Weequahic Park was for me and my friends,
our playground during the weekends and all summer. I remember the
Race Track and Stables too. Really is funny how you remember things,
especially the ones that you enjoyed so much as a kid. I too remember
a horse that was stabled there by the name of Vies Waybill, loved
that horse! Another horse who's name was something Lady, or Lady
something. She was pure Black, beautiful, but a biter. Bit one of
my friends (I wasn't there that day), she was with her parents.
There was a very visible warning sign on the stall door of that
horse, so really was her own fault. Especially since Lady had then,
recently foaled, and was even more reticent to let anyone near.
I remember the Barracks housing too, as one of my Dad's co-worker's
lived there with his family...funny, his name was Al Capone.
I remember one Summer evening, when I and my brother were so very
young, my parents taking us to the park to watch a parade there.
I think it was the 4th of July (day before my birthday). There was
a man (Guest of Honor, I know now) who was riding on the back boot
of a convertible waving to all. Remember my Mom saying, "That's
Walter Pidgeon, the actor!", funny how her saying that stays
in my memory. But the best part of all of that day for me, were
the colorful FIREWORKS
exploding into the air, I was in awe.
I remember masses of us kids going winter sledding down, what we
called, The Sugarbowl and The Teapot Hills, in the park. Trying
to watch out not to crash into a big tree at the bottom. Some did.
And the snowball fights. I was such a Warrior at times :-) But all
The Lake, the Gazebo, the Golf Course, the Playground. One summer
in 1958, my Mom and one of my Aunt's had taken me, my brother, and
2 cousins to the playground. A man approached us all with a camera
and Hula Hoops. He was a reporter for the Newark News, and wanted
to take a couple of pictures of us kids using them (Hula Hoops were
the new craze). Our Mom's said it was OK. So there I was on top
of a sculpted stone, that to me looked like a huge ant, working
three Hula Hoops at once, like a Pro. Was the first time I ever
tried a Hula Hoop. Our Pics and a little story (with our names)
made the Newspaper...our 15 minutes of fame! Besides, we each got
to keep a Hula Hoop...how was that for being the first in your neighborhood
to have something no one else had! I was about 9 yrs old, or close
enough to it.
I loved that park. It was a whole wondrous world of imagination
for all of us kids that played there. We would spend all our summer
days/daze, doing so. Was within walking distance for us via Dayton
Street (where we then lived before moving DN), so we just stayed
on the side walking first past the Evergreen Cemetery (explored
the cemetery many a times too), which then would become Weequahic
Park (of course a fence separated the two). Ahhhh..The Wonder Years!!