chief Oratam
Sketch of Chief Oratam by Alisa Ingles.  He was sachem of the Achkineshacky Indians, a tribe of the Lenni Lenape and is recognized as the original land owner of Bergen County.  Background Ramapo River, photo by C.E. Reardon. Old sign and Borough Logo  - all from the book “The Years Between” a pictorial history of Oakland New Jersey by Shirley Iten Kern and  Eleanor Steinberger Little.      READ THE STORY OF THE SIGN BELOW
...we've left Pompton Lakes in Passaic  County and moved to Oakland in Bergen County, N.J.
(see note)
Somewhere between a 6 and 7 minute drive, a little under 3 miles away, our newly built house was at 161 Page Drive.
NOTEState names were abbreviated, but not like today - notice the periods; and zip codes weren't introduced to the public until 1963, about the time we were leaving New Jersey
Even phone numbers were different then...ours was FEderal 7-8769.
I have some memory of this part of my life, but not much. What happens in New Jersey ... stays in New Jersey ... and we left in 1963.
The Oakland exit sign on Interstate 287
Showing the location of Oakland, NJ on Bergen County Map with New Jersey State inset
Map of the location of Oakland in Bergen County in Northeastern New Jersey (abt 22 miles from NYC)
Speech bubble, where are you really from?
People are always asking "where are you from"?  You just know that anytime you tell someone that you are from New Jersey, you have to be prepared for the "what exit" joke, right?  And that's not all...everyone I meet that doesn't know anything about New Jersey immediately forms this mental image of Bayonne or Linden or some other "not so nice"place. No offense to Bayonne or Linden but they are rather "industrial" locations.

Let's face it, EVERY state in the US has its, shall we say, "not so desirable places" ... places many people would not want to live.  New Jersey isn't any different, except maybe the taxes are ridiculously exorbitant compared to other states!  Ranked # 7 in 2019 for the highest overall tax burden and ranked #3 while for the highest property tax as a percent of income, it's not a place I want to live today.  Compare this to Florida which is ranked # 47 of 50 states for overall tax burden.  Now you know why I live there!
Enough of that - this is about Oakland, New Jersey - NOT an industrial hub but rather a small, hometown, very picturesque kinda place.  With a population of just over 13,000 in 2017, the borough isn't a bustling metropolis, not by any stretch.  In fact, the population has remained fairly consistent since the building boom of the 1950's and 60's - which, incidentally, was taking place while we were living there.  In 1950 there were only 1,817 residents, then we moved in, and so did 7,629 others over a 10-year stretch so that by 1960 the population had ballooned to 9,446, right about a 430% increase.  60 years later, not much has changed as the population has only increased about 38%.
Welcome to Oakland NJ, view of the Ramapo River Valley
The Basics about Oakland, just a page divider
350 years ago Oakland was a wilderness.  The Minsi Indians, a tribe of the Lenni Lanape, lived in the area.  They were the ones who named the river “Ramapaugh” – meaning river of many ponds.

On June 5, 1695, Arent Schuyler, a dutch New Yorker, purchased 5,500 acres of land for himself and his associates.  Among these associates was a man by the name of George Ryerson.  Permanent settlers began to arrive shortly before 1700 and 10 years later, there were 10 families living near The Ponds. (
see family connection below).  Oakland was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1902, from portions of Franklin Township.  The rest, as they say, is history.
The Book Covers - Valley of Homes | The Years Between
Valley of Homes & The Years Between
Books I Believe Give You The Best History of Oakland
In my personal opinion, two of the most thorough publications about Oakland and it's history, particularly in the early years, are "The Valley of Homes" by Ryerson Vervaet and published by the 50th Anniversary Committee in 1952 and, "The Years Between"   By Shirley Iten Kern and Eleanor Steinberger Little published in 1964.
Both are pictured here and I actually own a copy of "The Valley of Homes" but they are both out of print and very difficult to find originals. 
Luckily, the Oakland Historical Society has both available for download, no charge!  Follow the link under "Site Links and More Information" then go to the history tab to read about Oakland from the beginning of time.
DESCRIPTION (from Wikipedia) Oakland is a borough comprised of 8.6 square miles in Bergen County, New Jersey, in close proximity to New York City.  As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 12,466. In the year 2000, 14% of Oakland residents report German ancestry, and 16% report Irish. Oakland is bordered by Franklin Lakes and Mahwah in Bergen County; and Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Wanaque and Wayne in Passaic County.  The coordinates are: 41.02998°N 74.243842°W
From 1952 to 1964 Oakland was growing explosively at a pace akin to the "jet age".
From 1957 to 1963 Oakland was the home of the Lachance family (while it still was one)
Bill, Ann, Paul and Larry
(
and the dog, Trixie)
FAMILY CONNECTION?  Martin Ryerson (Oakland Mayor 1912-1913) – built the Ryerson House in 1825 – Unbeknownst to mom at the time, her own BUSSELL FAMILY history had ties to this town – as the Bussell married into the Ryerson family of Pompton Lakes – The Ryerson's were also related to the Spear family who built the sawmill in Oakland.  Larry went to school with Wayne Spear, no doubt a descendant as well…who knows, we may have been related too.  Welcome to the Twilight Zone!
Maryland cousins standing on Page Drive
Carol Ann Bussell, Relmyra (Warren) Bussell, Larry Lachance, Anna (Bussell) Lachance, Paul Lachance, Richard Bussell, Jr.
Uncle Richard (Bussell) my mothers brother, took the photo - LOVE the car!
(other Oakland links are scattered within the page)
Borough of Oakland
History and Old Oakland and Local Government website
Ramapo  Mountain State Forest (from AllTrails)
Whether a hiker, biker, or runner - the best New Jersey trails
Oakland Historical Society (Oakland, NJ)
Lots of information, past and present and e-books too
The Oakland Journal
Local stories and much more
Patch
Community Platform and Breaking News
Facebook - Oakland, NJ
Oakland, the Borough, on Facebook
Facebook - The Oakland Journal
Oakland, The Oakland Journal, on Facebook
Genealogical Society of Bergen County
Family heritage, genealogical records for Bergen County
War of the Revolution
Revolutionary War Sites in Oakland
Historical Marker Database
Historical Markers in Oakland
The Oakland Public Schools
Oakland Schools Homepage
The Oakland Public Library
Oakland Library Homepage
The Ride Up Grove Street - 1957
Grove Street sign, inviting you to view the ride up Grove street
Video Clip - 1957
Source: 8mm Home Movie
Camera by: Bill Lachance
Run Time: 3 minutes
It begins with Larry in Pompton Lakes and then takes you on a road trip up Grove Street to the intersection of Page Drive (in 1957). The attention is then focused on a tour of the house while it was under construction - set to the sounds of the Del Vikings and the '57 hit - "Come Go With Me". - Hope you enjoy!
161 Page Drive
Lachance home on Page Drive in 1957
Late Spring 1957
Click on the image for Full-Size
The Ride Up Grove Street - 1957
Video Clip - 1957
Source: 8mm Home Movie
Camera by: Bill Lachance
Run Time: 3 minutes
It begins with Larry in Pompton Lakes and then takes you on a road trip up Grove Street to the intersection of Page Drive (in 1957). The attention is then focused on a tour of the house while it was under construction - set to the sounds of the Del Vikings and the '57 hit - "Come Go With Me". - Hope you enjoy!
161 Page Drive
Late Spring 1957
Click on the image for Full-Size
The movie, compiled by me, is the result of dad as the cameraman and mom driving.  It seems like they both did a pretty good job.  Unfortunately, the video IS a bit on the blurry side and for that, I apologize.  This is what happens when you convert 8 mm film to DVD and then try to make an mp4 out of it.  Too many changes and too bad the film got tossed when the conversion was done some 15 years ago.
And just like that - we were magically transported from a post-war "cape cod" to a spanking new (also post-war) "ranch style home" in Oakland. I'm talking World War II here.

