Author Archives: rand


Why Maxwell’s?

I could wax poetic its about years of existence, thriving music bookings, and more (and maybe I will someday; at least I worked on the Maxwell’s Wikipedia entry back in 2006), but Lisa & I went there for cocktails last night and there is one aspect of the Maxwell’s experience that I just love to pieces:

There is only one small TV in the whole place. And it’s not easily visible.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who keeps that tradition going.

In 1985, NYC local channel 5 produced a special about “The Hoboken Sound.” I was surprised when owner Steve Fallon asked me what he should do because he didn’t have any TVs in the place. I suggested that for the night the special was being broadcast he fill the place with TVs, which he did.

I believe that after the special finished, the TVs were turned off.

It was a fun night, if I recall correctly.

Love Nest Briefly Active

Catching up on some entries here; I’m both happy and sad to report that the Stevens Love Nest briefly came back to life in early December.

A Complaint

We visited the Navesink Twin-Lights yesterday. Included in one of their displays was a letter of complaint:

Richard Lamb
Civil & Electrical Engineer
One Broadway
New York City
July 26, 1898

Hon. Lyman S. Gage
Secretary U. N. S. Treasury
Washington, D. C.

My dear Sir:-

I own a summer residence on the Navesink Highlands in the rear of the “Twin Lights”. Recently a revolving electric flash light has been put in one of the light-house towers. Its spasmodic flash strikes my house at constant intervals, and the ladies of my home are made nervous and irritated by the ever repeating flash.

There is no occasion for this nuisance, as any light rays outside of an arc of 190 degrees inclusive of the ocean front is of no value to vessels, and the remaining arc of the circle facing the land, can be screened without great expense.

I should be grateful if you would give this matter your personal consideration, as not alone of my home, but a large number of valuable summer homes are depreciated in value by what is universally considered by these property owners, as an insufferable nuisance.

Yours very truly,

Richard Lamb

Then we ate at Bahr’s Landing.

Stevens’ Love Nest

There was a moment in time. Just a brief, fleeting moment, when love was in the air on Sixth Street in Hoboken.

In a small ventilation inset of the Burchard Building – a Stevens Institute of Technology classroom and laboratory building marked “Electrical Engineering. Metallurgy – Physics” – liquid refreshment containers reproduced.

It was signed the Love Nest.

The progenitor was a small Rita’s cup. Left on the ledge for “weeks”, this delightful cup asexually reproduced a Dunkin Donuts cup.

The next day, in an explosion of Pre-Cambrian proportions, a glass bottle, a Wendy’s cup and a Starbucks cup were all produced.

Then, in no quicker a time than it appeared, the Love Nest went extinct.

I miss the Love Nest. Do you?

Dear Internet, please post a photo of Ed’s Glass Works.

The last few years have been interesting, in that I’ve been spending time with guys from the area around Merrick. I grew up there, but moved to Plantation, Florida for my high school years. My leaving before high school pretty much meant that most of my memories are geographically limited to either family locales or places to where I rode my bike. While I spent a lot of time visiting Merrick during my college years in upstate New York, I really haven’t had occasion to pull up a lot of memories regarding Merrick with any guys other than my old pal Dr. Mitch, Rock And Roll Chiropractor. I’ve certainly spent a lot of time with my only two first cousins, who grew up in Merrick, and my sisters, but when I’m with those four gals, memories about Merrick don’t come up often. We’re more in The Now.

Recently, thanks to my sister re-kindling a college era romance with a guy she knew in high school, and my meeting some guys in my travels for the Jack Kirby Museum, I’ve been having some fun talking about Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore, East Meadow, Uniondale, Roosevelt and Freeport. (Modell’s in East Meadow is a favorite subject of mine. Although related, it wasn’t just a sporting goods store. Oh, no, it was not just a sporting goods store.)

