Boylan Street Pool

by Bill ODonnell


I wanted to share a story from my youth.  My Grandmother, Jean Mauri from Alexander Street, was the nurse at Boylan Street Pool. I loved my Grandmother but she was a little light on the Hallmark moments. I was told she was the Air Raid Warden for Alexander Street during WW2. No doubt the neighbors feared Jean more than any pending invasion. To her credit, I am unaware of any attacks on Alexander Street during her tenure. Anyway, I’m not sure of the dates but I’ll guess this was about 1961ish.

My parents moved from Newark before I was born but summers for me and my cousins were spent with Mom Mom and Pop Pop at the old family home on Alexander Street. One of my favorite memories, aside from playing knock hockey at Alexander Street School, was hanging out at the Bolan Street Pool nurse’s station. There was a desk and a small cot where I could get out of the sun and sit and watch the rest of the kids playing in and about the pool.

Aside from a little curiosity, I don’t remember any issues of race when it came to kids having fun at the pool.  We were all just kids.  After tears were wiped and band aides applied (no running) my Grandmother would just love on whatever kid was in her care for that moment. I didn’t know it at the time, but I learned many lessons from my Grandmother. I miss her and those summer days.


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