Dad bought this newly built home for something in the neighborhood of $13,500. I don't know how much it sold for in 1963, when we left, but I suspect it was a bit more. Much like everything else, this home has increased in value. I checked the tax records for Oakland for 2007 and again for 2019 and found the assessed value actually has decreased.

While it was under construction however, mom was keeping a watchful "eagle eye" on everything, visiting the job site almost daily I am told. The painter would always greet her by saying "here comes carrot-eyes" again.  Seems she had a knack for finding each and every flaw.  Today, I well understand this concept.  Guess she was just ahead of her time.
The slide show depicts the evolution of 161 Page Drive over time
Description
61 Page Dr
Oakland Boro, NJ
Block: 3601 Lot: 5
Width: 125 X Depth: 175
2007 Tax Valuation
Land:  $294,800
Build:  $129,600
Total:  $424,400
2019 Tax Valuation
Land:  $229,800
Build:  $131,300
Total:  $361,100
2020 Zillow Estimate
Est. Value:  $391,811
Things Change - Yet They Remain The Same
  • Dad and Larry (looks like Andy and Opie to me)

    Dad and Larry (looks like Andy and Opie to me)

  • Land Clearing Begins - 1956

    Land Clearing Begins - 1956

  • Stripped Bare And Ready To Build

    Stripped Bare And Ready To Build

  • Visitors already - 1957 - not even moved in yet

    Visitors already - 1957 - not even moved in yet

  • 1958 - Of course this is me in the driveway

    1958 - Of course this is me in the driveway

  • By 1984 Some Changes Are Evident

    By 1984 Some Changes Are Evident

  • And By 2004, Things Certainly Have Changed!

    And By 2004, Things Certainly Have Changed!

  • 2010 - 63-Years is a long time - Changed But Still The Same

    2010 - 63-Years is a long time - Changed But Still The Same

THE STORY OF THE OAKLAND INDIAN SIGN
“Once There Was Indians All Over This Place”
Reprinted from "The Valley of Homes" - Chapter 11, (pg 3)
During the nineteen thirties a large sign which flaunted the gaily painted head of an Indian and the words:
ONCE THERE WAS INDIANS ALL OVER THIS PLACE
OAKLAND
BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.
ESTABLISHED 1869
hung on a post in the center of the plaza near the railroad station.
It had been donated by a resident of Oakland who wished to remind passers-by of the early history of the borough.  Oakland regarded it with pride until its grammatical inaccuracy was spotted by the sharp and humorous eyes of a writer for The New Yorker, who gleefully reported it.   Oakland was in a flurry.  The donor explained that the offending sentence was taken from an early book on the Ramapo Valley, and dispatched a painter to surround it with quotation marks.  He did not change the date, which was also inaccurate since it marked the coming of the railroad to Oakland and not the time of settlement.  The quotation marks were duly reported by The New Yorker, the controversy continued, and eventually the sign was removed.
Once there was Indians all over this place, original sign
America
...is a Nation of Immigrants. 
All of us are immigrants!
The only ones that are NOT immigrants are the Native Americans.

Everybody came from somewhere else and how quickly we forget!
Rosa Gerra
A Neighborhood of Immigrants
Doing this genealogy thing tends to make one take notice of names, even when they are not our own, and names can give us insight about origins.  It's a lot like, if you're a car fanatic, you can tell the difference between a BMW and a Mercedes from the tail lights a mile away.  You just notice things!

If America is a "melting pot" or a Nation of immigrants, then our neighborhood in Oakland "back then", seemed to be a snapshot of the Nation.

The names of our neighbors reflected many different heritages and they included: Litcher, Riccio, Kazerski, Mayer, Guillerm, Rockwell, Worshek, Hutchinson, Ahlers, Schneider, Hertel, Cagiano, Leonardo, Gaylord, Rocco, Fredericks, Zuidema, Spear,  McCoy, and many others.  I don't recall any Oheloakhi, Assawakow, Gottawamerk, or any other Lenni Lenape names  but that doesn't mean they weren't there.
 
I took a satellite image from the net.  The image "Page Drive" used here is recent (2019).  The streets, houses and neighborhood have not changed since it was built in the mid 1950's...at least not the two streets (Page Drive and Grove Street).  It clearly shows the homes in OUR immediate neighborhood. 

I then used a similar image (this one from several years ago) and I marked it up with the names of the families (
that I remember) that lived nearby in 1962. 

These families were not only our neighbors but many of them were childhood friends, some of which I will never forget.

