Remembering The Past: South Amboy In The 1950s

by Diane Norek Harrison

SOUTH AMBOY—A fashion show was held in conjunction with the March 1950 meeting of the South Amboy Parent Teacher Association in Hoffman High auditorium. The show was staged under the direction of Mrs. Pearl Weiss. The models were Nancy Sullivan, Joan Arky, Sheryl Zimmerman, Anita Weiss, Maryann Tustin, Barbara Lambertson. Ann Rita Ryan, Jean Conway, Claire Weiss, Joan Coyle, Lorraine McCarthy, Grace Dill, Evelyn Katz and Mrs. Arthur Semoneit.

In 1959, at the First Aid Squad’s annual banquet, Frank “Inky” Norek, the singing policeman, displayed a lot of talent in his “Al Jolson” style songfest. Les Batchelor was fine emcee. Joe Halmi, Jr. showed himself to be ambidextrous in a League of Nations fashion. He danced his way through everything from the Polish Hot, Irish Jig and the Mexican Hat Dance. Mr. and Mrs. John McCloud and Mrs. Frank Chonsky managed to keep up with him.


Here are some of the many businesses that I have never written about that were around South Amboy in the 1950s:

The Chuck Wagon Restaurant, Dorothy Powers Flower Shop and Pullman Diner were on Broadway. The Hershey Shop sold hot dogs, coffee, donuts, ice cream, and hot chocolate with Jean Conway and Larry Catlett as the owners.

Stanley’s Jewelery Store was located on David Street, with Stanley Stefanski as the owner.

Vi’s Kiddie Shop on Second Street had infant and children apparel with Violet Lewandowski as the owner.

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 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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