dAN's Parents' House 

History as told by...


Chris Clavin:
The first time I stayed at dAN's Parents' house it was crazy. I came
with a busload of punks. We were on tour, there were at least 30 of
us. Dan assured us there would be room for all. When we arrived at 2
A.M. after an eleven band show in Brooklyn, we found a maze filled
with odd things and old newspapers. It was loaded with the weirdest
things: boxes of springs, toys (in their packages), old magazines,
random piles of wood and metal and the front door was covered in old
keys (nailed to the door). A few keys fell off every time you opened
and closed the door. I slept in "the Simpon's room". It was great, it
was a small, private room, filled with toys, mostly Simpon's toys. Not
everyone was as lucky as me, some of us slept in the bus for lack of
floor space, one of us found an old mattress in a dark room in the
basement. It took us almost an hour to find him in the morning, since
he didn't tell us where he was going when he wandered into the dark
and moldy dungeon. When we finally found him, in he dim light of day
that seeped in, we could see how old and dingy the mattress was and we
could just make out the "Rambo" mural on the wall, which said "Rambo"
under an M-16.

These days it's a lot nicer. The Simpson's room is the twin's room
now, the attic is finished and awesome, the basement is an amazing
workshop and there's no piles of random junk...well there is still a
lot of random junk, but it's all very well organized now. I've always
loved staying on city Island with Dan, and now with Dan and Reina.
It's been my sanctuary when in NYC (which I don't really care for).
They have always made me feel welcome and at home. I really do feel at
home there. The front door is still covered in keys,  and the doormat
is too. I love City Island and dAN's Parents' house.
 
Harold Treiber:

History According to Dad

If I could wave a wand, I would start my story of the history of the house backwards, with an image of the
present. I would then transport you back in time in much the same way Dan’s Parents’ House shifts time for all
of you. My endpoint of the current chapter of the house at 75 Earley would be standing in front of the house
with a grandchild in each arm and tears in my eyes. On October 12, 2011 Thora Evandra Treiber and Waverly
Abraham Treiber were born. Thora’s middle name is after my Dad Eugene who would have been so proud and
Waverly is named after Dan’s wife Reina’s dad who, I am sure, would have been equally proud. On the Sunday
after they were born I had the amazing privilege to pick Reina and the twins up at the hospital and bring them
to the house on Earley Street. Other than the day of my marriage to Sarene, this has been my happiest moment.
What was magical about this moment was that this was the house in which my children grew up and, what
was equally magical was that this was now the house that belonged to Dan and Reina through my and Sarene’s
efforts.

And now let’s go backwards in time. Memories float through my mind as I think of the house at 75 Earley Street
where I raised my sons. There are no rhymes or reasons why particular events stand out, but there are recurrent
themes. My first memory is being overwhelmed with tears. We had looked at City Island for over two years and
finally found a house that “worked”. We had cobbled together much of our life savings and financial support
from our parents and I had just made the mistake of believing that a handshake agreement between honorable
men would suffice. The tears were in response to a phone call a week later that the house would be sold to
someone else. Bereft, I called the one person I knew would help – my dad. Though he never lived in the house,
he clearly has a special place in it. My dad contacted the owner and the following day the house was ours. A
month later we moved in.

The moving van we hired made two round trips and we made seven. The last trip ended somewhere after
midnight. As I sat in the living room, too tired to get up and too tired to go to sleep, I had the ridiculous urge to
put up shelves. It was sheer insanity but this was my house and I was going to make it mine. Though I loved our
prior apartment, we could not hammer nails into the walls and most certainly we could not do anything at 1:00
AM. At 75 Earley Street, we could do what we wanted, when we wanted – even if it was poor timing. It was our
kingdom.

A few months later our first son, Josh, was born, followed two years later by Dan. The house was the center
of our lives and the fireplace my friend Andy Durante and I built became its centerpiece. During weekends the
sounds of children enveloped the House as we became the favorite destination for kids. In the evening, with the
fireplace lit, we would sit on the floor with friends and play Risk. Usually there were 6 to 8 pacifists playing war
games. It was safer on paper.

