Roseville Avenue and Orange St. during the 50s

by Rochelle Goodman


My father Abraham Ratner had a store on Orange Street during the 50s called Ratner's. In the store we sold candy, magazines, sodas, ice cream and all types of shakes. Sodas were made at the fountain with syrup and seltzer.Ice cream sundaes cost 25 cents.My mom was a terrific soda jerk. Although we were Jewish, my father every Easter would make the greatest Easter baskets, and I would bug him until he made me the biggest one!  

Next door to our store was a flower shop called Rupps Flower Shop and at the very corner of Roseville and Orange was the Wonderbar. If you turned right and walked up a short distance you would see Roseville Avenue School,which I attended up until 7th grade. 

Unfortunately, I do not have very fond memories of Pig Tail Alley. Bullies would think nothing of getting you in that back alley to fight. Thank goodness my parents worked very close by. 

Across the street from Ratners was a very nice Greek diner where we used to get our sandwiches. Next to the Greek diner was a shoe stand where a fellow would stand there all day and shine shoes. To the left side of the Greek restaurant about a couple of doors up was a dress shop called Tallins . It just so happened that the Tallins had a daughter who eventually married my brother and for a while my brother branched out from my father's store to becoming a small toy store on the same side of the street. 

Up the street on Orange Street was St. Rose of Lima Church. 

I remember across the street was the drug store. Across the street from where I lived on Roseville Avenue was the railroad station.  
At Roseville Avenue School I had such teachers as Mrs. Goldberg(4th grade) who really was my inspiration for becoming an elementary teacher. She never had any children but we were her children. She and her husband would always travel,and bring in the pictures to show us.  
Roseville Avenue School was a tough school for me but somehow I got through it. I could not believe it when going on the internet one day, I saw that Roseville Avenue is still there today.  
I also went to Sussex Avenue School. I had to walk past Boys Vocational School to get there. I was there the year that Buddy Holly died in the plane crash.  
I first lived on Roseville Avenue above Tetta's Shoe Repair. He would make me so happy by giving my friends and I the old heels of shoes so we could play hopscotch. Between playing jump rope, hopscotch and jacks, we had it made. Quite different from today's recreation. Afterwards, I lived on 6th Street up from the Police Station.  

I have not been down that area since I left in 1959 when my father took sick and had to sell our store. We also had loads of parades. There was always a parade going on. I remember them with joy. They were lots of fun to watch.


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