West Side Park

by Newark Talk Collective


My memories of West Side Park are:
Playing in the sand boxes, sleigh riding, sailing my model sail boat in the lake, my first baseball game on a real diamond, flying my kites in the park, see-saws and swings, lover's lane with the abundance of lilacs blooming in the spring, concerts in the park, playing tackle football while getting coaching tips from officer Strong, Ken Strong's brother, ice skating on the frozen lake, collecting fall colored leaves for school projects.
It was a great place!

Jule Spohn:
My most important memories of West Side Park were in the winter time bringing my sled over there and sliding down the hill toward the lake, and in the summer time fishing in the lake. That whole area is a disaster now. The lake is gone, most of the beautiful trees are gone - a real disaster area. It's too bad. That whole neighborhood was pretty good back then. I had cousins who lived in that area.

Joan Niven:
When I went to 15th Ave. school our gym class would go over to West Side park and play kick ball. How about the dances on Tuesday nights. Oh I forgot about Lovers Lane. I wonder if I were to go there nowadays, would I be able to find some of the secret spots we had there.

Kathy (Boyle) McEvoy:
I lived a block from West Side Park and also remember sleigh riding on the hill in the winter and rolling down the hill in the summer. The hill seemed so high in those days, but I guess everything seems so much bigger when you are just a little kid. I remember ice skating on the lake, playing in the sandbox and riding on the swings, seesaw and merry-go-round. We were so lucky having these things right at our doorstep. I remember hearing that someone with a horse and wagon had drowned in the lake long before I was born. I wonder if that could have been possible since there is no longer any sign of a lake in the park. It couldn't have been very deep, even in the deepest part. Remember the summer arts and crafts classes in the school playgrounds. South 17th Street School had a big playground back in the 50's. When I moved to the Vailsburg section of the city at the age of twelve, I really missed my old neighborhood.


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