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Saturday, February 28, 2015


I have been writing for the local press for 31 years. Basically, I retell the story of growing up in a relatively poor family and how we and MANY families during the era of the Great Depression and a few year after struggled to "make ends meet." Those 30 plus years are a testament not to my personal talents as a writer, but rather a testament to the fact that most people, young and old alike are interesting in things past. The April meeting of the Hamilton Historical Society will be devoted to NOSTALGIA. Above is an example of the nostalgic subjects I often write about. Naturally, the older (or should I say more mature) the reader, the more the content will be quite relevant.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Photo Shop has little deeply hidden nuances that I have been learning day by day, week by week, and year by year,. Here is an example of an extract from the Duke University Digital Collection that zeroes in on the 3 "five and dimes" that once were anchor stores in downtown Trenton. This was the Trenton of my youth. The Trenton where Mom Glover took me when she went "up town" to pay the Public Service electric bill and do shopping. It was the Trenton where 3 years later, young Tom Glover would pull up to the curb on the left, behind that Trenton Transit bus and wait for his lovely fiance Judy Britton to exit Yard's Department Store at 9:00 O'clock on a Thursday night,. Precious memories. There would also have been officer Chet Hughes directing traffic at that intersection, looking the other way as he recognized my 1941 DeSoto parked along the curb for only a few minutes.


These graphics bring back crystal clear memories of that wonderful media known as "broadcast radio" which was a very necessary part of every family back during the 20's through the 1950's. The engraving above shows a typical 1930's family gathered around the radio.
My interest in radio is with me even up to today as I have assembled a vast collection of "OTR" as in "old time radio" transcriptions which have been converted to a medium that lets me listen to those old time episodes of "Superman," "Terry and the Pirates," and countless other programs in my digital collection. At the present time I am listening to "The Ave Maria" hour which was a network program presented by the Greymoor Fathers in upstate New York It is a multi episode transcription on the life of Jesus and I listen to it every night as I am slowly slipping off to sleep.

As to the lower photos, those are the two radio receives I used during my clandestine cloak and dagger mission with the Army Security Agency back in the 1950's when I was stationed first in Germany, then down to Northern Italy where I evesdropped.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Many of us in the over 60 age group remember the fabled, late, great N.J. State Fair which was located on Nottingham Way in the area of today's "Fairgrounds Mall"  and the Grounds for Sculpture. This area is one of the more historically interesting areas in Hamilton. Originally the site of the old N.J. Agricultural Fair, then the home of the Henry N. Smith "Fashion Stud Farm" along with Charles Fulkert's historic "Bromley Inn," this area was alive with many activities back in the last half of the 19th century. The graphics represent very early N.J. State Fair historic documents. The fair was popularly known back in the early 20th century as "The Interstate Fair."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015



I have always had an interest in the ethnic makeup of early Trenton as the Irish, Jewish, German, English, Hungarian and various other immigrants came to America to find a better way of life. My Irish, Italian and Jewish folders are being added to an a regular basis. I recently heard from Mr.Ron Schnur who referred to a column I wrote a while back wherein I mentioned Mr. Aaron Schnur's department store that was once located on South Olden and Hamilton Avenue where today's Dunkin' Donuts is located. Mr. Schnur was a kindly man and I remember my mom taking me there many Septembers to be outfitted for school with a new pair of "cancellation" shoes which were lifesavers for us poor folks.


The black and white graphic at the top of this graphic is going to appear in this weekend Trenton Times on Friday, Saturday Sunday. It will announce the beginning of the 2015 season of the Hamilton Township Historical Society. Those who weren't around during the war will learn about blackouts, air raid shelters, rationing, Air raid warnings, Air raid Wardens and many other incidents that were all a part of World War II on the "Home Front." My fellow baritone Jack Pyrah from the HHS class of 1950  and I will sing a few of the songs that were popular during a period when music was a very important part of life.Those who were around will recall many of the frightening incidents surrounding the early war news. I hope to see many of my computer social media folks to this free program. As to the photo accompanying the Times ad, it was a scary photo to see in the newspaper as the Trenton Times sent a photographer to the Trenton - Morrisville bridge showing a guard being relieved and being replaced by another for 24 hour guard duty. This photo was taken only a few days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and was quite disturbing to Americans during the first weeks of the war.


Don't you just love these vintage photos of the Trenton that used to be? Here is still another re-formatted, zoomed and extracted pic of a very busy West State Street looking west as it was on a lively day in 1946. There's the legendary "Savoy" restaurant and.......well, I'll let you pick out some of your more memorable merchants. These photos are also being posted on Facebook, but they can only be enlarged to their fullest here at "Local History with a Personal Touch!"


