8/27/64-9/10/64

[Posted 4/25]

Among the new teachers reporting for work were Miss Jean Channing, music teacher Robert Diehl, and Art Cotterell.  [Also Ted Stewart, for you fellow Brayton School grads.]  Mr. Cotterell and I had a great chat the other day.  I don’t think he’d mind me saying that his starting salary in those days (after years at Ciba) was $5,100 (plus he received another $200 for being a Veteran).

A record 4,800 students enrolled in Summit schools that September, with Brayton having the largest enrollment among the elementary schools…500.

On the school menu for the high school…with lunch costing 35 cents…were items such as pork jambalaya and “Italian spaghetti with meat sauce.”

An editorial in the Herald noted that back in 1880, it cost $7.91 to educate a child.  In ’64, the national average was $400.

Also back then, the County bought the Nike missile base on the border of Summit and Berkeley Heights for $13,200.  Remember playing there as kids?  It consisted of a number of underground pits, each with about 4,000 square feet, and there was an enlisted men’s barracks.

The base was turned over to a Civil Defense organization to be used for storing supplies (like “radiological instruments”) and some of the land went to the Union County park commission.  The base had been in existence from about 1955-64.

An editorial in the Herald (these were very serious in those days, incidentally, including extensive coverage of national issues) discussed congressional approval for a $29 million research fund to spur scientific research on a non-toxic bug killer.  “The scientist in his laboratory must produce a substance which controls insects without bringing lethal dangers to other living things.”  This was in direct response to Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring.”  But it wasn’t until years later that the DDT trucks stopped going through our neighborhoods, if you’ll recall.  I want to say 1972.

Did you know there was an animal farm back then, with lions, in Gillette?  Phifer’s.

The high school football team’s schedule in ’64 consisted of North Plainfield, Verona, Millburn, Cedar Grove, Berkeley Heights, Madison, Roselle Park, Caldwell and Chatham.  I don’t think New Providence got their school until 1966.  By the way, for those of you no longer in the area, NP’s coach, Frank Bottone, is still the only one they’ve had.

It was reported during this period that there were only 0.48 inches of rain in the month of August.

A city poll showed Summit residents voting for Barry Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson.  No surprise there.

But this was a surprise to yours truly.  I forgot two members of the Summit Y’s program made the U.S. Olympic swim team in ’64…Ginny Duenkel and Sue Pitt.  Duenkel’s main event was the freestyle, and Pitt’s the backstroke.  Duenkel competed in the Olympic trials against Donna deVarona.  The Tokyo Olympics would be held in October.

White Levi’s were in…$6.98 at Tepper’s.  Also, you could get three men’s dress shirts for $10.50.

Lastly, playing at The Strand, “The Night of the Iguana,” starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and Sue Lyon.  “One man…three women…one night.”  Huh.

More May 17.

BT

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