Remembering the Past: Rahway Memories

by Diane Norek Harrison

RAHWAY-Here is a trivia question from my contributor Ed from Rahway. He wanted me to ask the readers if they knew what once stood on the grounds where the City Hall is now? I think he knows the answer, but he did not tell me! Know it? Send it to me when sending your own memories or past material.

Here are some memories I received by email from Patty DeLeo Gwozdz a member of the 1966 class of Rahway High School. “Hi Diane, When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to leave Rahway. But now…how wonderful the memories of growing up in Rahway. If only I could go back for a short visit to a time of sharing carefree summers and magical winters with family and friends!

“My parents bought a small Cape Cod right around the corner from Quinn & Bodin when I was about 4 years old. I met my best friend, Mary Ann, at age 5, who lived across the street. Today, we are still close.

“Time can never erase the sights and sounds of my youth. Many days, the aroma coming from the Wheatena Plant made us long for breakfast! I can hear the sirens when there was a mishap at Merck, but the whistle of the train as it traveled through Rahway to far away places!

“The milkman made deliveries to our door and we enjoyed hay rides around the block. We played in the River on warm summer days when the water was shallow, and shopped downtown at W.T. Grants and Woolworth’s on most Saturdays.

“I prayed at St. Mary’s, carried my accordion to Franklin, attended Roosevelt for one year, and eventually moved up to Rahway High School during the time they had split sessions. It was the “Motown years” when schools had dances called the “Saturday Niters,” and we danced the “Skate” to the “Supremes.”

“Paul’s Soda Shop on Scott Avenue was a daily destination for candy, cherry sodas and catching the school bus.”

Last chance to send me winter, Christmas or Hanukkah memories or past material from all four towns for my end of the year columns, which I need all by Nov. 7. I do have some winter memories from Elizabeth and Rahway and Christmas memories from Rahway, so my end of the year columns are filling up fast.  Send your scouting, plays, school, where you went Christmas caroling, houses of worship, town, Christmas parties, from organizations where you helped the less fortunate or sick at Christmas, where you saw Santa, stores that were decorated, where you did Christmas shopping, bought Christmas ornaments or live trees, businesses that gave out calendars at the end of the year, sleigh riding, ice skating, snow/ice storms, bon fires, etc. Your name does not have to be used with past information sent, but please state if you wish not to be identified. Also looking for contributors for my 2009 columns. Start sending your past material or memories before the frenzy of the holidays are upon us. If I am able to put your regular memories in my 2008 columns, I will. Hearing from readers shows me there is an interest in my column to be able to continue it in 2009.

If you have your own memories or past material for Clark, Elizabeth, Linden or Rahway you can email me at or send “copies” of your material to me at CMD Media, P.O. Box 1061, Rahway, NJ 07065

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