Click on the image "Page Drive" image to open it full size in your browser. When you're finished, click on the "Previous Page" button at the bottom of the page to return here.
Page Drive - Satellite Image (from 2019)
Memories of Oakland, New Jersey
HOW MUCH OF YOUR CHILDHOOD ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO REMEMBER ?  It would seem that there are some people that can remember "before they were born" - WHAT?  Is that even possible.  I can barely remember what I ate for dinner last night let alone something that happened when I was born.  Although, I DO have a memory of a "party line" that we had in Pompton Lakes and that was, most certainly, before the age of 4.
Research I've read (don't know whether true or not) shows that by the time a child "reaches about 10 (nine to 10, eight to 10 years of age) they start showing the adult pattern of infantile or childhood amnesia. That is, they’ve forgotten those early events.”  -Ian Lecklitner “Mel Magazine” February 2020  - I didn't even know such a thing existed!
While I try to remember how I got where I am right now, I'm struggling to remember these Oakland years.  Yes I do remember some things but it's difficult to differentiate the memories that are actual from those that are perceived.  Lot's of names I remember and others I don't.  I've done a bit of research, online, to see what may have happened to some of the Oakland residents and childhood acquaintances from back then...if I found something I've got the results on this page.  For me, however, photographs and stories related by parents and grandparents tend to meld with what I really remember. Most of what I think I do - is here. 
As an aside...
I've also read that if you’re a boy AND a second, third or fourth child, you probably can’t remember shit!  That would be ME!
5th Birthday
Larry Lachance, 5th Birthday Party, Page Drive
THE BASEMENT:
This 5th Birthday Party photo was taken in the basement of our home on Page Drive.  At this point, it was still a "basement" quite unfinished.  In the not to distant future it would become "the Rec Room".  Other photos of the finished product appear below.
BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME:
Lucky for me, my birthday came before school started which gave me an "early start".   My brother Paul wasn't so lucky!  He was born in  the month of October. This meant he had to wait almost a full year before he was able to start school.  This early start allowed me to graduate from high school, when I was still 17 years old. NICE!
WHAT MEMORY?:
And speaking of not being able to remember...I can't tell you who anybody in the photo is... except ME, in the bow tie.  So much for infantile amnesia!
SCHOOL BEGINS - TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 1958
On this day, I happily set off to attend my first day of school, KINDERGARTEN. Class, if I remember correctly, was split into two groups, morning and afternoon.  What 5-year old could possibly sit through 8-hours of school?

Kindergarten, 1958-1959, was held in the Ponds Memorial Building (see below for more).  The reason?  Because the ONLY public school in Oakland had run out of space.  (see the news article).
Without the help of pictures, (smirk) I remember 3 specific things about this event.
First, there was only one classroom and it seemed to a 5-year old to be quite large.
Second, my teacher's name was Mrs. Fieldhouse. I remember this because of my third  memory...
Third, my grandfather had to come get me out of school one day (it may have been the first day - LOL) because I was scared. I don't know what scared me, but this is the day my grandfather gave my teacher the nickname "Mrs. FIELDMOUSE." Maybe this is why I remember her name.
Bergen Record news article - Back to School with overcrowding
from the Bergen Record
click for Full-Size
The Ponds Memorial Building and Oakland, NJ, Public Library
The Ponds Memorial Building (Inset Today - Oakland Public Library)
Click the image for Full-Size
Interesting Oakland History Fact
On Aug 1, 1916, the first power line bringing electricity to Oakland was energized.
Larry Lachance, Bradley Guillerm, Stuart Hutchinson, First Day Of School
click for Full-Size
First Day of School - Actual Photos
How these pictures still exist is beyond me but they are still here and now posted for the world to see.  I looked at my ears and wonder if I flew to school???
Identifying everyone is a challenge ... I do know the photo with the three boys ...
(Left-to-Right) Larry Lachance, Bradley Guillerm, Stuart Hutchinson - all neighbors and probably the three that were always together the most. 
The photo in the street ... well, I'm going to plead "infantile amnesia" with this one!  The only person I know is me.  I can't help but wonder if I broke my arm, or maybe was having chest pains...hey Larry, what's with the hand??
Larry Lachance with schoolmates, corner of Page Drive and Grove Street
click for Full-Size
I attended kindergarten in what once was the Ponds Memorial Building, which was built to replace the original Ponds Church. The building will later become the Oakland Public Library. Everything Changes!
THE ORIGINAL PONDS CHURCH
Officially dedicated on July 17, 1937.
The original Ponds Church building fell into disrepair early in the 1930’s.  Oakland hoped to preserve it as a historic landmark, but architects ruled the structure unsafe.  In April of 1936, with the aid of WPA funds, the building was razed.  Some of the stones and hand hewn timbers were salvaged from the old church and reused in the new building.  The building was also known as the Municipal Building.  It was designed as an enlarged replica of the church of 1829 and it was crowned by the same weather vane.  A mural by Giogi Manuilov, located at the West end of the building, is a WPA project from the 1930’s.

By 1962, the public school had room for a kindergarten so the library was moved from a room above the fire house to the Ponds Memorial Building. The whole collection, at the time, was housed on the main floor (my old kindergarten classroom). The Children's Department got their own quarters in 1971. The downstairs was remodeled and the community room, bowling alley and the civil defense headquarters of the 1950’s and 60’s was made into a children's library.

The Ponds Chapel was almost next door and religious life continued as it had since 1710
Information found from various sources including Wikipedia, The Oakland Journal, Boro of Oakland, et al.
Cornerstone Placed
A ribbon commemorating the laying of the cornerstone of the Ponds Memorial Building from 1936
photo of original ribbon
Church of The Ponds, Oakland, Bergen County, NJ
Church of the Ponds - found at picryl.com
Picture found in the Public Domain at https://picryl.com/
Unique Construction
The building structure is unique. It is made of stone with thick outside walls and some red sandstone corner blocks that date back to 1740. The weather vane on top of the building once indicated the wind direction from the top of the octagonal steeple of the 1829 church.
OAKLAND - THE NEXT 4 YEARS
1st Through 4th Grade and other STUFF!
Oakland Public School (Public School Number 1)
Oakland Elementary School, Oakland, New Jersey 1960s
History of Oakland Elementary School
(condensed version)
Soon after Oakland separated from Franklin Lakes in 1902. The town Council successfully approved “The Oakland Grammar School” a one-room school on Allerman Road. 
In 1906 the Board started plans for a new school, the same year the school register recorded forty pupils.
In April 1907, a proposal urged an architect be hired and new school planned and built by the following fall. A final planned budget of $13,500 was approved and the new school was ready in October, 1907. 
The center section contained four rooms, two of which, at the front left and right were my 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms respectively.  A new wing was added in 1927 and another wing before 1950. 
The coal furnace was replaced in 1950. A well provided drinking and washing water and inside toilets came shortly thereafter (I'm happy about this!) By the time I arrived, two more classrooms had been added and the school had to operate double sessions because of the onslaught of new students from the rapid growth during the post-war years.
By the 1964 school year - one year after we left Oakland, the total elementary school enrollment was 2, 560 students, a far cry from the 40 pupils of 1906!
Oakland Elementary School, Mrs. White's 2nd Grade Class Photo, 1960-1961
The 1960-1961  2nd Grade Class of Mrs. Lucy White
(click the image to enlarge)
Teachers & Others
I do remember my teachers through these early 1958-1963 years:

