by Bob Certo


My Grandmother and Great Grandmother told me about playing the numbers and placing bets. My Great Grandparents owned McCarthy’s Candy store on 11th Avenue between South 9th and South 8th Streets. The people from their neighborhood use to play the numbers and place their bets in my great grandparents store. Then my grandmother would run the bets down to Murphy's Tavern on 11th Avenue.

One day someone tipped off the police and my great grandparents store got raided. Right before the store was raided my great grandmother's sister called her on the phone to tell her they were raiding the store and during the phone conversation also asked my great grandmother if she played her numbers. My great aunt's husband was a Newark Policeman. He was one of the policemen that actually raided their store. Before they arrived my great grandmother gave my grandmother all the slips of paper and my grandmother at the time was about 12 years old put them in her knee socks.

When the police arrived my great uncle was the officer in charge and did the talking. He never let on that this was his sister-in-law in front of the other officers until my grandmother who was sitting on an ice cream freezer said "Hello Uncle Howard". After my grandmother made that statement the other officers said you know these people and he had to acknowledge that this was his sister-in-law and niece and they started laughing except my great uncle.

Well, lucky they did not get in trouble but when my great uncle got home that night he said to my great aunt "You called her and tipped her off didn't you" she responded back "Of course I did she is my sister. My great uncle was the laughing stock of his division for a while.


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