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“Paterson” now back in print! (via www.bn.com et al)
“I never should have left Paterson,” comedian Lou Costello said in 1951’s “Abbott & Costello Meet the Invisible Man.” In fact, Paterson has been a place of comings and goings for generations, yet still manages to pull at the heartstrings. Larry Doby, who broke the color barrier in the American league, called it home. Among the many notables born in the “Silk City” were shuttle astronaut Kathryn Sullivan and actress Sue Ann Langdon, who played Alice Kramden in the 1962 version of “The Jackie Gleason Show.” What’s more, this city — an industrial giant once envisioned by Alexander Hamilton — gave birth to the famed Colt revolver, the modern-day submarine, the locomotives that linked America’s coasts and the engine that powered Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis.” Its Danforth Library is a work of art in itself, designed by architect Henry Bacon, who went on to create Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial in its image. Today, it houses an art collection — much of it the family legacy of Paterson’s own Garret Hobart, vice president under McKinley — that could earn it the name “Paterson’s Louvre.” There is also no shortage of local lore. The Ghosts of Eastside High School didn`t get that moniker by accident. The school sits on a one-time cemetery. And yes, Lou Costello couldn’t stay away, coming back for premiers at The Fabian. Philip M. Read, the great-grandson of a Paterson silk weaver whose family like so many others emigrated from Macclesfield, England, is a graduate of Boston University and long-time journalist who has worked for several New Jersey newspapers. His first job, in fact, was at the old Paterson News. Join him in this eye-opening and appreciative look back, mindful of what was and what still might be.
I kind of agree with cconnelly. I wrote “Paterson,” one of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series (www.bn.com) in 2003. I drove to the Danforth Library and spent time there 5 weekends in a row. I’ve been on the Eastside Neighborhood Tour several times. In doing the book, I realized that much of century-old Paterson is still standing, ripe for revival. Much of Newark has been taken down, it’s architectual beauty lost forever. If you’re serious about saving the Fabian, contact the town’s old elite, Sen. Frank Lautenberg and ask him if he can muster a group of monied individuals who’d like to gamble and try reading from the Jersey City Loews lesson and see if it can fly. Ask them to pony up the first gifts in a fund-raising drive. Hey, Clifton parents a few years ago raised $100,000 plus for band uniforms in a few weeks; seems there’s enough resources connected to good old Paterson.