Notable Passings as Hackensack transitions - Part 2

Notable Passings as Hackensack transitions - Part 2

Journeys into Hackensack

Some endings are highly visible, some are quiet.

We note two recent endings - one visible and prominently seen and shared; the other quiet but one of perhaps even greater significnace.

Anyone near and around the corner of Main and Anderson will see that the old Holman Moving Company warehouse building is no more.

Just across the street from Sears (an endangered species of its own), the moving company building was eclipsed by its iconic neighbor. Un-glamorous, it nonetheless was a fixture in the neighborhood - one of the buildings, along with Sears, Packard's and The Red Lion Inn, served as gateways to the Main Street business district.

In some ways, its passing was more public than the building ever was during its existence. Streets were closed; cranes and other demolition machinery were brought in. The demolition occurred at night under bright lights.

Today the rubble has been cleared and the site is being prepared for its next chapter - a mixed use property appealing to a new generation - hoping that it will help lead Hackensack into a new era.

The other passing of note occurred without much fanfare - but a passing of note was indeed.

The Louis Barber Shop was an anchor business in the Fairmount section of Main Street just up the street from Packard's and the diner (now Fairmount Eats).

Notable Passings as Hackensack transitions - Part 2

Louis Durante was its founder, longtime owner and a local institution.

The place now vacant had been a barber shop since the 1940's (A 2008 article in the Hackensack Chronicle points to 1940 -others mentioned 1948.

Before being emptied (some wood cabinets, one piece furniture and a few fixtures remain) the place was classically of that earlier era - vintage barber pole, barber chairs leather straps attached, aged woodwork and Louis himself. All - including Louis - were part of movies and television commercials over the years.

But mostly the place was an old school barber shop - where thousands of haircuts and shaves were given at a time before hair styling salons.

And it was more than just a haircut. It was where Louis in soft-spoken manner would give you a lesson in Hackensack history - one time it might be of his early haircutting on Banta Place; another time it might be of the Vaudeville theaters downtown or perhaps on his afternoons swimming and exploring along the river.

Louis was a favorite son - a person of the community. It was family, church, the barber shop and music that was most important to him. He also made his presence felt - a person of good chair at the Holy Trinity Church and through his mandolin.

After he passed away in 2008, the business continued by it never could be the same without Louis. The haircuts continued - Louis' presence could be felt, but he was missed.

Now we miss the shop as well.

Notable Passings as Hackensack transitions - Part 2