The Race Track & Outdoor Jukeboxes

by Seymour Pierce


What started all the wheels turning was the article by Sanford Weissman. The first thought it brought back was taking my young daughters to the Weequahic Park race track in the late 50s to see and meet Saul and Paul Josloff, who I knew from the High St. YMHA, and from their "glass" store on Prince Street. The adults were totally ignored because they got to MEET and PET, PABLITO, their race [?] horse. Now, 50 years later, the name Pablito and the image still pops up.

Go back in time to 1938, at the park to Millmans and Sabins, at the outdoor "jukeboxes". Crowds of "Jitterbugs" dancing to the records of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Vaughn Monroe, and the Dorseys. I remember it well because I went to pick up my graduation day date, at her home, and I was told to meet her at Millmans, where the dancing was going full blast. If not at Millmans, the dancing continued, the Jewish jitterbugs at the "Sugar Bowl" on Clinton Avenue and the Italian dancers at the "Park Bench" in the North Ward [Bloomfield Ave?]. They came "here" and we went "there" and "THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND", when we were all about 16 or 17 and there was Peace on Earth.

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