Vailsburg Memories

by Hank Przybylowicz


Wow! I'm just full of old memories today. I need to talk to all you Lower Vailsburgers. How about these memories?

The little old A&P Supermarket that sat on the north side of South Orange Avenue between Cedar and Chelsea Avenues? Directly to the left of it was a florist and then a fish store sat right at the corner of Cedar and South Orange. The A&P was eventually turned into a Laundromat. I'm not sure if that's there any more.

On the southwest corner of Isabella and South Orange was an Esso Station... I think it may have been Ralph's Esso. To the right of that was the Vailsburg Window Shade Co. store. Then there was a dentist's office at the corner of Vermont and South Orange.

You crossed Vermont, and Huey's Candy Store was on the corner. And next to that was a barber with a kid's chair with a horse's head on it in the window. You went up a little way further west staying on the south side and Tom's Pork Store was there. Then you came to the Dairy Queen at West End Avenue.

When you crossed West End, Kobert's Deli was on the corner, with a shoemaker shop next door. Behind Kobert's was the West End Tavern. Then I believe there was some sort of utility building belonging to either the phone or power company. Then there was one of the local social clubs at the corner of Pine Grove Terrace. All I know is we were told to stay away from there. LOL!

You crossed Pine Grove and there was a furniture store, then a jewelry store, then Celentano's!! What I wouldn't give for a couple dozen Celentano's raviolis right about now!!

Now, on the north side of South Orange Avenue at Cedar Avenue was a candy store with a soda fountain. There was nothing like a tall chocolate soda or cherry coke while sitting at the counter.

Next to the candy store was a deli, then I think a beauty parlor, and then Loria's meat market. That place was always packed!! Then I think there was another store, then a three-story brick apartment house, and then the Safeway Supermarket sat right opposite Vermont Avenue. In later years, the Safeway moved out and Tom's Pork Store took over the supermarket. Tom's then went under and it became a Fine-Fare supermarket. The Fine-Fare eventually burned down in a four-alarm fire.

Next to the Safeway was a Laundromat and then a paint store at the corner of Grand Avenue. When you crossed Grand, there was a large, three story tenement on the corner with a drug store on the first floor. Then the Newark Casket Co. sat opposite West End Avenue. I seem to remember a small used car place next to the casket place, then a big apartment house, but that sat in East Orange.

The East Orange city line then cut in after that up to Alexander Street. I was a patrol boy and my post was with the crossing guard at South Orange and Alexander. Her name was Mrs. Danbach. Mr. Flaherty, the gym teacher at Alexander St. School, was in charge of the safety patrol.

On the southeast corner of Alexander and South Orange was this little hobby shop that was never open! And he had loads of HO trains and military models in the window. I loved that place, but never, ever got to see what it looked like inside. Fire Box 1523 sat right on that corner too. On the opposite corner was the Daidone Radio & Dupont TV store, that sat on the first floor of a big four-story brick apartment house. That store & building burned out in a three-alarm fire in later years.

Whew!! That was quite a walk! I'm bushed now! Let's head up to the Baydan Diner up the street and get a burger & a coke!


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: