S: The Life & Times of Roger Cleveland Hecht
BC: Merry Christmas, Dad. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed gathering the information and pictures for it. Of course, the interview had to be done between the innings of the baseball game, but we got it done! Love, Sherry 2012
FC: The Life and Times of Roger Cleveland Hecht
1: Roger Cleveland Hecht was born to Rudolph and Gladys Hecht on September 26, 1935 in Holy Name hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey Time: 10:55 pm Weight: 7 lbs 13 oz Length: 21 inches | Measuring Baby, that bundle of sweetness, How can one measure such measureless charms! Ne'er was a baby such pink of completeness, Rose-cheeks, and sweet eyes, and fat dimpled arms -Excerpt from Roger's baby book
2: 1935 The Great Depression continued with unemployment running at 20.1% President Roosevelt signed the US Social Security Act War clouds were gathering as German began to rearm Amelia Aerhart flew solo across the Pacific The completely synthetic fiber nylon was produced by Dupont chemist "Swing was born - Benny Goodman and the world were ready to boogie Babe Ruth hit the 714th and final home run of his career Parker brothers released the board game Monopoly The Volkswagen Beetle was launched in Germany Toyota cars were launched in Japan The first experimental radar was developed in the United Kingdom General Electric started selling the first florescent tubes for light The first canned beer went on sale, while a reformed drinker named Bill Wilson formed Alcoholics Anonymous in New York City
3: A Glimpse into Daily Life: Average wager per year $1,600 Average cost to buy a new home $3,450 Average monthly rent for a home $22 Average new car price $625 Cost of a gallon of gas $.10 A loaf of bread $.08 A pound of hamburger meat $.11 Ginger Ale $.20
4: Gladys Stanley Lindauer was born July 29, 1908 in Hoboken, New Jersey. She was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker. | Gladys could be a bit of a tease and always had a wink to let you know she was kidding. She lived with Roger for a 2 years before she passed away on February 5, 1997.
5: Roger's Memories of his Mother "Mom spent a lot of time in the kitchen. We always ate well. She cooked a roast every weekend and catered to me because I didn't like vegetables. She had dinner ready every night at 6:30 when Dad got home from work. Even if she was watching a show on the television, she would rush back to the kitchen to look busy and give him a nice greeting when he walked through the door. She loved to attend Broadway shows in New York, but she rarely spent money on herself. She was very frugal. She managed several "Christmas Clubs" (savings accounts) to save for such things as: Christmas, the Christmas and Thanksgiving turkeys, summer vacation at the sea shore, and her children's college education. Mom was overly critical and prejudice. Sometimes it seemed she didn't like anyone. She was an only child and used to getting her way on things. Dad would often pacify her by buying her things - a fur coat, car, etc. "
6: Rudolph August Hecht was born August 4, 1904 in Haledon, New Jersey. He passed away on March, 1986 | Rudie was a design engineer at Bell Laboratories, later to be known as AT&T. Rudolph was better known as ""Rudie", which fit his warm and playful personality. Grandpa Rudie was famous for his breadies, Rudie Toot ice cream sundaes, entertaining the children, and flirting with waitresses.
7: Roger's Memories of his Father "My father was very patient. He was a gardener and enjoyed gardening flowers. He was also a sports fan - baseball, hockey, football. Dad was also a high-up mucky-muck in the Boy Scouts and I remember he used to march in parades in front of our house in Teaneck. Dad was very devoted to his mother and his two unmarried aunts. He worked hard and long hours on Christmas Eve to set up the trains while the children were asleep. He wore starched collars that would cut your throat! The collars came off the shirts and my mother would take them to the Chinese laundry to have them starched. Dad liked to barbeque and built his own barbeque in our backyard. The rotisserie was "secretly" built at Bell Labs then transferred to our house. Dad walked the cables of the George Washington bridge, which I didn't appreciate that much until I saw Al Roecker from the Today Show do it. Dad and I also walked through one of the tunnels in NY when they were building it. The one that crosses the Hudson River."
