Living on 2nd Garside with my mother and father, also staying
with my Grandparent at 32 Garside.
My mother taking me to the bathhouse on Clifton Ave. 5 cents for
a bar of soap and a towel. Swimming at Rotunda pool and my aunt
slipping sandwiches under the fence from her back yard so my cousin
Ang and I could stay all day.
Christmas time my mother taking me to downtown Newark on the bus
to see the Christmas window display at Bam's and going on the merry
go round getting a stocking filled with toys and afterwards walk
to Neidicks for orange juice and a hot dog or to Woolworth's 5 &
10 for a soup and a sandwich.
The man that came a round with the small pony and I had my picture
taken on it with a cowboy hat on. Or riding the merry go round on
the truck for 5 cents we called it the doolie dool.
Meillo's fruit and vegetable store, Geanine's candy store, Andy
the bleach man, the Italians had a word for bleach but I can't spell
it, the ice man, Marabella's 5 & 10.
Sitting on the stoop at 32 Garside and listening to a Yankee game
from the radio coming out of the Garside GI Club next door and drinking
The Victoria Castle and later the Sorrento.
Coming home from St. Lucy's School and seeing the Duggan truck
in front of my building and knowing my mother had pie waiting for
Listening to Martin Block on WNEW and the Make Believe Ballroom,
listening to all the radio shows and especially the Luigi Bosco
The VE Day bar and later the Sports Rest, the many social clubs
and the colorful names, such as, Charlie Yellow, Sergeant Louie,
The Sheriff, Bob Tee, Big and Little John, Blackie, Jinxs, Tish,
Brother, Meanna and so many more.
St. Lucy's church at Christmas time, with all the Christmas trees
filling the Altar and the Manger, the special room that housed St.
The feast that started at Clifton Ave. All the way down 7th Ave.
and the bands that played the Italian music.
The Sunday dinners at my Grandmothers, a must, for all the family
to be at the table.
The clean, warm, railroad, coldwater flats, burning tangerine
peels on the kitchen stove, the four sided toaster, the special
toys like the monkeys playing the metal drum and crashing symbols,
the bubble gum with baseball pictures inside.
Watching the old timers playing boccie or moda with their fingers
for wine, it was called boss and under boss, oh the arguments from
My father bringing home slabs of chocolate from Hootens where
he worked, it was so delicious and my mother would melt some down
in a pan to make me chocolate milk WOW.
There was nothing extravagant or any today's luxury items in our
daily lives, but when I think back, we were the riches people on
earth, we had the love of family, the joy of friends and the richness
of a place called the 1st Ward, what a magical time and place lost
forever except in my heart and mind.