Grew Up in Newark

by Larry Rozolsky


My first memory of Old Newark was, So. 19th St in from 16th Ave. I believe. We lived in an apartment house that I think was at least 4 stories tall if not more. From the roof we would watch Olympic Park’s fireworks and some of the surrounding cities. Summer on the roof, was also were we would sleep. No air conditioning, just lots of insect bites and Witch Hazel.

I started school at So. 19th St. Don’t remember too much, though it was all brick. We lived a block from West Side Park. My brother (Rest in Peace) and I would be taken there by our parents to play in the grass or on the swings next to the lake. Winter was sleigh riding time. Racing downhill to see who would cross over the gravel road next to the lake, and try to reach the ice covered lake. Making snow ramps so we would get air under our sleighs, going through the hedges making our own trails.

Taking the street cars to downtown Newark, the West End movie house around the corner from where we lived are all fond memories. Olympic Park was the place. Sand beach, free circus shows you can see from the beach, the largest fresh water pool in the world at the time, the rides, cotton candy, the games of chance(?), ice cream sandwiches, hot dogs. To us growing up, it was the greatest place to be in the summer. Of course, coming from the locker rooms through the cold water foot bath and shower made you really enjoy the heat and cool waters of the pool.

Then we moved to Bragaw Ave. where I attended Bragaw Ave. School. To those who say there is a teacher that stands out in your memory, that one would be my gym teacher, Mr. Sasnow. The hockey puck slamming on the desk to get your attention Sasnow. And do you recall something called Bombardment, better known as dodge ball?

Next came Clinton Place Jr. High. We were the second graduating class from that new building. 3 towers, 3 floors, each tower in the shape of a honey comb-six wedges of class rooms. What is remembered best? The friendships made there, the traffic pattern you had to follow, dropping one torpedo in the hallway, waiting for someone to step on it to explode-loud as a fingerlady. Mr. Scheafer(?) our English teacher and closet writer for Mad Magazine!!!! About that time of Graduation, we moved to Union Township, where I finished high school.

How many remember the Diner? The Weequahic Diner. During the summers, I worker there assisting my mother who managed the night shift from 6pm to 6am. Made good money for the time. I Remember the long lines on a Sat. or Sun. evening of families and people waiting on the sidewalk waiting to get in. We served finger snacks and cold water to them through the summer. It was the meeting place for all who knew great food, 24 hours a day. Breakfast at 6pm and dinner at noon. The menu was always open.

And the characters that came in. From some of the big names in entertainment, the gangsters of Newark, the vice-cops, drunks and various others.

That time is gone, never to be seem again. But the memories of friends, places and the things I did as a kid growing up in Old Newark will always be with me.


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