Thursday, October 23, 2008

Arnold Constable

Among my earliest childhood memories are being dragged by my mother to “the stores”. At that time, the malls had not
yet arrived in Bergen County New Jersey so people still went “downtown” which in our case meant Main Street in Hackensack. Not yet in Kindergarten, I visited Packard’s, Woolworth’s and that perfume laden place, Arnold Constables. It was what my mother called “a lady’s store”. The whole place reeked of perfume and I can remember smelling like Chanel No. 5 the rest of the day, or possibly until the next day when I changed my clothes. One nice thing about going to school was that I missed out on these daytime excursions in the world of women’s shopping.

As a twelve year old, Arnold Constables re-emerged once in my life as the location of a special appearance by Cousin Brucie aka Bruce Morrow, the disc jockey. I remember the place was full of kids, and most of them did not smell like perfume. This one girl I didn’t know started talking to me about music. I held my own, showing off my knowledge of the Animals and the Stones. My first exposure to the faster set that traveled at will to see music celebrities.

Bruce Morrow showed up. There was lots of screaming. I don’t remember what he talked about. Presumably it was to promote his radio show on WABC and perhaps a few products.

Today long gone, Arnold Constables in Hackensack is now a campus of Bergen Community College. Bruce Morrow does oldies shows for public television “pitch week”.

Editor’s note:  This post is mentioned in the Hackensack Community Message Board. Interesting site for Bergen County history buffs.