Meta Ann Hodson Clarke
- Mailing address:
San Jose, Ca.
- When and where were you born?
New York City, NY, 1942
- When did you come to Mountain Lakes?
- Tell us something about your family. Did your parents also live here?
My family (parents Harriet and Brooke Hodson, brother and sister Skip and Hope) moved to Mountain Lakes when I started 8th grade.
- Where have you lived in the Borough? In which houses?
We lived at 116 Pollard Rd. for two years and then at 34 Briarcliff Rd. I was married in 1963 and my family moved away the next year.
- What do you remember particularly about the houses and properties where you lived?
My parents bought the Pollard Rd. house because they had fallen in love with Mountain Lakes and couldn’t find anything larger they could afford. I gather that house has subsequently been completely rebuilt and enlarged. Then they found the Briarcliff Road house which fitted us better. My wedding reception was held in the backyard. The neighbors adjoining us at the back had a beautiful backyard and garden. They shared their gardener with us that summer as my wedding present. My brother and sister have been by the house recently and report that it doesn’t look cared for. How sad! My mother loved it so.
- What are some of your special memories growing up in Mountain Lakes?
We all loved the beaches and water.
- Where did you go to school?
I attended Mountain Lakes schools from 8th grade through high school. We started our senior year in the “new” high school and were its first graduating class.
- What particular memories do you have from your school years?
The schools were excellent then and now and a great preparation for a competitive college (Duke, in my case.) Teachers (Mr. McDowell and Mr. Davidowski) challenged me!
- Are there any special stories you associate with that time of your life?
Not really…just normal teen-age stuff.
- Where did you and your family shop?
I don’t remember the names, but a smaller market on the way to Boonton and later supermarkets out on Route 46.
- What were the roads and the lakes like?
Roads were winding and treed. The lakes were beautiful (of course!)
- Are there any special people you remember who contributed to the life of the town? Why do they stand out in your mind?
I remember the police officer (Officer Castelucci) who was something of the bane of existence to high school kids.
- What did you do for fun formal recreation, sports and entertainment in general?
Swimming, boating, ice skating in winter.
- Are there any special events that stand out in your mind?
Our wedding, high school basketball games. Prior to my father’s death, my parents moved back to Morristown. His memorial service was at St. Peter’s where my wedding was celebrated. That also provided the opportunity to show my children where I had lived.
- 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 father drove to New York with a carpool It was a great vacation treat to go in with them.
- How did various laws affect the way people lived?
I can’t think of anything. It was the complacent 1950’s.
- Did you have a sense of Mountain Lakes as a unique place in its lifestyle, its homes, as a community?
Yes, I moved to Mountain Lakes from Montclair. My parents’ concern was to provide a private school level education for us that they couldn’t afford otherwise. Thus, I both knew how priveledged I was and missed the more diverse community I had left.
- 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?
Through the period I lived in Mountain Lakes I was reasonably unaffected by the world outside of friends and family.
- What made living in Mountain Lakes special to you, as you think back over your life here?
My parents had close friends who lasted a lifetime. That enhanced my own sense of security. The other lasting influence was the quality of the educational preparation.