If there was a "center of town" in River Vale, it would've had to be the four corners. There was a gas station, owned by William Blauvelt ("Bo"), a tavern named Grummans or Germanns and a general store owned by Ed and Elsie Peters. In the early '30's there was a butcher store somewhere in there that was run by one of the Artz family. Fred, I think.
Peter's store was the most memorable in town because it was a place where you had to stop every day on the way home from school and if you arranged your lunch money (15 cents) carefully you would have a nickel with which to buy a delightful Mrs. Wagner's cherry pie. It seemed as though Mr. Peters spent his entire life in that store. He was always somewhere behind the counter when you would walk in.
There was also a soda fountain in the front of the store where you could get an ice cream cone or something nice like that. The Peters family were certainly a pleasant part of our town and well thought of. In that store was the only public phone that I can remember. You would pick up the phone, hear "number, please?" give the operator the number, deposit your nickel and the operator would complete the call for you.