This could hardly be called our neighborhood
park as it was a half hour walk from my neighborhood, about half
that time for those went by bike.
Weequahic was truly a park for all seasons. In the winter the
large lake froze and accommodated ice skaters. There was no charge
unless you wanted to rent a locker to put your street shoes in.
None of the crowd I was a part of ever rented a locker, we simply
put our shoes under a tree, made a mental note where the tree was
and took-off. No shoes were ever stolen although sometimes a search
went on and on looking for the right tree.
The building that was a boathouse in the summer became a place
to buy snacks. The big seller was watery hot chocolate.
It was a big disappointment to walk to the park on a cold winter
night and find that the "red ball" was not up. The "red
ball" was a white flag with a red ball on it. If it was not
flying it meant the ice was too thin to allow skating.
In the summer the big draw was row boating. There was an hourly
charge for the boats. Fishing was permitted from the boats. Along
the edges of the lake polywogs could usually be found. The ones
that we caught were always given to one of the school teachers.
What they did with them I have no idea.
There were tennis courts and at one time a small golf course.
These were activities for which there was a charge. None of my friends
or I ever participated in these activities.
A grandstand ran half way around an area in which various school
athletic events took place. At another time horse and sulky races
took place. There was no authorized betting and no betting of any
kind allowed, though frequently after a race money could be seen
Not enough you say, well there was also the gazebo or what we
called at that time "The Monument" This was the place
that romantic couples went to after dark. The park police were also
aware of the gazebo and for what purpose it was being used. It was
on their schedule of periodic stops. I was too young to have any
first hand knowledge of what went on in the gazebo after dark. When
I was old enough to think I might have some need of it, the park
was no longer a safe place to be after dark.
No visit to the park was complete without a visit to Millman's
or Sabin's which lay across the road from the park. These emporiums
sold the most delicious hot dogs money could buy. A hot dog cost
.05¢ and came with mustard, two kinds of relish, and sauerkraut.
A soft drink or coffee was also .05¢
Someone, or two was elected to to go to the counter to pick-up
the goodies and the rest went to find a place to sit at the wooden
There were vendors in the park on on the adjacent streets selling
all sorts of things to eat and novelty items such as balloons and
pin wheels. A trip to the park on a Sunday was something to look
forward to. You usually met friends at the park and sometimes made