Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Automobile Junk Yard

Just behind Holdrum's garage, setting back about 75 feet, was an automobile junk yard. This ran back toward the river and went from behind the fire house to the shoreline of the then empty lake. This thing probably showed up about 1938 and was there for a few years and for reasons unknown to us it moved to Old Tappan. This junk yard was a great place to spend our constant idle time. We would play in the old Packards, Studebakers, Hudsons, Terraplanes and many other unfamiliar named cars that are now only found in the history books. The place was usually unattended and even when there was someone working there, it was only a hard working guy named Joe. Joe didn't seem to care what we did in the cars. I guess because he knew that they were to be scrapped anyway. It would be a great day when we found a new arrival setting up on a little hill so we could kick it out of gear and then "drive" it down the hill and usually bump into some other wreck...

The picture at left was taken in the mid 1920's. It was taken of my grandfather, John Riedel, walking west on Echo Glen Road with two unidentified friends. The men are about 250 feet west of River Vale Road. All the property, which ran all the way to Rockland Avenue, became farmland and was farmed by my uncle, Harold Riedel.

The picture at right is taken of our favorite swimming hole known as the "clay hole." It was down behind the fire house at a bend in the river. On a weekend afternoon, there could be as many as 20 people swimming in this place, or sitting around on the banks of the cool, clear Hackensack River...

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