Remembering The Past: Memories Of Peterstown

Remembering the Past by Diane Norek Harrisonby Diane Norek Harrison

ELIZABETH-Memories from Carmella Spino Helminski: “Thank you for printing the picture of the old Dugan’s truck in your Aug. 17 column. I remember the driver stopping in front of our store on the corner of Niles Street and Third Avenue. It was always a treat, just like seeing the Good Humor truck today.

“My parents Josie and Al Spino had a fruit and vegetable store, in front of which we sold my father’s homemade Italian ices. It was quite a favorite in the Peterstown section of Elizabeth. My sister Fran, and brothers, Dan and Al squeezed the fresh lemons and chopped the ice for the ice-making machine. We’d buy blocks of ice from the Ice House on Fourth Avenue. No one was turned away for not having enough money to pay. Mom knew they could be trusted to pay when they could.

“We sold the fruits and vegetables in the store and in the City Market on First Avenue on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Wednesdays and Fridays on Front Street. I remember Moe Levy’s Shoe Store there.

“In the summer we would sit on the back of our truck and ride through the streets of town selling our produce. Watermelons were a big favorite. Dad would ‘plug’ them with a small sample for the customer to taste before they bought it.”

I will have more of Carmella’s memories next week!

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, 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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