So last night I’m on Facebook, when Keith, a pal who’s writing about the history of comic books, starts a chat with me to ask about the on sale month of Jack Kirby and Steve Gerber’s Destroyer Duck 1. I cite Chrissie Harper’s Kirby Timeline, and then, knowing Keith grew up in Bellmore, I start throwing some memes at him. Mostly items related to riding my bike (with Mitch, usually) and buying comic books. Keith mentions one place, The Book Stop on East Meadow Ave., which prompts me to ask him if he remembers Ed’s Glass Works. Well, everyone who I suspect remembers Ed’s Glass Works remembers it. Ed’s Glass Works was hilarious.

Ed’s Glass Works was a commercial enterprise on East Meadow Avenue. We didn’t drive much on the section of that street, but we did drive along Prospect Avenue, and, at times, would turn onto East Meadow Avenue, but in a direction away from Ed’s Glass Works.

Didn’t matter – Ed’s Glass Works’ sign was visible from the intersection.

And who knows how many times, some prankster would paint over the GL in the name.

Keith’s response: “I sure hope it does.”

Some other lines from the past: “Thank goodness,” and “I guess the surgery was a success.”

While Keith and I are yukking it up, I start searching. Very few mentions of “Ed’s Glass Works” and none of “Ed’s Ass Works”

No photos.

This must change. Please help. Reach out.

A photo of Ed’s Ass Works must exist somewhere, “I sure hope it does.”

PS. Ed’s Glass Works is long gone, but fittingly, an enterprise called Hi-Tech Signs is there now. Hah!

I want that hat back

Schreiber – Hoppes in Maine

I remember my Dad’s hat. For some reason I’m thinking we had two of them – a Father & Son pair? Not sure. Click on the image for more info.

The Gold Room

When I was a kid, my mom’s mom worked at the Gertz Department Store at Mid-Island Plaza (now Broadway Mall) a few blocks away from her house in Hicksville, New York. Good thing the mall was so close, as Florence didn’t drive.

She worked in The Gold Room, where ladies’ gowns were sold. I’ve always had the impression Nanny was very good at her job. She worked there for years.

Among my memories of Nanny’s working in the Gold Room are the Clorets gum she always had at hand. I suppose she’d pop one in to freshen her breath at appropriate times. Clorets was an interesting brand, because it was initially sold during a “chlorophyll will freshen your breath” phase of the American market, which, according to quick web search, was in 1951. I used to conflate chlorophyll with chloroform, which appeared in entertainment media poured onto a cloth to hold over someone’s mouth and nose to make them pass out. It was confusing to this kid as to why that stuff would be in a gum.

Clorets' current packaging.

Sold as a hard shell covered chiclet, well, like Chiclets, in a Chiclets-like flat box that would rattle when Nan would offer them to us kids on occasion; these Clorets weren’t a candy. She treated them like they were a tool needed for her job helping ladies buy gowns.

Another memory related to her job was what were called the “smelly cards.” These were promotional postcards doused with perfume. Nan would have some of these at her house, wrapped in plastic, I believe. My sisters and I enjoyed giving them a whiff, comparing the different products. Did Nan dab herself with a card at the store as an inexpensive way to smell like the fragrance du jour?

So one day a while back, I’m replacing a wheel on the cedar chest I inherited from Nanny, and stuck underneath is a postcard I immediately recognized as one of the “smelly cards.”

Worth Parfum Je Reviens postcard

Worth Parfum Je Reviens postcard reverse

The card must have been lodged under that chest for twenty five years. I like the drawing, and wonder who drew it.

“It’s the Fourth, let’s have a fifth.”

Dolly lights a candle.

My dad’s mom was a pip. She loved to laugh, party, drink, sing.

Look at that picture above. Just look at it.

The gloves. The hat. The beard. The apron.

Look at her son Will’s face, reflecting a lifetime of bemusement at his mother’s antics.

Her daughter Claire passed along a Dolly quote regarding the Fourth of July, which is the title of this, my inaugural blog entry.

I can’t guarantee I’ll have a fifth today, but I will laugh, party, drink and if I’m lucky, sing. Who’s with me?