I grew up in Newark in the late 60's and
70's, in the projects, Columbus Homes Bldg. 6 Apt. 3A. We first
moved to the projects from the Lincoln Park area when I was entering
I went to McKinley Elementary and graduated from 6th grade. I remember
that my 4th and 5th grade classes were in the basement. Then my
6th grade class was in the "old building". It was great
going out to the playground at lunch time. All my classmates stuck
together and we played a lot of punch ball with the "pinkies"
or " pimple" balls. You were great if you could punch
it over the fence into the St. Lucy's parking lot. We also played
a lot of stick ball off the school wall.
When I graduated from 6th grade, I was given the Jackie Robinson/
Roberto Clemente Award for the top 6th grader at McKinley. I also
remember Mr. Russamano at the McKinley Rec. During my last year
there, he put together these punch ball tournaments where classes
would compete. My class won the championship, man those are some
I later went to Webster Jr. High. Everybody seemed to be scared
to go there and you heard so many stories. My sisters went to St.
Lucy's because my father did not want them to go to Webster. I remember
the St. Gerard feasts and 7th Ave, the bakeries, the candy stores,
and drug stores. Cuba Bakery was the place. My father got up early
every morning and bought two long breads right out the oven. He
would bring in other Spanish pastries too. That bread is great with
coffee and or eggs in the morning. You can eat it with Gouda cheese
The projects were tough, but I cherish my times there. I wish I
could meet up or contact more of my old friends. I think practically
all my school friends lived there, either Sheffield Drive or 7th
Ave. I will right more memories later.