Photo Cullen – Upper Montclair

January 25, 2022 § Leave a comment

The following appeared in a local paper (The Montclair Times) in reference to the rehabilitation of 574 Valley Road in Upper Montclair, NJ.

For years the big building at 574 Valley Road, Upper Montclair was a storehouse for a TV and Radio Co. and looked quite unattractive and neglected. In 1965, however, things began happening – the building underwent a metamorphosis under the skillful hand of Dereck Kipp, Upper Montclair architect. A good-looking back Plaza entrance was cut through with new stairways showing through glass walls and on both sides of the back entrance a pretty shop was made ready for occupancy. Up front on the Valley Road side an extension with great windows on three sides was built. The new owners must love light because other windows were cut in all over the building. A side door appeared which led to office space on the second floor. The ugly, non-descript outside color disappeared and the soft green with white trim which replaced it made the building an outstanding one. Photo Cullen, an excellent photographic center, had come to town!

The name of Cullen as a photography shop is an old one in Montclair. Originally started in Newark in 1882, the business was moved to Bloomfield Ave., in Montclair in 1920. Here it stayed under Mr. George Cullen, son of the original owner, until 1959 when Mr. Elvin Hallander purchased it from George Cullen. Mr. Hallander, who had been in the air-conditioning business all his life and was tired of the constant strain and moving about the country decided to follow his avocation-photography-in his home state. He was glad of the opportunity to buy the Cullen business.

In 1962 the Hallanders saw that the present Upper Montclair site was for sale and they purchased it but did not start making the aforementioned changes until 1965. In March, 1966 they moved in. It is known as The Hallander Building and houses The Record Rack, and The Book Corner as well as many business offices and their own shop.

The Photo Cullen shop is most attractive-lovely blue walls combined with walnut wood. Wall-to-wall carpeting, handsome cases and shelving, filled with cameras and other photographic supplies, make it an exciting store to visit. Mrs. Hallander tells me that they have a full line of equipment, most of which is neatly stored back of the scenes. Following the sad and untimely death of her husband, this fine lady is carrying the business on “as he wanted it”. She is President of the organization and her son is Vice-President. With the exception of their Manager all of their helpers are Upper Montclair people.

Mrs. Hallander is civic-minded and is especially interested in promoting Upper Montclair and its fine shops. She, the Hallander Building and Photo Cullen are an asset to our Town and we wish her well.

Pretty sure the author misunderstood my Grandmother when she gave some of the details. My Grandfather was an Engineering and Wharton Business graduate who oversaw his Father’s family business, Star Electric Motor company, Newark, and then Bloomfield before selling that business after his father died to help set up his mother for her final years. Besides supporting the war effort, my Grandfather oversaw the expansion of the business into the infrastructure side of the Dry Cleaning business where SEC manufactured equipment. His subsequent cancer is probably related to his work in this part of SEC’s business. He did work in Air-Conditioning moving to La Crosse Wisconsin to either lead, or be part of the leading team at Trane, an emerging name in that business, but left a few years later to lead another company in Anderson Indiana. The sale of Star did not go over well with the “Other” Hollanders here in North Jersey, hence the skedaddle off to Wisconsin, but by the mid fifties the realization that Elvin had done the “right” thing settled in and they wanted to get back to Jersey where their roots lay.

The Hallander Building Today from Valley Road.

The Hallander Building Today from the rear plaza.

Published Montclair Times

Two Beds Become One – A Penn State Story Part III

February 22, 2018 § 2 Comments

Halloween, 1982 was coming, and we had at least two parties to attend to. If you have been reading parts I and II, then you know that we usually partied at Steve’s or Susan’s brother’s place. Steve’s place usually on a Friday or Saturday, and we usually caught the television show “Cheers” over at Marty’s place every Thursday. In 1982 official Halloween was Monday, but no self-respecting college kids are going to wait till then, so Saturday night was the night for Parties, and both Marty, and Steve were hosting that night.

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A Platonic Relationship – A Penn State Story Part II

February 20, 2018 § 1 Comment

To recap, through both procrastination, and stalking, I secured temporary living quarters for the Fall Term 1982, with a young woman, Susan, in a space where the only privacy that could be achieved was in the bathroom.

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Can I Live With You? A Penn State Story – Part I

February 18, 2018 § 2 Comments

It was Summer 1982. In fact it was August, and my second year of Graduate school would begin in a matter of weeks. When I departed State College in May, I was a graduate student in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. They had been kind enough to grant me the privilege of not leaving Penn State when I had finished my undergraduate degree the previous December. “Well, we have money to support you as a grad student and you can teach Engineering Mechanics to a new class of undergraduates while you take time to meet with professors and see what you want to do.” In case you didn’t read that correctly, let me re-phrase it. I went in there and cried like a baby that I didn’t want to leave college yet, and they said “No Problemo”, and not only did they say that, but they also said, “And we will pay your tuition, and give a monthly stipend so you can continue to be a college bum!”. What a deal!

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In Search of Pliney The Elder

November 22, 2017 § Leave a comment

I can’t recall when I first heard about this beer. It may have been a review I read, or it could have been my friend Christopher Tucker who texted me a query about it. When I googled the beer and got an image label, I felt like I had seen this once before but had ignored it. I am not swearing on this, but visiting Austin a number of years back, I feel like bottles of this were in the glass front fridge that I could see, and that label did stick out in its simplicity. Why I didn’t pursue, I cannot guess. My loss.

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Pardon Me, Excuse Me, Move it Over Please. Alcatraz

November 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

George Carlin’s “Class Clown” was one of my first albums. This wasn’t long after George made the jump from traditional straight-up suit wearing comedian to counter-culture long haired comedian. I played this album so many times, and many of those times with my friend Chris. There is a segment titled “Muhammad Ali” that takes a poke at the cleaned up white washed version of American History. The last portion of this concerns Native Americans and goes like this

We really gave the Indians a fast trip across the continent, you notice that? They were having a little cookout in Massachusetts- buncha boats came up, man…”Hey, ya mind moving over, guys? Bring in the stuff. Would you move it over, man. Bring in the stuff. Would you move it over, man. Bring in the stuff. Would you move it over, man. Over three mountain ranges…four mountain ranges. Got ’em onto an offshore island, Alcatraz, right? Off the continent completely! They had to take the island to get it! Then we kicked them off there.

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My Friend Loh-Ping Ying

March 11, 2017 § 4 Comments

At the time, I was working for Abe Osovsky in Yee Lee’s department. I had transferred over there from my old department where I had been developing test tools, but didn’t feel much like a tester. I wanted to do development work, but by the time I actually moved into Abe’s group, the project I had interviewed for was well past available, and someone else was working it. After a couple of months of trying to invent something for me to do, I was asked about a new project in Peter Ting’s group where a small group of people were just getting started.

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Tony’s Sub Shack

February 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

While I was writing my last post, I mentioned a summer at Penn State when I started working for Tony Fabri who ran Tony’s Sub Shack on College Avenue. All these years later, that time in my life was such a strange time. When my girls were growing up, if they had ever come to me and asked, “Dad? Have you ever broken the law, or have you ever worked for a real dirtbag?”, I would have lied and said, “Of course not! Dirtbag? Moi work for a dirtbag? Where did you ever get such an idea?”

Today, however if they asked the same question, then of course I would tell them the truth. I did work for a dirt bag, and his name was Tony Fabri .

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