Hi Time Travelers Through Weequahic Moments,
Orange & Brown Alum on the e-move:
Bob Steinberg (66) provides new connection for recent WHS Note posting:
I apologize, but a recent posting and link resulted in difficulties for some readers of the newsletter. Below is a new link to a recent article in the Monterey Herald in Monterey California regarding my hobby, my business and my book.
Noah Chivian (6/52) eulogizes a classmate:
Weequahic High School recently lost one of its funniest men, Bob (nee Schnittlich) Sheller, who passed away in Thousand Oaks, CA on May 11, 2022 at 88 years of age. Not only was Bob a great story teller, he saw humor everywhere and his positive outlook on life was contagious.
Bob was born at The Beth, attended Maple Avenue School and graduated WHS in June 1952. In his senior, he was a member of the school’s victorious Gold Medal Mile Relay at the Penn Relays. Norman Bruck, George Mahr and Vic Muldrow rounded out the team. Bob attended Temple University and received his dental degree from Temple Dental School and practiced General Dentistry in Lake Hiawatha and Pine Brook for over 45 years. After his retirement from private practice, Bob continued to serve the dental needs of low-income kids by volunteering to provide care at hospital dental clinics.
He was a skilled technician who approached his treatment as an art form. It was a natural progression for him to take to stone sculpture and produce museum quality works of art as a hobby. When Bob moved to California, he continued his artistic endeavors by learning pastel painting. He would paint six days a week and produced hundreds of paintings. His family is planning to publish a book of his work.
Bob was predeceased by his beloved wife Bonnie Rebecca Sheller and his brothers Myron and Joel. He is survived by his children: Rhonda Sheller Zakower (John), Susan Sheller, Lee Sheller, (Cindy), Jeremy Spiegel (Corey), Joshua Spiegel (Cindy) and eight grandchildren. Bob was memorialized at virtual service led by his son in law John Zakower. It was followed by a remembrance and storytelling session that was attended by over fifty families from around the country and world. Bob Sheller will be missed! Noah
Arlene Chausmer Swirsky (64) posts a reunion follow-up message to the Class of June 1964:
I am somewhat disappointed in the lack of response to my call out for help making a 60th reunion possible. I have heard from a few classmates, all of whom live outside of NJ. In order for this to have half a chance of happening, we (me and those who have already contacted me), need help from someone local in New Jersey. Failing that, it looks like we have enough classmates in New England to have a reunion/get together up here. We simply cannot do it from here. If anyone local to Newark and its environs could step up, a 60th Class Reunion may happen. My e-mail address is email@example.com. Arlene
With appreciation to Warren Bratter (1/60):
Michael Bear Goldberger (64)
Warren is to be commended for his touching, humanely impressive and skillfully written homage to the Weequahic Section’s “Abbie.” His astutely pensive contemplation on this neighborhood fixture is a kindly reminiscence of a gentle soul who, by example of his developmental difficulties, managed to bring out the better angels in all who were so inclined. I’d like to think he represented a portion of the grand tutorial that encouraged our local culture’s liberal dedication to the commonweal.
I, too, have thought of Abbie over the years, how I was often greeted by him as he stood outside of Hatoff’s Candy Store on Clinton Place, though I oft mused and appreciated the peripatetic mystery that accompanied his random presence throughout the neighborhood.
More often than not, he’d acknowledge me by asking if I’d seen so and so, innocently and enthusiastically name-dropping one of the young “local heroes” who populated the scene in our shtetl (little village) from the Rock at Untermann to Weequahic Park onto the border of Clinton Hill. I pondered what it might take to make Abbie’s personage of the week. I’d have considered it quite an honor to learn he asked another passerby, “Hey, yuh seen Bear?”
But to cut to the chase of way too much philosophical conjecture that is essentially a microcosmic metaphor about the human condition, it is my melancholy thought that in this thin strand by which we hang on to our understanding of humanity, it can only be good that Abbie’s place in our past is not lost to us. Thanks for the mitzvah (good deed), Warren. Bear
Hedy Spiegel Mark (6/63)
I just have to say how much I love Warren Bratter’s writing. He’s so good. Hedy
Miriam Yummy Nusbaum Span (60)
I have been a faithful reader of this blog since it started and enjoyed all the old Weequahic reminiscing. But never felt inclined to respond to the nostalgia about bagels and stores. Warren Bratter’s contributions, however, have touched me to the core. Of course, I remember him well as handsome and charming and Fern’s boyfriend, but never knew the depth of his intellect. Had to Google him and understand he is a true scholar and adventurer. His observations and memories are spot-on. Amazed no one else has commented. Anyway, a shout-out to you, Warren, and keep those gems coming. Miriam
Carol Soltanoff Davis (Union 70)
Thank you, Warren, for such an engaging tale of your memories of Abbie. Carol
Cliff Botwin (6/60)
I really enjoyed all of Warren Bratter’s fond memories of our Weequahic years. I recall watching and cheering Warren on during those difficult football days, hoping for a winning game.
