This is just a list of things we did for
fun and, when fortunate enough, special activities that were arranged
for us. Most of this we did on our own, without supervision and
without fear on our part or our parents' that anything bad would
happen to us. The time period is the 1940's and early 50's:
- Roller skating round and round the block
- Bike riding round and round the block
- Hop Scotch
- Hide and seek
- Jump rope
- Kick the can
- Stick ball in the street
- Stiff statues
- Simon Says
- Huck a buck a beanstalk
- May I
- Swimming at the Boys' Club on Littleton Ave. & 13th Ave.
(girls could go too)
- Going to the Hayes St. branch of the library--by yourself!
- Going to the Y downtown--by yourself!
- Two or more weeks in the summer at Camp Sunshine (it's still
there but is now a day camp) in Liberty Corners
- Getting drenched by a fire hydrant on hot days
- Church youth group activities
- Listening to programs on the radio: The Lone Ranger, Sgt. Preston
of the Yukon, The Shadow, Gangbusters, Gene Autry, Roy Rodgers,
Big John & Sparky, Stella Dallas (when Grandma had it on)
- Sledding down the alley, down the street (we didn't worry about
the cars), down the hill at West Side Park
- Ice skating in West Side Park
- Walking through Woodland Cemetery on the way to and from church--it
felt like "the country"
- Walking around the neighborhood and talking to everyone--children
were used to talking to adults and enjoyed it
- Riding on a merry go round on the back of a truck
- Playing marbles
- Using a paper cup and string "walkie talkie"
- Making things: crafts, toys, scooters, bikes (out of junk yard
parts), sewing, embroidery
- Summer recreation programs at West Side Park or at school playgrounds
- Feeding the goldfish in West Side Park
- Going to the Newark Museum--we walked there
- Watching horses being shod at the stable on Fairmount Ave.
near 16th Ave.
- Going to the Ritz on Saturday afternoons--double feature, cartoons,
and a newsreel all for 25 cents
- Watching clouds, rainbows, trees
- Going to the 5 & 10 to buy something--maybe a toy, a ball,
a coloring book, or a Christmas present for someone else
- Picnic at Oak Ridge Lake (with family)
- A day at Asbury Park -- we went by bus (with family)
- Pulling taffy
- Bobbing for apples
I think most of this began to stop when people got TV's and stayed
inside a lot. It's too bad. We had fun.