I lived the first 2 years of my life in
an apartment house on the corner of Avon Avenue and Belmont Avenue
but then our family moved to Schley Street between Keer Avenue and
Field Place. I lived on Schley Street until the day I married.
My Dad, worked in Bamberger's more than 40 years, and he also
worked their Thanksgiving Day parades. I recall one year when I
was about 6 years old. It was a bitter cold day. My mother, brother
and I took the #14 bus to either Military Park or Lincoln Park and
waited on the curb for him to pass by on his float. While waiting,
"The Mummers", that great marching band from Philadelphia,
passed in front of us. Their wild costumes scared me because the
men were so tall and their costumes so wild looking. Just then my
father's float arrived and he rescued me he scooped me up onto his
float and we rode all the way to the finish line of the parade.
Another vivid memory the Christmas windows of Bambergers which
were filled with animated displays for the holidays.
It was one of the Bauman brothers, of Weequahic Diner fame, Leo
I think, who lived in the next house on the corner of Keer Avenue
and Schley Street. When their daughter grew out of her "2 wheeler"
I was given that Schwinn bicycle and it became my first bike. I
used to travel with other neighborhood kids into Hillside and Irvington
in expeditions of adventure trying to "get lost" but we
always found our way back home.
More "knock hockey" during the warm weather in the playground
of Chancellor Avenue School. Air raid drills under the desk and
in the basement of that school. My first kiss in front of "The
Rock" at school; well-done french fries in small brown bags
with wooden forks at Syd's, my first "club jacket" bought
from K&K Sporting Goods; my greatest birthday present going
to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, for a double header with the Dodgers
vs. The Cincinnati Reds; sitting in the stands of Untermann Field
with a boyfriend who explained football to me and enabled me to
be the rabid NFL fan I am today.
I can still name every teacher in Chancellor Ave. Grammar school,
starting with Kindergarten, Mrs. Herman, up to 8th grade Mrs. McCaffrey.
Mr. Abe Kaplowitz was my 6th grade teacher and by far my favorite
but I also adored the 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Dorothy Bonda. I started
taking the #14 Clinton Ave. bus, alone, when I was 10 years old.
Fast forward to the present Several years ago, on a Sunday morning,
I dragged my husband and neighbors down memory lane as we traced
the route I remembered of that #14 bus by driving down Chancellor,
across Clinton Place, down Clinton Avenue, around Lincoln Circle,
past the old Medical Tower, past the old Mosque Theater (where I
went to see Fred Sales, Junior Frolics and Costa French Ice Cream
on Channel 13), down Broad Street to the new NJPAC. Note that my
father worked more than 40years in Bambergers and was in their Thanksgiving
Day parades, and my mother worked at Ohrbachs. I graduated from
Rutgers, Newark. I didn't leave Newark till the day I got married.
Now I am about to move to Florida and I wonder why! So this past
Sunday we did the mini version of Memory Lane. We drove to Lyons
Avenue, down Leslie Street, then drove 2 blocks on Chancellor Avenue
to Schley Street. Chancellor Avenue is what it always was-a collection
of small neighborhood stores. I saw tiny reminders of the old times
a few facades with faded yellow tiles peaking out above the top
of some store fronts and the familiar slope uphill of the street
leading to the high school. Then the turn left into Schley Street
and voila...a pleasant surprise. The street looked quite good. The
houses seem well kept with manicured lawns and plenty of trees.
On the corner of Keer and Schley I pointed out the house where Leo
Bauman lived to my husband. The one-family and four-family houses
looked the best. We continued into Hillside to the Monroe Gardens
and felt I had gotten a nice little Newark "fix".
Thanks again, for creating your wonderful Newark website.