Hawthorne Avenue

by Sandra Smelson Frank


I lived with my grandparents and my aunt at 2 Wolcott Terrace. The apartment building was pretty nice. The hallways featured tile and marble walls and floors as did the mailbox section. There was a butcher at the corner and a pizza place next to it. Mr. Wheeler owned a bike shop that sold and repaired bicycles. There was also a Boy's Club next to the pizza place where my best friend’s mother Blanch worked. My best friend Ellen and I had memberships. We were the only girls in the club. I went to Hawthorne Avenue school.

My Grandmothers name was Faye, my Grandfathers name was Harry and my aunt's name was Ruth. We were Jewish. My grandfather used to hang out in a social club across the street from our building. When my grandmother went downtown, she always took me with her. We would go to Bambergers, Kleins, Haynes and McCorys. We ate lunch at the lunch counter's which served bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with shakes. Sometimes they had balloons and when you bust them it said what you would pay for your lunch. Afterwards we would go to the movies and if my Grandmother did not like the movie she would argue with the manager and get a refund. My grandmother was the best, always lots of fun when we were together. My aunt would watch American Bandstand and make me dance with her, doing the stroll and the twist, I was about 8 years old at the time. On Halloween my aunt would take me trick and treating. I would return with a big brown shopping bag full of candy. Back then people were nice, always giving money, candy and even some home baked cookies, unlike today.

I had a best friend Ellen. We would walk all around Newark, exploring without and problems. Too bad you can't do that now, times have changed. I wish it was like it used to be, but I still have my memories.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: