WOODBRIDGE-PERTH AMBOY-Here are more memories I received in an email from former area resident Tom Saboy: ” Dear Ms. Harrison, I was born in Hopelawn in 1935. I attended Hopelawn # 10 school from 1940 to 1948 and Woodbridge High School from 1948 to 1952.
“I read your articles on the internet. I do have some first hand information of the Woodbridge Golden Bears, Woodbridge High School Barrons, Perth Amboy Panthers, Perth Amboy Semi Pro football teams and a handed down story of the Hopelawn Greyhounds.
“Regarding the Hopelawn Greyhounds, I never saw them play, but my father often spoke of the team in glowing terms. It should be remembered that Hopelawn is a small town, it was even smaller in the 1940s. Most teams of that era traveled by school bus, dressed in their uniforms. The Greyhounds according to my father, dressed at the Hopelawn firehouse and were transported to the game site in the back of a coal truck.
“Mike Mohre had a coal and ice business in Hopelawn at this time. Back then, coal was the primary fuel to heat homes. Ice was used in ice boxes to keep food fresh before refrigerators were common use. Mike Mohre drove the players, who stood in the back of his coal truck, to and from these games. After the war, the remaining Greyhound players joined the Golden Bears.
“I also remember going to a Perth Amboy Alumni game on a Sunday afternoon. They played an all black team called the Washington D.C. Lions. The Lions shut out the Alumni that day and beat them hands down. I don’t recall any of the local semi pro teams being integrated. At one point, in the late 1940s there were three semi pro teams that called Perth Amboy home: the Perth Amboy Alumni, the Perth Amboy Pros (a transplanted team from Vineland) and the Perth Amboy Red Raiders, but they did not last long. As television gained popularity and lifestyles started to change, interest in semi-pro football waned.
“The teams in Perth Amboy eventually disappeared and the Golden Bears held on through at least the 1953 season.
“I read your Nov. 14 column with memories from Priscilla Szabo. Her sister, Elsie was a classmate at Hopelawn School and Woodbridge High School, I believe I was a year younger. Her story was just as I remember Hopelawn. It brought back some great memories. I remember how I looked forward to ‘Friday Night Recreation’ at the Hopelawn School. It was great, just about every kid in town showed up for the movies and games.
“When it was over at 10 PM, we just walked home, nobody bothered us and safety was never a concern. The parents she mentioned, I remember them all, they did a lot for us kids at the time. Hopelawn was a great place to grow up. There is a lot to say about being raised in a small town. The Christmas Story is a favorite movie, it reminds me so much of growing up in the 1940s Hopelawn. Even the school in the movie looks like Hopelawn School.”
Thank you Mr. Saboy for all the wonderful memories you sent for my column!
This is what my column is all about! Have anything to add to what Mr. Saboy remembers or have similar memories from another section of Woodbridge?
If you have your own memories or past information for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send “copies” of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201.
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