8: Gladys was never interested in dating after Rudie passed away. She always said, "I had the best. Forget the rest!." | 52 Wonderful Years of Marriage
9: Grandma's Pot Roast Piece of chuck about 4 or 5 lbs. (sounds like a lot but it shrinks. Or an eye of round. Salt and pepper it-flour all over. Get a piece of suet from butcher about 1/4 lb. Render it (melt it) in a good heavy pot - after enough has melted put meat in with a sliced medium onion and brown meat on all sides. Put flame down and remove any excess pieces of suet. Boil some water and add to pan after all sides, top and bottom are browned. Be careful as it will flare up - best to take off fire when adding water. Add enough water to 3/4 cover the meat. Then add 3 or 4 whole cloves and the little nipples from a lemon end. Put cover on - medium light - cook until meat is easily pierced by fork. Cook about 3 hours. Gravy Remove pieces of onion, lemon, cloves - take about 2 tablespoons flour, add water until of smooth consistency and add slowly to gravy (under low light) until you get consistency of gravy you want - if too thick add more hot water - if thin add a little more flour. LOTS OF LUCK
10: "Grandma and Grandpa Lindauer always bought me nice clothes. Grandma Lindauer was an excellent cook. She always set a nice table and cooked a lot of roasts. Leila suffered a stroke and came to live with us for a while. She just laid in bed. She finally went home and had another stroke and died at a relatively young age. She died when I was about 8." | Leila Hebbard Lindauer Maternal Grandmother Born November 23, 1888 in Bronx New York Died November 4, 1943 in New York
11: Grover Cleveland Lindauer Maternal Grandfather Born December 25 1885 in Rye New York Died August 9, 1968, Teaneck, New Jersey | “Grandpa Lindauer was quiet and didn't say much. He loved gardening and had a huge rose garden. He loved dogs and always had one. He lived in a house that was surrounded by trees so that it was always dark inside. His house was on the way to my school and I’d stop to see him on my way. He gave me money or dahlias to take to my teacher. He would take me to the railroad station to see the trains. He worked for Allied Printing Trades and made trips into New York. Sometimes he took me with him on the ferry boat when he went to New York to do business. He also took me to Niagra Falls and to Florida on two different trips. He could drive a car and peel a hardboiled egg with his left hand out the window as he drove. | Grandpa loved cheese and would bring cheddar back from Canada. Carol and I inherited our love for cheese from him. He bought me a real car with a rumble seat when I was about 12, but my dad wouldn’t let me keep it.”
12: Mary Tanis Hecht Paternal Grandmother February 2, 1873 - July 18, 1964 Immigrated from Ouddorp, Zuid, Holland, when she was approximately 3 years old. | "Grandma Hecht had 5 children all in the same house. She was a very quiet lady who kept herself busy cooking and crocheting despite the arthritis in her fingers. She made things like tablecloths and doilies. She slept in a great big bed all by herself. She died when she fell down the steps to the cellar and landed on her head. The steps were narrow and worn in the middle and she really shouldn’t have been going down those steps. They had junk all over them. Grandma didn’t say much. She sat in her little rocking chair, observed, and minded her own business.
13: Rudolph August Hecht Paternal Grandfather May 24, 1864 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | "I never knew my Grandfather. He worked in the Textile business in Patterson, New Jersey. He made his own wine and his cellar always had a musty smell from the wine making."
14: Sister Roger’s sister, Carol, studied in Vermont to become a nurse. She married Stuart Maynard, had two children – Christopher and Heather - and eventually settled in the Boston area. "Carol was the family favorite because she was the only girl of our generation. She liked to brush and comb my hair. She was very close to our two aunts, Mary and Jo. They loved to sew together. When I finally got my car, my parents made me drive her and her friends to school and I charged them a quarter a week for gas. I remember that Carol used to like stinky cheeses – Limberger and Leiderkranz. Both of them smelled like poop! ” | Cousins My cousin Donald was like a big brother to me. Freddy and Craig, Uncle Nook’s sons, lived in Mexico. Freddy was cool, calm and collected. Craig was a devil and into everything. He went into the army and then became a dentist. He died of Cancer. Fred worked for IBM, but then disappeared and no one heard from him. Either no one knows or no one is telling. Both went to the New Mexico Military institute. Donald Stagg went to Purdue and worked for Dow Chemical. Has lived in Michigan his whole life. He was my father’s role model for me. He wanted me to be like Donald, go to church and find a wife! Of course, Donald’s still married.
