The family- Dad, Mom, my sister Trixie,
my brother Douglas, and I got off of the train (after five days
from San Francisco) at Newark in May of 1918. We moved right into
the fully furnished house at 124 Elm Street and my father was prepared
to begin his task as minister at the Sixth Presbyterian Church.
My mother was happy to be back in Newark where her family was. Our
contentment didn't last long. Influenza had hit the whole world,
as we knew it, and Dad was determined to get us away from the city.
He rented a house in Belmar for the summer months. We were on
3rd Avenue, two blocks from the ocean. I would walk with Dad to
the train station on Saturday afternoon so he could go to Newark
to preach on Sunday. Then I would meet him (in my bare feet- kids
didn't wear any shoes for the entire summer in those days) on Monday
morning at the same train station. We would go to the station on
Tuesdays so he could return for the mid-week service and I'd meet
him again on Wednesday morning.
The rest of the week I spent on the beach where I quickly learned
to swim. Dad rented a row boat on the Shark River. He saw to it
that I QUICKLY learned to row! We'd come home loaded with Blue Crabs.
On the afternoons between my father's trips to the city, we were
kept occupied so that he could have the quiet necessary to prepare
his sermons. We kids were unaware of the sad losses in the city
and we never knew on that level how lucky we were to escape the
danger. We only knew how lucky we were to fish for Lafayettes and
Snappers with our Bamboo poles and run free until September came
and we had to return to the city, and school!
You can get in touch with Charlie Bazata by sending an email to
his daughter or snail mailing him at:
10050 SW 213th Ter.
Miami, Fl. 33188