Branch Brook Park

by Joseph Jannarone


To me it was my world, to this day I couldn't think of a better place for a child to play. The park was literally in my back yard. We lived on North 6th Street between Delavan Ave. and Franklin St. Just over the back yard fence the Newark city subway ran, on the other side of the tracks was the park. We would enter the park on Devenport Ave., over the trolley walk bridge and into the park or go by Heller Parkway, until we found that we could go over or under a fence just about anywhere we wanted too.

We certainly didn't limit our playing areas. We knew every inch of that
park and we took full advantage of it. In the summer we were around the lakes and little streams that ran throughout park. If you were old enough you were able to rent a horse, go boat riding or just play Cowboys and Indians.

In the winter we could be found in Belleville park, not too far from the
golf course. There was a hill that we called Dead Mans hill. When I was nine years old, it was a big and challenging. By the time I turned 15 it was a little bump. Let me tell you we had fun sliding down on our sleds. There were times we lost track of time and had to walk home in the dark.

That park was well maintained, the grass was always cut. Never, ever was that park trashy, it was always neat. You can count on the park police being around with their motorcycle and a little side car, when we were up to something we shouldn't be.


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