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Interview with

Charles H. Maps Jr.



Remembering The 20th Century: An Oral History of Monmouth County

Charles Maps with his dog, Laddie

Date of Interview: August 3, 2000
Name of Interviewer: Douglas Aumack
Premises of Interview: Mr. Maps' home, West Long Branch, NJ
Birthdate of Subject: February 8, 1921

Mr. Aumack: How did you come to Monmouth and when did you come to Monmouth County?

Mr. Maps: I was born on February 8, 1921 in Long Branch, New Jersey. I have been in Monmouth County ever since.

Mr. Aumack: Were your parents from Monmouth County?

Mr. Maps: My father and mother were both born in Long Branch, New Jersey. My grandmother was born in Tinton Falls, I believe.

Mr. Aumack: Interesting. So your family has had a long history living here.

Mr. Maps: Yes. My great-great-great-great-grandfather came over from Holland in 1754, and he is buried up at the end of my street, in West Long Branch.

Mr. Aumack: What's the name of that cemetery?

Mr. Maps: I think they call it the Free Church Cemetery. It is no longer used. There was a church there, and the church was moved across the street, and has since burned.

Mr. Aumack: What was the name of this ancestor?

Mr. Maps: Michael Maps. His son Frederick Maps, fought in the Revolution, and he is buried in the same old cemetery.

Mr. Aumack: Were you brought up here?

Mr. Maps: Yes, in Long Branch. I moved to West Long Branch about thirty-two years ago.

Mr. Aumack: When you were growing up in Long Branch, where did you live? And please discuss your earliest memories of childhood in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Charles Maps on Irving Place, Long Branch. circa 1930

Mr. Maps: We lived in the uptown section of Long Branch, on Irving Place. I had a sister and a younger brother. We played around and played at night with the kids in the neighborhood. We played baseball in the street, and we played caddy in the street. I remember the milkman. He would come around once a day in a horse-drawn cart, and he'd deliver milk in glass bottles. In the winter, he'd use a sleigh when there was snow on the ground. Milk would be delivered by sleigh, drawn by a single horse. In the winter, they would leave the milk on the porch. It would get cold and semi-freeze, and the cream on the top would come squirting out the top. It would stick out one or two inches sometimes. We had a gravel road in front of the house. Many of the streets in Long Branch were gravel. They would come around with a water wagon in the summer to wet down the road to keep the dust down. And we as kids used to run behind the water wagon in our bare feet and let the water spray on our feet. Earlier it was a horse-drawn water wagon, and they'd fill the water up from a hydrant down at the end of the street. Later on it became a truck, with solid rubber tires. And we'd have a lot of fun. During storms we used to go outside, and with the water running down the gutter, we'd build little dirt dams and block the water up...things like that.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember what year it changed from when milk and everything was delivered in horse-drawn carriages to it being delivered on trucks?

Mr. Maps: No.

Mr. Aumack:  Do you remember any other deliveries back then besides milk?

Mr. Maps: Yes, there used to be a vegetable truck that would come around to the house. My mother would buy fresh vegetables from the truck. The farmer's name was Peterson, and he used to come to the back door, and my mother would sort the vegetables she wanted. And then there was another grocery truck that came around--big, bus-like truck. I think his name was Beaver or Deaver, and he had groceries in there. He'd come to the house, and you could buy groceries from his truck. Then the iceman would come around with blocks of ice. We had an icebox then--no refrigerator. Chunks of ice kept it cool. You'd go out to the iceman when he was using an ice pick to cut up the blocks of ice into smaller pieces, and chips would fall off, and you could have a chip of ice and suck on that. And you'd have to be careful not to get any splinters because the bottom of the truck was wood.

Mr. Aumack: Oh, that's right. Did you ever get any splinters?

Mr. Maps: No, I didn't.

Mr. Aumack: That's lucky. None of your friends did, I hope.

Mr. Maps: No.