I doubt that Warren would remember me, since we traveled in somewhat different circles. I was raised on Shephard Avenue and went to Bragaw before Weequahic. Nevertheless, I attended all of our football games since I carried the flag at all games leading our marching band and had a great seat. Good job Warren. Cliff
Jac Toporek (6/63)
As editor of the WHS alumni newsletter concerned with filling these pages with items of interest and joyful memories, I am so glad Warren has written in and once more shared his recollections so articulately as he has done on a number of occasions in the past. He was absent for a while, but so good to have him and those clear memories back. Jac
Ed Klein (6/62) submits “Tales from Hawthorne Avenue (Part I):”
It seems that everyone is talking about Chancellor Avenue, Lyons Avenue, Bergen Street and, recently, Prince Street. But what about Hawthorne Avenue? The kids who came from that area were a different breed. For the most part, our families were "blue collier," which made us kids blue collier also. Most of our fathers had to get up early in the morning leaving the house sometimes well before 7 AM in order to get to work. My father would actually leave the house at 4:30 AM in order to get down to the bakery, which was right next door. And, sometimes, I wouldn't see him again until he came back home at 6 or 7 PM.
Anyway, Hawthorne Avenue started way up the hill at South 16th Street where there was a big scrap yard. My friends and I would collect empty soda bottles and sell them there for cash. I believe we got 2 cents per bottle. Aluminum cans were also a hot commodity; so, between the bottles and the cans, we were raking in some serious money. Sometimes, as much as $4.00 a week. But, of course, we then had to divide it up three ways between myself, Dennis Borden and my cousin Arthur Grindlinger (6/63). They did most of the work collecting the bottles and cans. My job was to supply the wagon to haul everything up the hill to the junk yard. I also played traffic cop because we had to cross several busy streets without stop signs or traffic lights.
Anyway, Hawthorne Avenue was pretty much a commercial thoroughfare with trucks, trailers, buses, taxi cabs and, in the early days trolley cars, running up and down the street all day and late into the night. I lived at 353 Hawthorne which was right next door to my family's business, Keil's Bakery, which was open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. As you would walk or ride up and down the street, you would pass grocery stores, butcher shops, drug stores, candy stores, barber shops, beauty parlors, gas stations, hardware stores, dry cleaners, shoe repair shops, fish stores, clothing stores and, of course, Hawthorne Avenue School, which was right across the street form Cohen's Knishes and Silver's Bakery.
Some of the more popular places were the Osborne Drug Store, Schmerel the Furrier, Hoffman's Fruit and Vegetable, Harrision's Fish Store, Percelli's Barber Shop, Mary's Beauty Parlor, Sherman's Candy and Liquor Store, Henry's Corner Grocery Store, Esso Gas Station, Oper's Delicatessen, Mrs. Weiss' Yarn and Knitting Shop, Kooner's Candy Store and Luncheonette along with Katz's Candy Store (where both places ran the daily numbers), Jack Stein and Dave Stein's Butcher Shops (which were about 100 feet away from each other), Shaw Brother's Hardware, Wexler's Candy Store, Marx's Army/Navy (where I would buy my sweat shirts, sneakers and dungarees), Amato's (Italian Hot dog place; who can ever forget Junior?) and the Hawthorne Avenue Movie Theatre.
There was also the local tavern/bar which was next door to Esso Gas. The tavern would open for business at 8 AM and, believe it or not, the place was always packed. Men would go there in the morning, get hammered and then go off to work. And late at night guys would stumble out of the bar, fall face down in the street and the police would have to come and take them home. Of course, there was Bragman's Deli, the Hawthorne Five and Dime and the Bank of Commerce. Hawthorne Avenue was like a city unto itself, everything was right there. I remember all the store owners would give me and my friends a lot of free stuff. Was that because for many of them my mother was their landlord? I don't know for sure, but that might have been the reason.
I was not allowed to go near Jake Mohawk's Men's Club because I was told "The Mobsters" would kidnap me. But one day, when I was 10 years old, I found my way inside and those so called "mobster guys" bought me and my friend some ice cream and gave us a couple bucks to promise never to come back. I remember that we took the money they gave us and went across the street to the "original" Hot Dog Haven where we bought two bags of French fries with ketchup and ate them with a tooth pick. Does anyone remember doing that? The problem was the ketchup seeped through the bag and I always had to wipe my hands on my pants.
Look for Part II in next week’s edition of the “WHS Note.” Ed
On one’s Weequahic mind:
Sheila Lasky Leen 57.
After my mom passed when I was 20, my dad married the owner of Harlem’s sister. Brings back loads of memories. Also wrote to Jorgensen Greenwald just before she passed and she sent me a lovely letter back. Those were the days my friends! Sheila
Fred Derf Goldman (6/62)
HOT DOGS! After reading comments in past newsletters about hot dogs from Millman’s and Sabin’s, how could anybody who grew up in Newark and had the best ever hot dog, not respond. You could go around the world and not find a better hot dog back then. Which one was that, you might ask? I'll give you a hint; anybody who ever ate one of these delicious dogs would know the answer. The hint; if you ordered the dog to go, by the time you got home the hot dog has eaten its way out of the bottom of the bag from the grease seep. You must know it was JIMMY BUFFS and they are still pumping them out in the same grease from 1962. Now top that if you can. Derf
Noah Chivian (6/52)
Members of the WHS Penn Relays Gold Medal Mile team were Bob (Schnittlich) Sheller (6/52), Norman Bruck and George Mahr. The 4th may have been Vic Muldrow, WHS 52 or 54. Bob Sheller passed away recently. Noah