The Ironbound

by Phil Pecora


I was born in the Ironbound section of Newark in a snow storm in December 1943. I remember Oliver Street School that was directly across from my house.

My whole family lived within a six block area. I remember the fruit peddlers coming around. Their carts were horse drawn. I remember no one had cars because nobody had money to buy one. The whole neighborhood was family orientated. We had no Shop Rites or Quick Checks.

All our parents were very strict. There were no drugs. I remember every Saturday we would be escorted by one of the women on our block and about fifteen of us would walk to the Rivoli Theater on Ferry Street, which was about twelve blocks away. We would see three short features and twenty five cartoons for $.25 and have enough money left over for a Baby Ruth and soft drink.

Everybody played baseball and all of us were in a little league down at Independence park. They used to have the old brass bands every Saturday night.

Everybody took buses, which at the time were called Public Service. We had no T. V. or computers and the radio was our main entertainment. The Lone Ranger, Red Rider, Inner Sanctum ect.

I remember the days at East Side High School. Everybody had to graduate and then most of the time they joined the Armed Forces.

The Newark Police were like Gods to us. What they said we did with no back talk.

They were great days growing up in Newark. I still have family that live there.

Newark was the best part of my life.


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