Mr. Aumack: That's good. What grammar school did you go to?

Mr. Maps: Primary school I went to Gregory School in Long Branch, and we walked. It was maybe a mile, and we'd walk in the snow and the rain. There was a freight railroad line nearby, and we used to walk down there. There was a drainage ditch right beside the railroad, and we would wear boots to school. And we'd wade through the water in the drainage ditch. Then I went to grammar school in Long Branch, which was over on Prospect Street, between Morris and Willow Avenue. It has since been torn down. And we walked there, which was about two miles. There were no buses. After that, there was junior high school in the same area, but a different building. It was the old Chattel High School building, part of it. Then we went over to Long Branch Senior High School over on Westwood Avenue.

Mr. Aumack: Is that still standing?

Mr. Maps: That's still there.

Mr. Aumack: Is that where they go for high school nowadays?

Mr. Maps: Yes, that's the present high school. And Gregory School is still there. They have added on to it since I went there.

Mr. Aumack: But they still send children there?

Mr. Maps: Yes.

Mr. Aumack: You mentioned a game called "caddy" you played when you were younger. What is that game?

Mr. Maps: Oh that was where you would take a short piece of wood, maybe four inches long. And they would put a point at each end of it, and they'd lay that on the ground. With a stick you would hit one end of it, and it would hop up into the air. And while it was up in the air, you would hit it out. It was like baseball. And then you'd run to the base and try to get back again.

Mr. Aumack: Oh, ok. What did the other people try to do when you would hit it and ran?

Mr. Maps: They were trying to catch it I guess. It was like baseball, you know.

Mr. Aumack: I never heard of that. So what did you do for fun besides play Caddy? Like what did you do for fun in high school?

Mr. Maps: In high school? We went to football games in the fall, and I had hobbies like photography for awhile. And I dated. I dated my wife...or my wife-to-be.

Mr. Aumack: Is that where you met your wife...in high school?

Mr. Maps: Yes. We didn't do a lot else. We read books.

Mr. Aumack: What kind of books did you read?

Mr. Maps: I was interested in radio at the time, so I was reading amateur radio books. I never got a license--didn't get that involved. But I didn't do too much reading of fiction. Before that when we were younger, I guess this would have been in primary school, we'd get together football games. Kids in the neighborhood would get together with the kids from down in Bridgeport, and we'd play each other in football in an empty lot nearby.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember what your father did for a living when you were a child, and when you were older?

Mr. Maps: Yes, he started out at H.B. Sherman & Sons. He drove a coal truck and delivered coal. He also sold feed and grain for the animals in the area like horses. Later on he became president of the company, and they sold fuel oil. I remember weekends, and this must have been during the 1930s, he used to spend his weekends going out bill collecting because after the Depression era, people were in kind of tough straits. He'd work during the week, and then on weekends he would go visit and try to collect the bills.

Mr. Aumack: Did he tell you any stories about how tough it was?

Mr. Maps: No, he never discussed that at all. When I was a child I didn't even know there was a Depression.

Mr. Aumack: Oh, really. Is that because your father was president of H.B. Sherman & Sons during the Depression?

Mr. Maps: No, that was later on. He was also president of Chandler Maps Lumber Yard, which was started by my great-grandfather. He was president, but he didn't work there. He wasn't active there, just the president. When I think back, my mother made meals that weren't real fancy meals, and I guess that was during the Depression. But I enjoyed the meals, and at the time I didn't think anything of it.

Mr. Aumack: Were you about nine or ten, right?

Mr. Maps: I guess I was. Maybe ten or eleven years old.

Mr. Aumack: You had siblings, right?

Mr. Maps: Yes. I had an older sister and a younger brother.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember what your older sister did during the Depression?

Mr. Maps: No, I don't.

Mr. Aumack: Do you recall if your mother did anything during the Depression?

