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I grew up in North Newark, N.J. It was a tough town and we were mostly all tough kids - even the girls.


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I grew up in North Newark, N.J. It was a tough town and we were mostly all tough kids - even the girls.

When I was a kid, we had an area code and you didn’t use it.
 Buying clothes at Bamberger's or Robert Hall was for special occasions. If you had a pool you were KING of the block. Otherwise, the older guys opened the hydrant on those steamy days. 
Eating out at a restaurant was a huge deal that only happened for special occasions. Fast food was left overs at home. Eating popsicles was a treat on a hot day. We had the ice cream truck and you only needed $.25 cents or less. 
School was mandatory.  You took your school clothes off as soon as you got home and put on your play clothes. If no one was home after school, you waited outside or went in through the window. Nobody paid for daycare. We ate dinner at the table.  
We played Two hand touch, Stickball, Hide & Seek, Truth or Dare, Tag, Kick Ball, Dodge Ball and we rode our bikes everywhere. When we got older we learned how to play card games like Briesk and Madiage (slang for the marriage). 
Girls and Boys played in the street or in in the house. We would hang out on a street corner,We came home when the street lights came on. 
Every Saturday the neighborhood smelled like bleach from the old women cleaning their stoops. Staying in the house was a punishment and the only thing we knew about 'bored'  - "You better find something to do before I find it for you!" 
We ate what mom made for dinner or we ate nothing at all. There was no bottled water; we drank from the tap or the water hose.
 We cashed in soda bottles at the corner store after scouring the neighborhood for them! That was our allowance. We watched cartoons on Saturday mornings on a black & white TV with a round screen. 
We ran around in the streets until dark and came in before mom had to find us (the street lights came on). We called older people Mr. or Mrs., sir or ma'am. We watched our MOUTHS around our elders because our parents would kick our asses so bad we couldn't sit for a few days. Kids today will never know how it feels to be a real kid, they will never understand my childhood. 
I loved being a kid back than.
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