House in Hempstead Gardens
Dadda had a croquet court made at his sumptuous new home in Hempstead Gardens, Long Island. He had the house built. I saw it once or twice while it was being built. It seemed to be in a grove of trees, just back from the road.
I spent many a pleasant day there during the following years. One time I’ll never forget, was riding my new Bike from Bay Ridge Brooklyn, to Hempstead gardens. Believe me I was tired. I even hiked it once for a Boy Scout Merit Badge for a 20 mile hike. I won the bike at a Church raffle, run by Aunt Helen. It was the only thing I ever won. ( MMP: It was the Norwegian Hospital Bazaar. Aunt Helen only donated the bike .)
Burton Youngman tells an amusing story about Aunt Helen (his mother – and a dear person full of pep) in Hempstead Gardens.
"My mother inherited Dadda’s worst traits (in driving). On a Christmas Day when all of us were at Hempstead Gardens, there was a new Model "T" Ford (later mine) in the driveway. My mother had never driven anything larger than a bicycle, but she had to give it a whirl. Mr. Lundeby cranked it for her and away she went. She drove all the way to Hempstead.
"In Hempstead, there stood a policeman with his sign turned to STOP. She breezed right past him. ‘I don’t know how to stop,’ she exclaimed as she passed the nonplussed guardian.
"Around the block she went and passed the officer again, this time with a pleasant smile. And around again, hoping the Ford would stop of its own accord. Then back to Hempstead Gardens and up the driveway. Everyone was waiting, lining the sides of the driveway. On she drove into the garage and smack against the wall with a tremendous BANG. The end of the garage went unrepaired for years, as a sort of reminder of that Christmas Day."
Mr. Lundeby (my Uncle Arnt) ran the gentleman’s farm and worked around the place, keeping it ship-shape. He had started with Dadda on one of the hoisters, but disliked it so much that Dadda brought him to Hempstead Gardens to run the farm and take care of things. He used to tell me that Dadda hardly ever went for a trip in one of his Hudsons that he didn’t come back minus a bumper, mirror, or mud guard ( MMP: Uncle Arnt was married to Mormor’s sister, Bertha ).
The only time I remember being a bit apprehensive riding with Dadda, was on a trip up to Cragsmoor. We got off the ferry and started up the steep Fort Lee hill. Dadda started off in high gear. When it came time to shift down to second gear Dadda had a little trouble.. The gears kept grinding refusing him entry to second. Soon the car stopped and began rolling backwards. There were cars coming up the hill behind us. Dadda jammed on his brakes and finally managed to shift – into low this time. Once he got into low, he stepped on the accelerator, released the brakes, and we started up the hill again, with a jerk. Those Hudsons were hard to shift down, it took double clutching and timing.
Dadda was born in 1853 and died in 1931 at Hempstead Gardens.
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