Weavers of Weequahic Yarn(s),
Elaine Hersh (Hershey Bar) Krusch (6/50) and David Schreiber (1/56) note passing of classmates:
Irwin Holtz, who graduated with me, sadly passed away a few weeks ago.
He lived in Summit Hill with his wife where I’ve been for more than 30 years. Irwin’s obituary appeared in the Star Ledger at Link to Irwin Holtz Obituary. Elaine
It is with deep sadness that I report the death on June 19 of my classmate Arnold Arnie Moskowitz. Our friendship began 70 years ago as junior high students at Hawthorne Avenue School. Our love of basketball bonded us and we played several thousand pickup games at Hawthorne, including many with Alvin Attles who enjoyed a 60-year career with the former Philadelphia Warriors (now Golden State) as a player, head coach, general manager and goodwill ambassador.
Arnie, a Civil Engineering graduate at Newark College of Engineering, rose through the corporate ranks, ultimately assuming the position of project manager for the automobile tunnel through downtown Boston. He retired many years ago to Boca Raton where he painted and taught art to many students. Arnie leaves his wife, Isabel Garcia Moskowitz, a daughter, Elizabeth, a son, Freddie and four grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by all who had the good fortune of knowing him. Rest in peace, dear friend. David
Rita Kravet Rzepka (1/55) and Barrett Kolton (1/50) share a “Small-Weequahic-World” moment:
We vacation in the Florida Keys each winter and a few years ago we met a nice couple from New Jersey. The man’s name is Nelson Chester, a Weequahic graduate from sometime in the sixties. He ushered at the Mosque and met his wife there, Bobbie (Roberta) who was working behind the refreshment stand. It’s a small world. Does anyone remember Nelson Chester? Rita
My sister, Sylvia Kolton Morstein (6/46), moved recently from California (where she had lived for about 40 years) to Greensprings Senior Living Community in Springfield, VA, where she will be nearer to two of her children. At age 94, she was finding it difficult to connect with other seniors at the facility. Recently, the Jewish Community Organization in Greensprings had a Potato Knish Luncheon, where they asked each attendee to sit at a table representing the state each had lived in as a youngster. She naturally went to the N.J. table, where she met Phyllis Weiss Brodsky (6/45). Each was flabbergasted to meet a Weequahic classmate! Barrett
Dennis Estis (65) extends his class an invite:
The Weequahic Class of 1965 will be conducting a “Gigantic 75th Birthday Party” during the weekend of October 7th. On Friday night the 7th, we will meet at a local bar/restaurant for drinks and, afterwards, many of us may go to a restaurant for dinner. The next day, starting at noon, it is brunch at the Stagehouse Restaurant in Scotch Plains. The festivities will continue until 4:00 pm. Saturday night you will be on your own. For more information, the cost of the “Birthday Party” additional details and registration form, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dennis
Ed Klein’s (6/62) memories of Hawthorne Avenue (Part II):
The Hawthorne Avenue School Playground was a special place to go and hang out. Open weekdays days from 2 PM until 11 PM and 9 AM until 12 midnight on weekends. I used to meet my friends there and try to hang out and learn bad stuff from the older guys; playing cards for money, flipping coins against the wall, smoking cigarettes and learning a new language of curse words. But most of the time they would beat the crap out of us, take our food and sometimes steal our money. It was worth it though because we felt cool just hanging out with them.
The playground had an alleyway where we would play games like Punch Ball, Johnny on a Pony and Ringalario. It also had a big covered "shed" at the far end where we would play Poison and knock hockey. The playground director was Max Yaney with a deep raspy voice and always seemed to have a tan 12 months out of the year. Mr. Yaney was an avid golfer who won many a golf tournament down at Weequahic Park. I can still hear him barking out instructions when we were choosing up sides for kickball, softball and basketball games.
There were characters like Connie and Ray who used to make out late at night under the shed and Phil Taylor who would come over from Blessed Sacrament Catholic School to play on our little league baseball team (which was sponsored by Hebrew National Hot Dogs). Then there was Mumper who took me to the race track for the very first time and taught me how to bet on horses, Cenata would walk up and down Hawthorne Avenue late at night singing opera songs. Sammy the Bum did odd jobs for all the store owners in order to earn money and then blow it all with his late Friday afternoon craps games behind Hoffman's, the vegetable store. Tank, Worm, Yogi and Cookie also hung out there.
Many of the older boys belonged to a gang called The Redmen. I just loved their black leather and suede jackets and wanted one for myself when I got older. And of course, there was Johnny the Cop who watched over everyone to make sure we were all safe. Johnny rode one of those 2-seater motorcycles. He once took me for a ride in the side car all the way down to Elizabeth Avenue.
The Hawthorne Avenue neighborhood was extended out to other neighborhood cross streets such as Wolcott Terrace, Schyler Avenue, Goodwin Avenue, Huntington Terrace, Osborne Terrace, Tillinghast Street, Clinton Place and Clinton Avenue where, every Saturday afternoon, we'd go to the Roosevelt Movie Theatre. Watched a double feature which most of the time included some cartoons and a Roy Rogers or Gene Autrey cowboy movie. In between shows there would always be a Duncan Yo-Yo Contest. I was never good at that, but I would watch in amazement as the kids up on stage would take this yo-yo thing and whirl it over their heads and in between their legs. The popcorn machine was great, but I could never figure out how to fill the paper bag without getting the popcorn all over the floor. Sometimes there would actually be more popcorn on the floor than in the bag! Ed
Responses to Warren Bratter’s (1/60) memory of WHS football and the Indian Pizzeria:
Laurie Alterman Mayerson (59)
The youth of today could take lessons from Eddie Barker (6/59). He came to Weequahic HS in his senior year, difficult for almost anyone to do and yet seemingly easy for Ed. We were seated alphabetically in those days. Since my last name began with an A and Les Belf sat behind me, Ed was put behind me and in front of Les. He was friendly and, most importantly, genuine!
