When I was growing up, my family home was covered in wood paneling. This process started well before I was around. Not just in the home I was raised, but in all the homes and apartments my family ever lived. They were just obsessed with wood paneling.
Sadly I don’t have a lot of photos from where I lived, especially not of the rooms. But I was lucky enough to save boxes of receipts that my Mother was throwing out in the eighties. In them, I have found lots of interesting information on the price of things from decades past. As well as stores long gone.
In 1969, my father went to J Taffaro Lumber Company in West New York and bought three 4×8 Brazilian Walnut Wood Panels and a box of nails. He paid a whopping $25.24. In today’s dollars that would be $164.76. That seems pretty pricey to me. Although admittedly, I don’t know much about the cost of paneling.
What I do see is that my family was serious about wood paneling. It also explains why well into the eighties, when people were starting to move away from wood paneling, we were still putting it up.
Looking online, it appear the J Taffaro Lumber Company is no longer in business. I have a vague recollection of driving by it as a kid on the way to some other store and my Mom pointing it out. It stuck in my head because I liked the way “Taffaro” sounds.
I did find this New York Times article that mentions Taffaro. It is about two politicians and corruption. I know what your thinking. New Jersey? Corruption? Politics? Yeah, I guess the Garden State has always had some constants.
Here is a full scan of the receipt.