Both the joy and deficit of City Island was that everyone knew everyone. I would get off the Express bus, stop
in the IGA and, in addition to buying a loaf of bread, would find out about my son’s math score on the exam
that day. Also, being Little League Coach for 8 years meant that everyone knew you. I still have the jacket the
team got me that said “Coach” on the back, and I think I will keep it forever. The days on City Island moved
slowly, though the years flashed by. The Crayon Box where Dan and his brother went to nursery school yielded
to PS 175 then to La Guardia High School and Environmental Studies and then to Pratt and Kutztown. The one
constant was the house at 75 Earley Street.

To simply say that my wife “left” leaves a lot out. But this is not the appropriate forum for this discussion. Life
indeed does move on, and, when one has children, nothing ever stops. As I said earlier, patterns do repeat
themselves. When I was 16 my mom passed away so I grew up in the house of my father. When Dan was 17
and his brother 19 they grew up in the house of their father. The recurrent memory of my first year as sole
houseparent was the daily call from my father to tell me funny stories of his day at work and to ask me whether
I had remembered to eat. I guess you will always be a child to your parent regardless of your age. As an also
recurrent theme, my father, from time to time, would toss money into the mortgage fund. As I soon discovered,
a house, kids and a single income do not always do well. He somehow managed to be supportive without
damaging my manhood. For that among many things I will be eternally grateful. As a coda to this part of the
story, the House not only grew in value to us, but grew in value to everyone else. I eventually had to buy back
half of the House for significantly more than the original price in order to keep it in the family. Despite the
economic hardship, there simply was no other alternative as 75 Earley Street was woven into the fabric of my
sons’ lives.

Several years after my ex moved out and my elder son moved out
I again started dating. For anyone interested, it is not any easier at fifty five than at fifteen. Your palms still
get sweaty, your heart races and you continually shower. Forty years after my first date, I was still nervous. It
took two years of dating to get up the nerve and ask her to marry me, but in saying yes, Sarene made me the
happiest man on City Island. Sarene has house memories as well from this time. On her first trip to the house
after we began dating, she remembers arriving to me anxiously waiting on the steps hoping she had not gotten
lost. It was in the days before cell phones and Google maps. Somehow if I stood on the steps I could magically
guide her to the house. Standing right behind me were my two sons giggling hysterically, offering sage advice to
their nervous dad. What was particularly silly about my concern was that this was not Sarene’s first trip to the
House or to the Island. At minimum, there was at least an annual pilgrimage to see Dan at the Craft Fair or at the
onetime gallery.

As part of our marriage I was blessed with two amazing stepdaughters who have accepted me unconditionally.
I moved to Mamaroneck and Dan, for a while, was the last member of our family at 75 Earley. Both Crafty
Records and Dan’s continuing craft skills grew in this house. A few years after I moved out Reina moved in.
I don’t think I ever saw Dan happier. She is the perfect partner and we adore her. As noted, with Sarene’s
significant help and Reina’s support, he and I were able to work out a deal for him to remain in, and then buy,
the house in which he had grown up. When this was completed, I had visions of my Dad passing the torch as yet
again another Treiber father helped another Treiber son. Somewhere I knew my dad was smiling.

I am firmly convinced that your salesperson’s genes come from your grandfather. When I look at the picture
at the top of the page of him and my mom in the retail store they operated in Brooklyn, I think of you and Reina.
It is my strong wish that Thora and Waverly grow up with the same fond memories of their Dad’s store
as I have of mine.

I wave my wand again and bring you now full circle. As I see it, the name of Dan’s business, Dan’s Parents’
House, not only celebrates some of the positives of its history, it also celebrates its current positives. Dan’s life
has grown to include a wife and children and a step-parent, all of whom are now involved in the present life of
the house at 75 Earley Street. My life has grown to include a wife, stepdaughters, and daughters–in-law and
grandchildren. It is in recognition of this transition that Sarene and I are happy to celebrate Dan’s Parent House.

If you remember, my story of 75 Earley initially began with tears as we almost lost the house. Decades later
here I was, married to Sarene with a grandchild in each hand walking up the steps crying again. But these were
tears of joy, as the next generation was now home and a new chapter began.