Mr. Maps: She didn't work. She stayed at home and took care of the kids and the house. This isn't related to the Depression, but my father had a pickup truck that he used to go to work and come home. This was a company truck. And when he'd come home, usually my brother and I would run out to greet him and get on the running board of the truck. And as it drove into the driveway, we'd get a little ride in the driveway.

Mr. Aumack: It sounds like fun.

Mr. Maps: Yes, little things like that.

Mr. Aumack: Describe some of the places in Long Branch that your father visited.

Mr. Maps:  I remember one place he used to take the kids along. That was the grocery store down on Branchport Avenue in Long Branch. I think he went down there also to collect the mortgage. I think he loaned them money and went down there to collect payments. Every time we went down there, they'd give us an ice cream bar on a stick, my brother and I. It's funny how you remember these little things! But I didn't go much with him on his bill collecting. He went alone. It was mostly homes or businesses.

Mr. Aumack: Now you talked about the gravel road in Long Branch. Were all the roads gravel or were some of them dirt?

Mr. Maps: Some were paved...Broadway was paved with asphalt.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember what year it was that they put down asphalt?

Mr. Maps: No, but I think it was there before my time.

Mr. Aumack: Oh, before you were born?

Mr. Maps: Yes, I think so. Branchport Avenue, I don't remember when that was paved. They had hot carts of tar...so it must have been mostly a tar road. We would get a little ball of tar and play with it in our hands. It wouldn't stick. (laughter)

Mr. Aumack: I thought you would say that your hands would stick together!

Mr. Maps: No, this was fairly firm stuff.

Mr. Aumack: So I guess they made it differently back then than they do now?

Mr. Maps: Oh yes.

Mr. Aumack: You also mentioned a freight train. Where were the tracks?

Charles Maps with his railroad timetables

Mr. Maps: Oh there was a siding from the main road, and it ran up from Washington  Street, past Branchport, and then it ran on and back, and I don't know where it ended up beyond. But it didn't go anywhere after that. There was a lumber yard nearby, and the lumber sheds were there. I guess lumber came in on the trains, and they parked the cars by the lumber yard and unloaded. And talking about trains, I remember the Blue Comet. It had a distinctive whistle, and it was painted dark blue. We kids were fascinated with that train! We used to go down and put pennies on the railroad track...I guess a lot of kids did that. You'd put pennies on the track and get them squashed.

Mr. Aumack: Was the Blue Comet a freight train with an engine?

Mr. Maps: It was an engine, yes, but it was a passenger train.

Mr. Aumack: Was it called that because it went really fast, or was it just a fun nickname?

The Blue Comet traveling through Red Bank in 1929

Mr. Maps: No, it was the Blue Comet and painted dark blue...the engine.

Mr. Aumack: Were the tracks along Ocean Avenue?

Mr. Maps: No, they came from Little Silver, and the tracks are still there. It's still the main line of the New York/Long Branch Railroad.

Mr. Aumack: So the Blue Comet went along what the New Jersey Transit uses now?

Mr. Maps: Yes.

Mr. Aumack: Oh, ok. Wow!

Mr. Maps: Then my father had a coal yard down on Clinton Avenue in Long Branch, and that was beside the railroad track. This was H.B. Sherman & Sons. They had what they call the coal pocket. The freight train would bring in the coal cars, and they would have an opening on the bottom of the car. That would drain down to a pit down below, and there was a chute-type thing or bucket thing that carried the coal up to the coal pocket. The coal was stored there. It was up high, maybe two stories high. When the circus came to town, they came early in the morning. They unloaded right there, and all the circus cars stopped on that siding. We would go down there early in the morning, my brother and I, and we'd climb up to the top of the coal pocket, up the stairway, and we'd look out and watch all the animals get unloaded. We'd watch the elephants come off, and then the elephants would pull off all the fancy circus wagons. They would put them to work. We had a good time there. We'd get up early in the morning to watch them unload.

Mr. Aumack: Was that before dawn?

Mr. Maps: That was just about dawn.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember what year that was when the circus came?

