That summer of 1967, I graduated from ESHS.
Just before the riots broke out, my friends and I, went to Seaside
Heights for the weekend. We were having a great time. Then I remember
at some point, someone mentioning they heard trouble was happening
When we got back DN/Ironbound, to begin dropping everyone off at
their homes, our cars were immediately stopped by numbers of Police
Officers in full riot gear, rifles included. They checked everyone
of our ID's, to make sure we lived DN. Only then did they allow
us to proceed. It was rather unnerving, in the dark, to have your
headlights fall upon wooden barricades, with a lineup of Police
in full regalia facing you with their blinding light shining on
you, and arms at the ready. And this same scenerio was at every
possible direction anyone could enter into the Ironbound, from Ferry
St (by Penn Station), South St, McWhorter St, 1-9 Off Ramp, which
would bring you to what is known as 6 Corners, Chestnut St being
one of them, and Elm Rd another, where I lived, right across the
street from the Firehouse. Was that place lit up too.
My parents were so relieved to see me back home, as was I, to be
there. Not a thing occurred DN, being where it's located, as a separate
enclave, made it safe. I do know one thing for sure, if any attempt
had been made to bring the riots DN, they not only would of found
the Police and barricades, but just about every male in that community,
armed and ready, for them. I'm glad that didn't happen, because
the bloodshed would of been horrific.
The saddest thing of all for me, was after it was over, driving
by the areas where the riots took place, seeing the toll of destruction
and devastation of the fires, etc. I shall never forget it.