Although I'm just a couple of years younger
than Nat Bodian, I too, have many memories of having grown up in
Newark. It was a fine city in the 20's, 30's, and 40's, and even
as a kid, I traveled to many places on the various trolleys and
Of course, there was Rupert Stadium on Wilson Avenue with those
great baseball Bears of the 1937 and 1938.
And all the many theaters in the neighborhoods and downtown. I
have fond memories of having seen Yehudi Menhuin perform as a kid
prodigy at the Broad Theater, and a performance of Aida at the Mosque
Theater with a host of spear carriers and a large white horse on
stage during the performance. One performance at the Mosque was
the show put on by Ed Wynn where he outdid himself at one point
when he and a female performer started laughing at one of his jokes
and the two of them could not stop laughing for a good ten minutes.
The Thanksgiving day parades put on by Bamberger's were great,
and very much like today's Macy parades. Smaller, of course. Then
there was upstairs in Bamberger's Dept. store where we could fly
our balsa wood airplanes that we built for ourselves or bought there.
The old Post Office on Broad Street, that great stone building.
And the original Prudential building.
The other department stores; Hahnes, Kleins, and Kresge's with
its animated Santa Clause in its window at the corner of Raymond
Blvd and Halsey St.
The train to N.Y., the Tubes. I loved to walk to Weequahic Park
to watch the sulky races on Saturday. My favorite horse was Shirley
Temple. There was ice skating on the lake during the winter at Weequahic
Park. And the open-sided trolleys in the summer, the best ride in
town. There was miniature golf (as a kid I called it galf) course
on Clinton Avenue not far from High Street I don't remember what
par was. My father once took me to the fire house on Mulberry Street
at Lafayette St. and the guys showed me how they slid down the fireman's
pole for a fast getaway to a fire.
Let's not forget Petty's pharmacy on Broad Street, open 24 hours.
The Newsreel Theater on Broad Street, not far from Broad. One of
the great yearly events was the parade of all the wagons and horses,
and elephants, and what-not of the Ringling Bros. circus on its
way up Avon Avenue on its way to the circus grounds in Irvington.
As kids, we camped out all day and evening, sitting on the curb
and enjoying the spectacle.
We were patriotic on Armistice Day watching the soldiers march
on Broad Street. I rode the first buses that used overhead electric
wires - from Newark to Elizabeth. As a kid, and with all the other
kids in the neighborhood, we couldn't get enough of the street-cleaning
trucks that splashed water to the curbs, the ice man and his horse-drawn
wagon, where we were treated to slivers of ice from the wagon, even
the trash and garbage trucks, where the guys tossed the cans up
into the back of the truck and the guys on the ground caught them
again in a graceful acrobatic way.
Our favorite policeman was "Clarkie" who directed traffic
at Clinton and Johnson Avenue to make sure the teens got to South
Side High School safely. Going to the movies downtown when the theaters
first installed air conditioning was great. The enjoyable summer
nights sitting on the front porch before air conditioning.
There's more, but that should give you an idea that there are
fond memories of growing up in Newark. Did I mention the Museum
and the Library?.......Have a good day.