Mr. Maps: Oh, I must have been ten or twelve years old.

Mr. Aumack: This was in about 1932, or something like that. Do you remember where they performed?

Mr. Maps: Yes, they set up the tents down in a big, empty lot off Atlantic Avenue. It was right near the river there. Sometimes we would go down and watch them set the tents up. Flannigan's Field they called it. Now it has apartment houses on it and a gasoline station.

Mr. Aumack: How long did that last? Was that a year-round thing or did it happen in the summer?

Mr. Maps: Each year in the summer, the circus came.

Mr. Aumack: Was it Ringling Bros. Circus?

Mr. Maps: It was the Coles Bros. Circus; it would come sometimes.

Mr. Aumack: Would they perform in Flannigan's Field as well?

Mr. Maps: Yes, generally.

Mr. Aumack: Tell us more about the trains.

Mr. Maps: The Blue Comet was a passenger train. And then there was a freight line siding for the lumber yard. I lived near Grand Avenue in Long Branch. Before my time it was a grand avenue, with big estates there, and people rode down that street to get to the railroad station to go back to the city. They would use that siding.

Mr. Aumack: Now when you were younger in high school, did you ever go to Asbury Park?

Mr. Maps: We would always go to the movies at Asbury Park at the Mayfair Theatre and St. James Theatre. We used to go down there to the kiddie rides...my folks would take me down. And we had fun down there. They had a fun house, Ferris wheel, peddle boats, and little motor boats on the lake.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember the movies that you saw or anything like that?

Mr. Maps: I remember seeing Gone With the Wind.

Mr. Aumack: Which theatre did you see that at?

Mr. Maps: I saw that at one of the Asbury theatres, I don't remember which one. It was a color movie. During the fire scene of the burning of Atlanta, the curtains on the stage parted and the screen got wider, like the wide screens you have now. And that was just for that one scene. That was dramatic!

Mr. Aumack: Had you ever experienced something like that before or since?

Mr. Maps: No, that's the only time. Going back earlier, at the Broadway Theatre in Long Branch, I remember when they first had talkies when I was young. They used to have little signs with dimly lit red lights on stands inside that said "silence." That was so people could hear the talking on the screen.

Mr. Aumack: So they actually had little signs that told people to be quiet.

Mr. Maps: Yes.

Mr. Aumack: They should have those today! Do you remember seeing any famous talkies like the Jazz Singer?

Mr. Maps: No, I don't think I saw that one. They used to have stage shows. You would go to the movie, and there would be a short stage show.

Mr. Aumack: Describe that.

Mr. Maps: It's hard to remember what they were. They weren't big things...they were little acts.

Mr. Aumack: So going to the movies was not just going to the movies. It was more.

Mr. Maps: No, it was more than the movie. We used to have serials...movies that were little shorts. Each Saturday would be a different section of the serial.

Mr. Aumack: What were some of your favorite characters?

Mr. Maps: Oh, I don't remember the characters much.

Mr. Aumack: But you enjoyed them?

Mr. Maps: Yes. I remember the first time we went to the movies alone as little kids. There were about three of us on the street about the same age. We walked down to the Strand Theatre, which was across the street from the Broadway Theatre in Long Branch. We went down to see a movie called Billy the Kid. I thought it was going to be about a little goat: a "kid." But it was a cowboy picture! (laughter)

Mr. Aumack: Was that black-and-white?

Mr. Maps: Yes. That was before color.

Mr. Aumack: Was Gone With the Wind one of the first color pictures that you ever saw?

Mr. Maps: I don't think so. There was something before that, but I don't remember the names. I saw Wings, and that was a black-and-white picture.

Mr. Aumack: What was that movie about?

Mr. Maps: It was about the WWI fighter pilots. And I remember seeing All Quiet On the Western Front, and it was a black-and-white one. But I don't remember the first color picture I saw.

Mr. Aumack: Did you go to college after high school, or what did you do after high school?

