Remembering Summers at the Cambridge Apartments

by Randi Danziger


Growing up in Newark, I lived at three different addresses, all on Schley Street, but my Grandmother always lived in the Cambridge Apartments, and that is where I often played. Summers were filled with outdoor play – bikes, roller skates, clothes line jump ropes and during one particular summer, the invasion of the hula hoop. If you had a pink Spalding ball, endless hours would be passed playing Russia, categories, and stoop ball. A small chain or flat rock would inspire hopscotch games.

Sometimes we would decide to put on a show, and spend the whole day arguing over the program and making costumes out of crepe paper. I don’t remember the actual shows ever taking place.

A few times, a group of us would walk to the public library, which seemed very far away. On the way home, we’d stop at Dairy Queen for a soft ice cream cone with its trademark loop at the end.

Nighttimes we would play hide-and-go-seek, red light/green light, or collect lightning bugs often placing their light on our finger as a diamond ring. Day or night, all play always halted when the Good Humor man rang his bells or if the Whip came to spin you around and let you choose a prize upon exiting (often a woven devise that would entrap two fingers).


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