A Halloween thanks to Montclair, Montclair Ave.

The scene on our street, Montclair Avenue, on Halloween from 4 to 8:30 p.m. was special and joyful. There was a spirit afloat that came from the revelers, their parents in costume, the little ones, less than one year old, in adorable outfits. All with smiles and thank yous, on a picture perfect evening.

Eighteen hundred pieces of candy, only one to a trick-or-treater, and each piece brought a most polite response. With the many on each sidewalk on our street, all you received was welcoming smiles, the barter of the adults, the middle schoolers with their mates and a most neighborly familiarity. It is that which makes the halloween scene so rich with joy.
Our street welcomes all trick-or-treaters, from Montclair and beyond. This began many years ago when a neighbor decided to give out books (age appropriate) instead of treats and since then this “Book Lady” has attracted this enormous crowd.

Thank you “Book Lady” and Montclair Avenue for nurturing this glorious night.



More to Pine Street than covered by Montclair Local

Shame on the Montclair Local. Your reporting in the Oct. 18 story on Pine Street (“Pine Street renewal?”, page 1) denigrated our proud Montclair neighborhood by referring to us as being “people on the skids of society” and then seeking out a single photo-op of a debilitated structure with an anti-addiction poster to represent us on your front page.
Not a single photo or interview at 73 See Gallery, Sew Montclair, Togetha Salon, Anew Salon, St Sebastian Society, Bivio Panificio on Pine, et al.
Along with my friendly neighborhood shop owners and a diverse cross-section of great neighbors, I was appalled at the profiling of my neighborhood community as less-than. You choose to focus on two of our own neighbors struggling with their own personal challenges, confusion over a rent increase and homelessness.
While we’re proud of our Pine Street Historic District designation, we are prouder yet of our day-to-day compassion and concern for our neighborhood family and will find a way to assist those who need help.

I expected better from the Montclair Local and hope on your return visit you can find a way to see us as we truly are.



The speech JFK couldn’t give

It was Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was about to ride in his motorcade through the streets of Dallas. This 19-year-old was in a recording studio in downtown Los Angeles meeting with the crew there.

Soon our conversation was halted by a loud ruckus in the hall. Suddenly, the outer office door burst open and a very emotional young woman screamed “they killed the president.”
We listened to the radio for a while to confirm the nightmare. Then I left to go home to watch the television coverage. On the street there was a newstand with a young boy who held a newspaper up high and yelled, “Extra, President Kennedy assassinated.” As I walked past the stand a middle-aged woman said, “Who cares, I didn’t vote for him anyway.”

Being just 19, I had some choice words for her. I’m now 74 and for the very first time while watching Don Lemon’s newscast on CNN at 2 a.m. I heard Michael Beschloss read the speech the president was supposed to read that evening. It was short and sweet, and I believe was truly from the heart.

The speech: “Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone, but to the nation, and, indeed, to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation's future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause — united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future — and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.”

Ahh, where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? I miss you, JFK.

Well, the sun is coming up and I better try to get some sleep.



A vote for Democrats is a vote for moderation
Editor’s note: This letter was sent prior to Tuesday night’s election.

I am writing to say, with apologies to Mark Twain, that reports of the death of Republican women are greatly exaggerated.
Many of us are unhappy with the behavior of senior Republican men, including our current president.

However, our dissatisfaction with the rhetoric and policies of the current Republican party does not mean that we are becoming Democrats. Rather, we are recommitting ourselves to challenging the future direction of the Republican Party. Part of our challenge is to vote for candidates who will be a check on our current president and for candidates who have more moderate views than the extremes of either party.

In my state of New Jersey, Mikie Sherrill is such a candidate. I disagree with Ms. Sherrill’s position on many issues including health care and taxes. However, I disagree with her opponent, Jay Webber, as well, who is lock step with the Trump agenda. The differences between the two are temperament and the willingness to stand up to the current Republican establishment.

I urge my fellow New Jersey Republicans to vote Democratic in order to send a message to the Republican party that the party needs a new direction. The current Republican party is toxic, unsustainable, and unrecognizable to many Republicans.

That said, my message to Mikie Sherrill and other Democrats who may earn the votes of frustrated Republican women is: do not overreach and claim mandates that you do not have. In my opinion, we have Trump because of the overreach of Obama.
If the Democrats check Trump, be sure you do not sow the seeds of the next round of extremism. Enough.

Let’s pull back from the brink by electing more moderate, reasonable candidates who will dial down the rhetoric and consider difficult issues as issues rather than as fundraising opportunities. Not only the future of the Republican Party, but the future of the Republic requires us, voters, to send strong messages to both parties.