Kindergarten - Mrs. Fieldhouse

1st Grade - Mrs. Eleanor Setterfield

2nd Grade - Mrs. Lucy White

3rd Grade - Mrs. Lilly

4th Grade - Mrs. Phyllis Genovese

Of all of them, Mrs. White had the greatest impact.  I remember her always trying to help. Even at this young age, people can have an effect on the rest of your life.
I've made attempts to find out what became of my first educational influences and found both Mrs. Fieldhouse and Mrs. Setterfield have passed.  Clicking on their names will open the obituary for each of them. 
As of March 2020, I've not found any information about the other three teachers.
I also found my report cards from K - 4!  I simply had to comment on a few of the items listed by my teachers.
Partial 1st Grade Report Card
with my own comments
Larry Lachance's 1st Grade Report Card with comments
(click the image to enlarge)
REPORT CARD COMMENTS
Looking over my 1st grade report card, in retrospect, it seems to me that Mrs. Setterfield was VERY perceptive!!
I have learned to adapt to new situations (only if I must!) and I do finish what I start, (eventually!).  But the following instructions thing...  I can read a manual and put together the lawn mower but I never follow a recipe exactly and almost never do exactly what I'm told!  I think she was on to something!!!
It seems that I sometimes had trouble with "teamwork" too.  To that I say... "if you want something done right, DO IT YOURSELF!" (I'm really not that bad)
My 4th grade teacher, obviously, saw trouble ahead..."a little difficulty she says".  Of course I've grown older, wiser, and certainly more mellow since then!
Notice the C- in "handwriting" - as I laugh, all I have ever done since then is PRINT.  When I don't rush, some have said that my printing looks as if it was typed.  I'll take that as a compliment.
Partial 4th Grade Report Card
this one is self-explanatory
Larry Lachance's 4th Grade Report Card with comments
Nobody can read my handwriting - to this day!
(click the image to enlarge)
DYSGRAPHIA  or CACOGRAPHY
What was it with me never properly learning "cursive" writing?  There is something called "dysgraphia".  As defined, it's an inability to write coherently...but, it's symptom of brain disease or damage.  Was it possible that my brain was damaged when I was younger with bronchitis in the hospital.  Was it the tetracycline they were experimenting with because I was allergic to penicillin?  Or maybe, aside from the fact that people have called me crazy, it had nothing to do with any of that.  So that leads me to "cacography"!  Used as a noun, it means "bad handwriting" OR "spelling".  Well sir, I could spell just fine (barring the typos you might find in my web pages).  Not only that, I could even write complete, grammatically correct, sentences.  English wasn't a strong point for me either but none of my inability to "define" parts of a sentence or knowledge of "past or present participles" had any impact on my ability to compose a decent report or even a letter for that matter!  So I guess that's it, "bad handwriting"!  I am the proud practitioner of cacography!  Maybe I should have been a doctor?
Other School Stuff
Joseph Guzzo was a teacher in the Oakland school system when he started Sept 1, 1953 (the day before I was born) and he was appointed Principal 5 Years later, the year I started kindergarten, at Valley School. An all-purpose room at Manito School was named after him when he retired in 1988. (Click his name for his obituary)
Gilbert LaVecchia, Jr. was the principal for grades 3 and 4 (1961-1963). He retired in 1985 as Principal of the Heights School in Oakland and died on March 24, 1987 in East Stroudsburg, PA. (Click his name for his obituary)
The Heights School
The Heights School – located at 114 Seminole Avenue in Oakland - opened in September 1959.  Built in 1958, the Heights Elementary School is the largest and oldest of Oakland's elementary schools.  Paul, my brother, attended The Heights School.
The Heights School, Oakland, New Jersey. The front of the building
At the time it opened, a former Oakland 7th grade science instructor, Frank McNamara, was appointed principal. He resigned in 1969 and moved to Vermont.  
Paul LaChance (yes, he uses the capital "C")
With a 5 year difference in our ages, Paul and I didn't have a lot in common in those days.  He had his own group of friends.  I only remember one of them, Tom Kotinsky.  Tom was a neighbor just up the street and the two of them were almost always together. 
Even The Heights School yearbook took note!  Here's both of their photos from the Class of 1962 yearbook! Both Paul and Tom graduated on Wednesday, June 20, 1962.
Paul Lachance | Tom Kotinsky - 1962 Heights School Yearbook Photos
LaChance is NOT two words yet some insist on making it so!
Paul's Journalism Club
I'm really not sure why Paul was in the Journalism Club.  I think, at the time, he should have been thinking about joining the Everly Brothers or some other 50's teenage sensation band.  He always had "perfect" hair with that popular curl/flip up front - sort of Elvis Presley style.
And, back then, he also played the guitar.  My recollection of how good he was, if he was good, has failed me.  I really can't remember listening to any of his music. 
He did, one day, sit with Tom Kotinsky and my grandfather, Larry McKenna who WAS a great musician, and have a jam session.  Not sure how well that went over with my mom, but it would appear they had a good time.
Impromptu Gig At Home with Larry McKenna, Paul Lachance and Tom Kotinsky
As an aside, Paul built that shelf on the wall - it still exists today!
Paul Lachance, 1962 Graduation from the Heights School in Oakland, New Jersey
Paul Graduates Grammar School - Goes to Prom
with whom...we don't remember
Paul Lachance standing in the dining room at home on Graduation day 1962
The Graduate
in the dining room at home
Paul Lachance with unknown individual on Graduation day, 1962
Congratulations
cake and again...we don't remember
Paul Lachance with Mom, Ann Lachance, on Graduation Day 1962
Mom and Paul in the Dining Room
on the big day
BEFORE I LEAVE SCHOOL STUFF - I'M SURE EVERYONE REMEMBERS SOMETHING ABOUT THIS
Air Raid Drills - formerly known as "Duck and Cover"
When the Air Raid Warning Sounds, this means
THIS ... didn't help matters any!
October 5, 1957
Collage of Sputnik headlines from the Paterson Evening news
Place your mouse over the image to hear Sputnik
In all honesty, I do not remember Bert the Turtle or even the "Duck and Cover" movie.  What I do remember are the drills AND the "air raid siren."  I can't recall ever "ducking" under our desks although I'm pretty sure we must have.  I do remember taking cover in the hallway, lined up against the wall with our hands over our heads. 
