The Ed Solomon Show

by Michael Krueger


I was born at the Beth Israel Hospital in Newark in 1954. Both my parents were born in Newark in 1920, and raised there by their parents, who originally immigrated to this country from Russia and Poland in the early 1890's.

My maternal grandfather worked for the Newark News as a union man, driving a horse-drawn delivery wagon until they upgraded him to a motorized truck. His son, my mother's only brother, succeeded him in this career until the paper folded for good.

My dad's father supported his wife and three kids by selling fruits & vegetables from a pushcart in Newark, although he had retired from this endeavor by the time I was born.

My earliest memories are of visiting my grandparents in their house on Harding Terrace, a block up from Bergen Street. I lived on Clark Street in Hillside until I was four, and then we moved to a new house in Westfield. Every Sunday afternoon, we would pile into my dad's car and make the trip into Newark.

If my grandmother didn't cook us Sunday dinner, we would head over to Chancellor Avenue after our visit. I ate many a steamed corn beef sandwich, piled high on fresh rye bread, which I would slather with mustard from the little pot on the table. For dessert, as a special treat, we would stop at Watson Bagel, buy a bag of hot salt bagels, and devour them in the car on the way home.

Activities at my grandfather's house every Sunday afternoon were not that exciting for a young child. There were no video games. To pass the time, my cousins and I would raid my grandfather's wooden cases of blue seltzer bottles, and have seltzer fights. If you shook it up good, you could fire it ten feet. My grandfather also had a big peach tree in the back yard, but he didn't tend it, so another game was to pick up the rotting peaches from the ground and throw them at the neighbors' garage.

When Sunday evening rolled around, it was always time for the Ed Solomon Show. That's what my grandfather called it. My first exposure to rock & roll was on my grandfather's old console TV. First, Elvis, and later the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, and, my favorite, the Rolling Stones. It all happened in Newark.


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