by Diane Norek Harrison
WOODBRIDGE-Winter memories from former Woodbridge resident Ed Wilson: “Winter was, if not magical, always interesting in Woodbridge. We got just enough cold weather that ice skating was possible, just enough snow that sledding was an option, but enough clear days that we could still ride our bikes to school most days.
“I grew up on North Park Drive, where our house faced “the pond,” which is part of Hurd’s Brook, though no one knew its name back then. The pond would begin freezing in December, and by Christmas or soon thereafter it would be ready for skating. Since my brothers and I were the only teenagers who lived right near the pond, many people in Woodbridge called the lake ‘Wilsons’ Pond.’ I can remember my mom answering the phone and hearing the question, ‘Mrs. Wilson, is your pond frozen yet?’
“The township eventually realized that the area was quite an attraction for skaters and, in the mid-1950s, erected two utility poles with floodlights to permit night skating. It was not uncommon for skaters to build fires alongside the lake to stave off the evening chill. The township even placed a number of 55-gallon drums around the lake in which fires were more easily contained.
“More than one skater, having found that the pond didn’t always freeze completely at the north end – where the water entered – fell through the thin ice. My mom because quite adept at providing towels and a dry pair of socks to drenched kids who would appear at our door, asking to use to phone to call someone to pick them up after they took a wintry bath. Ahh, the days before cell phones!”
In my Sept. 2 column, due to typos, Ed’s memories should have read Herd’s Brooks and Maple Hill Dairy, not Maple Dairy.
More to come!
If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send copies of your past material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201
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