You Know You're From Nutley, New Jersey, If You ...

Old Nutley

Nutley, N.J.

A great place to live and raise a family.

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Part Seven

More - from email contributors

2008

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You're From Old Nutley - Part One

Part Two   Part Three  Part Four  Part Five Part Six Part Seven Part Eight

Now a popular Facebook Group

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Wow!

My grandparents, my parents and then me for almost thirty years (moving back and forth until I got it right) lived in Nutley until settling in Radnor, PA. My parents grew up in Nutley and I grew up on Kierstead Ave. It is mind blowing when you read all the memorable entries that left me feeling obligated to write (while feeling old). Here's my two cents (which used to buy a piece of Bazooka bubble gum at the candy store Mr. Agresta used to run on Bloomfield Avenue by the corner of Harrison St.)

bulletI still know the Lincoln School song and Mr. D'Andrea made sure we sang it loud and proud at every assembly
bulletI clearly remember Lincoln School after my untimely departure from Holy Family (all who dealt with me are surely saints in heaven now) and only part of the rumor is true…I jumped out of a window, but, it was not the third floor!)
bulletYes I participated in those Nutley Olympics and left a few schools in my dust (who brought that up…I totally forgot)
bulletAmerican Little League was home for my neighborhood crew and names like Davis, Gaudenzi, Marshall and Joyner were all stars. Mr. Gilmore was a great coach.
bulletThere was always a trail that could get you home faster and we ALL had our favorites!
bulletYou could get a wicked sleigh ride taking the hill down DeMuro Park (just know when to bail before you made the daredevil choice of the fence or Margaret Ave.)
bulletToo many summers at Parks & Rec (DeMuro) with Mr. Geltrude (tough S. O. B. and a great guy who was a great friend to my Uncle Clint Taylor)
bulletIf I pulled out a caroms table for my kids they would look at it like a deer in headlights, asking "where's the controller", and reminding me that the graphics stink!
bulletThe principal's office…you name the school…I was there with the usual suspects (never liked Mr. Shergalis, but, he was doing his job and I made him earn his money!)
bulletI do remember great schools with great teachers (even though I found ways to usurp authority daily)…only to be reminded with a plethora public school disciplinary parodies. Breakfast Club, Saturday Detention (that was a bummer) and what da' hell is "In-School Suspension"? Luckily I mended my ways!
bulletStanding behind the crew on a snow day as a police car passes by and being the instigator that tossed a perfect strike at the officers widow…it's easy to laugh when you did not get caught, but, the heart pounding chase, escape and evade has me laughing today.
bulletBeing sent to the A&P and walking the extra block to Vittiellos (those rolls were like a drug) and clearing the tasty middle before I savored that unforgettable crust.
bulletChurch Hill After School! Sometimes avoidable, but, a necessary evil at times. Often a spectator (go ahead and admit it…you know you did it) and sometimes I was in "The Main Event"!!!
bulletHmmmm? What unsuspecting individual will come out of Heller & Heller, take our money, purchase beer and actually bring it back to us? (I'm no worse for the wear)
bulletNot only did I learn to swim at the ITT pool. My grandfather worked there for thirty years and I looked forward to every ITT family picnic until they laid to rest that tradition that so many companies should revive
bulletIt's funny, they have an elaborate school bus schedule for my three kids, but, some of my best memories are from walking to school. Cross-town was not so long when Kierstead picked up Hopper, Hopper picked up Bloomfield Ave and by the time you got to Centre St 90% of your crew was together!
bulletCross-town walks were common and a natural occurrence. Girls, parties, the occasional gathering in a less than traveled spot (unless you were "in the know") Every subculture and section in Nutley had it's own spot and I can say somehow I was welcome in them all…can you name your spot in "Old Nutley" without revealing too much information??? THAT'S WHERE THE REAL MEMORIES ARE! Metalists, Burn-Outs, Shackers, Bernies Crew, Jocks, Band Geeks, too many to name!
bulletI cannot cross the Jersey state line without a trip to Rutt's and we're talking 124 miles one way! Two Rippers, a Frenchy gravy, large root!
bulletI felt like we owned the world when the Giants won it all in '86
bulletI clearly remember getting two slices and a soda for $2.00 at Rocky's, If I was feeling rich I went to Mr. Sub or Santini's…If I hit the Lottery or wanted to be sophisticated I went to Joe's (Trust me that did not happen often)
bulletBecause of Mr. and Mrs. Drew, I am still a model car racing enthusiast and working with a group trying to resurrect the now ancient pastime
bulletBack in the day I thought Willowbrook Mall was big, but, every visit to my old hometown reminds me that Shop- Rite secretly has ambition to have more square footage than Newark International Airport!
bulletDriver's Ed with a guy named Mr. Ball who certainly was around before they invented gasoline still has influenced how I drive
bulletAs much as I loved my home park of DeMuro (and we all had our home park) once you had a license, part of your cruising' requirements involved Brookdale Park and the occasional Eagle Rock Trip
bulletIt's amazing that whenever I went down the shore I would always see someone from Nutley
bulletAnd even more amazing as I travel how many people I meet who have even heard of Nutley
bulletI used to say it with a whisper, but, I am proud to come from the place I vowed to get far, far away from, but, my best memories lie in the place where I may return one day (hey, ya never know!)
bulletFood was (and still is) king! I worked everywhere from being the salad bar attendant at the Ramada Inn (remember that place…ten names ago?), Yesterdays, Alan's Place, Yeah, Buddy Testa's dad had the place before it was Poet's and Franklin Steakhouse (Johnny Mags was just the sharpest businessman to have it with ambition, a vision and the you know what to get it done) basically I cooked everywhere imaginable that a bicycle could take me before I was 16. I knew I wanted to be a chef before I had a drivers license…and NUTLEY along with coming from a food first family is directly tied to my success in business. Italian, Irish, Jewish, African American, Spanish, so many influences and I was always eating at someone's home or they were at my home enjoying my grandmothers food which I now call contemporary southern cuisine. I've made food for dignitaries, professional sports franchises, Disney World Resorts and a long set of A-Listers, but, none of it compared to the rich flavors I grew up with in Nutley.
 
