by Sandra Smelson Frank


Every time I read someone’s Newark Memories it brings back more of my own. I lived with my grandparents in an apartment building, 2 Wolcott Terrace. My grandfather was a house painter, my grandmother a homemaker. Her daughter Ruth, my aunt, lived with us.  Every summer my grandmother would rent a bungalow at Coney Island we would stay until school was going to start again. Then back to Newark. 

I went to Hawthorne Ave School.  I had gym and the girls had one-piece blue gym suits and white sneakers were required. The gym teacher wanted us to have our last name put on the pocket rim by embroidery. Well, I told my grandmother and she said she could do that. Boy did she ever, my name was across the whole top of the pocket. It was nice but way to big and to make matters worse I put it on and looked in the mirror and started to cry.  It’s backward, you wrote the name backward. I didn’t know when you look in a mirror it would be backward.  I’m happy to say now I do.

Anyway, back to Newark. There was a bakery named Silvers.  I used to buy a cake called charlotte rouse. It was a sponge cake, small and round with real whipped cream on top and a cherry in white cardboard it was heaven eating that.

One day my best friend and I were walking on Lyons Ave when we were at Beth Israel Hospital. A lady came over to us with a baby carriage with a cute little boy about five or six months old.  She said she had to visit someone in the Hospital, but they would not let her in with the baby. She told me please take him home with me and give my address to her and she would pick him up later. I said ok, what did I know. So I took him home with me and told my grandmother the story.  She said something in Jewish which I did not understand. She then went to buy a bottle and some diapers since the lady gave me nothing. Well the mother did come for the baby the next day, so learned my lesson not to do that again, all true.

Then there is the time my friend Ellen and I saw a German Shepard dog walking on Hawthorne Ave. It went in a backyard and since I loved animals, I followed it and called to it.  Well, the dog turned around and started barking at us.  I went to turn to Ellen to tell her to stay still and it would not bite.  I never saw Ellen run so fast while I just stayed. Then a man came out and asked me if I wanted a puppy. I said yes and he went back in the house and came out with a cute puppy which I took home. When I went to visit my mother for a weekend my grandfather had given it away saying we can’t have a dog in an apartment. 

When I think of all the crazy things I did while about eight or nine years old and did them in Newark and no harm ever came to my friend and me, I thank GOD

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