This is vaguely reminiscent of a poster I had on the wall during the Vietnam conflict. I'm sure you've seen it before...  the one that says, in case of nuclear attack, "bend over, put your head between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye.
There is also a recollection of "Black Out Curtains."  Maybe I was in charge of making sure they were closed, or maybe the thought of not having any light scared the tar out of me.  I really don't know ... but I remember! I couldn't find a picture of the curtains...maybe it was too dark to take a picture of them? 
Alert today, Alive tomorrow, enroll in Civil Defense
Old fallout shelter sign with added Civil Defense icon
We never built a "bomb shelter" although I'm sure the thought went through my dads mind!
MORE HOUSE
While not very clear, this is the rec room | finished basement that Bill Lachance built! 
Back then and in the vernacular of 2020 it was "dope"!
(click the images to enlarge)
Black and White photo of the finished basement in 1959 with relatives
Bill Lachance's Rec Room bar in 1959
Family gathering at the rec room bar in the basement of Page Drive in 1959
Bill Lachance and Charlie Desrochers standing at the bar in 1959
MORE OAKLAND MEMORIES
When a dog came into my life
Sometime in late 1961 or early 1962 (I think) I was outside playing when this dog I'd never seen before came right up to me. Like the proverbial duck to water - I immediately connected.
It turned out the dog was not a stray, she had gotten away from a family who lived on Spear Street, 1/2  mile away by road, probably less than 1000 feet through the woods.
The family was that of a childhood friend, Jimmy Kewderis. I don't remember how it happened but somehow I ended up with Jimmy's dog. I never really knew how he felt about that, it must have hurt that his parents would allow it, I know how I would have felt!
Trixie (I don't know if I gave her the name or if she already had it?) would be with me for the next 7 years. The rest of that story will be told later in "my life".
Trixe would, however, be my friend and companion for as long as she remained with us. I really loved this dog and to this day, I remain a devoted dog lover.
I don't know what ever happened to Jimmy Kwederis, but if anybody out there knows him, just let him know that the dog he probably loved as much as I did, had a good life and was well taken care of. I am sorry it happened this way but thank you Jimmy!
Larry with Trixie - Oakland
Larry Lachance holding his dog, Trixie, in the house in 1960
Larry Lachance in 1959, standing in his bedoom with a baseball
This would be me - in my bedroom - with my baseball.  I did play on one of the first little league teams in Oakland. And it was hardball, not softball!
NEIGHBORS AND NEIGHBORHOOD
There were quite a few of us kids in the neighborhood in the early 1960's, and we all seemed to get along just fine.
The group that could be found together most of the time consisted of Bradley Guillerm, Stuart Hutchinson and Larry Lachance, (me of course).  The Guillerm family lived about 3 houses up and the Hutchinsons diagonally across the street.  Brads parents were Pat and Ken.  Here is a photo in front of the 1923 Pond's Chapel... Ken and Pat Guillerm and my grandmother May Bussell. About 1962
Ken and Pat Guillerm in front of the Pond's Chapel with May Bussell after a Sunday service
I don't have any photos of the Hutchinsons or any other childhood friends for that matter...and I have no idea what became of them or the Guillerms.
I know, but don't remember, our two families were together on at least one occasion (I have the picture) and Bradley was at each of my birthday parties (again, I have the pictures). 
Page Drive neighborhood party at the Guillerms house in Oakland in 1963
Other kids in the neighborhood, I have no photos, Steven Rockwell, Peter and Paul Gaylor, Bobby Riccio, Peggy and Robin Ahlers, Stevie Schneider, and Thaddeus Kedzierski. This is just OUR neighborhood...there were many more school friends as well and they were spread all over town.
Portrait of Greg Litcher in the early 1970s
One friend / family in particular that I remember is that of Greg Litcher, his sister Mary Ann and his mom and dad (Steve and Marge). They lived 3 houses up the street. This photo of Greg from when I last saw him in the early 1970's.
If you're old enough to remember, their family seemed  like they could have been the cast of "Father Knows Best" and its idyllic presentation of family life.
...I would have said "Leave it to Beaver" but I think my brother Paul and I were more capable of fulfiling the roles of Wally and the Beaver! - (half kidding)
Mr. Litcher, a painter by trade, seemed to me to be very strict...I never remember him smiling. Mrs. Litcher was always very kind and caring and even...I'm not sure how to describe this but..."proper" comes to mind, never seeming to get mad at anything.
Greg's sister always wanted to "tag along" and I remember his mom telling her "leave the boys alone" and let them play. When our day of playing with the Tonka Toy construction equipment in the dirt pile was over, she would come out and pick Greg up in her arms and say "tell the fellas so long now", and we'd all go home.
Times were more simple then, not like today.
As with all of the people I knew from Oakland, I lost track of Greg and his family in the early 1970's - but, I've never forgotten them.
The Ahlers
The Ahlers family lived almost directly across from the Litchers. I don't remember a lot about this family other than they owned Ahlers Jeep at the corner of 202 and Long Hill Road, and two daughters Peggy and Robin.
I do remember, however on August 5, 1962, Peggy Ahlers came to visit the house. She had just heard, Marilyn Monroe had died. My dad was in a state of disbelief at the time. He always had an eye for blondes, or is that just women in general, but anyway...much like most men of the day, Marilyn Monroe was THE pinup girl of the day. Nobody could believe she died. By the way, I would not have known the date Peggy came to visit unless I looked up the date Marilyn died (which I did...look it up I mean.)
Frank Ahlers, the family patriarch, was a World War Two veteran and a very likable sort who also served as an early State Forestry Firewarden. It seemed everybody bought their gas at Ahlers Corner (as it became known). Later the Ahlers brothers bought the farm land next door and started the Jeep Dealership.

