Monday, January 30, 2012

7th Grade in Kinnelon: Herb Fisher Remembers

Kinnelon 7th Grade field trip to Newark Airport early 60s - Herb Fisher
Kinnelon 7th Grade field trip to Newark Airport early 60s - Herb Fisher

In addition to favorite Kinnelon teachers, what were your favorite school activities or field trips? Herb Fisher forwarded this amazing photo and the following:

This does not qualify as a tradition in Kinnelon grade school,.... but it should.

This is a memory or more accurately, a " fossil" in the history of Stonybrook school, early 60s. 

Peter Matthews was our 7th grade teacher. He was the greatest teachers I ever had. I have tried to find him via the Internet, with no success, maybe he is no longer with us.

NOTE: Doris Cameron was our 3rd grade teacher in the old Keil Avenue firehouse (that is where our classroom was in 1958) and she was on a scale of one to ten....10.50.  Matthews was a 10.51.... these were unreal educators. Heck, I am now 63, but remember and love both.

Getting back to Matthews.... he organized a Shakespeare Festival in which we all had parts. I can remember my lines plus I played my trumpet at certain points.  "all the world's a stage and the men and women are only players"....."but light what yonder window breaks, it is the east and Juliet is the sun, arise fair sun and kill the envious moon who is already sick and pale with grief"....  I could go on.....question do I remember this stuff after 5+ decades?  GREAT TEACHERS!!!

Attached picture, far left Peter Matthews, field trip my Dad arranged at Newark Airport.

No classroom chairs like Emma earned; had a chair like that but my Jenny (daughter) grabbed it and  it was in her apartment at Texas Tech many years ago.


Thanks, HOF!

What do you remember about your favorite teachers and what they exposed you to?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

3rd Grade in Kinnelon: Kim Vawter Remembers

3rd Grade in Kinnelon: Kim Vawter Remembers
'Grandpa', Tegan and Tanker in Kim's favorite chair
What are your favorite memories of 3rd Grade?

In response to Emma's story about Star of the Week in the Papasan Chair: Emma's 3rd Grade Tradition, former Kinnelon resident Kim Vawter - who shared Smoke Rise Relic: Car Badge - wrote the following about her 3rd Grade experience at Kiel School:


  I remember my third grad teacher. Her name was Miss Galloway. She was the most beautiful and glamorous person I ever knew. She wore her dark hair in a "Bubble Cut" like Jackie Kennedy. She let us hug her when we came in and hug her when we left to get on the bus. She was the first person in Kinnelon to wear the fashionable "sack" dress when everyone was wearing "shirtwaist" dresses. When she got married, she invited the whole class to the church to see her get married. I went with my mother. It was the most beautiful wedding that I ever saw not on T. V. 

  I remember that in 3rd grade I had my first "crush" on one of the boys. Of course, boys were mostly icky. He was icky too but I remembered that I thought he was cute. His name was Michael and he was blonde. In third grade, I got mostly all "A's" and school was fun. I loved to be called the class "monitor" and I got to clap the erasers together to get rid of the chalk dust. This was a real privilege to be able to do this!

  I am sorry that I can no longer remember her married name because all the third graders from Kiel School went on to Stonybrook school where we joined the 4th-6th grades in that building. Later, the big Kinnelon High School was built to accommodate the 7th- 12th grade until the Pearl Miller Middle school was built.

    I enjoyed your story about the Papasan Chair. It looks very comfortable and special. I just purchased a little child's chair for a Christmas present today. It is still in the box in back of my van. I think everyone should have one great wonderful chair in their life for their very own. Here is a picture of mine with "Grandpa" and my grand daughter, Tegan, and my dog, Tanker.


Thanks, Kim! Miss Galloway sounds pretty special.

I'd love to hear more stories about favorite Kinnelon teachers. Who were they and what do you remember best about them?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kinnelon's Untermeyer Estate Before 287

Stairwell 2
Photo taken 2007. For additional perspective, read the
comments on Stairwell 2 on Flickr

In October 2011, I received an email from Tom Cerullo who, after reading Kinnelon Castle aka the Untermeyer Estate shared with me his memories of that property based on hiking in the days before 287 existed.

