One of the many reasons I enjoy going to Ivy Hill Park for the Essex County Tournament every year are the memories for me that come from the park.
My early youth was spent in the Vailsburg section of Newark in the mid to late 1960s. I lived in the Ivy Hill Park Apartments (250 Mt. Vernon Place, Apt. 2-O) and went to Mt. Vernon School from Kindergarten through the 5th grade before my family moved to Belleville in the Summer of 1969.
I love going back to Ivy Hill. In fact I still attend the same church in South Orange that I went to as a kid in Vailsburg. It’s amazing the memories that are attached to your earliest childhood memories.
We might not all remember what we had for lunch yesterday, but we’ll recall the little things that made growing up enjoyable.
For me, at Ivy Hill, it was that Good Humor truck that was always in the park during the spring and summer and having a chocolate chip crunch popsicle, watching the Public Service buses pull up to the terminal next to the school, taking the #54 bus to Newark on Saturday mornings to go to the YMCA (yes, little kids could do that back then and their parents wouldn’t be arrested, LOL), the summer concerts at Ivy Hill, riding my bike, endlessly, in the park, with no worries, playing football, baseball or basketball, watching the Vailsburg QPs play on Sundays, getting a hot dog from the truck by the bus stop, catching the bus to Camp Dawson in the summers and all the activities at Mt. Vernon School in the yard and at the park. Mt. Vernon School was great, with teachers like Miss Teeling, Miss Clark, Mrs. Ephron, Mrs. Jarmell and Mrs. Michel (from 1st to 5th grade..couldn’t stand my Kindergarten teacher! LOL)
So, that’s why I get to the softball semifinals an hour before game time, (like I will tonight) to walk around the park, get a hot dog from that truck (I wish the Good Humor guy was still there!) and remembering a nice time.
A picture of Mt. Vernon School, from Ivy Hill Park entrance.
And then, when the nostalgia fades, it’s time for softball.
Did I mention popcorn ????? If not, get it ready !!!