by Milly (Krieger) Estrin


We moved to the Vailsburg section of Newark when I was entering 3rd grade.

At that time we lived on Underwood Street which was a dead end, great for roller-skating in spring and summer, and sleigh riding in winter.

I remember my first day in Ivy Street school, which was brand new. I was terrified and even more so when I met my teacher, Miss Van Liew for the first time. She was very scary to a little 7 year old girl.

It was a very long walk to school from where I lived. No school buses in those days.

When I was in 7th grade, they put a 9th grade in the school, so after 8th grade graduation, we just stayed in the same school for 9th and then went to West Side High School. By this time we had moved up to Florence Avenue, the name of which was later changed to Kerrigan Blvd. in memory of a boy, Billy Kerrigan, who was killed in the war.

I remember my 8th grade class trip was to the 1939 World's Fair in New York. That was such an exciting day.

Very few Jewish families lived in Vailsburg in those days, but my father was a tailor who had a shop on Stuyvesant Avenue and so we had to live close to the store.

My younger sister and I were probably the only kids in our respective classes who were absent on the High holidays. Today the schools close.

When I was in high school we moved to Clinton Hill and I had to switch to Weequahic High. A year or so later we again moved, when my father's business moved, this time to East Orange. I graduated from East Orange in 1942, but my friends from the Weequahic section remained friends right up to the present day.

I've told my three children how beautiful Newark was, but I'm not sure they believe me.

Oh the stories I could tell!

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