David E. French
- Mailing address:
Hampton Falls, NH 03844
- When and where were you born?
Born in Mountainside Hospital, Montclair, NJ, Oct 24, 1940.
- When did you come to Mountain Lakes?
1977-1981, and 1985-86 (rented home while living abroad until sold in 1992).
- Tell us something about your family did your parents also live here?
We moved into Mountain Lakes on the recommendation of college classmate John Walters, in 1977, moving from the Republic of Singapore. My parents were still living in Montclair.
- Where have you lived in the Borough? In which houses?
We lived at 29 Pollard Road with our three children; Elizabeth, Allison and Sarah, all now married and with children of their own.
- What do you remember particularly about the houses and properties where you lived?
The lots were manageable, and not too close to one another, offering both privacy yet easy access to the other houses in the neighborhood, and to The Cove where we kept our sunfish anchored and ready for the sailboat races.
- What are some of your special memories growing up in Mountain Lakes?
NA for my wife Bonnie and me, but the kids at first found some early cultural shock moving back to live year round in the USA after living for some years since birth overseas. However they quickly were accepted into Mountain Lakes “society.”
- Where did you go to school? What particular memories do you have from your school years? Are there any special stories you associate with that time of your life?
I was elected to the ML school board, but had to resign in mid term due to being reassigned to an overseas position once again, this time in Germany.
- Where did you and your family shop?
Dell’s Village, mostly, with Home Depot and the Rte 46 Hardware Store close seconds as we needed to upgrade the Fixer-upper that we bought in 1977.
- What were the roads and the lakes like?
Pollard Road was mostly concrete, but soon got dug up with the sewering project and the installation of gas lines, for which we were very grateful. Our septic was on the verge of failure, and the sewer project rectified this. The gas lines came in just in time as the prices of oil spiked pretty high.We also used that period to insulate the house, which paid for itself quickly, as well as the new gas furnace in saved energy costs.
- Are there any special people you remember who contributed to the life of the town? Why do they stand out in your mind?
George and Marge Jackson were and still are very close friends, as well as Jim Moody. Bob and Baiba Gowen, John and Nancy Walters, Hop and Carol Rufener, Bill and Sally Elliott.
- What did you do for fun formal recreation, sports and entertainment in general?
Bonnie and I were finalists in the town tennis tournament one year. We went tobogganing and skiing in the area, jogging throughout the town, and loved the boating and especially the swimming meets in which our kids were active participants.
- 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?
I worked in Wayne, which was an easy commute. Occasionally I would either take the bus or train into the city. Catching them was only a walk away.
- How did various laws affect the way people lived?
No special comments.
- Did you have a sense of Mountain Lakes as a unique place in its lifestyle, its homes, as a community?
Wonderful community, with a great pastor at the UCC Church, in which Bonnie and I both participated as choir members. We haven’t yet found a new church “home” with which to compare that experience.
- How did the world’s events — World War I, the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the assassination of JFK, Viet Nam, Watergate, etc. — affect you and fellow Mountain Lakes residents when you were growing up?
We were living abroad during all of these events that took place during our adult lifetimes, so we had a somewhat different perspective discussing them with contemporaries when we moved to Mountain Lakes. Conversely, it was difficult for us to participate in discussions about the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, etc. since there was little news coverage about this in Europe and Asia.
- What made living in Mountain Lakes special to you, as you think back over your life here?
I think I’ve characterized my remarks in answer to the above questions. In short, it was a great place and time to be in Mountain Lakes, and we were fortunate to find the community so receptive to us when we moved in.