Memories of the Weequahic Section Part 2

by Ray Miller


One day in about 1933 there appeared at the intersection of Chancellor and Elizabeth Avenues a white Good Humor truck with a driver/salesman dressed all in white including a stiff-brim white cap and a black "Sam Browne" belt. Good Humor ice cream, bars-on-a-stick, were unusual not only for their taste, but also their variety. In addition to the common vanilla and chocolate flavors, they offered such unusual choices as toasted almond and coconut exteriors and their "sticks" often were redeemable for a free bar. Later the trucks took to cruising the residential streets with signature bells inviting customers.

In the 1930's at the point where the scenic road through Weequahic Park now crosses over the Highway below there was in the 1930's a pond, called "South America" for it's shape. This was a favorite spot for ice skating since, being much smaller than the main lake, it froze solid in the winter months. Later, the pond was filled and Route 29 now runs over its former site.

The favorite spot for sledding was Keer Avenue where kids could "belly flop" our Flexible Flyer sleds and coast down the hill below Parkview Terrace. Neighbors at the foot of the hill would spread furnace ashes to stop the sleds safely before the Bergen Street intersection.

Prior to about 1935, police patrolled the Weequahic residential streets on foot, like the mailmen (who delivered twice a day and once on Saturday) but at about that time, the City replaced the foot patrol. It acquired several all-white Ford Coupes and assigned two patrolmen in each to improve coverage. Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" appeared at much the same time and most kids referred to the patrol cars as "Snow White and the Two Dopeys" a derision that may have had something to do with a color change of the cars to black & white.

In the early 1940's at the intersection of Chancellor and Elizabeth Avenue there stood the boarded-up remains of an old stone one-room schoolhouse. Always an inviting target, vandals had almost completed stripped it when the City wisely removed the building. At the time, it was reportedly moved to a garden of the Newark City Library where it was to be restored. Possibly the building may still be there.


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