Newark Friends

by Angelo Jim (De De) Scanelli

It’s been over 50 years since I moved from Newark yet I still consider it my home. Although I went to 14th Ave School I hung out with a group of guys across from St Ann’s Church on 16th Ave. There was a candy store called Sillio’s where we would meet every day. That store was our base of operations for about 4 years and we even named our Softball team, the Sillio’s. As I recall we had to pay for our own baseball shirts, since the owner wouldn’t pay for them. In 1956 we went undefeated in the West Side High Softball League with a 12 and 0 record. Our record for the season was 22 won and 2 lost. We also played basketball for St Ann’s in the CYO league.

A few years later we moved our group to Frisco’s Market on 16th Ave between 10th and 11th street. The owner’s son Frank was one of the guys in our group. I guess his parents were happy to see us around the place, since being there we couldn’t get into too much trouble. I’ll never understand how people shopped there with a group of teenagers hanging around in front of the store.

The Frisco’s were wonderful people and were always there for any of us who needed help. I was really thin and the one problem I had with Mrs Frisco was every time she saw me she would say you’re to shinny and she would try to feed me.

As we got older and starting hitting the bar’s we would always end up at the Frisco’s and they would always welcome us regardless of the condition we were in. And they were always ready to make us breakfast. Often we didn’t arrive until the early hours of the morning yet they always had a smile for us. About two years ago through Facebook nine of us were able to get together and we would meet for breakfast about once a month. There was Al Carrera, Frank Frisco, Sal Giorgianni, Dan Seratelli, Nick Talmo, Sal Locanno, Chick Squallaro, Lenny Cardenale and my self. We would sit for a few hours and talk about the fun we had in Newark. Sadly two have passed away and two are too ill to meet with us. They may be gone but the wonderful memories growing up in Newark we shared will always be there.