My Mother told Me

by Diane Frondek Arose


This is a short story about growing up in the town of Newark. First of all it was the 30's when I was born, I was the 1st daughter born after 3 brothers, and one sister born after me. July 3rd,1934 to be exact. I was the only one born in the City Hospital. I'll leave out what my mother told me about that hospital. You can guess why !

My mother told me about how she 1st met my father. It was on a rainy day, she was waiting at the bus stop, after finishing a day of work at the telephone company. My father pulled up in a fancy Buick Roadster, he stopped and asked her if she'd like a ride ? She took one look and got in, and that marriage lasted over 40 years. In those days the men courted the women with flowers and candy.

One story as told to me by my mother was, of my father cutting up his tires and putting them in the coal stove to make heat, my mother said that stove shook rattled and rolled. But they were warm. You had to be tough in those days. She always said she hoped that no other generations had to see a depression like the one she'd lived through.

Once she told me, my brothers were outside and found a paint can, they painted each others snowsuits, and the old pool at the housing projects, they made a raft and went out sailing across the rain filled pool.

Newark is made up of sections, 1st Ward, 2nd Ward, and etc... In those days everyone was mostly poor and moved around from place to place, one of those places was Down Neck, that's where we were living at the time of my birth, then we moved to Springfield Ave. We lived there till I was almost 6 years old, at that time my mother put in for government housing, as this place didn't have a bathtub none at all, The toilet was in the hallway and had to share it with 2 apartments. I can remember the address, it was 475 Springfield Ave. the housing projects my mother told me was an amusement park at one time, There was no school, so they had to bus us kids to the Ann Street School, Down Neck, Nine bus loads of us kids, So that meant about 450 of us poor kids were bussed.

My father was a Body n Fender man, but still came under the heading of being poor, Now down by this housing projects was a Skating Rink, 2 of them to be exact, one DreamLand and ....

page ends
by Diane Frondek Arose
(from a collection of writtings by Nellie Doucette Frondek 1934-2000)


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