Frank Ahlers died on April 27, 1978 and is buried at Ponds Church Cemetery.  Peggy and her sister Robin both married.
Ahlers Corner
Ahlers Corner in Oakland New Jersey, from the book, The Years Between
Photo from "The Years Between" - and long before we arrived!
Old Pepsodent Log with associated Pepsodent jingle
AND OTHER YELLOWING MEMORIES
OF THE OAKLAND YEARS

Quick Pepsodent Jingle - Take a Listen

Yes, Pepsodent WAS a popular toothpaste!  So was Ipana! and we used them both before Crest became so popular!
The Dentist Office in the old days
As an infant I had a severe bronchial infection. It sent me to the hospital for several days.  A healthy dose of penicillin nearly sent me to my demise! Thankfully (or maybe not) Tetracycline had recently been "made available" and while still somewhat experimental, as proper dosages were unknown, it was given to me and it worked...but not without causing issues with my teeth that would last a lifetime.
I've been in and out of a dentist chair for as long as I can remember...and I could have retired on the money spent over the years. In Oakland, the dentist I first knew was Dr. Albert Levine.  I think he lived not far from us on Grove St., but his office was down by the railroad tracks near the old train station.  I can't tell you what HE looked like but I CAN preciously describe the belt driven drill, the ceramic "spit bowl" and the lovely aroma of burning enamel... which will never go away! Such lovely memories to keep huh?
I don't know if I was scared or not and I have no idea if I cried when we had to go visit.  What I do know is that Dr. Levine did everything he knew how to take care of my teeth from the first one that emerged until we left New Jersey.  The dentist that would be known as "Dr. Frankenstein" came later, after we left New Jersey.  More on that in the next chapter of The Life of Larry.
What WAS On Television
Back when the greatest rivals to television were going outside to play and unorganized social activities, studies were being done to prove that TV negatively impacted family life!  For me, I was just happy it was there and as far as I can tell, nothing bad happened from watching.  Being able to rattle off this list of TV shows from before 1964 was, for me, impressive!  All of this considering 6 available channels and not all on at the same time, let alone 24-hours a day! Here's the short list of TV shows I loved to watch - especially "The Bowery Boys" and "The Red Skelton Show"!
The Short List ... (HA!) Wonderama, American Bandstand, I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best, Route 66, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Flintstones, Bullwinkle and Rocky, Tom & Jerry, Andy Griffith, Johnny Carson, Lawrence Welk, Abbot & Costello, The Bowery Boys, Wonderful World of Disney, Car 54, The Real McCoys, Topper, Leave It To Beaver, Top Cat, What's My Line, The Twilight Zone, Danny Thomas, Candid Camera, Ed Sullivan, Red Skelton, The Adventures of Superman, Captain Kangaroo, The Mickey Mouse Club, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Zorro, Sky King, The Three Stooges, 12 O'clock High, Bat Masterson, The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Three Sons, Dragnet, Have Gun Will Travel, Lassie, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Mr. Ed, Hazel, Password, Combat...I need to stop!
YIKES!  I keep remembering more...damn Larry, you watched too much television...
And dad bought the Sylvania Halolight TV and turned it into a built-in.  He had it sitting on a flat drawer so it could be pulled out from the cabinet for servicing if needed.  Brilliant!
Our Sylvania HaloLight Television (one just like it)
Sylvania halolight TV with image of Car 54 TV show displayed
RADIO OF THE DAY
Collage of Cousin Brucie of WABC Radio 77 in New York City
If there were other radio stations, I didn't listen to them!
AND OTHER MUSIC TOO!
On my 9th birthday, my dad gave me a "transistor radio" - WOW - it had a leather case AND was portable too!  So Cousin Brucie and 77 WABC was always on.  There were other DJ's, like Dan Ingram, and others I don't remember but when it came to having fun listening to the radio, it was always Cousin Brucie!
Dad, it seems, was a "new technology" aficionado!  He wired the upstairs and rec room so records could be played and heard in both places.  Music was always around so today my taste is extremely eclectic! Then there was my brother Paul who, being 5 years older, grew up with the likes of Elvis, Dion, The Everly Brothers and other 50's Rock and Roll.  Once my grandfather complained that all they play is "chords"!  Of course he would know as a former player of the Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano without being able to read a note of music! But, thanks to my brother, I developed a liking for much of the same music he listened to, that being 1950's "Rock and Roll"!
All said and done, I ended up later in life with a handful of my brothers record albums and a ton of my own. One of the first 45 rpm records I bought was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens...and I still have it. I also bought "Pepino the Italian Mouse" by Lou Monte.
More about Luigi Scaglione (aka) Lou Monte just below
"What Did Washington Say (When He Crossed The Delaware?)"
He said... "I'm Cold" in Italian!
Luigi Scaglione (aka) Lou Monte
Born April 2, 1917, Manhattan, NY
Died June 12, 1989, Pompano Beach, FL
Luigi Scaglione, aka, Lou Monte, Publicity Photo with guitar in hand
Lou Monte, was a personable, singing, guitar strumming star and he was acknowledged as the "King of Italian-American Hit Records".
Lou Monte - a resident of Oakland
He lived in Oakland at the same time as the we did. His home wasn't that far away, on Chuckanutt Dr.  I decided to ride my bike to his house one day to see if I could meet him. He wasn't home...so I never met him.
“Pepino U Soriciello”
"Pepino the Italian Mouse" - released in 1962, tells the funny story of a mischievous mouse who lives in a man's home and pesters him by eating his cheese, drinking his wine and frightening his girlfriend.
Billboard Hit - "Pepino" peaked at number five on Billboard's Hot 100 the week of January 12, 1963. It fared better in some markets, including Lou's native New York City, where the single spent two weeks at number one on "77 WABC" (of course) at the end of December 1962.
Until "Pepino" - I didn't know who he was but once I heard the song, not only did it quickly become a million seller (of course you know I bought it), it moved right up to the top of my favorite songs of all time as well.  It remains right up at the top to this day!  While I only know a couple of the words in the  Italian parts, I do sing along (at least in my mind) with the English part every time I hear it.
Listen to Lou Monte sing Pepino the Italian mouse on YouTube
Visit LouMonte.com a website devoted to his legacy
by his sons, Ray and his brother Ronald
He was best known for recordings of  his first big hit in 1954 "Darktown Strutters Ball" (Italian Style), "Italian Hucklebuck", "Sheik of Araby," (Italian Style), and "Eh Marie _ Eh Marie."  He appeared on several television shows and had a role in the 1964 comedy hit film "Robin and the Seven Hoods."
Les Paul Gold Top Guitar, by Gibson
Les Paul Gibson Gold Top
AND - Les Paul (of Les Paul and Mary Ford fame) was also a "semi-neighbor".  He lived about 5 miles up the road, on Deerhaven Drive in the next town over, Mahwah, NJ.  Les Paul is best known for inventing guitar playing styles such as licks, chord progressions, and fretting techniques. He was the inventor of the "Gibson Les Paul" guitar as well. He was also known for his partnership (1945-1963) with his wife, Mary Ford. They were known as "THE GOLDEN DUO." She died in 1977.  Les Paul was born on June 9, 1915 and passed away on August 12, 2009, at the age of 93 years old. He continued to perform right up to his death.
Cattywampus Malarkey and other Codswallop
OTHER THINGS I CAN’T REMEMBER IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
The Hunt Circus Adverstising
The Circus Comes to Town
"Sandy Beach was at the end of Spruce St.  We would  swim there once in a while.  Most of us remember Sandy Beach!
But...there was a Circus too!  It was Hunt Brothers Circus!
I remember being amazed at the size of the elephant poop...!
Marshland Reeds also known as punks
Punks from the Swamp?
Across the street, near the Constance (sp) home I recall there being some wetland, marshy, something.
We would take "punks" and light them up like torches.
In reality they were just "cattails - for me they were pretty magical!
Carvel Store in New Jersey over a sunset sky
Loved Carvel!
We would drive down to Carvel on the Hamburg Turnpike, many times in the evening but weekends too.
Chocolate Dipped, soft-serve, in a wafer cone!  My Favorite!
Of course there was really nothing better than a Banana Split ... my mouth is watering!
The Pines (BAR??)
I believe it was called "The Pines" and I think it was at the corner of Colfax Rd & 202 in Wayne...near the boathouse.