Tom writes,

Hi Christine,

In your article you said that the estate was torn down and carted off. I'm not sure it was 1968 that the home burned because I was in the tower that year and it was still up until, I want to say, 1978-ish. The home had charred boards, but the glass hot houses still had flowers in them and the field in front of it still had ornamental bushes and flowers growing there. The driveway was pitted badly in 3 to 5 foot sections. The boat house was occupied by the caretakers.

I hiked from Lincoln Park up to the Untermeyer Estate 3 or four times. I used to park my car at the end of Mountain Ave. in Pompton Plains and hike up about once a year until 287 was completed and it cut my hiking paths out. It wasn't the same. I hiked those mountains with my buddy and my two dogs for 25 years. 3 times a week for the first 10. Then once a week after that and we occasionally would walk to the estate. After 287 we hiked in Jefferson and Silas Condit.

Thanks for the article. I wanted to show my friends up here in CNY the places I used to hike.

In a followup message, Tom added:

The rumors at that time, in the early 70s, were that someone was murdered there, it had been a speakeasy and the ghost of a little girl was haunting the home. Glad you set it straight as to who owned it. 

There were two hot houses perpendicular to the home off to the left of the west side driveway. Beautiful flowers outside in the field in front of them, and some inside. It looked like it was not used in a long time. The field of flowers was about 1/2 acre. The stone walled path led up to the home past the drive. It must have been beautiful. 

 There was a root cellar carved into the mountain next to the house with a thick wooden door with a circular top. (There were mason jars inside. Also mason jars in the basement.) There was a cistern well NE of the house. And of course the tower.


Thanks, Tom! I can just imagine hot house flowers growing and love that you found a root cellar carved into the mountain... Kinnelon must have been quite different before 287 was built.

What do you remember about the days before 287? What was Kinnelon like?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Taking Care of Your Computer for Free -- Talk at the Kinnelon Library this Thur., Jan. 19 7:00 PM

Taking Care of Your Computer for Free -- Talk at the Kinnelon Library this Thur., Jan. 19 7:00 PM
It needs a little love!

I will be giving my 2nd talk at the Kinnelon Library this Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 PM, which is the first of 3 such talks a month apart, on the subject of taking care of your Windows PC, new or old, with special attention in Part 1 to:

Free Software to Disinfect Your Computer including :

1) What to do when you first notice that you have an infected machine.

2) What are Restore and Recover and why you should care

The free software includes Malwarebytes'  and Spybot's  free programs which you can download and install from these links.

I cannot over-stress the importance of acting quickly if you think you have such a problem, so whatever you decide to do, pursue disinfection yourself, or have someone do it for you, do it right away. 

How to Surf Safely -- Howto explore the internet without getting infected, or having your identity stolen:

1) How to know if a website or download is safe

2) When to say Yes and when to say No

Ask Your Questions and Solve Your Problems --"Open Mike" -- Questions such as

1) Is my machine too old? When do I need a new machine?

2) What is the best Free On-Line Backup?

3) Why does my computer ... ?

4) If you have a laptop with a problem, bring it along and we'll take a quick look.

5) Questions and on-the-spot diagnosis will be limited by the time available!!!

All of you Kinnelon and North Jersey people, and everybody else, are welcome to come.

Call the Kinnelon Library at 973 838 1231 and reserve a spot.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you previous attendees (from last summer), and all of you new people

See you there!


PS: This talk pertains to PCs running Windows 7, Vista and XP

Photo Credit:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hamilton College's Duelly Noted at OLM in Kinnelon

Hamilton College's Duelly Noted at OLM in Kinnelon
Emma and I were in for a real treat last weekend when we experienced an a Cappella Concert at Kinnelon's Our Lady of the Magnificat [OLM] performed by Hamilton College's newest and finest, Duelly Noted, in the final performance of their winter tour on January 7, 2012 at 7:30pm.

