Days of Yore
as recounted by

Bill Day


Do You Remember? (Gaffney)
Remember Gaffney, the red faced Irish huckster, who lived in Westmont in the house next to the Westmont hardware store?  He daily came to town to peddle his produce from door to door.  When he first started up his business his wagon was pulled by a team of mules, but he soon prospered and he purchased two fine horses and dressed them in fancy harnesses, that with class, hauled him in his farm wagon around Haddonfield.  On the front of the wagon's roof was printed "Here Comes Gaffney", and across the roof at the rear was printed "There Goes Gaffney".

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One day a truck stopped at a service station on west Kings highway to inquire of Jake Braddock the where-abouts of the Regensburg grocery store that had just gone out of business.  On the sides of the truck was lettered "Smithville Inn".  The truck had come to pick up the old antique counter that had been a landmark in Regensburg's store there next to the railroad crossing at the Highway for years.  Herman and John Regensburg had sold the fixture to Mr and Mrs Fred Noyes, the proprietors of the Inn.  The counter is now in one of the old stores at Smithville, down on Route 9 near Absecon.

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One day in the early 1940's a ten-year-old boy was in a store on the Highway purchasing a baseball and baseball bat.  He extracted from his pants pocket, like an adult, his folded paper money and paid for his purchases.  When the youngster left the store a candy salesman who had witnessed the transaction remarked to the clerk that only in a town like Haddonfield would what he had seen been possible.  He was further impressed when he was informed that the youngster was the grandson of the conductor, Arturo Toscanini.  The boy was living on Warwick Road when his father was employed at the RCA in Camden.

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In the heyday of the Model "T" Ford there was an Agency on east Kings highway.  One of the salesman was Anson Richardson, a longtime Haddonfield resident who was a bachelor.  As the years advanced on Anson he became the operator of a jitney service in town.  When competition in the taxi business increased Anson went into business as a private night watchman for homes throughout the town and for many businesses on the Main street.

For a weekly fee Anson's clients were relieved to know that their properties were closely policed every night.  Armed with only a flashlight, Anson covered over thirteen miles on his rounds.  His route extended from the Tavistock section to the business area.  In thirty-three years Anson missed two nights that he was not on duty.  He was found one day in his apartment behind a restaurant on the Main street, and a Haddonfield old-timer, whose career had been unusual, became a memory. Homepage
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