I KNOW dad would take me when he went for a drink.
And the bartender would ALWAYS make me a "Shirley Temple"...with an umbrella!
The Pines Bar, Wayne, New Jersey, outside sign with Shirely Temple drink
Nash's Diner
THE place to eat when we lived in Oakland.  On Ramapo Valley Rd.  It became Johnny & Norms before 1966.
We always had some coins so we could play the jukebox.
I'm STILL looking for a picture of Nash's from 1956-1965.  If you have one - contact me!
1950's Tabletop Jukebox
Palisades and Superman
Every "sweetshop" had a rack of comics (and candy).  I loved Superman Comics and would always get one when I could.
AND, they always had a discount coupon of some sort.
This is one of them that I found online.  I loved both the comic AND Palisades Park.
Superman Comic Book Palisades Amusement Park Coupon
Dugan’s Bakery Delivery Truck with Milkman, and Charles Chips delivery to your door
Home Delivery
Long before FedEx or Amazon, we had our bread, milk and potato chips delivered right to the front door.
Dugan's was the bakery, I've forgotten who delivered milk.
Plus there was a guy who sharpened knives and Good Humor had a route too.
Route 208 Highway Sign
Route 208
Route 208 finally "officially" arrived in November 1962. Getting to the big stores in Paramus was much faster.
Before this, Pompton Lakes was the "go to" place to shop.
Now we could shop at Bambergers at Garden State Plaza - Hooray!
Book Cover - Images of America - Oakland, New Jersey
Images of America
Part of the series, by John Madden and Kevin Heffernan, A great book for nostalgia or just for the coffee table!
Amazing photos, history and a look back in time.
Still available at Amazon and maybe other places too.  Relatively low priced.
7th Birthday - 1960 - Oakland, New Jersey
Larry Lachance with friends on his 7th birthday
(l-r) Stuart Hutchinson, Bradley Guillerm, Steven Rockwell, Bobby Riccio, Larry Lachance
9th Birthday - 1962 - Oakland, New Jersey
Larry Lachance, 9th Birthday table with cake and baloons
Mom went all out to make this a fun time
9th Birthday - 1962 - Oakland, New Jersey
Larry Lachance celebrating 9th birthday with friends in Oakland, New Jersey
The Whole Gang- Names Next Frame
9th Birthday - 1962 - Oakland, New Jersey
Larry Lachance with friends at 9th birthday, holding transistor radio
(l-r) Alfred Constance, Jimmy Kwederis, Larry (radio), Peter Gaylor, Tommy Getrich, Bradley Guillerm, Mike Constance
PHOTO FROM "The Valley of Homes"
Oaklands First Shopping Center - 1957 - from The Valley of Homes
SHOPPING AROUND TOWN
There was no "real shopping" in Oakland when we lived there.  For groceries, mom would always go to the Grand Union on 202, at least until the A&P opened its doors.  Just about everything else meant a trip to Pompton Lakes or Paramus.
The Hertel family, (neighbors a couple doors down) ran the local Rexall Drug Store.  "The Wardrobe" Men's Clothing store down by the end of Yawpo Ave., was involved in a halloween costume contest that was sponsored by the Oakland Mothers Club in 1962. Lo and behold, I won a prize for "most original" costume!  My picture (unrecognizable in the costume) hung on the wall in the store for years before they closed their doors. 
Click HERE to read the article from "The News" in Wycoff.
PHOTO FROM "The Valley of Homes"
Downtown Oakland New Jersey in 1964, from The Valley of Homes
This view of Oakland is pretty much exactly how I remember it looking when we left.
Remembering Stevie Schneider
Newspaper Headline, boy 10 succumbs in Heart Operation
Just up the street was the Schneider family.  They had two sons, Stevie (Steven) and Norman.  Stevie was 5 or 6 years old in 1962 when I had my 9th birthday.  I remember his mom and vaguely remember him.  Since we weren't the same age, we didn't hang around together.  I remember overhearing my mom talking with Stevie's mom about the "hole in his heart" and of course, being so young, really didn't pay attention.  Four years after we left Oakland, in May of 1967, Stevie died.  Somehow my mom knew of this and told me about it.  This would be the first time in my life that I actually knew somebody who had died. I located Stevie's obituary online in The Bergen Record.  It appeared on May 27, 1967. The article can be viewed by clicking HERE.
The Bowling Alley
I remember people talking about the new bowling alley down on Spruce St., near Sandy Beach and where the Hunt's Circus used to set up.
A friend, Kenny Caldwell (or was it Colwell, don't remember) lived up on Hickory Dr.  Memory tells me that somehow, his family was involved in this new venue for sports in Oakland.
It used to be named Valley Lanes or Valley Bowl. Today it's Holiday Bowl.
Old Newspaper soliciation of funds for new bowling alley in Oakland, New Jersey
It appears it was built with public funding - this from an ad in the local paper.
The Cabbage Pond or Farm??
There was a large pond way back behind the house and over quite a ways towards Long Hill Road.
I think we called it the Cabbage Pond or maybe the Cabbage Farm? It had a name and I simply don't know what it was named as it was.  Nonetheless...
In the winter months, it would freeze over and kids from all around (not just our neighborhood) would go ice skating on this pond.
Old picture, from the web, of group skating on a pond in winter
Not our pond, just a random picture I found that looks a lot like all of us back then.
IT WAS A SIMPLER TIME
even with all of the trials and tribulations we faced in our daily lives
We did things then that we wouldn't think of doing today.  We rode our bikes all over the town, with baseball cards (should have saved them) clattering in the spokes and WITHOUT helmets.  We played in the debris of the Kedzierski's house while under construction and I even stepped on a rusty nail.  We climbed the rock walls and stepped on nests of yellow jackets and got stung so may times we all lost count.  We rode our Flexible Flyer sleds down the middle of the street paying no heed to any cars attempting to maneuver in the snow.   We walked around town shopping and playing without parental supervision and without fear (ours or our parents).  We fished copperhead snakes from the cellar wells at home. We jumped into the river turning a blind eye to whatever animal life might lie in wait.  We went to school in fear of an atomic bomb, not of our classmates shooting one another.
Yes I believe, just as our parents and grandparents may have had similar thoughts as they grew up, it definitely was a simpler time.
And Now It's Christmas 1962
Larry Lachance standing in the window at Christmans in 1962
This time next year (1964), so much will have changed.  As seems par for the course, I don't even remember this Christmas but for the pictures of the day.
Did I know that in 6 short months we would be leaving? Moms says I did but I don't remember. Obviously my 4th grade teacher knew something, at least by the time she completed the last report card.
Oakland was home for 7 years and, "life was good" - at least I think it was. "Real" memories prior to age 10 are "few"; many are "not the best".  The family situation wasn't a TV show with happy endings. We had to move on.
The good, the bad and the ugly were all part of life in Oakland and over many years and because of things that happened in my life, I changed, hopefully for the better.
Larry Lachance in front of decorated Christmas tree in 1962
Time Goes Quickly - Schools Out - Time To Go
MOVING ON
After school was over, about the time the movie "The Great Escape" was released, we packed up the 1957 4-door Mercury (a Marquis) and headed south, all of us, Ann, grandmother May Bussell, Paul, Larry and Trixie (the dog)!
We'd be driving out to the Garden State Parkway, down the NJ Turnpike, across the Delaware Bridge, over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway onto New York Avenue past the Firestone plant, across the 14th Street Bridge to...
...North Arlington, Virginia.
This will be home for the next 5 years...until we are faced with moving again.
Larry and Paul Lachance get in the car to drive to Washington, DC
We only stopped at the Landmark for Hungry Americans!
One has to eat ya know!
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Off the subject but somehow I find it oddly coincidental... I began to compose this page in February 2020, the month that the Corona Virus COVID-19 began to spread around the entire planet.
In February of 1957, a new influenza strain virus (known to virologists as H2N2) emerged in China.  It is estimated that the pandemic of 1957-58 eventually killed at least 1 million people worldwide.
As I work on this web page in voluntary "self-isolation" and in the midst of COVID-19 as it reeks havoc on the world today. I can only hope it goes away fast and history does NOT repeat itself.
More Photos and Postcards
can be found in...
The Oakland Gallery
I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stay Tuned
for the next exciting chapter in...
The Life of Larry!

