Remembering The Past: Memories Of Peterstown

Remembering the Past by Diane Norek Harrisonby Diane Norek Harrison

ELIZABETH-More memories from Carmella Spino Helminski of her family’s store, which was on the corner of Niles Street and Third Avenue.

“Ours was a special corner. Across from our store was Mary and Joe Occhipinti’s Grocery Store. Every Halloween, Mary would decorate a giant pumpkin in the window with pepper ears, lettuce hair and red pepper lips.

“Across the street was Sal’s Tavern. It was a favorite ‘cooling off’ spot for the Italian Band that marched down Third Avenue during the St. Rocco’s Feast. On the other corner was Charlie Arnone’s Butcher Shop, complete with sawdust on the floor. A block away on Palmer Street was Mr. and Mrs. Parinello’s Italian Deli. They made the best olive salad.

“Growing up in Peterstown holds many fond memories, many centered around St. Anthony’s Church where we were Christened, made our First Holy Communion, were Confirmed and married. Special times were spent in the Parish Hall after Catechism class where we would dance to the Juke Box. We even put on a Talent Show, not unlike a Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movie. My sister, Fran and our friend, Sheila wore authentic ‘Flapper’ dresses, borrowed from Sheila’s aunt and danced the Charleston. My brother’s Dan and Al played in the St. Anthony’s Drum and Bugle Corps.

“I remember the knife and scissors- sharpening man riding through the streets, ringing the bell on the tricycle he rode with the sharpening wheel in the front. Everything came right to our door or was within walking distance. Unforgettable Bygone Days.

“Keep up the good work, Diane”

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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