The First Ward

by Joyce Buccino Fabiano

My memories of Newark are very vivid. I loved that time of my life. It was a time when one didn’t have to lock the doors or be afraid to walk the streets late at night.

I would walk to school; we didn’t have school buses. My family lived on Mt. Prospect Avenue near Bloomfield Avenue. I remember walking to Franklin School and how unhappy we all were to learn that we would have to go to Webster Jr. High to finish our Grammar School years. It was a long walk for those of us who lived on Mt. Prospect and Garside Street but it turned out to be fun. On our trips home we would walk near the shopping district on Bloomfield Avenue, something we never would have done if we were still at Franklin School.

Our neighborhood was unforgettable. It was special to all of us who lived there. We would get together and play hand ball in the street, hid and seek, and in the summer the “fire hydrant” was on and we would run like hell when the police came but they were memories very precious to us.

Barringer High School was full of memories that I will never forget. The Blue and White on the corner where we would go for lunch and meet up with friends.

Friday night rallies for the football games on Saturday. We would walk from Barringer all the way to City Hall, chanting and singing and having a great time.

Jantzens (the ice cream and sandwich shop on Bloomfield Avenue near Mt. Prospect) where we met friends at night, listening to the juke box, sipping soda, and waiting for friends to arrive. Jantzens was the place where kids gathered from all neighborhoods of Newark. Once the word got out about Jantzens it seemed that it was the place to be. Sort of like “Happy Days.”

These are happy memories of a time in my life that I will never forget. Even today the neighborhood kids gather for reunions. There will never be friends like the old friends. We remember and reminisce of the “good old days” and mourn for those that have left us.

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