by Sarah (SanServo) Doyle


MEMORIES written by Sarah SanServo Doyle (1919-2004)
September 17, 2002

(I suggested to Mom that she may want to write her memories of her early years. I copied the Memories from for her to read. What follows is what Mom wrote.)

Oh what a beautiful idea. Enjoyed the whole concept, completed reading its entirety by midnight last night. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. It evoked many memories of a time when we had less and thought and felt we had more. We were rich indeed and still are. With a full orchestra in tow there will be music wherever we go.

We will start with school.

Name Franklin School K-8th

Principal Mr. Stauffer, later Mr. A. Budd

Teachers Mrs. McCarthy

Office Miss Ayres

Newly Married Mrs. Della Rosa

Penmanship Miss A. Bishop

Miss Marion Smith

7th Grade Mrs. Clifford

8th Grade Miss Josephine Smith

Graduated in a pink and brown dress we each made in sewing class for the occasion in January 1934. I started school at 8 years of age.

School Activities: Enjoyed gym, relay races (1st & 3rd), 50-yard dash (1st & 3rd), Marching, Arts and Crafts, Sewing, Cooking, Art and Music. I joined Glee Club, School Chorus, Plays, Solo Sing. All around interested student, a learning sponge although I think it dried up along the way.

Outside Activities: Any kind of live show, dramas, musicals. I went to Newark Civic Opera House with Aunt Rose Pucillo Baccari as a young teenager. Enjoyed the robust singing, enjoyed movies (42nd Street with Eleanor Powell).

Branch Brook Park Concerts: on Sunday afternoon Concert Music, on Monday evening Popular Music, on Wednesday Military and Highbrow Music.

Bath House: For 5 cents you got soap, towel and a shower, not bad. Some hot Saturdays the line was longer than the building and a sweltering wait making the shower a blessed relief.

Neighborhood Movies: Regent Theatre on Broadway, 25 cents, 2 movies one week earlier than the Colonial Theatre on Bloomfield Avenue, 25 cents, 2 movies one week later. Regent changed its name to the Embassy Theatre.

Churches: First Holy Communion at St. Michael’s, Confirmation at St. Lucy’s and I took the name Joann. We went to Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Park Avenue. After Mass 2 of my sisters (usually Aunt Anne and Aunt Lee) walked out one block to Bloomfield Avenue and bought rolls and buns while Aunt Mary and I went home to prepare the table and tea and coffee.

Sunday Dinners: 1st Course: started with appetizers of peppers, provolone, eggplant, pickled olives and celery with salt and pepper and olive oil

2nd Course: soup with noodles, vegetables and cheese balls

3rd Course: spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and cheese

4th Course: bowl of salad with oil and vinegar which we usually put in our emptied pasta dish (the mix was a tasty blend)

5th Course: main dish of roast chicken, roast potatoes, green vegetables and brown gravy

6th Course: fruit mix (figs, Italian crackers or cookies, cheese strips or wedges, bananas)

7th Course: home or store-baked pie, Italian pastry with coffee, nuts to crack and chew

Last: a cup of demitasse


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