bulletThe best was being the paperboy for mama Santini. I'm not ashamed and I had a pretty big newspaper racket as a kid stealing accounts from other neighborhoods while dreaming of building my own little Star Ledger empire. I'd come to collect for the weeks papers and with her broken English she could not even say my name properly. She would say "Kit" and wave for me to come in. Then she would lead me to the kitchen and say something in Italian basically telling me to grind the tomatoes. She would talk to me and I'd kinda get it, but, I knew she was to be respected and was just another sweet version of my own grandmother…to me, THAT is Old Nutley.

Eat well, remember your roots, drink handcrafted microbrews, enjoy small batch bourbons (America's only indigenous spirit…really!) Have a Ripper for me (I hate Philly cheese steaks) and George and Louie Ritacco make the BEST pizza (I love those guys)

Tastefully Yours,

chefsoul1

Keith M. Taylor
President, COO, EC
Sami Rose Culinary Productions
125 Strafford Avenue / Suite 215
Wayne, PA 19087
email   chefsoul1@comcast.net
office  610.688.4964
cell    610.842.7499

Chef Keith Taylor
www.nxnwphilly.com
Zacharys BBQ
Sami Rose

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

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Keith is not nearly as old as he thinks he is.

- Editor

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Nutley Little Theatre

Nutley's best kept secret

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Remember Cerami's Dairy on River Road, where Valley National Bank is now and the cows used to cross over River Road onto a grassy area which is now Route 21. Remember the old Hat Factory which was were Dunkin Donuts is now standing and the terrible fire that they had back in the 40's which destroyed the building. Remembering Algieri's electronic shop also on River Road I also remember when the Jr. High School was Nutley High and the Prom was in the gym then most everyone went into the City for a show

Marion Elvis

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I have a question for Mike Kozub, who wrote the passage that I have included below.  He mentioned the old Sost garage.  That was owned and operated by my grandfather, father and uncle.  I was wondering if Mike knew them. I would love to hear from him. My e-mail is loves_that_jeter@yahoo.com.  Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from someone soon.  Linda (Sost) Wilk
 
 
You're From Old Nutley If ...
 
Seeing the Old Nutley site sure got the flashback machine cranking even though I can't remember breakfast today.... 
 
I remember when Tom Peters got his job with Ed Mulligan in the old Sost garage. They had him wear a WHITE shirt to fix cars! Made no sense to me.
 
(addition from the bottom of the page)
OK Mike, so I wore a white shirt, I worked on clean cars.  Remember Eddy Kalooky's Pontiac you could start it with any GM key.  How about jumping Dave Lautenschlaegers old Ford with a nickle across the switch and moving on him.
Flat Heads forever but my chevy was faster.

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At the ripe old age of 13 my parents moved to Miami in 1949,we lived 
in Delawanna on Princeton St. at the end of Hillside Avenue. Four 
houses from the Nutley line. Our P.O. address was Nutley and our 
telephone was a Nutley number. In fact I still have a cousin living on 
Hillside Ave and one on Center St.

