- Mailing address:
- When did you come to Mountain Lakes?
I believe we came to Mountain Lakes in 1924 or 1925.
- Where have you lived in the Borough? In which houses?
My Dad first rented a home on Lake Drive opposite Midvale Rd. A year or two later, he bought the home located at 21 Lake Dr., next to the Mt. Lakes Club. It was a small home and it was located on a one-acre lot, the biggest one on the lake. It also had a barn on the lot now gone. We had lots of currant bushes and we made jelly for many years. The home had a huge fireplace in the living room and a large enclosed stone porch on the lakeside giving us the best view of the lake. The builder originally owned the home.
- Where did you go to school?
I went to the Lake Dr. School and to Boonton High School. My brother went to the Mt. Lakes High school and was in the first graduation class consisting of 13 people.
- What are some of your special memories growing up in Mt. Lakes?
There are several special memories, one of which was the many trips to the Tourne for games and picnics. The other memorable place in my life was the Mt. Lakes Club where I worked. The tennis courts were clay. I had to line them every morning and the lime would clog the lining machine and I had to put my arm in the tub up to my elbow to unplug it. I also worked at the Club as a pinsetter. The duck pins would fly away and there was not much room to hide. Also, I had a canoe, which I used for fishing, and when the wind was blowing, I put a large sail on it and would fly, up and down the lake.
- Where did you and your family shop?
We shopped at the family-owned store now called the Mt. Lakes Market, formerly named Yakarinos. There was also a pharmacy and a small ice cream parlor both of which closed down before 1941. I believe a fire destroyed the ice cream parlor.
- Are there any special people you remember who contributed to the life of the town?
The two special people I remember were Mr. & Mrs. Harold Hughes and Mrs. Thompson. They lived side by side on Lake Drive. The Hughes had a tennis court in their back yard and taught me the game which I still play today at the age of 87. Mrs. Thompson’s son was a classmate of mine and he was killed at Pearl Harbor. She was a great bridge player and taught me the game. To this day I still play, and have some master’s points.Bill Clark lived with his parents on Larchdale Way and was one of my best friends. We went to Boonton HS and were called Mutt and Jeff because I was tall and he was so short. Another of my friends was Dave Higgins with whom I am still in contact. We worked together on various projects. A particular one was when we contracted to build an outdoor stone fireplace. I still remember how the cement made our hands raw.
- Did your parents and the parents of your friends work nearby” in New York or elsewhere? How did they get to work? How did commuting change over your time here?
My Dad was Vice President of a Bank in New York and took the train everyday, as did the majority of people living in Mt. Lakes. I know this is not true today. I lived in their home until 1941 when I left for the war.I returned to Mt. Lakes around 1948 or 49. My wife and I bought a home in Diaper Flats (named because we were all young and were producing babies) which was built on Nefie’s Field our old baseball field. Our home was built in right field. My deceased wife, Barbara Schmidt, grew up in Mt. Lakes to, at 333 Boulevard. The Chief of Police at that time was the great Chef Harry Dennis. My brother and myself were volunteers, police officers working on weekends, special events plus one or two nights a month.
- What made living in Mt. Lakes special to you, as you think back over your life here?
I worked in N.Y. and took the train with Dad. We both played bridge on the train. Later on because my job moved uptown to the East side I took the Bus or drove to work. I worked late so I missed the traffic. I lived on Crescent Dr. until my dad died and my family all moved back to 21 Lake Drive, the old homestead. We built a lovely unit over the two-car garage for my mother. My daughters lived in the best town, enjoyed a wonderful social life and the many activities that were available. We had many good parties at our home especially on the Fourth of July where we had a great view of the fireworks. We raised two daughters both went through Mt. Lake Public school. At that time the High School was considered the best in the N.J. area and maybe the best school in the country. 95% of the graduates went on to college, as did both my daughters. They still have friends in Mt. Lakes and have returned a number of times for their class reunions…a great town to bring up your kids. My oldest daughter was married at the Community Church and the reception was held at the Mountain Lakes Club. After the kids left we still lived there until I got a job in Michigan in 1979. Mt Lakes is still the best little town in the USA.