MAY 26, 2023


Hi Heralders of Weequahic Times,


Relocation of W-Email addresses:  


Brown Love, Linda (66)-- (change)

Jacobs Grassgreen. Susan (61) - (change)

Schaab, Marvin (6/63)-- (change)

Benjamin Shuken, Ethel (6/62)-- (change)


Alan Mitchell (66) and Rochelle Miller share news of alumni passings:


It is with sadness I report the passing of Wanda Wallace-Jeanty (68; Class Secretary). For more than a decade Wanda bravely battled many debilitating illnesses but her fight ended May 10th at Beth Israel Hospital. She leaves behind a large and loving family and many friends. She joins her lifelong sister friend Betty Ward Murray (68) who too passed a short time ago. RIP Ladies! Alan


It’s with great sadness I advise that Gary Berenfeld (1/61) passed away on April 27th, one day after his 80th birthday. Gary loved growing up in Newark. He always told me about the wonderful friends he made. His army reserve buddies from Newark were so special to him, as well. Gary remembered everyone’s name and what street they lived on. 


I heard about every deli, bakery, restaurant, and store in the entire City of Newark including Ming’s for Chinese food, Watson’s for bagels and the famous Clairmont Diner, especially for dessert. We always would compare where I grew up in Brooklyn to his Newark. I never won the comparison! Then there was Bradley Beach’s comparison to Brighton Beach! I still couldn’t win! 


His cousins Rochelle Barna Friedman and Danny Friedman were so special to him. I always knew when Gary was talking to them because I heard lots of reminiscing and lots of laughter! We were best friends and partners for over 20 years. Gary was loving, kind, humorous, and one in a million. He loved living in Delray Beach the last two years. My children and grandchildren adored him and he loved all of them. Gary is at rest in Beth Israel cemetery in Woodbridge NJ next to his parents, whom he adored. May he rest in peace. Rochelle


Enid Hinkes (60) honors WHS Vets on Memorial Day:


In memory of the Weequahic military veterans who died in our country’s service, I am sharing a list of those heroes who fell in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. (LINK to PDF)

Mike Sakowitz’s (67) inquiry on Lyons Avenue fire received answers:


Barry Blinder (59)

I lived on the corner of Lyons Avenue and Leslie Street and remember the fire as if it happened yesterday. The fire took place in the middle of the winter and it was freezing cold outside. The lumberyard was consume as the fire lasted through the night and continuing most of the next day. 


I received a phone call from friends and neighbors of mine, Bobby and Frank Interdanardo. Their father being a cop with the Newark Police Department called them and they in turn called me. The three of us ran to the area getting as close to the fire as possible. For the next several hours we and other neighbors were kept very busy. As previously mentioned, it was a freezing night causing the spray of the water to freeze trees, wires, roads and, most important, the firemen. 


As needed and allowed, the firemen were taking breaks in a nearby resting area. When they entered the area, we proceeded to chop ice off their hats, coats, boots etc. People in the area brought in hot coffee and tea; we helped set up coffee stations serving the fireman and helping as much as we could. It was a night not easily forgotten. Then sometime later, rising from the ashes the bowling alley was built. Barry


Chet Cohen (59)

I remember the fire and actually walked up to watch it. My memory tells me that it happened at night and I believe it was a lumberyard. Thought it was closer to Stecher than to Fabyan, but I could be wrong. Chet


Steve Bogner (66)

We lived on Wainwright just in from Lyons Avenue. I, too, vividly remember the fire he speaks of. I believe it was in 1956 and a lumberyard burnt to the ground. It was a Saturday night and I recall sparks flying in our backyard. I also remember Mike's mother. She was a lovely woman who worked in the bank on the corner of Lyons and Wainwright.   Steve


Jeff Golden (63) 

I don't recall a fire at the corner of Lyons Avenue and Fabyan Place. 