15: Aunts & Uncles I only had one Uncle, Uncle Nook. He was Grandpa Rudie's brother. He was always very happy. He sometimes laughed so hard he’d get tears in his eyes. He moved to Mexico City to work in textiles. He worked long hard hours. One year he came to San Francisco and we went to visit him. We went to dinner and he couldn’t get out of his chair and he started laughing until he was in tears. He said, “Roger, I haven’t had this much fun with clothes on in years! “ He knew how to enjoy life. Aunt Mary & Aunt Jo were kind, quiet and never argued. They were very devoted to their mother. They were both very understanding of me and spoiled me a little bit. They never got excited when I got divorced or remarried. When I was a young teenager, I would ride the train and then the bus to stay with them. I helped them paint radiators or the house or whatever projects they had.I never really knew Louise or her husband Mel Stagg. She died when I was little. Her funeral was at the house. She and her husband lived next door to Grandma, Aunt Mary and Aunt Jo. She was warned not to have kids due to some kidney problem, but she had Donald then died several years later. | Rudolph and Mary Hecht with their children: Rudolph (Rudie), Noel (Nook), Josephine (Jo), Louise, and Mary.
16: Early Childhood Roger was a darling little boy. He was little and skinny with blond hair and blue eyes. He was a very well dressed little boy, thanks to gifts from his Grandma and Grandpa Lindauer. “Since we have the movies, it’s hard to know what I actually remember. I remember walking off to kindergarten in Maywood. Grandma was worried and I told her it would be ok. My father once told me a story about when I went to a birthday party at the ministers house. They asked if I wanted a glass of milk and I said, “Only a shot glass full. I was always sick! Chicken pox, measles, etc. I had my tonsils out when I was little. Dr. Litwin took them out in his office at his house. Grandpa Lindauer brought me a hot dog the day I got home. There was a parade that day so he stopped by with a hot dog that I couldn’t eat.
17: I went to Longfellow Elementary School. It was a long walk. When I was little I rode the bus but forgot my books a lot. When I got a little older I walked or rode my bike. I liked school and was a good student. My teachers were: 1st grade – Mrs. Birdsall 2nd - Ms. Patch 3rd – Ms. Burke 4th – Miss Kelley 5th – Miss Georgia 6th Mrs. Dering Miss Kelley was a redheaded Irish lady. Later in life, I visited her in Boston | My best friend when I was young was probably “Sloppy” Sam Segal, the Jewish kid across the street. They were the first ones in the neighborhood to have a TV. He would invite me over to watch the Yankee games and their family made popcorn. It was the first time I had cheese blintzes, which are now one of my favorite breakfast dishes. One time I was playing baseball with their family in the back yard. I was the catcher. The mom was up at bat and hit me in the head on her back swing."
18: "My favorite games were “Spin the Bottle” and baseball. World War II was going on so we used to hide in trees and pretend to shoot each other as if we were at war. We also played hide n seek. I liked to read war stories, the “Lassie Come home” books, and some other series of books about a Canadian who fought in the second World War. When I was young, I had a black and white cocker spaniel named Lady. She liked to go in the car. All you had to do was mention “car” and she’d run out to the car. I would make oatmeal for her to eat on the weekends. I also had 2 hamsters and I built the cages myself out of orange crates. I cant’ remember who pulled my teeth out when they were loose. But Dr. Cherry pulled some of my teeth. The tooth fairy always left quarters for me. I was a cub scout, but never a boy scout. My dad was very involved as a leader, but I just wasn’t interested. .
19: Junior & Senior High School Years Roger attended Teaneck Jr High School and Teaneck Senior High school. “My 7th grade home room teacher was Mrs. Nosatch. In 9th grade was Mr. Smallhear. 12th grade was Ms. Buche. In junior high school I was manager of the baseball team for 4 years and the wrestling teams for 3 years. I was Treasurer for the High-Y (Highschool YMCA, a service organization). I was also a member of the National Honor Society. I was a good, well-behaved student. I was never absent and only late one time in 8th grade (and it wasn’t a real tardy because I had already been to school, but was out playing when the bell rang). My 9th grade Algebra teacher, also the baseball coach, wrote my college recommendation. His name was John Simmons and he was a Yankee fan. He always gave us word problems. Grandpa helped me and I always volunteered to do them for the class on the board."