So even though we lived in Clifton all of our activities revolved 
around Nutley. It was a great place to grow up especially during and 
right after WW II...

I remember the ITT tower being built, my mother taking a Nutley cab 
home from the super market, it's funny I can still remember the 
telephone number of Nutley Cab it was 2-1515 and The owner was our dear  friend Charley Andriola. My dad got all of his gas at Piro's Gulf 
Station on Center St.

Football in the fall was great especially on  Thanksgiving morning pitting Nutley against Kearny. On the front lawn  of Nutley High School we would take our scrap metal for the war effort.

I now live in Atlanta and came across the web site by accident and I 
really enjoy it.

I was born in Newark's 1st Ward [Branchbrook park area} and a cousin of my mother married a person with exactly the  same name as you.

Sorry to take so much of your time but thank you for all the time you 
take on this web site

Gene Russo

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Is it possible to get an E-mail for Nick Homyak . I believe I grew up with this guy on Humbert Street in Nutley.
Thanks
Carmen Rizzolo

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As a lifelong [except for three years] resident of Nutley, I have quite a few memories. I grabbed candy out of the barrels in Candy Corner. I've had ice cream sundaes in The Western Scoop. I've eaten fried fish in Seafood Galley. I took swimming lessons at ITT and skated on the pond in the winter.

I bought my first Kiss poster at Sound Tree. I took guitar lessons at Giovine's. I carved my name in the men's room at Maggie's Garter. I've been chased with a broom by the crazy old lady that used to live next to Town & Country Diner. I went to Roseanne's Sweet Shoppe every two weeks to buy the new copy of Circus Magazine and had a real Cherry Coke at the fountain.

Amazingly, my name is still spray painted on the wall by the stairs in "The Park". I've shopped at Food a Rama and Delmonico's Pharmacy. I used to buy baseball cards at "Steve's". I've had coffee at the counter in Dunkin' Donuts.

I've had my baptism, communion, confirmation and wedding at St. Mary's. I'll have my funeral there too. I remember the "old church".

Rutt's Hut is not a memory, it's a way of life. I have heard Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" played on the jukebox in Santini's and Mr. Sub's. I've eaten Italian hot dogs pulled from jet black oil by the tall bald man in B&T's while "Angie" played on the jukebox.

I remember when Bradlee's was connected to Stop & Shop and you had to cross "the pipeline" to get there. I've played Asteroids at Rocky's when it was across from Garden State [ no hunting] I bought cigarettes at Rite Aid when they were 67 cents a pack.

I had my first bank account in Nutley Savings. I worked at Viola Bros. I played Pac Man in Ken's Corner. I've shopped at Gantner's and Peerless Stationary. My girlfriend worked at Thom McCann's. The Franklin theater was the only theater back then.

I've been to Sam Brown's more times than I care to remember, I'll be there at least once more. I used to get my hair cut at Nunzio's, since Nunzio died, I don't get my hair cut any more.

They changed the stop signs at Grant and Walnut two years ago, I'm still confused.

I have eaten cookies hot out of the oven from Famous Amos'. I remember when Ralph's had the best pizza and the Nutley Pub was a good place to just hang a few cold ones ... some things never change!

Mike V

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Nutley's second best-kept secret

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You are definitely from old Nutley if you took dancing lessons at Miss Maureen's on Franklin Ave., or if you remember stopping at Mr.Tozzi's Cleaners on the afternoon walk home from St. Mary's school to get a drink of water from his fountain, or hearing the tripe truck early on Tuesday mornings and watching the little Italian Grandmas run out to get brachiole or calves livers wrapped in brown paper for dinner... best of all if you remember when Zinicola's bakery made pizza on Friday nights and you could smell it for blocks!  As kids we stopped at Freddie's Grocery and Butcher shop on Union Ave across the street from the White Oak Pharmacy.  We could get penny candies.  My grandfather would give us 50 cents each and we would bring home 100 pieces of candy.....that was in the early '70's.

I went to St. Mary's School and they used to block off Lafayette Street and St. Mary's place so that no traffic could get down the streets and we could play during recess and our lunch period.

Gene Kucinski who owned the Polish bakery was a great friend of my grandfather's.  I remember my grandpa taking us there very late on Friday and Saturday nights or during the summer while Gene was baking.  Sometimes my grandfather helped him keep the old coal furnaces running to heat the brick ovens.  As of this very moment, I have never had a better piece of pumpernickel bread than Gene Kucinski made.  But the best in my book was his jelly donuts!  I have never since had one like them!

