For many of the years my dad was a police officer in Newark, NJ he worked in the Emergency Squad division. During the long hours between calls the guys would keep themselves busy in various ways like cooking. Near the Christmas holidays they always came up with a special project, like candle making for instance.
In 1956 they made Santas. I still have ours. Santa stands about 3 and 1/2 feet tall and is made from press board. After the outline was drawn the guys cut out the Santas and my dad set to work drawing the features, clothing and bag of toys. At that point our Santa came home and my mother and I painted him. I’m not sure how many coats of paint we used but Santa was spread out on our kitchen table for about a week before he was completely dry. I don’t know what kind of paint we used either but here it is 64 years later and he’s not chipped or faded. This was the only time I ever remember the three of us doing a family project together.
I love everything about this Santa, even the buttons being on the wrong side… but the thing I love the most is that he looks like my dad… a self portrait so to speak.
Below is my daughter Patty age 2 and 1/2 in 1966…… and her daughter (my granddaughter) Tiffany age 2 and 1/2 in 1991.
Here’s to Christmas memories, old and new
Top photo is Route 80 in New Jersey heading west to Pennsylvania and the Delaware Water Gap.
Bottom photo is Plimouth Plantation is Plymouth, Massachusetts
Below are photos from the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
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Clockwise from upper right: tree sculpture in PA – easels in windows – statues and metal cows at the Field Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard – sidewalk art – mural in NJ – piano in Greenwich Village, NYC.
My daughter and I are deeply into our genealogy and have been visiting cemeteries where our ancestor are buried. I’ve always found cemeteries to be interesting places, especially the older ones where grave stones and markers are indeed works of art. We have several ancestors buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey, which is Newark’s oldest cemetery and in my opinion the most beautiful and interesting one. The cemetery has a special section for the firemen of Newark and that is where my great, great grandfather is buried. The unexpected art connection to me are the fire hydrants that surround this section.
Cherry Blossom Festival in Newark, New Jersey (these photos are from 2018, the festival this year is April 6, 2019)
Branch Brook Park is located in my hometown of Newark, NJ. Branch Brook Park was created in 1895 making it the first county park in the nation. It has the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the world… more than Washington, DC and more than Japan. The cherry trees were a gift donated in 1927 by Caroline Bamberger Fuld. BBP is 360 acres and has almost 5000 cherry trees. The Cherry Blossom Festival runs for two weeks beginning April 6, 2019.
If you’re in the area go and enjoy the beauty of over 5,000 cherry trees in bloom
(Branch Brook Park)
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My home town of Newark, New Jersey is known as ‘Brick City’ so how could I not do my post on the city where I was born and raised.
This beautiful brick church, the Old First Presbyterian Church was established in 1666 by the founders of Newark, NJ. My 10 times great-grandfather, Stephen Freeman was one of the founders of Newark and he, along with some of my other ancestors were buried there.
Newark is referred to as Brick City, and has been for many years. The name is derived from the tall, brick buildings that the city erected as affordable housing for residents in the 1970’s. Today, the entire city adopts the nickname, which can also refer to the tall buildings in the downtown area of the city.
You can read my blog post about the walking tour we took of Newark last April by CLICKING ON THIS LINK
Taken at Thomas Edison Natl. Historic Park – W Orange, NJ
Taken at Newark Museum – Newark, NJ
What a fun thing to do on a gorgeous April Saturday. A walking tour of downtown Newark, NJ with Have You Met Newark tours. Newark is where I was born and grew up and it’s exciting to see what’s going on there. Here are some pictures of our tour.
Pictured below is the Prudential Center arena (The Rock) and the NJ Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)
The Old First Presbyterian Church was established in 1666 by the founders of Newark, NJ. My 10 times great-grandfather was one of the founders of Newark and he, along with some of my other ancestors were buried there.
The City Hall, and Broad and Market streets, known as the 4 corners.
The Prudential buildings. The Prudential came to Newark in the late 1800’s, the original building was demolished in 1956 to make way for Prudential Plaza which opened in 1960. A few blocks away in July 2016 the Prudential Tower opened.
Prudential Plaza Prudential Tower
Right in downtown Newark are three lovely parks. Lincoln Park, Military Park and here is Washington Park. The Newark museum and library are located on one side of the park.
Newark always had lots of department stores. Pictured here are Bamberger’s (which became Macy’s).. and Kresge (which is the K in K-Mart ), there was also Orbach’s and S. Klein all within a two block radius.
But the department store that was always a bit above the others, literally and figuratively was Hahne & Co. Hahne’s closed its doors in 1987 and sat empty for 30 years, it has been totally renovated and is gorgeous. In addition to retail space the new renovation includes 160 apartments. Note the original Hahne & Co sign.
I’m a big fan of Newark, not just because I was born and raised there but because it’s a terrific place to visit. Learn about what Newark is planning for the future, like this beautiful new park. But also learn about Newark’s place in our history. A fun way to do that is with a group from Have You Met Newark.
Tagged ancestors, buildings, churches, cities, history, New Jersey, Newark, NJ, Photographs, Reviews, stores
Branch Brook Park is located in my hometown of Newark, NJ. Branch Brook Park was created in 1895 making it the first county park in the nation. It has the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the world… more than Washington, DC and more than Japan. The cherry trees were a gift donated in 1927 by Caroline Bamberger Fuld. BBP is 360 acres and has almost 5000 cherry trees. The Cherry Blossom Festival runs for two weeks April 7 – 15, 2018.
Some of the cherry trees are along Second River which forms the border between Newark and Belleville.
(CLICK HERE for Branch Brook Park website)
I was born on Saturday, February 14… Valentine’s Day. Family story has it that my mother refused to have me on Friday the 13th. Whether true or not I don’t know but I have always liked being a Valentine.
I was born in Newark, NJ where my dad was a police officer. From the age of 6 months I spent all my summers on Martha’s Vineyard where my mother grew up. What a lucky kid I was.
Out and about for a walk with my Easter bunny in my new Easter outfit.
I was an only child but never a lonely child.
Every year my mother would plan a party for my birthday and every year I’d be sick and it would have to be canceled. At long last around the age of 9 or 10 I finally had my first birthday party.
I believe that was the first and last birthday party I had until my 50th many, many years later…
The group picture is my daughter Deb with dog Jilly, daughter Patty, granddaughter Tiffany and me… we recreated it for Patty’s 50th a few years ago with Deb holding dog Chappy this time. We’ve definitely all changed a bit I’d say.
And so that’s how birthdays go. One year after another like clock work they roll around and give us pause to think about the past ones and the ones still to come.
I can pretty much be summed up in this word search Patty made for me.
In the words of Carly Simon…”one number older, another year younger, blow out the candles, happy birthday”