20: I bought a 1932 Plymouth on Easter day 1952 for $25. In September I was a senior in High school and had turned 17, so I could finally drive it. It was a black car with spoke wheels and I painted all the spokes red. It had a trunk outside the car like a suitcase that stood on a platform. The kids in the neighborhood would hide in there and I would drive them around. Judy Felli was my first date and she was my heart throb at the time. I was 12 years old. We went to the movies in Hackensack, NJ. My mother drove us. When I was a senior, I liked a girl named Gay Altabelly who lived around the corner. I never asked her out. I just used to follow her home from school. I never really went on any dates in High School. I never went to school dances, except for the Senior Prom. But I didn’t take a date I just stood there and watched. We attended the Methodist church in Teaneck. My dad would drop me and Carol off for Sunday school and then pick us up afterward. I had perfect Sunday school attendance but never went to regular church services. When I went to college, I had perfect UNattendance - I never went to church at all except to the bacheloreat service! Some of my favorite memories are attending baseball games at Yankee stadium as a teenager. Traveling to them via subway and bus with the kids in the neighborhood. Some guy from the United Nations from Iran had 2 boys my age and we used to go together. My favorite reserved seats at Yankee Stadium (1st row in right field) were $1.25.
21: College Life Roger studied Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1957. “I was the perfect young adultJust kidding! When I was younger, I used to be shy and quiet. I stayed busy with school activities and studying. By the time I got to college I was more extroverted.a little wild. Let it be noted that I did not partake of alcohol in High school like many others did. My college was all guys, no girls. I lived in the dorm for 4 years except one semester when we lived downtown in apartment across from the Catholic church. The damn bells were always ringing!
22: "I pal-ed around with the same guys most of the time - Fred Wier, Bob Granville, Dan Mowday. Fred was in business, Bob was in electrical engineering, and Dan and I were in mechanical engineering. We used to have a lot of fun – dumping banana cream pies on a someone's car, locking a kid on the other side of the fence near the creek by the parking lot, tearing down the goal posts at Rutgers University after a football game, snowball fights with the freshmen, traveling to different universities with the wrestling team, announcing the wrestling matches my senior year. The “townies” (girls from town) would come up to campus one night a week and we would throw water balloons at them."
23: "I had a car – 1948 Studebaker convertible. It was gun metal blue with red interior and a white top and white wall tires. It was very cool. It was a real oil burner! I used to drive it home 90 miles and had to take oil with me to replace it along the way. I finally traded it in for the new 1957 Ford Fairlane, which I drove to California.”
24: Holiday Memories "On Easter, we always got brand new clothes. The whole family went to church and then we’d go to Grandma Hecht’s house. We went out for Easter Dinner. I don’t remember having baskets or hunting eggs. On the 4th of July, my dad always marched in the parade on Queen Anne Road as part of the scouting group and we cheered him on. Then we had a barbeque with the family, including Aunt Mary and Aunt Jo. When I was little I always dressed up for Halloween. One year I was Ferdinand the Bull. When I was older, we’d go around the neighborhood and find out who was giving out quarters and then we’d go to those houses. The second time around we skipped all the people with candy and fruit and only hit the people with quarters. I usually just wore a sarape and a straw hat. We didn’t play tricks or get into any trouble. | For Thanksgiving, we usually went to Grandma Hecht’s house in Haledon or we ate out. We always had turkey. Aunt Mary and I always fought for the skin while Grandpa was trying to carve the turkey. We also went to the Teaneck/Hackensack football game."
25: "We always hung stockings on Christmas eve and we went to bed early. After we were asleep, my parents trimmed the tree and set up the trains. Grandma and the aunts always came to our house on Christmas afternoon for the usual turkey dinner."
