Town Crier: Too many Halloween characters seen already

MONTCLARION: October 29, 2010

Halloween is here, and it couldn’t come at a better time. I think we could all use a break from reality.

Yet despite the silliness of this spirited celebration, we insist on wearing costumes that remind us of the very things we are trying to forget. The National Retail Federation says witches, vampires and pirates are the big sellers this year — along with Lady Gaga. I get enough of these characters in the news — I don’t need to party with them.

I’m sticking a gourd on my head and going as the Great Pumpkin.

BOLD JOURNEY: Two Montclarions are headed to Haiti next week to help children in the quake-ravaged nation. Serena Clayton and Dr. Dirk Smith are part of Sionfonds, an organization that supports school health centers in rural communities where aid organizations don’t normally go.

Clayton and Smith met when their own kids were at Montclair Elementary School. Now that they’re empty nesters, they want to volunteer somewhere where they can make a difference.

It’s Clayton’s third trip to Haiti since the earthquake, and each time she pays her own travel expenses — about $1,000 per trip. She feels every penny is worth it.

“Sionfonds has built schools, set up school lunch programs, supported nursing students, and makes a small amount of money go a long way,” she says. To learn more about Sionfonds and how you can help, see


AROUND TOWN: After months of negotiations with landlords, Montclair Antiques & eBay is staying at 2017 Mountain Blvd. Owner Niels Dahl-Jensen says the new building owner has made a good offer and he’s staying for the next 21/2 to 5 years.

If only the same could be said for his neighbor, longtime merchant Erik Hoffmann at Montclair Village Hardware. When faced with a rent increase he couldn’t afford (before the new landlords came in to renegotiate) Hoffmann signed a lease for a storefront at 5048 Woodminster Lane.

“When he moves,” says Dahl-Jensen, “I’ll be the only retail left on the block! A small retail shop cannot stand alone among banks, real estate offices and restaurants.”

Montclair Village Hardware moving this fall will be quite a loss to the Village, where the hardware store has done business for almost 70 years. More on this later.

ANIMAL TALES: Jayne Hofer has a window to the world — the animal world, that is. Her home office window opens onto the roof, where she’s had some curious visitors of late. Tom Turkey strutted by one day recently, having propelled himself onto the shingles via the balcony. But that’s not even the strangest story. Her cat has sleepovers — Hofer found her kitty curled up with another cat. Boy did the fur fly.


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