Friday, 13 June 2008

Author Cat Bauer Takes Pride in PLHS Beginnings

Today, it's Shameless Self Promotion Day, or, rather, Guest Blogger Day, featuring an article written by a young woman from my former high school, aspiring journalist, Pauline Kitele. Pauline interviewed me for the 75th Anniversary edition of The Cardinal, Pompton Lakes High School's newspaper. Pompton has a vicious cardinal as their symbol -- very frightening on the football field. While I am happy that Pauline christened me "a superstar by her own creative merits," I have to clarify that although I might have a passion for the piano and the violin, I can't play them at all anymore, and I never could play them very well to begin with. I was, however, first clarinet, first chair in the orchestra after Debbie Fee moved out of Pompton, and I can still strum the guitar a bit. (Even though Harley can play the oboe in the new edition of Harley, Like a Person, I can't play the oboe at all.)

However, Pompton Lakes' BIGGEST claim to fame is that it was the setting for the quiet suburban town in the movie In & Out starring Kevin Kline. Even though it's supposed to be set in Indiana, with the magic of Hollywood, it was actually shot right in good ol' Pompton Lakes, New Jersey because, well, you really cannot find a more typically quiet suburban town in the entire United States of America -- that is why I set Harley there, too! In fact, perhaps in the future, Pompton Lakes will become a tourist attraction like Venice, Italy -- the Last Remaining Typical Quiet Suburban Town Left in the World. Then, everyone can go there to have a look, and the locals will get crazy, and...... Apparently the town is still quite upset because Paramount did not put them in the location credits at the end of the film, so we shall correct that situation right now!
I can't figure out how to increase the text size, so I'll leave that to you folks at home to adjust your view. And there is a little bit about Venice at the end, in keeping with the theme of the blog:) (After many attempts to format the article, there was nothing to do so you can read it but create a new blog called):


  1. Having been raised in Pompton Lakes and having read your book several years ago, I was happy to find this Blog. It was hard to be an intellectual when you live in Pompton Lakes. Though it's near NYC, Pomptonians try to avoid going into the city as much as possible. My friends and I though did make pilgrimages every Friday night starting when we got our licenses at 17. The drinking age was 18 then in New York, but any bar would serve you without any ID if you looked at least 16. We'd park the car at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Parking lot and take the 5th Ave bus down to the Village. This was in the early 1960's. We couldn't tell our parents that we were trolling Village bars for college boys, so we'd make up some story to account for the mileage. Most of the other kids at Pompton Lakes High School drove north to the border of NY to Greenwood Lake on Friday nights. At that time, bars run by the Mafia, would feature acts like the Ronettes and Jackie Wilson. The main goal of anyone from PLHS was to drink. There wasn't any drug use that I knew of at the time. That changed in the late '60's. After college graduation, I returned home for 2 years, but really hated living with my parents. I was shocked when I had to show proof of age(at the time 21) to take out a certain library book. I told the librarian that I had read "The Grapes of Wrath" at age 13 and no one had stopped me then.

  2. Ah, yes, Anonymous, the Good Ol' Days when we had to drive to New York for a drink.

    I was back in Pompton several times from 2004-2006 to do research on my second book, HARLEY'S NINTH, which you might enjoy even more:) The town is much the same.

    I used to cut school and go to NYC, which I highly recommend to anyone with a brain anywhere all over the world: if you are too bored in class, CUT SCHOOL and go to the nearest big city and see the sights. Go to the museums and the libraries. The teachers will get the message when all the smart kids are no longer there.

    I did have some excellent teachers, luckily, in some of the subjects I was interested in. But the amazing lack of languages, geography, world history, the classics, etc., taught in the United States must be corrected.