Ice Scrapers That Tell us about a River Edge Business More than Half a Century A
Journeys into River Edge
JOURNEYS INTO RIVER EDGE
Explorations of the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked & forgotten
Last week we introduced you to these objects and asked you to share your take of what they might mean to you.
We return to this week for some insight.
The objects were a few 1960’s vintage ice scrapers for windshields. These items spent decades in my parents’ garage and now call a storage box home as do the paper clips. (Kudos to Jodi Lenkel, who was right on in identifying the ice scraper and what she described as the “funky” clip)
They were give away items by the Chevron station that stood at what is now an intersection triangle – where the ramp from Route 4 West onto the service road intersects Grand Avenue and Ackerson Street.
Folks in the 1970’s and early 80’s may remember it as the location of an Insti-Print shop. Before that it was a gas station.
The location was not optimal as it was in the midst of a busy intersection – and it provided for a challenging view for those seeking to turn right onto the Route 4 service road from Gran Avenue. There was not much time for drivers making the turn to react to exiting vehicles from Route 4 – often traveling at substantial speeds.
But the station itself was a service station in the truest sense of the term – reflecting a time when the term had some meaning. For years it was either Henry’s Chevron Station, then Hank’s and followed by D&C Chevron with Doug at the helm.
These scrapers reflect an evolution over time from the late 1950’s into the early 1970’s. Notice the change from Route 4 in No. Hackensack to Rt 4 & Johnson Avenue in River Edge. Also of note is the original telephone number on the white scraper started with the local exchange “HU(Hubbard)”, predating totally numerical numbers and area codes (342-0440) was the number for Hank’s and D&C – those numbers (342) were the numerical form of the old DI(Diamond) exchange.
A couple of you recalled Henry. Margaret Churley recalls both the gas station ( It was right as you came off of Route 4), and Henry the person (“He and his wife lived across the street in a house on the corner of Johnson Ave). She also remembers how Henry would always come over to chat.
And Barbara Louise Thorne Greenhalgh related how her parents were friends of Henry.
Personally I most remember Hank (Henry) too. Though just a little kid I can recall him as a great guy and a good mechanic. And, the service there included not just gas and auto repairs. When you pulled in you automatically had your oil level looked at, your windshield cleaned and the air in your tires checked. And, there was Hank and his friendly staff who knew you by name and your car as intimately. It was in that context that Hank regularly provided those ice scrapers as annual gifts.
The address may have been on the highway, but the approach was very much home town.