Growing up in Newark during the 1960’s
was a marvelous experience.
My mother was born in Western Pennsylvania to Slavic parents and
my father was the son of Italian immigrants. My dad’s mother
was raised in an Italian convent. My grandfather somehow, someway
made his way to Port-au-Prince, Haiti then onto Saint Lucy’s
Parish in Newark. There a parish priest arranged for a marriage
between a shoemaker and a would-be nun that would last more than
Located at the corner of Mt. Prospect Avenue and Elwood Avenue
was Dr. Rocco ’s. It was a modest office that was filled with
patients that knew he was their contact with Newark’s unorthodox
medical system; they trusted their lives to him. He told my mother
to smoke to relieve her nerves and to drink brandy to help build
up her blood. Although my mother detested the cigarettes and the
taste of brandy, she took his advice and did well but soon discontinued
his treatment plan. Dr. Rocco removed my father’s appendix
at The American Legion Hospital on Broadway and delivered my brother
at Saint James Hospital in the Ironbound section.
Us kids saw Dr. Rocco to alleviate our many earaches, flu symptoms
etc. over the years. Dr. Rocco examined us so we could attend Essex
Catholic and Rutgers-Newark and many other schools. Unfortunately
he died during my college years due to complications from diabetes.
He helped many of us to achieve our dreams and grow our families.