West Newark

by Rose LaBruno


I lived on South Sixteenth Street between Avon Avenue and Springfield Avenue from 1940 through 1960. It was a street of lovely 2 and 3 family homes with people of all nationalities who got along beautifully. I first lived close to Avon Avenue on the second floor in a house owned by an iceman, Mr. Russo. During the summer, he would pull his truck up, get out his ice pick and call all the kids and give them pieces of ice. This was a big treat for the kids myself included. When you crossed Avon Avenue, you continued down the street to Madison Avenue. On this corner, was Madison Avenue Junior High School, grades K through 9. There was also a playground. As you continued down 16th Street, the next cross street was Clinton Avenue. Along the way, you passed a couple of churches, etc. and finally on Clinton Avenue was the Roosevelt Theater where we spent many a Friday night. If you walked along 16th Street in the other direction, you reached Springfield Ave. first, walked past the Good Humor warehouse and on to West Side Park, an absolutely beautiful park with a lake and lots of entertainment for the kids. It was a great place to grow up.


Since I have been back to 16th Street in the past few years because I wanted to show my youngest daughter where I grew up. It was a terrible blow to find out that only because the street signs were there did I know where I was. It was a beautiful, friendly, warm place to grow up. If we could go back, I would do it in a heartbeat.


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