The Haskin Fuel Oil company was at the northeast corner of Lyons and Fabyan, but I doubt there was a fire there because they were still there in the 1960s. There was a large fire at the other end of your block at the Pik’n’Pay Supermarket on Chancellor Avenue between Fabyan Place and Stecher Street in about 1962. My recollection is that Lyons Lanes was on the north side of Lyons Avenue in Irvington, near the railroad track before you get to Coit Street, near the Drakes Cakes bakery. Jeff


Jac Toporek’s commentary on the “Weequahic lifestyle” motivated e-chatter:


Elaine Hersh Krusch (50)

I respond to Jac and others who expressed interest and opinion on variations of lifestyles in our Weequahic Community. Agree that lifestyles varied, but, notwithstanding the differences, there was much that we all had in common. To get it from the author’s mouth, read the early books of Philip Roth. He tells it like it was. Elaine


Marty Goldblatt (65)

Your soliloquy about Weequahic hood was spot on. I just picked up my grandson from soccer practice and I was explaining to him how our parents and grandparents made us assimilate. The more I think about our upbringing, the more grateful I’m about the amazing neighborhood and its roots. It is a great way to teach our grandchildren.   Marty


Sue Katz Bograd 6/55

Thank you, Jac, for your perfect description!! My parents and I were also Holocaust survivors living on the fringe! I cannot imagine a happier, more fulfilling education than the one afforded me at Weequahic (however we want to pronounce it). Sue

Judy Herr (64)

The diversity of the neighborhood was wonderful and I'm forever grateful that this is my neighborhood and high school. My parents lived in our home until 1978.


There were kids who stayed in their bubble/silo and there were kids who didn't. I loved the scat singers strolling down the hall and I loved the full orchestra. I knew Weequahic kids whose moms were on welfare; to them, having their children at Weequahic was a blessing. I knew kids whose parents were first generation Americans and felt blessed to have been able to live in a two-bedroom apartment, or a two-family house, let alone, in some cases, a one-family home with a driveway and garage. I had a few black friends where at least one parent had a graduate degree and I knew Jewish friends whose parents had never finished high school and worked in sales or as a mechanic.


I believed in immigration and to some extent, I lived it. But I also was friends with kids whose parents were on the edge of not meeting their monthly rent or had to take buses to work because they couldn't afford even an older used car. There were the "corner boys" from the Chancellor neighborhood and the public pool kids and the private swim club kids. To me, given the diverse make up, the challenges and the struggles and the achievements and successes observed, I maintain that my years at Weequahic were hopeful and promising for me and so many others living in the area. Judy


Clark Lissner (6/63)

To my 225 Meeker Avenue neighbor and friend since January 1957, I give Jac an A+ for his expression of thoughts from a youngster who lived in the poor section of a high school community abounding in a variety of riches. I, as an average Weequahic student, have to inwardly smile when folks I encounter seem to think that I'm rather smart. I usually respond that they should know the students with whom I attended school. Just being in classes with excellent students and teachers no doubt had a positive influence on me. 


Besides those who were academically gifted, there were also many who possessed talent in other areas and had the initiative to succeed in their chosen fields. Again, amen to Jac's observations and thanks to the wonderful teachers, parents, friends, and neighbors who looked out for us and guided us down the positive paths of life.  Clark


Jac Toporek (63)

With thanks to Clark Lissner (friends called him “Nitz;” nickname given to him as a wee lad because he pronounced “Lissner” as “Nitzner”) for the note and thoughts. It certainly helped my twin Norbert and me as neighborhood newcomers to have the support and friendship of a great group of young folks and neighbors who immediately provided both.


Much appreciation to the 225 Meeker Avenue neighborhood yokels, “Nitz,” Howard “Richard” Tepp (64), Richard Fertell (6/62), Michael (1/64) and Elliot Gottfried, Stewart Finifter (6/62) and Morey Gillette, together with Peshine Avenue School mates and June 1963 WHS classmates Billy Belfer and Mark Zagerman. These guys and their families taken as a whole represented my definition of the Weequahic Lifestyle in all aspects. Jac

The WHS NOTE is emailed to you by the WEEQUAHIC HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION for the CLASS OF 1963 ASSOCIATION and editor, Jacob Toporek.

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