I grew up on Sussex Ave from when I was
three in 1946 until I was twenty-two in 1968. Just hanging out on
the stoop was a show. The house was on the corner of Sussex Ave
and Hudson Street. Everyone in the neighborhood would come by. The
Newark Armory was across the Street, St Augustine across from that
and across from St Augustine was a bar. Singer Kier foot it seemed
was the place to work. There was the button factory, the eraser
factory, the parental home and across from that a little luncheonette
where my mother worked.
It seemed as though we were part of a huge family with everyone.
I was young but my older cousins remember when Frank Sinatra got
inducted and came to the Armory to enlist. Someone snapped his picture
however after my parents passed the picture disappeared. My grandfather
John Ciccone worked for Thomas. A Edison and was on the roof when
an explosion threw him off. He was paralyzed after that but typical
of that generation this did not stop him from earning a living.
One of my uncle's built a hot dog wagon for him and my grandmother
would push him up 8th avenue in order for him to sell his products
in Branch Brook Park.
I graduated from Barringer High School in June of 1960 and my class
has had a reunion every five years since. Every time I attend I
say I went to the best high school in the best city and in the best
era. I worked six years at the One Hour Martinizing on the corner
of Roseville Ave and Orange Street. This opened up for me another
whole section of Newark. Grunings was across and Botholts up the
The friends I made in those days are still my friends today.