Mr. Maps: I went to Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and studied engineering. I lived in a dormitory the first year, and I joined a fraternity and lived in the fraternity house. I came home on weekends to see my girlfriend.

Mr. Aumack: That's right, to see your old, high school sweetheart! What did you do at the fraternity?

Mr. Maps: Oh we played poker, and we had a pool table down in the basement. There was a recreation room down there, and we shot pool and played poker.

Mr. Aumack: Did you play for money?

Mr. Maps: Yes, penny-ante. Not big money. Stevens Institute of Technology looked out over the river. You could see New York City at night, with all the lights. It was a nice location, up on the bluff.

Mr. Aumack: Did you go into the City when you were in college?

Mr. Maps: Yes, we used to go over there at night after class. We'd wander around and go downtown, and there was a German bar there that we went to once in awhile. I forget the name of it. We'd take the ferry over.

Mr. Aumack: Which ferry was that?

Mr. Maps: The ferry from Hoboken. We'd go to downtown, which was a couple blocks walk. We'd go to Umlands, which was a soda/snack shop, and we'd get a sandwich and a malted milk, or something like that. And on weekends I'd come home, of course.

Mr. Aumack: Did you ever go to a Yankee game?

Mr. Maps: Nope. I wasn't too interested in baseball.

Mr. Aumack: What year did you graduate, do you remember?

Mr. Maps: 1944.

Mr. Aumack: Did you think you were in danger of being drafted into the Army?

Mr. Maps: I went up for a physical, and I had had rheumatic fever, which affected my heart so I was rejected.

Mr. Aumack: Did you have that when you were a child?

Mr. Maps: I had it twice. I remember when I was a child, I was laying in bed upstairs. In the evenings during the summer, I'd hear kids out on the street playing and enjoying themselves. And there I was in bed. And sometimes I had difficulty moving because all my joints were stiff.

Mr. Aumack: What does that do to your body?

Mr. Maps: It is like rheumatism. All your joints get stiff. My jaw even got stiff, and I could barely open my mouth at one time. And it damaged my heart valves. Since then, I have had two of the valves replaced, and I have pig valves in my heart now. They call them "porcine valves."

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember how old you were when you had rheumatic fever?

Mr. Maps: The first time was in early junior high school, I think. I lost half a year of school then. The second time I had it, it was later on in junior high school I think. I was tutored in the summer, and I made up the time. So I didn't lose any school time.

Mr. Aumack: When you were at home, did the doctor come there to see you?

Mr. Maps: Oh, yes. The doctors came to the house. When I was younger I was rough-housing with my sister, and she kicked me and I fell into the iron radiator and cut my head. I remember walking down the stairs holding my cupped hands in front of me to catch the blood. They called the doctor, and he came to the house and sewed up my head. Doctors came to your house then.

Mr. Aumack: Where was the nearest hospital from your house?

Mr. Maps: It was what is now Monmouth Medical Center, and it was Monmouth Memorial Hospital then. But you didn't go to the hospital for those things. The doctor just came out and sewed you up.

Mr. Aumack: So in 1944, you graduated from college. What did you do after that?

Mr. Maps: I got a job at Federal Telephone & Radio in Newark, and I commuted by train.

Mr. Aumack: Did you use the Blue Comet?

Mr. Maps: No, I don't think it was running then. Actually the plant where I worked was right in back of Penn Station, so I could walk from the station to work. And we worked on some equipment which was being sent down to Oakridge, Tennessee. I didn't know it at that time, but I found out later that they were using that equipment to refine the uranium ore for the Atomic Bomb. That was one of the processes. They had several, but at the time, we didn't know what it was for.

Mr. Aumack: Describe more about that.

Mr. Maps: It was an induction heating machine: high frequency coils wrapped around the drum. You'd pass high frequency through it, and the induction heated the ore. I don't know that much about it. That was in a separate room, and that was all secure. I was in there once, but I didn't know much about that.

