Finding Old Friends through Old Newark

by John P. Rotondo


Recently, because of Old Newark, an old friend Emailed me out of the blue after, perhaps, 50 years. He was Dr. Charles Coniaris, an Optometrist on West Market Street across from the Court Theater and the Rotondo Funeral Home. It was a pleasant surprise after all these years and we shared many fond memories. He had moved to Dover, New Jersey over 25 years ago after having moved his office to South Orange Avenue in the Vailsburg Section, just down from Sanford Avenue. We exchanged Emails for a few enjoyable months until one morning, after checking the Death Notices as I usually do each day, I noticed that Charlie had passed away. I just sat there stunned. After all those years and then for only a few months and then suddenly it was all over.

Another old friend found my memories on Old Newark. Mike Bravette , lived over on Hoyt Street which was just below Lock Street and ran into Warren Street. Warren Street school was on the corner of Lock Street and where I started my education in Kindergarten in 1933. Among the stores on Warren were Laudadio's Drug store, Lemnos Bakery and Ace's Pool Parlor.

But the main point of the story was that I had found an old photo showing my dad, Charles J. Rotondo, marching in a parade along Hoyt Street as President of the St. Anthony of Padua's Society of St. Philip Neri's Church down on Court House Place. There were many people on the side walk and when I Emailed the picture to Mike, he was thrilled to see his mother, relatives and old neighbors watching the parade. Mike now lives in Milford Pa. and we share many memories and jokes thanks to Old Newark.



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