26: More Favorite Memories My favorite family memories are probably our summer vacations and family barbeques. We always took vacations at the New Jersey shore – 2 weeks every summer. We had BBQ parties on the holidays with our neighbors or my grandmother and aunts. We spent time visiting my grandmother and Aunts almost every weekend. At least one day every weekend we either went up or they came down for dinner." | "I had a few jobs growing up. I used to shove snow for the neighbors and I worked at the Teaneck library putting books back on the shelves using the Dewey decimal system. Aunt Jo got me that job because she knew Mrs. Friedman, the Librarian. I also delivered new phone books and picked up the old ones. I had all the little kids in the neighborhood helping me. They rode in the back of the car and hopped in an out as we collected and delivered the phone books. I was a bus boy in college at the college restaurant in Bethsland. Two summers I worked at Bell Labs during the summer doing drafting. One summer I worked at Curtis Wright in the propeller division in Caldwell, New Jersey while attending summer school at Rutgers State University. "
27: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.
28: GT VIII Mission NASA MSC Houston, Texas March 19, 1966
29: Professional Career Immediately after college, Roger went to work for RocketDyne in the Santa Suzanna Mountains, outside of Los Angeles. There, he tested rock engines. He left Rocketdyne to work for Lockheed Missile and Space Company. At Lockheed, he had a long and distinguished career and was known as one of the world's best propulsionist engineers. He retired in 1992. | MILSTAR Test Team 1991
30: "I don’t remember what I wanted to be when I grew up. There wasn’t anything I really thought about. I just got railroaded into engineering. The counselor at school thought I’d do good with science classes and engineering and since Grandpa was an engineer, it was just assumed that’s what I would do. If I could do it all over again, I’d be a baseball announcer. I’d go into communications and do sports communications.” | "One of the most important lessons I learned throughout my career is that getting along with people is important. Sometimes being able to do that is more important than having brains. You have to be able to manage people to get cooperation. You have to have teamwork."
31: “I met Gail when she and her high school girlfriends were driving their cars around the Lehigh University campus. We dated for about 1 -2 yrs while I was in college. When I graduated, I went to California for work. After 6 months, I went back and married Gail. Mom did not like Gail. Gail visited our house one time and didn’t volunteer to help with the dishes, so Grandma decided she didn’t like her. My parents didn’t like the idea of me getting married at all, and they wanted me to stay local and live at home and work. But I wanted to get out of there! Gail’s father liked me, but her mom was a little distant. We got married in Bethlehem, PA. We drove to NJ and stayed in a motel for our honeymoon. Then we immediately flew to Van Nuys, California to live.” | Marriage and Family Roger married Gail Frankenfield on December 28, 1957. They had two daughters: Laurie Anne Born June 7, 1959 Tracy Lynn Born March 15, 1961
32: Roger married Phyllis Payne in November, 1964 They had three children: Sheryl Frances June 6, 1965 Kristie Lynn January 12, 1967 Craig Scott November 19, 1969 "I met Phyllis when we both worked at Lockheed. We kind of knew each other already, but then one Friday night the boys were out after work having a drink at Lamalett's restaurant in Palo Alto. Phyllis was there. We talked and I got to know her better. Phyllis and I got married in Las Vegas and then went to the Highlands Inn in Carmel and got married again with a few friends there. My mother and father did not approve of me getting divorced from Gail, so they weren’t happy about me getting re-married. But eventually they got to know Phyllis and liked her."
33: Roger married Sharon Ruffner Sanders on February 14, 1978. Sharon had two children, Keith and Kim. Roger and Sharon were divorced in 1992. “I met Sharon at the teller of the bank near Vandenburg Air Force base where I was working temporarily. I asked her out but she told me she wasn’t allowed to date customers of the bank. So I told her I was changing banks! She agreed to go out with me and we ate at a restaurant at the end of a pier on the California Central coast. We originally got married in Santa Cruz by a Justice of the Peace but then got married again in Solvang with the entire family there."
34: Roger's Children Craig Kristie Laurie Tracy Sherry | Roger's Grandchildren Back Row: Mark, Sarena, Hannah, Stephanie Front Row: Anthony James, Corvin, Ryan, Lydia, Melia, Megan