Mr. Aumack: When did you know that you were giving supplies for the atomic bomb?

Mr. Maps: After they dropped the bomb in 1945.

Mr. Aumack: How did that make you feel?

Mr. Maps: I didn't have much feeling about it. I was doing my job there. But the bomb was kind of tragic because it killed so many people. It was devastating! We went on and did other things. They turned the process into industrial use for heat-treating steel parts. We also had induction heating or dielectric heating.

Mr. Aumack: What is that?

Mr. Maps: That's where you pass high frequency between two metal plates, and it's something like a microwave. And it heats up the substance in between. I worked in the lab, and we tested different parts to see if we could treat different materials. One time they sent in a batch of dates, packaged dates. They wanted us to heat-treat it to kill all the little insect eggs in the dates, and I guess it killed them. But I didn't realize that you would eat dates that had insect eggs in them.

Mr. Aumack:  How long did you work at the plant?

Mr. Maps: Not too long...a few years. Electronic Associates was opening a business down here on Brighton Avenue, which was their first place. And I got tired of commuting, so I applied for a job with Electronic Associates. I got a job, and I got a $400 raise for switching jobs. I was making $3600 a year...big money! And I kind of grew up with the company. After about thirty-seven years with E.A.I., I retired. And now it's bankrupt.

Mr. Aumack: Oh, boy. Why do you think it became bankrupt?

Mr. Maps: The management changed, and they got into different fields. Just before I left, they were working on atomic power plant simulators. It would simulate the function of atomic power plants, and they could train operators using these simulators. They have a simulator down at Oyster Creek. There are quite a few simulators around. But designing the software for the simulators was difficult, I think. I think it was difficult to estimate the cost of it, and they weren't doing well. They got rid of some of those.

Mr. Aumack: When you were in Newark and Long Branch, what else did you do for fun when you were older? Did you still go to the Mayfair and the Strand? Did you go to the beach?

Mr. Maps: Yes, I went to the beach and bodysurfed. My heart wasn't too bad that I couldn't do things like that. We went to what we used to call North Long Branch Beach, and now they call it Northend Beach. Then it was as big as it is now, after they pumped all the sand in. When I was a kid, it was a big beach. After college, I got a job, got married, and had children.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard about Kennedy being assassinated?

Mr. Maps: Yes, I was standing outside my office cubicle. Somebody came in and told us he was assassinated. I was standing there outside.

Mr. Aumack: How did you feel?

Mr. Maps: I was kind of shocked, you know. It was kind of disbelief. It's funny that I remember just where I was at the time.

Mr. Aumack: A lot of people do.

Mr. Maps: I guess so.

Mr. Aumack: How has West Long Branch or Long Branch changed through the years?

Mr. Maps: Long Branch has deteriorated. The downtown section doesn't have the nice stores it used to when I was a child and an adult. West Long Branch hasn't changed a great deal. When I was young, West Long Branch was the cemetery place. Tax exempt! On Sundays, my father used to come up to the cemetery and tend to his parents' graves, and he'd bring us kids along sometimes. I remember coming up Locust Avenue from Long Branch, and that was a gravel road then. On the left side, the eastern side of it, there was a big polo field. We'd go on up to the cemetery and my father would put the plants in, and I would bring the buckets of water over to him. Sometimes we would stop and watch them play polo. I think my father sold the feed for the polo ponies. But that was interesting.

Mr. Aumack: Has West Long Branch gained anything since you have grown?

Mr. Maps: A few more stores here, but it's not a commercial town. We have a McDonalds now, or we had one, until it burned down. Now they are rebuilding it. But back then there wasn't that much in the way of business here.

Mr. Aumack: Why do you think Long Branch has deteriorated?