Marsha Treiber:

History According to Mom

In 1977, when I was pregnant with Dan’s older brother Josh, my then husband Harold
and I decided to buy a house. We were looking in White Plains, but realized it was
too long a commute to Brooklyn where he was working. We had met a couple in our
building on the mainland Bronx, and they introduced us to City Island where Andy had
grown up. We looked and looked, but couldn’t find anything we could afford.

I was working at a hospital in the Bronx, and a secretary overheard me telling someone
how hard it was to find a house. Louise said to me, “my son is selling our house.” She
was her son’s tenant, living in the downstairs apartment in the house where she had
raised her children. We contacted her son and his wife, and after some stiff negotiating,
we bought the house at 75 Earley Street on City Island and moved in at the end of
October of 1977.

For the first eight years, we rented that downstairs apartment to a succession of people
so that we could make the mortgage payments. Dan and Josh shared a bedroom.
When we took over the basement, Dan moved into our former den which eventually
became the “Simpson’s Room” when he and Reina got married (where he began storing
merchandise for his not-yet business).

Harold and I were hoarders, and a bit compulsive about electronics. The attic became
home to the original box for any electronic device/appliance we ever owned – even long
past the time when we had discarded the actual items. It also became the repository for
stuff belonging to relatives who moved away from New York. They didn’t want to take
certain items with them, yet could not bring themselves to throw the stuff away. The
attic also became the storage space for every toy Josh and Dan ever owned and all the
clothing any of us ever outgrew.

I moved out, then Josh, then Harold. When Reina moved in, Dan and she wanted to
clean out the attic of the 25 years worth of stuff that was left behind by the rest of
us. So over a period of two years, he and Reina went through every single item
that was up there, a room that ran the entire length and width of the house. Oh, what
treasures they discovered hiding up there, that perhaps other people might want to
own. So Dan started taking the treasures to the Brooklyn Flea, and thus, Dan’s Parents
House was born.




Brook  Pridemore:

I moved to New York from Michigan in 2002, hoping to meet other musicians on the cutting edge; but I got a quick ego deflation when I got here. I had a big voice, and a big stage presence, but I had nothing to say. Mostly, people didn't pay me much mind beyond check-out-the-screaming-drunk-kid-style sideshow fascination. Within six months, I was sure I'd never find a label or bands to tour with.

dAN Treiber saw me one night, opening for King Missile, and saw something no one else had: potential. Beneath the puppy fat and the Midwest-ingrained uncouth, dAN saw the musician I'd become, even before I did. He offered to release my CDs and take me on tour.

Through the eight years I was involved with dAN's Crafty Records, I learned a lot of things about the man. He can't sing or play an instrument to save his life, but he was an invaluable presence in the recording studio. Often, dAN would serve as a middleman between me and the engineer, a third set of ears that wasn't connected egotistically to the song we were working on. On the road, dAN was capable of shaking another twenty or so bucks out of a stingy bar owner, or explaining politely how to pass a bucket at a house show. Over the years, dAN started to get excited about flea markets, and started to pile more and more junk into the van with our regular music gear. The junk had no unifying theme, other than it caught dAN's eye, and he thought he could put it in the hands of the right people. In retrospect, dAN did with junk what he did with me.

And this is dAN Treiber's one true talent: finding worth in the seemingly worthless. If you've got a pile of random old postcards cluttering up your roll-top desk, dAN will put them in other peoples' homes, through his sheer exuberance for crap. If you knew me in 2002, you would know that I was a lump of coal. dAN helped the diamond inside shine, and he continues to do so with your weird castoffs, today.



Stick Martin:

I moved into Dan's House after dropping out of college and hating life back in my home town. Dan was supposed to have cleaned out a room in the basement prior to me moving in but he never did. So when I got there my first task was to empty out the room I was to live in for the next year. "What was in that room?" you ask. Everything. Boxes of toys, old clothes, an ancient computer. Once in a while a stray cat would even get in there. We would chase the stray cats out and then I always felt like they were given me dirty looks when I was in the back yard with them. I would borrow clothes from Dan sometimes, I still have 2 shirts to this day, one is marked "Herb's Meat Market, You Can't Beat Herb's Meat" and the other simply "Dummy."