Uncle Pat had very little, if any, formal
education, but was a very bright business man. He traveled through
the country, doing many jobs as they became available. Receiving
many learning experiences, which he used later in his many ventures.
Returning to Newark, he rented a large house on Mulberry Street.
In it he ran a rooming house, it was between the Stove Factory and
the Fire House on Mulberry Street.
The Fire Station on the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette Street
at that time, the 1930s, housed the Water Tower, Truck #1, Engine
#1 and First Battalion Chief. Over the years my uncle got to know
practically all the fire fighters attached to the different companies,
many on a first name basis.
Visiting him I had the pleasure of clambering over many types
of fire apparatus, Pumpers, Hook and Ladders and the Water Tower.
I think that most kids at that age glamorized Firefighters and would
love to be one.
At the back of the station, the firemen had constructed a three
walled handball court. It was there in place of the stables that
had housed the horses, that originally pulled the fire engines.
I spent many a pleasant morning or afternoon, playing handball with
my father and uncle, sometimes joined by one of the firefighters.
Hitting that black hard rubber ball against the wall, we did not
use gloves, bare handed it stung at first but after a time you felt
no pain. My father was a very great handball player and competed
in tournaments through the Metro area. It was a fast and tricky
game. And he apparently did well at it. He sure taught me many things
about the game. I do remember well those days of my youth.