Central Ward

by Leo D. Rosebure


Where do I begin?

I was born in 1951 in Newark's City Hospital and raised at 109 Waverly Avenue, now Irvine Turner Blvd. My Father, Leo Rosebure Sr., owned a small restaurant directly in front of Charlton Street School. Long before the Stella Wright Project's and the riots, that part of Central Ward was shared by the Jewish, Black, and Puerto Rican Community.

Life as I remember it was sweet, Christmas was so very special and everyone loved growing up there, going to school and working for the community. Most of the business's were owned by the Jewish or Italian folks. Like my father's, there were a few small establishments, Buddy Bakers Barbecue and Mr. and Mrs. Levi's Candy Store on the corner of Waverly Avenue and Prince Street. Who could ever forget Mr. Boris and his wife who owned the Grocery Store at the Corner of Waverly Avenue and Charlton Street. My mother would send me with a list of grocery and he would fill that list in a cardboard box and say "Tell Mary I will see her at the end of the month to settle the bill".

During the riots my father and several other men tried to save his store but the curfew prevented its survival. There were six of us who were delivered by our very own doctor, Dr. Shapiro, who made hospital and house calls for every birth and every illness. My mother cried for days when his death was announced. The little ole Jewish Man with a black leather bag was our most trusted friend and family doctor.

Irving's Milk Bar was on Spruce Street next to the corner shoe store and without a doubt, we thought he had the best Italian hot dogs, Kosher, foot long with stir fried onions, potatoes and peppers, stuffed between the best Italian bread around.

We attended South Side High School and walking to school everyday was a treasured memory. We carried our girlfriends books and stopped at Mrs. Mays grocery for a sandwich or a Nehi Soda, then took in Petermen's Pastry for some French pastry or cookies.

I played football for Mr. Pete Delguercio, one of the finest coach's in Newark's history. Who could forget our daily walk all the way to Weequahic Park and stopping at White Castle for a 12 cent burger.

I sat in the balcony at South Side High School during the visit of Dr. Martin Luther King, a great great time and experience for me and my classmates.

Newark, thanks for the memories and if I could, I would live that life all over again.

Leo D. Rosebure
South Side High School
Class of 69


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