Sunday, June 24, 2012

East Orange NJ

Dick Kollmar's Paris in the Sky

If you went to East Orange now, you'd ask yourself, "How could this be?" But it had in a past era  a sort-of hotel resort section. Some of those hotels catered to a Jewish clientele. That scene very quickly disappeared during the 1950's.   Dick Kollmar was probably Richard Kollmar, husband of newspaper columnist & "What's My Line?" panelist Dorothy Kilgallen,  with whom he had co-hosted a morning radio program, "Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick."  It's a good guess because Kollmar had also owned a New York City nightclub.

Dorothy Kilgallen was one of number of notable people who died mysteriously in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.  Her death in 1965 was ruled a barbiturate & alcohol suicide, but all her notes on her interview  with Lee Harvey Oswald assassin Jack Ruby were missing from her apartment.

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I was in East Orange in the mid-seventies for a wedding and not knowing the area, the bride's recommendation for a hotel to stay in left us no choice but to drive six hours back to Boston after the wedding. I would have liked to have explored New Jersey, as I had been to the cattle and farming country in the state and it was gorgeous. I had never seen the shore, and sadly haven't returned to the state. Maybe one day... I love your posts, and the live beach cam shots of the shore.
If the internet had been around then you would have found a place to stay. I would have recommended the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth, right nest to the Garden State Parkway, 15 minutes south of East Orange, or the Howard Johnson's another ten minutes south of Holiday Inn.
Funny, my dad was the general manager for this hotel from 1957 to 1965. He was also the opening GM for Paris In The Sky as well. Dick Kollmer was the promoter of the club, but Harry Taylor owned both the club and the hotel. Ironically my father left the Suburban to become GM of the aforementioned Holiday Inn, Kenilworth.
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