I guess that my fondest memories were that
of our school playgrounds. I attended 14th Avenue Elementary School
until 1960 then went on to Arts High School.
The greatest part of growing up in Newark were the playgrounds.
As you can all remember they were open and Supervised ever day till
9PM. There were many softball leagues and touch football leagues
going on all year round.
Our school even had basketball indoors on Friday evenings and
roller skating in the gym on Wednesday evenings. On rainy days we
would go indoors and play ping pong, basketball, cards and many
Our Playground instructors, (as they were called back then) were
Mr. Rosamiela and Miss Gasparini. These two people were the playground
instructors at 14th Avenue school when my Dad and Mom went there,
right on until my younger sister attended there, and then some.
I remember going home from school changing quickly so I could get
back to the playground in time for the school leagues, which ran
until dinner time. Then it was back home to eat get the homework
done by 7 so as to be back at the playground in time for the nighttime
Pick up games. Mr. Rosamiela would hand pick each team so they would
be balanced and fair.
Mr. Rosamiela would then umpire the games. His voice was really
loud and strong and could be heard a block away calling balls and
strikes. The evenings were enhanced by the cities own fragrances.
When the wind blew just right you could get the appetizing smell
of Jimmy Buffs Italian Hot Dogs or on some evenings, the Pizza being
cooked at the Reservoir Italian Restaurant. These are the little
things that made Spending those nights at the playground are among
my fondest memories of Newark.