In fact, after we won that incredible victory against Linden, I did the individual cheer for Eddie as he exited the clubhouse. I remember thinking how remarkable it was that Eddie fit in so seamlessly. He is just a wonderfully kind human being. Laurie
Ted Shpack (6/53)
I read Warren Bratter’s memories of Marvin Feinblatt and Andy Zupko with interest. It is true that in 1951 Weequahic High School won Newark’s football championship for the first time. However, we were not undefeated. Weequahic lost to Bloomfield and tied Hillside 0—0 on Thanksgiving Day. The final record was 7-1-1. Feinblatt, Zupko and myself were awarded “All City” honors and received full football scholarships to the University of Richmond.
There are many stories of Feinblatt’s feats of daring-do. I can attest to the fact they were all true. Marvin was the Ivanhoe of the Weequahic section of Newark. After his stint at Richmond, Marvin opened the Indian Pizzeria located on Chancellor Avenue across the street from the school. Tragically he suffered a heart attack and died before his thirtieth birthday. I tried to contact Andy Zupko, who had supposedly relocated to the Northwest, but I failed. Andy Zupko and Marvin Feinblatt were outstanding athletes, great team mates and wonderful friends. If ever a Hall of Fame for the sports heroes of Weequahic is created, Zupko and Feinblatt deserve to be at the top of the list. Ted
Steve Radin (1/53)
Thanks, Warren, for remembering the Indian Pizzeria owned by Feinblatt and Mickey Ackerman. The Pizzeria was named after the Indian AC, a club consisting of Weequahic students tied together by the love of athletics. Almost every member played one or more sports, but, even more important, was the closeness of its members notwithstanding the economic disparity. From the luxurious homes of Ed Burns and Irwin Solomon to the small apartment of Zupko behind his father’s shoe store. And there was my apartment on Belmont Avenue which was out of the Weequahic section and only reachable by the #9 Clifton Bus.
Our relationships were steadfast. As you are probably aware, Marvin died early I believe in his 40., Andy is now living in NJ spending almost his entire life in California. If only Phil Roth was 2 or 3 years younger, I’m sure he would have written a book about the Indians AC and its incredible members. Steve
Edith Shaffer Jazmin (1/54)
My husband Chris Jazmin (deceased 1988) was the chef at Comet Pizzeria in Hillside on N. Broad Street. This was when Marv and Mickey Ackerman were partners. The number of years escape me now, but I will never forget the day Marvin passed, he died in my husband’s arm’s after telling Chris he didn’t feel good. One memory that stands out for me is when my oldest son had misbehaved and I dropped him off at the Comet and his punishment was peeling garlic. Good and also sad memories. Edith
Steven Epstein (6/63)
Further, to add to add to one of my childhood hero’s (Warren Bratter) legacy, he is definitely one of the most eloquent writers to participate in this wonderful vehicle, our weekly newsletter. Steven
Collection of Weequahic memories:
Chet Cohen (6/59)
To Sara Friedman Fishkin (60), just a little follow up to your note about the creek at the end of Fabyan Place. I, too, used to ride down there and nervously go inside the drainage pipe. I always thought I might find some kind of a treasure (never did). If I remember right near there was a scrap metal place with one of those huge magnets which could pick up a car.
As for Margie’s, it is a shame you missed out on the fountain service. To This day I've never had a better egg cream. Made good chocolate sodas and lemon and lime drinks. Margies had one pinball machine, one phone and a small black and white TV. I watched the Floyd Patterson/Ingmar Johannsson fight on that TV. Chet
Mike Mandell (67)
Margie’s was on the corner of Schley and Chancellor. It was owned by Irv and Sylvia. The boys were older than me; one was Billy and I think the other Marty, but not sure. Mike
Audrey Blumenfeld Posnock (6/53)
I went to Madison from Kindergarten to 9th grade. We moved to Willoughby Street and I went to Weequahic. My grandparents Sarah and Harry Holtzman, were members of Avon Shul. I also went to Hebrew School there in 1948; that’s right pretty old now. My teacher was Mr. Gross and every time I went to class, he would say “Hello” and pinch my cheeks. Only went there for a year.
Rabbi Hershel Cohen had a beautiful voice. He officiated at my parents’ wedding in 1930, my sister Lenore to Arnie Beerman in 1950 and for me and Mike Posnock in 1958. Every Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) after we moved, I would go visit my Bubba and Grandpa, sit in the balcony with my dearest Bubba and gaze down upon my grandpa below praying with the men. It was a wonderful site and such a beautiful synagogue. Then we would go to their house to break the fast. Such happy memories. Audrey
Steve Bogner (66)
Regarding Bob Steinberg (66) and his book The Triple Play of Business, Bob is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. A friend, a character, an intellect and as great a person as you can meet in a lifetime. Bob has overcome adversity and I have no doubt anyone and everyone could benefit from reading his book. Steve