The First Ward

by Angela (DeGennaro) Lucas


I have so many memories of growing up in Newark I could write a book. The first memory that comes to mind is the people. I grew up in the First Ward. Everyone knew everybody else. They all looked after anyone's kids. There were no doors locked. We slept on fire escapes in the summer while watching the people below. Sometimes a street singer would come along to serenade us for pennies. Sometimes, one of the older kids would roller skate and put on a show for us.

The street would be full of people in the summertime. Ice cream or popcorn vendors would sell their wares. You could buy a coke at the local candy store for five cents. Or lemon ice for two cents or a nickel for two scoops. Candy was a penny or two. People sat on their home-made benches in front of their homes or on their "stoops". Kids played all sorts of games on the street. It was a wonderful time which the next generations would never experience. No TV's, no computers, no electronic games or toys, and we were never bored. Thanks for listening.


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