I moved away from Nutley years ago but I return regularly because the family is still there.  I have lived all over the country....but when I say that I am going "home for the holidays"  I mean Nutley.  I miss Gene and my grandpa....I miss old Nutley too.  I wouldn't trade those memories for the world.  Thanks for  letting us all share......boy, I could really go for a Brookdale Soda right about now!

- Diana

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What a great site!  Here are a few I didn't see:
 
Remember:
 
The  5 and 10 on Franklin Ave. in Nutley Center and the lady with the big white hair-do watching every move you made as you shopped!
German Bakery on the corner of Franklin and Vreeland Avenues....we lived nearby and they used to cook our turkey on Thanksgiving for us!  Great people!
The Grand Union!!!  My dad used to pick up shopping carts for them and deliver groceries!
The gift shop on the corner of Franklin and Vreeland Avenues.
YES, I remember Up with People...was in it for quite some time.  Great folks and great times!
The Shop-Rite Annex....was a great place!  Remember when it WAS THE SHOP-RITE??
Gantner's Hardware...if you needed a part, they had it!
Candy store on Franklin and Vreeland....all that penny candy... filling up a bag right before you went to the Franklin Theater!
Holy Family Church...was in HF School when new one was built.  Met my husband doing Holy Family Church theater in 1977...and still married!
How about those town musicals???   Carousel...was my favorite!
 
Love the website...will continue to watch it.
 
Please use my initials if you post any of this.  Thanks for the great memories.
 
JP

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Here are some more memories from a former Nutley resident in the 1960s and 1970s:
1. Buying baseball cards from Nick's candy store on Franklin Ave and trading them among my friends while walking to Yanticaw School;
2. Playing travel basketball in the 6th grade for Mr. Garguilo - the best coach I ever had;
3. Watching my 3 older brothers play midget football on Sundays while my Dad announced the games on a portable microphone from the top of the stands;
4. Playing basketball under the lights at Boys Park and then running all the way to Franklin Ave b/c I was afraid of the dark;
5. Saturday morning rec basketball games at Radcliffe School;
6. Lunch time football games on the "Campus" at Yanticaw;
7. Slot car racing at the place on Franklin Ave that was next to the Annex with my brothers;
8. Trying to be the first to walk across a frozen Mudhole and falling through the ice - up to my knees;
9. Seeing the "World's Greatest Athlete"  at a jam packed Franklin Theatre; and
10. Playing little league for Mr. Carbley. If we won, he'd buy the whole team hot dogs.
Thanks for letting me share.
DJD

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Hi.....I have a small card and gift shop on Chestnut Street....Curious where I can obtain Nutley Postcards to carry ...People have been asking....Thank You ......

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Hi:
 
I'm a Vermonter who visited Nutley every summer from 1955 to 1969. My uncle was Tom O'Rourke, the principal of Yantacaw School from 1953 until his untimely death in 1969. Tom first lived at 460 Franklin Avenue in the Meriam Apartments where Flo Cavanaugh was the "Super." (Had no idea what that meant when I was 8, but I knew that she was in charge!) I remember seeing The Searchers at The Franklin in 1956 and then going next door to a restaurant called Betty's. When Tom and his wife Judy moved to 21 Fernwood Terrace I met their neighbor, Paul Frazee. He had a tandem bike and we peddled all over Nutley in 1959. We bought model cars in a basement store in a house, but I have no idea where it was. There was a neat store on Passaic Avenue called Soden's where we got cherry cokes and lemon ice. My uncle would send me over each night to pick up the Newark paper which the owners placed in a front window. Across the road was the BSA cycle dealership. And on the corner was where the DeCamp bus would stop. On Tom's sidewalk I spray painted many models, leaving the evidence for years to come! Nutley always seemed like a home away from home. I walked all over the town in later years and never had a bad experience. The neighborhood was friendly and I remember Judy mentioning a friend on Elm Street named Mrs. Kostyra, but I never had the pleasure of meeting her daughter, Martha!
 
Yes my memories of Nutley, New Jersey, are many, and all good. I realize that I don't qualify as a resident, but I always feel like a part of me is there. Thanks for letting me share these with you.
 
Ray Mooney

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 HI IM NOT FROM NUTLEY, BUT I'VE BEEN THERE A LOT.  I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN HARRISON NJ. BUT I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT I REMEMBER THE O'DOWD'S MILK BARN  ON RTE 10 IN PINE BROOK. IT WAS A GREAT PLACE AND HAD  GIANT ICE CREAM SUNDAES. IM IN TEXAS NOW.
 