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Linden, New Jersey
IS IT SAFE? - Based on FBI crime data, Linden is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to New Jersey, Linden has a crime rate that is higher than 91% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes.
According to the EPA, the top producer of waste in New Jersey was the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden, which generated almost half New Jersey's total toxic releases. The largest refinery on the East Coast released 33 chemicals totaling 2.7 million pounds into the air and water.
Bayonne, New Jersey
Housing not so good and crime gets a C+ rating coming in at #7 of 25 on list of safest places in NJ. Surrounded by ports and industry, Bayonne air is polluted with harmful carbon emissions coming from cars, trucks, and ships.  The most pressing issue under local control is the overflow of untreated sewage into surrounding waters.  It’s an image the most people have of the entire state!
The Jet Age
The Jet Age is a period in the history of aviation defined by the advent of aircraft powered by turbine engines, and by the social change this brought about.
What's A Party Line?
Also, if anyone on your party line was using their phone, no one else could make a call—even in an emergency situation. (There were laws that made it mandatory for all parties to hang up if someone announced they had an emergency, but that didn’t mean everyone complied.)
A party line was a local telephone loop circuit that was shared by more than one subscriber. There was no privacy on a party line; if you were conversing with a friend, anyone on your party line could pick up their telephone and listen in.
WPA
(Works Progress Administration)
Perhaps best known for its public works projects, the WPA also sponsored projects in the arts – the agency employed tens of thousands of actors, musicians, writers and other artists.  SOURCE:  history.com
An ambitious employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression.
Over its eight years of existence, the WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work.
 
– according to the New York Times.” (Daily Register, Aug 16, 1956) by 1963 was reported to be the “largest rolling tent show” in America. They stopped travelling sometime in the mid 1960’s.
“The three-ring Hunt Brothers spectacle has been making one-day stands from New York to Maine since 1892 – and from Florida north in more recent years
Hunt Brothers Circus
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