Vailsburg Memories

by Diane (Dee) (Rosant) Wunder


When I was two years old, my parents moved from East Orange to Norwood St, on top of the Norwood Inn (bar.)

I have many fond memories of this time including the ice man across the street who sold HUGE blocks of ice for people to use in their ice boxes. He also sold a bleach item that he called "washing fluid" and would parade the streets calling in his broken English, "Washa flu! Washa flu!"

There was also a truck that came around with a carnival ride on it called The Whip that we could ride for a dime. And I can't forget the "rag man" who would come around in his horse-drawn wagon collecting "rags." He, too, would call out "Rags! Rags!"

In the winter my father would pull my brother and me on a sled to Vailsburg Park (where I also hung out later on as a teen-ager.) I attended Lincoln School. When I was eight years old, we moved to Alexander Street and I attended Alexander Street School. Eileen and Carol were my best friends.

These were my "formative" years and I will never forget them. We would hang out at Harry's Candy Store on the corner of 18th Ave and, later on at Nat's Candy Store a block away. There we would dance to the juke box and play pinball. In the summer I hung out at Boylan Street Pool. Boy, that lemon-ice on the corner was the best! Sometimes we would go to Olympic Park either to go in the huge pool or to go on rides.

My friends and I would also go to matinees at The Stanley and Mayfair Theaters and, I believe, we paid 35 cents to get in. When in ninth grade at Ivy Junior High School (I won't forget the Friday night dances and all the fun we had) my family moved out of Newark to Cliffwood Beach (near Keyport.)


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