These two graphics will warm the heart of most dyed in the wool Chambersburg residents. The upper photo is an extracted/zoomed and segmented photo. Note the "huckster" with his cart full of produce. Note also the the building in the upper photo has the ad for the Italian newspaper painted on the side. Move up to the year 2015 where I "Google Earthed" the intersection. Of course, the Italian sign is long gone in this year of 2015, but computer graphics allows me to put it right back where it was originally located!

Monday, February 23, 2015


This post touched me so deeply that I took a very long time converting it from its original position on Facebook and present it here for my many fellow animal lovers and believers in what I call spiritual intervention.

Freedom and Jeff 
(Jeff Guidry is a volunteer at the Sarvey Wildlife Center in Arlington, Washington.)
          Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.  She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.  Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She's my baby. When Freedom came in, she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet's office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in.
          I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.
          She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I
couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then.
          That was a very good day. We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started
doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in
the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.
          In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good
enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.
          Fast forward to November 2000.  The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup.  I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone. So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went
out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to
where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird. 
          On a side note:  I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was
terminal come up to us and I let him hold her.  His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that. I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as
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Saturday, February 21, 2015


The streets are quite familiar but the open space sure isn't. This extract from an old Henry R Fell map gives one a good idea of just what the Chambersburg area looked like back in the 1860's and 70's. Quite a few of my news clippings have interviews with old times who remember the area as being orchards, corn fields and open space


What a delightful photo! Since I acquired a new "touch screen" table top computer, I am in the process of transferring the many R.C.Maxwell high definition "Graflex" photos to the new, "TRENTON AND AREA VIEWS" folder. Henceforth, I will be posting these images as requested by the Duke University R.C. Maxwell library with the library call number on the photo along with the R.C. Maxwell accreditation on the photo. This great shot has detail that shows Reid's, Weinmann's and of course the late, great, Hotel Hildebrecht. (I also like that 1940 beautiful 10 year old Buick shown in the photo which was one of the best cars I ever owned!.)

Monday, February 16, 2015


The above graphic is just one of many WWII memories which will be screened on Monday Evening, March 2 at the kickoff meeting of the Historical Society of Hamilton Township. Along with the on screen program entitled "ON THE HOME FRONT," there will be a session set aside for the music of WWII as I and my fellow Hamilton High School  baritone, Jack Pyrah sing some of the nostalgic music from the WWII era and invite those in attendance who remember those great songs, to SING ALONG with us. The program is free and open to ALL local area resident from Hamilton, Trenton, and indeed, any who are within traveling distance of the Hamilton Township Public Library on Justice Samuel Alito Way, Hamilton Township. The meeting starts at 7 PM. Refreshments will be served.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I never had the pleasure of meeting this lady but I sure wish I had. The fascinating graphic above shows the talent the talent exhibited by this young 16 year old before she began her formal art education.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Did you know that the Hamilton Township Public Library is located in an area once known as "Dogtown?"
The Morton Tract is also included as being part of Dogtown as was the fabled "Clay Pits" in the area of Kuser Road and White Horse-Mercerville Road. Back in the early 20th century, there was a very profitable business conducted there, selling clay to the many potteries in Trenton, and indeed, locations far removed from the Dogtown area. The fascinating article will tell a pretty detailed story. 


Chambersburg was developing rapidly by the first decade of the 20th century as more and more immigrants came to America. Above is the story of the Immaculate Conception School which was dedicated without the usual fanfare.Below is an engraving from my collection showing the church which I believe is an architect's rendering of the edifice. Note the twin spires which were not included in the final construction. I have found no news articles that Immaculate was the victim of heavy storms as was true in so many other churches in the area; therefore I speculate that the architect drawing included twin spires even as the original architect drawing of St. Anthony;s church also had spires that were not included in the construction.


There are 2 faces very familiar to me in these photos: former Trenton Mayor Art Holland, and Margaret Gaydos, my 8th grade Kuser School teacher who along with Ruth Margerum and Louise Baird, played a large part in my interest in art, culture, music, and literature.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Over the years I have found that many people consider the Chambersburg of the 20th century centered around Mott, Bayard, Emery, Butler and other streets in the immediate area. A quick look at the map extracted from the 1875 Evert and Stewart Atlas of the city of Trenton will show that Robert Chambers did indeed built a hotel and other buildings in the area of Houghton, Coleman, Cass, and South Broad Street.


