102 Wainwright Street

by Steve Maszczak


I was born in 1955 and lived in Newark on Wainwright Street until I was 9 years old. The memories are plenty but a little fuzzy because they were so long ago.

I remember Jimmy's Candy Store on the corner across from Bragaw Avenue School. The penny candy was sold in abundance. I remember playing with a friend, Larry Axe, who suffered paralysis after being involved in an accident. I remember my first crush on a girl named Debbie Gamba and how I loved it when she walked by our house with her mother.

I remember that our yard at 102 Wainwright Street was rather large and we always had lots of pets. Chicken, ducks, pigeons, and a dog named Spotty called the yard their home and neighbors from all around would bring their baby chicks that they bought for their children for Easter, and give them to my father, who would raise them for their eggs and later, we had them for dinner.

I remember the day the President was shot in Dallas and how the entire school closed for the day and we watched everything on our black and white tv.

I will never forget the day that I was playing in our back yard with my brothers when we saw Mrs. Butterworth on her back porch and she accidentally dropped her cigarette in the garbage can setting the back porch on fire. We ran inside and told our father that the house next door was on fire and I remember my brother Robbie hosing down the side of our house so it wouldn't catch on fire and my father climbing to the 2nd floor of the Butterworth house and saving Mr. Butterworth who couldn't walk on his own.

I remember my brother Paul always getting into fights and Mrs. Gralla who was the meanest teacher there ever was. I loved playing vikings with wooden swords and garbage can lids and the first time my bicycle was stolen from our back yard.

So many similar memories that were previously posted pop up as they were written, like the Whip and Fire Truck rides and the Cutlery sharpener who would come by and sharpen knives or the Fuller Brush Man. The brick Streets and the twins down the block Tommy and Bobby Pierce. The Stevens family across the street and my fathers Packhard. The Milk deliveries and the stores downtown. I remember always bugging my father, asking him where he was going and the standard answer, "I'm going to the store", to which I replied, "Which store?" and he would reply, "Do Less and See More". For years I though that the "Two Guys From Aunt Blondie and Uncle Lou Clark lived next door and my Aunt Margie and Uncle John lived on Leslie Street.

Anyone who remembers the Maszczak Family, feel free to respond to Chubfunk@aol.com. Steve Maszczak


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