Little Down Neckers Part 7 (circa 1909)

by Charles McGrath


My father's family was not the most organized and maybe even a little dysfunctional. But that was more than offset by the love and generosity that they freely shared with others.

My father lived with his parents when he first went on the Newark Police Department in 1927. They lived over John Majorica's butcher store on 519 Ferry Street, Down Neck. This was a cold water flat that lacked many things the least of which were bedrooms.

My father and grandfather were sleeping in the same bed one night when they were awaken by a loud noise. The noise was from a burglar downstairs in the butcher shop. My father ran to the window and opened it. In the early morning darkness he saw a man running from the store. The young man was running as fast as he could with a side of beef over one shoulder. My father being a young rookie yelled to the thief "stop in the name of the law, or I'll shoot ". When he didn't my father started shooting at him.

His shooting skills did not match his enthusiasm and the thief got away.

But more to my father's surprise was when he turned around he found grandpa hiding under the bed.

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