                                   STAN

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Love your site!
 
Here's some from a kid who grew up on Emily Ave in the 70's:
 
ok. here are some memories from the Spring Garden side of town:
 
walking to Nichol's park to watch softball games - Stable's (sp?) Diner had the best team.
playing on the swings and drinking out of that metal-post water fountain (it's still there!)
 
sledding down devil's hill at Nichol's park
 
walking to Carl's to buy two packs of Winston and one pack of Kent for my mom and dad (I was 5)
 
Jenny the crossing guard
 
wiffle ball in the street, and yelling "car!!!" every 30 minutes or so...no one was parked on the street unless it was family visiting. 
 
Playing "steal the bacon"
 
walking to school, and walking back home for lunch hour to watch Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley
 
Strawberry Festival - Chicago's greatest hits playing on a portable 8-track player during the whole event
                            - goldfish in plastic bags
                            - "cobra" the band of kids playing Kiss songs during the festival
                            - pony rides
                            - ink splat art
                            - custom made felt hats with a feather and Elmer's glue with sparkles poured in the shape of your name 
                            
Halloween - walking door to door for blocks after dark and not worrying about a thing! No flashlights and no caravan's waiting at the end of each block.
 
Spring Garden Halloween parade
 
driving around with the family to look at all the Christmas lights!
 
Park Oval Olympics
 
Fireworks on the 4th of July at the Park Oval (right after Dave Righetti threw a no-hitter against the Red Sox!)
 
Ralph's Pizza - watching Ralph himself make the pies!
 
Paul's Deli - "Cream O Land" milk with the plastic strip glued to the sides of the carton to hold two 1/2 gallons together.
 
Yankees - owned the world - where were YOU when you heard about Thurman Munson?
 
baseball cards (doubles, of course) clipped on to our bikes using clothes pins for that "motor" sound.
 
Banana Seats with that handle on the back (strictly for teaching others how to ride without training wheels)
 
Walking the tracks to Rizzuto Berra Bowling alley (without our parents knowing) - and not having enough money to actually play, but noticing all the memorabilia in the glass display cases.
 
Cub Scout peanut brittle
 
Soccer games at Monsignor Owens Park

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Remember--

Haffners' Garage and Bit 'n Spur Tavern and Tony's Barber Shop--all by the RR trestle at High and Franklin.

Kolodin's Drug Store and Kirk's Hardware across the street.

Senior Assembly '55 at the HS when real cannon was shot by yours truly and burned the curtain  and emptied the auditorium.

Franklin Theatre--"the ITCH"

Mr. Asmuss (HS) and Mr. Goldberg(JHS) -principals. Teachers (1943 to 1955)with real impact on future lives: Yantacaw-- Ms.Courtelyou; Ms.Parks; Ms. Pryor; Ms.DeLong; Ms.Mitchell; Ms.Smith Jr. High-- Mr.Tien; "Limpy" Gimbel; Mr.D'Andrea; Mr.  Blackman: Mr. Garnicius[sp?] High: Mr.Timmons; Mr.Fitch; Ms.Ciccone; Who were the great shop teacher and the art teacher?

Lovers' Lane at Garrett Mountain.

Awful Awful at Bond's

Tick Tock Diner on Rte #3

My Pals forever--now gone: Tommy Lubben and Norm Kelly.

Joel R. Kaswell

Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Casals and Associates, Inc.

1199 North Fairfax Street, Third Floor

Alexandria, VA 22314

Tel:    (703) 920 1234

Fax:   (703) 920 5750

Mobile: (301) 758 1937

email: jkaswell@casals.com

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Not sure if this was mentioned but does anyone remember the "Little Willy" grave?  I remember Bill Tones, Tony actually helps to run the Belleville Little League where my son plays.  I lived right next to 7-11 and I remember it being built along with the dry cleaners right behind it.  

Before it was Carvel on Franklin Ave., wasn't it a Krauzers??  I was in there every morning before H.S.  

Remember when they would throw bread out the window at Vitiello's Bakery, if you screamed loud enough for it  and it would be nice and hot!!  

Does anyone remember the candy store directly on the corner of Passaic and Harrison?  

Favorite hangouts were Santini's Pizzeria (every single day for lunch listening to Bon Jovi on the jukebox).  

The "cheese"  Always walking Franklin Ave., back and forth all night long!  

Those were the days !!
-- Valeri

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Nutley Sons Honor Roll  

Bad News on the Doorstep (aka - the MUD BOWL)

The Lady or the Tiger and Other Stories

The Real Nick and Nora Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett,
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