A Lullaby of Old Red Bank

December 1, 2011

By Jeanne Van Dorn Mauk

JEANNE FROMMER LIVED in Red Bank only a year or two, and her father, Nathan Frommer, was employed at the Eisner clothing/uniform factory. The family lived on John Street, second house on the right coming from Harrison Avenue, where I lived at #21. We were playmates and had much fun together. This was during the Depression, and we were somewhere around 10 or 11 years of age.
I loved going to Jeanne’s house because her mother always had some treats on hand. And Jeanne had a little brother about five years of age, who would sit on my lap and listen as I made up stories or songs, a wide grin spread over that little face. My siblings were all grown, and knowing a younger child was fun for me – and obviously for Buddy.
Jeanne and I and Evelyn Leavens would regularly go down to the local radio station WBRB on Fridays when a virtual talent show was presented by “Lady Sunshine.” I remember that both Jeanne Frommer and I…at different times….sang, Lullaby of Broadway, a big hit at the time.
The Frommers moved away to the Midwest, where presumably Mr. Frommer was offered a better job. I never had a letter or other communication from or about them…until the notice of Jeanne’s engagement in the Trib awakened the idea. I was working on a magazine in New York at the time, as was she. I wrote to her parents’ address, and eventually we were in regular communication. We have been in touch as we raised our families. Her daughter married and Englishman and her son, a French woman.
The European influence is not surprising when you realize that Buddy…Arthur Frommer…was the originator of Budget Travel, a tourist travel guide that later became a popular national magazine, as it remains today. Very well-known, this little boy I used to tell stories and sing to on John Street in Red Bank!

Red Bank native Jeanne Van Dorn Mauk lives in Deland, Florida



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