Mr. Maps: The mall I think. Downtown Long Branch used to have fine men's and women's clothing stores, a fur coat store, a couple of department stores, and Newburys and Woolworths. Saturdays when I was a kid, my folks would go downtown shopping in the evening. They'd take us to the five-and-ten and we'd get a little ten-cent toy. Then we'd eat in a little tearoom on Third Avenue, and we'd have supper there. It was a big event for me...for us kids!

Mr. Aumack: So the downtown was essentially the mall, because there were stores all next to each other.

Mr. Maps: Yes. There was ample parking, and you could park on the street.

Mr. Aumack: So it really wasn't overcrowded?

Mr. Maps: No. It was nice; it was fun going downtown.

Mr. Aumack: Has the traffic increased?

Mr. Maps: Oh gosh yes, oh yes! (laughter) Traffic around here in terrible now. Just trying to get out of West Palmer Avenue onto Monmouth Road now is difficult. Traffic is horrendous.

Mr. Aumack: Is it because it's overpopulated?

Mr. Maps: I think it has been built up, and Monmouth Road now is a thoroughfare from the south to the north. Broadway to Long Branch isn't that bad, because nobody goes downtown Long Branch any more.

Mr. Aumack: Because it's not what it used to be, right?

Mr. Maps: Right. People go to the mall and do their shopping there.

Mr. Aumack: What advice would you give to young people of Monmouth County, and young people in general, who will hear or read this interview?

Mr. Maps: Enjoy your life, that's it. Do things you enjoy, and help others when you can. And appreciate what you have.

Mr. Aumack: Do you remember any historical monuments in Long Branch that were taken down?

Mr. Maps: There were several in Uptown Long Branch. At the intersection of Norwood, Bath and Broadway in uptown Long Branch, there used to be a drinking fountain for horses. Then traffic got so bad that they tore it down to make it easier to turn off Broadway onto Bath Avenue or Norwood Avenue. That was dedicated to Chattel, who was the School Superintendent in Long Branch way back. In front of the old city hall in Long Branch, down on Broadway a little bit east of the railroad tracks, there was another drinking fountain for horses. On top of that was an iron horse, and I don't know what happened to that. Those are the things I liked to see around.

Mr. Aumack: I'm not sure about my history or if I'm right on this, but do you remember Long Branch before it had traffic lights?

Mr. Maps: Oh, yes.

Mr. Aumack: Describe that...what it was like.

Mr. Maps: They had policemen at the intersections directing traffic.

Mr. Aumack: And everything was ok with that?

Mr. Maps: It was fine. Traffic wasn't bad then.

Mr. Aumack: So there wasn't much to worry about then?

Mr. Maps: No.

Mr. Aumack: Is there anything you would like to add about Long Branch or that strikes you about the history of Long Branch through your eyes?

Mr. Maps: Long Branch was a nice town. I lived on Irving Place after my father died. He had turned the upstairs into a separate apartment for us to live there because my mother was ill and he wanted someone around. After we moved from that neighborhood about thirty-two years ago, I thought that the neighborhood would go downhill. But it hasn't; I was surprised. Everyone is keeping the houses up fine. It's a nice neighborhood still. But when I go back to the street, it has gotten so much narrower, in my mind. When I was small it seemed like a large street, and now it seems like a narrow street and the front yards aren't as deep as they used to be. We used to play football in my front yard, and now it's just a little thing when I look at it now.

Mr. Aumack: Everything looks so much bigger when we are young, right?

Mr. Maps: Yes. I can't think of much else.

Mr. Aumack: What did you and your wife like to do for fun when you lived here?

Mr. Maps: Well we had five children. We didn't do much. We couldn't go out to eat, because it was too expensive with five kids. We used to go out to the movies once in awhile, and my father would babysit. But we didn't do a lot. Did things around the house, you know.

Mr. Aumack: I thank you very much. It has been a pleasure, sir.

Mr. Maps: Thank you.

Mr. Aumack: You're welcome.


  Flora T. Higgins, Project Coordinator
  Monmouth County Library System 2001
  Last Revision  Tuesday, June 12, 2001