By Trudi Cunningham
I had expected at this time to write about things of Christmas past, but of course you must all know of the unbelievable fire on Newark Avenue on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Everyone kept saying it was on Route 27, but for the life of me I couldn’t place the location until it was mentioned that it was the building where Burry Biscuit had been located.
In my earlier years, it was always referred to as the Durant building and I’m sure many will remember it by that name. Of course I remember Burry Biscuit, and many other places that were in that building such as the Emerson Laundry, a dress factory on the third floor that was open to customers at certain times. How many can remember Vernons and the almost first supermarket, the Big Bear and the flower shop at the far end>?
I can go back to the 30s when things were really tight. I had graduated high school and there was literally no work to be had in the secretarial field, so I went to work at Hankins Container. I was never too proud to put myself out when it came to making money, as I was doing piecework, assembling inserts for cartons that were used to protect bottles for transportation.
Would you believe I was making at least one dollar an hour, and time and a half for over 40 hours, when I know for a positive fact that friends went to work at the Prudential for $15 a week and had to travel two zones for bus fare and had to be dressed up? I went to work in a cotton house dress and actually walked to work. I can remember getting a $56 bonus and a very nice party at the factory.
The company eventually moved to Lehigh Avenue in Union, but it was after my time. I never had any qualms about my experiences or my take home pay. I worked for the company until August 1942, as I had married and was expecting. Lest I forget, we had some really good times at Nugents, and I’m also sure I don’t need to explain that.
A healthy and happy new year to all. Again, better late than never, right?
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!