Down Neck 1952 - 1953

by Norma Jean Lipert


My very first memory was living "down neck" and going to kindergarten at Hawkins Street School. I remember my very first day of school. There was a huge sliding board.... in the classroom! I could not believe it! And lots of toys! How I loved school. We lived in the housing project there. I remember a tavern on the corner (Katz's Tavern) and candy stores where I would buy penny candy. My favorite was the candy lipstick. I just loved the taste. You could get a whole big bag full for a dime. Most of the candy was two for a penny. I love the hot dollars, the buttons, the wax whistles, and the wax lips and moustache, jawbreakers, licorice... oh, so many yummy things.

Living in the housing project was fun. On rainy days we would play in the laundry rooms in the basements. I remember the incinerators burning and I truly believe ours was haunted. I just know I saw a ghost there! And who can forget the playgrounds and the sprinklers for the kids on a hot summer day?

I also remember the Wonder Bread bakery where we took a class trip and each received a tiny loaf of Wonder Bread. The smell was so wonderful.

And the Ballantine Brewery that crossed over the street with the 3 ring signs.

These are my first memories of Newark.


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