Most folks think the center of the Chambersburg section of Trenton is the Emery-Bayard-Butler-Whittaker area. Not so. The original Chambersburg as laid out by Robert Chambers was that area of South Broad Street from the Cass Street intersection along South Broad Street to Liberty. The Chambersburg hospital as in the graphics, was really in the center of "the Burg.


Here's on FABULOUS photo from my "Hamiltonia" collection, showing crowd that attended the celebration of the dedication of the Hamilton Township Municipal building at 2090 Greenwood Avenue.What fun I had with this photo! Thanks to the countless tweaks one can perform with "Photo Shop" CS2, I was able to convert this photo from grayscale to sepia. I also enhanced it to give an ever fascination look at the open area to the right of the building which at the time was a vacant, open lot, as was the area on the other side of the building (not seen in the photo). Also not seen in the photo foreground are the fire trucks from all the township fire stations which were lined all along  Greenwood Avenue. Trolley service was suspended during the dedication ceremony.

Monday, February 09, 2015


By the time young Tommy Glover was born in 1933, the American tragedy known as the "Great Depression" was four years old. Ten years later, as can be seen in the photo on the right, the Glover family, and many others of my generation were still struggling to survive. Unlike the unfortunate family in the left photo who have no home and live in a shack, we had our Hartley Avenue home along with a very sizeable garden, a large flock of chickens, and the Arena family who lived next door to us, where Moms Glover and Arena bartered chickens and eggs for pasta and other Italian necessities. As I look back on those years, and see that photo of me in the hand-me-down jacket that came from my older brother Len, who passed it down to my next older brother Bud, then down to me. Ironically, I, nor any of my fellow Kuser School classmates didn't know we were poor. It wasn't until World War II that the economy surged upward as millions of jobs became available to the vast number of unemployed Americans.

Saturday, February 07, 2015


I spent many happy lunch times with Webb and Jean as their guest at many of the "Happy Hearts" senior citizen meetings back in the 1990's as I brought my program "The Music We Grew Up With" to them on many occasions. Webb was a family friend going way back the late 1930's and early 1940's when he and my brother, the late Len Glover were very active in the "Lynx" club; a boy scout group affiliated as I recall with St. Paul's P..E. Church on Centre Street in Trenton. Later in life, Judy and I signed on to his Grimm insurance agency when we married way back in1954. There were many times when Webb bailed us out as we struggled  with late payments on our premiums. Webb always covered us out of his own pocket and for that I will be eternally grateful. Here in the year 2015, I join my friend Webb as a fellow widower; he having lost his lovely wife Jean, and I my dear wife Judy.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


I am currently working with Ms. Lois Majarowitz of the Hamilton Township Historical Society on the programs for the year 2015. One of them will be entitled "KUSER SCHOOL: 80 YEAR OLD MEMORIES" (that title subject to change.) An on screen presentation will try to  bring back memories of grammar school as we senior citizens lived it in a much different era that today,. Ink wells, straight pens, Friday auditorium "assemblies<" the flag salute, glee club, puppy love, the morning prayer,. You won't want to miss this program as Tom Glover presents his "KUSER SCHOOL DIARY," Watch for the press release as we get closer to the new season of the Hamilton Historical Society,

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


To borrow from Frank Sinatra's "A Very Good Year" I chose 1972 when I was Jack Benny's age. Just look at those auto prices! I remember purchasing a brand new "Beetle" for the then astronomical price of $1,776. I wondered how in the world I would ever be able to make the payments. Obviously I did; I used that car for many years and hated every moment behind the wheel. I had been assured by one of my workmates in the New Brunswick store where I worked that the VW was a quality car and American quality would never be able to compete. Aa aluminum slined shaft on the windshield wiper mechanism proved that the quality was no better than those of the good old USA. I still remember tooling down route 130 heading home from New Brunswick with the windshield wiper shaft spinning and only occasionally activating the wiper blades. The soft aluminum motor shaft on the wiper mechanism ground the teeth out of the spline.  No more VW's after that experience.


I filed this editorial cartoon which I found in the very deteriorating pages of an old scrapbook. I filed it in a folder I call "WHIMSICAL." It shows Mahlon Stacy giving the boot to those natives who dared to exist in an area they had inhabited for who knows how many years before the arrival of the European, Spanish, and other foreign invaders.

Monday, February 02, 2015


Sally is right up there with Cleary, Podmore and Dwyer when it comes to educating the public on the history of Trenton. Along with Dwyer and Cleary, I have a "SALLY LANE" folder in the Hamilton Library Database which at this time contains around 50 PDF columns she wrote during her years as an authoritative writer for the Trenton Times. I hope to add more in the future as time permits.