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Andy & Tony Limone
(Interview taped 10/31/1975)
I have lived here 48 years -- I was born here. There were eight children, five boys and three girls. I was the youngest. My father (Jimmy Limone) came here from Union City around the turn of the century. He lived here 65 years. First he lived in a farmhouse where Sagamore Avenue is today. We have lived at 892 Palisade Ave. for 52 years when he started selling retail. Before that we went to the Paterson market. The sons, daughters and Mom all worked on the farm. It was large enough to support a family. We lived good.
When we went to market my brother drove a truck--a model T, then we got a Model A. We went to market every day. We plowed with horses. I remember plowing when I was 12 years old. We never had a tractor, We had a team of horses and they meant more to us than anything. We took good care of them, brushed them down, kept the barn nice and clean.
Yes, my father was very successful. He was a real individual. He lived to be 93. He came to Taaneck from Union City. He first worked on a farm in Brooklyn for $9'a month. He came from Europe when he was 19. He worked on a farm where Fort Hamilton is now. He decided to go on his own and went to Union City--it was Union Hill then. He met my mother there and they were married in a church on Bergen Boulevard. They came to Teaneck on their honeymoon. This is where they settled in the house you see in this picture. He would have loved to tell you about it. He loved Teaneck He gained a lot of friends in this town. He was friendly with everybody.
You say were there any stores--from Garrison Avenue down there was nothing but Woolworth's and Sherwin-Williams. There was a big lot where they used to have carnivals. Palisade Avenue ended about here. There was a cinder road . My dad's sister lived in the house next door. She is 90 and works every day with me.
At first my father farmed 7 acres where Teaneck High school is now. It went down to River Road. Where Lowell School is was part of it. Yes, he needed his children to help him.
We all helped our neighbors. Everyone pitched in. Yes, we still have grapes. The neighbors I remember were just about what you see here. They've been here as long an we have.
I remember Sheffield Farms Dairy. They used to deliver milk with a sled in the winter. The farmers used to take their produce to New York. They'd need an extra team to got up the long hill. That's how George M. Brewster got his start. He had a couple of teams to help wagons up the hill on the way to the ferries. The George Washington Bridge wasn't built in 1927--the year I was born.
There was not much in the way of entertainment. We were entertained in homes. You'd go to see your uncle or your uncles would come to see you. We'd sit under the grape vine drinking and eating and playing games like bocci or horse shoes. That was about the size of the entertainment.
What about churches? There was St. Francis in Hackensack. It was an Italian church where Mom could understand the masses. We went to St. Anastasia's. The little church by the school. I can remember the first school. It was constructed of wood.
The Town Hall and the library were there when I was in school. We swam in the little lake in front of what is now the police station. As kids we went to the dum at the end of Cedar Lane and shot rate with a 22. Target practice. We swam in the Hackensack River. There used to be a beach there. It was a nice life.
What my father said, that was the law. That's what we have gotten away from. We ate what Mom cooked--she could cook special things for eight different children.
We raised a few hogs. My father butchered them in the falls after the cold weather, A pig sticker came around and killed pigs for farmers. My father butchered. Yes, we made blood pudding. Mom made sausage and smoked the salami. We kept it all winter. We didn't eat pork in the summer. We had goats for milk. We didn't have cows. Mom canned tomatoes and everything. In the back yard we had a cellar where we kept beets, cabbage, carrots and celery. I remember I had never seen mashed potatoes--we had them fried and baked, but we didn't have them mashed. We had our own chickens. Each of us had to have a raw egg in the morning. It was hard to get it down. And every week we took a physic. We'd get a little piece of orange. We wanted that.
There were a lot of deer -- plenty of dear in Teaneck where Central--Votee--park is. My brother got a job working in Central Park when they made it.
The neighbors came here because we had a stand. There were quite a few vegetable stands in Teaneck. There was the Green farm east of River Road and Rekow's--that wasn't so long ago.
My two sisters and I used to go through the streets peddling vegetables Mom had fixed up for us. We had a regular route. Sometimes we'd sell out and have to go back. This soil is suited more for vegetables than fruit. You need sandy soil for carrots. We have insects now we never had before. There's a lot of things being imported. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are among 5 states where you couldn't bring geraniums from California because of some kind of disease.
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