Newark Memories

by Ellie Ciccone


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 road.

The friends I made in those days are still my friends today.


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