Thanks to Kinnelon's Mackenzie Leavenworth '15 - now a member of Duelly Noted, we are on the map for this co-ed a cappella group. [Michael Pierce informed me that they would be back in 2013. Mark your calendars!]

During this performance, we heard everything from the Little Mermaid to Thriller to Zombie Jamboree and Can You Feel the Love Tonight. [We did not hear Bohemian Rhapsody, but you can imagine...]

You can find more Duelly Noted performances on YouTube, including Down to the River to Pray.

Hamilton College's Duelly Noted at OLM in Kinnelon - 3

You can also follow Duelly Noted on Twitter, like them on Facebook and even buy their music!

In the meantime, I hope you'll listen in and save the date for next year when Duelly Noted and Mackenzie Leavenworth return to OLM for another performance.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pilates at the Kinnelon Library

Pilates at Kinnelon Library

Introductory Pilates with Dee Schneider
 6 sessions
January 10 – February 14 @9.30am
 Please call Kinnelon Library to sign up: 973 838 1321


Saturday, January 7, 2012

What Was Your Kinnelon Treehouse Like?

Herb Fisher's Smoke Rise Tree House
HOF in his tree house

My earlier article titled Treehouse Thoughts - Inspired by OLM's 50th Anniversary Picnic has generated great emails about favorite trees, climbing adventures and tree houses. Thank you!

Special kudos go to Herb Fisher for finding this photo of his treehouse from when he was a kid and for sharing the following:

Hey CB,

This is the only picture I have and it was taken by Emily (Mom). Did we climb trees?.......silly question! Most the time it was.... who dared to climb the highest, or the tallest tree we could find.

Not sure how old I am in this picture....maybe 10. No custom/factory made STUFF for us back then....  We gathered scrap wood from all the houses being built, also cut down small trees (with hand saws, I have a scar on my right thumb when I sawed off the thumbnail), using trunks for floor bracing and railings. 

In this picture, the Tower would be about 250 yards up the Mountain from my left shoulder.

All of us were "Lean and Mean" growing up in the 50s and 60s in Smoke Rise. No fatties would survive. No cable TV, no internet, no video games... just Imagination and Effort. Unlike today's society.

Heck, just walking up and down Mountain Road four or five times a week beats the heck out of all the exercise machines today.


As a kid in the mid 60s in McLean, Virginia, I remember using rocks to hammer rusty nails into what must have been the wood crate used to ship our belongings from overseas. That's what I created my fort with. Despite not being in the trees, it was impregnable! No pirate, bandit or parent could get by and surprise us.

What was your tree house like? What were your adventures?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Shannachie, David MacCaffrey, Tells Tales at Kinnelon Library

David MacCaffrey, The Shannachie of Glendunbunn Ballybegg
Happy New Year 2012!

I bring you news about one of the first Kinnelon Library events of the year: Traditional Irish Storytelling on Sunday, January 15th, 2012 at 3pm.

The event title itself - "David MacCaffrey, The Shannachie of Glendunbunn Ballybegg" - is enough to give you a taste of what's ahead... especially when you realize that Shannachie is the Gaelic word for storyteller.

David Emerson, from History on the Hoof, brings to life the character of David MacCaffrey, the storyteller of Glendunbunn Ballybegg.

More specifically,

"The wit and wisdom, humor and horror, hubris and humanity of a people are found in their traditional stories. Compelling storyteller David Emerson retells (and embroiders) the colorful and ancient tales of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall in a presentation that will "warm, tickle, or chill the heart."

From the History of the Hoof website, I learned that David Emerson played George Washington in New Jersey Network's "Ten Crucial Days" and appeared as Sergeant Matthew Smith in Light A Candle Films' "Battle of Bunker Hill" (2009) [note chap in the green coat and the striped waistcoat with the New England dialect].

Don't wait to sign up for this entertaining storytelling event. Please call the Kinnelon Library at 973 838 1321.

Note: The program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the NJ Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities
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