What was Newark, New Jersey to me…..
It was everything; it was my entire world for my first 18 years
of life. My memories of Newark are filled with smiles, joy, fun,
laughter, and in the end sadness of missing what I once had the
good fortune of one time living.
My life in Newark, as I remember began at 48 Demarest Street, a
six family apt. building that my grandfather had built along with
many other apts and houses he built on Willabay Street, Dewy St,
Leslie St and others I do not even know about. My aunt and her two
sons lived on the third floor and acted as the landlady of the building
for my papa. Across from them on the third floor lived the Stern
family. Second floor lived my parents, sister and I. Across from
us was the Nash family. (Prior to the Nash family was the Zebloski
family.) First floor lived the Shindelman family and across from
them was the Lerman family.
Everyone in this microcosm world knew and seemed to care for and
love each other. The summer nights, webbed chairs were put out in
a semi circle and all our parents sat there to catch a breeze and
keep their eyes on us the children. We kids ran around likes nuts
catching fireflies and letting them go, playing games such as: hide
and seek, box baseball, asses up, jacks, handball, stoop ball, flipping
baseball cards, A my name is Alice, tag and games I can’t
even remember. That carefree life of a child in this neighborhood
still warms my heart as I look back at that time gone by. It felt
warm and comfortable to me in ways I never have been able to feel
again 60 plus years later.
The expanded world of school started with Bragaw Ave. Elementary,
my first grade teacher Mrs. Rabino, Clinton Place Jr. High School,
(a story in and of itself for some other time) and finally Weequahic
High School. There is so much I want to say, but can not say it
all in one sitting.
For entertainment there was the Roosevelt Theater, Park Theater,
Mayfair Theater, downtown Newark stores and restaurants, Dairy Queen,
Bonds Ice Cream and on and on I could go. Too much to tell, I loved
Newark, and I loved being proud of my Papa and my uncles, aunts,
my parents, my sister and all my mighty cousins. We were the Schanerman
Clan and proud people were we all. I still think back on my cousins
and how the older ones protected the younger ones and how I could
not wait to be an older one…….and sadly that time came
to be an older one for me. Sadly I say only because unbeknownst
to me it was bringing me closer and closer to an ending that saddens
me to this very day. The day I finally left childhood and family
and became a soldier.
There are so many more things to write and say, however, I stop
here for fear my writing skills may not be the caliber for others
to enjoy. I just needed to write this little bit of me. Newark lives
on in my heart and mind with such strength I shall pray I never
forget what the world once was.
Thank you for your time.