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Friday, May 21, 2010

Bobby Slezak's Hoboken


I knew very little about Hoboken when I first moved here in December of 2007, but I started writing the blog as a way to introduce myself. One of the nicest results was an email from a former resident, Bobby Slezak, who was growing up here about the time I was finding myself in Fairhope, Alabama, where I moved here from.

In May of 2008 I got this in my email:

I came from Hoboken. I'm 69 now and I came across your site by mistake. I'm glad. YES, Hoboken has changed...it's not the quiet town it used to be back in the 1950s. As a young boy there was some great hangouts to have fun in, BUT they are all gone now. I'm not talking about the bars. There was always plenty of them. I'm talking about the ice cream parlor hangouts, such as ABELS across from Sacred Heart Academy on Washington Street; JACK-O -DINES on the corner by Demarest H.S.; JANETTES on First and Washington Street; Biggies I think is still there but it's not the same. They were the fun centers of our youth. Famed D.J. ALLEN FREED rock and roll shows at the Fabian Theater, now destroyed. The mood and values all vanished it seems...the girls were just lovely. I'm sure time has changed that, just a little. I still have my girl friend I met in ABELS in 1958...she was a Sacred Heart Academy grad. Me, I was the black-jacket, grease-haired hot rodder that you did not want your daughter to go out with. BUT YOU CANT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. I was sweet and charming back then...and still am. THEN CAME THE VIET NAM WAR. Well, my girl friend married me in St. Ann's Church and off we went to war together. Looking back to Hoboken with fond memories...4 kids,12 grandchildren later...we still love Hoboken...its memories that is.

As time has gone by, I've gotten hundreds of emails from Slezak, who likes to be known as "Hoboken Kid" when he comments on the blog. His descriptions and old photos of Hoboken have amused and informed me as I learn what the town has always been about--nice people and wonderful memories. The streets resonate and vibrate with them. Slezak and his wife Maureen are both going into the hospital next week, for very serious work, and I want to wish them well and let the people of Hoboken know more about them. I'll publish more Slezak on the blog for the next few days and reminisce about our extraordinary Internet friendship, looking forward to the day we'll meet in person and have a few hearty, heartfelt laughs.

5 comments:

Chuck said...

I really enjoyed finding Bob Slezak. It seems we all lose those special places of our youth and the inevitability of change is difficult to accept. It helps me to appreciate the good fortune of living in that time and place and how it shaped who we are.

Hoboken Kid said...

thanks.

Irene Sobolov said...

My thoughts go out to Hoboken Kid and his family. I too have enjoyed reading him here and friending him on Facebook, where we came to find out that I attended school with his nephew!

All the best to him!!

Irene

army197 said...

thanks chuck .irene and mary lois ...for your well wishes ...last mounth i was in new jersey for my mother in laws funeral she died on her 96th birthday ..while there we decided to go to hoboken to visit our old apartment house 718 garden street ...with my brother in law and his sister ..and my wife ...WELL we were amazad at how every thing looked so small ..the streets our old house ..we joked about liveing and growing up .in A HOLE IN THE WALL .BUT IT WAS HOME TO US THEN ...how simple life was to us then .a car we did not need one ya just walked to any place ya wanted to go ...SO WE NAMED OUR SELVES ( THE HOLE IN THE WALL GANG )......sure we all now live in large homes ....BUT to go back and play again as kids ..just for one day ...what fun that would be ...mary lois is lucky she can go out and play every day ...REMEMBERING IS FUN ..(.why not )...every day is a gift enjoy whats left .ANY ONE WANNA JOIN THE HOLE IN THE WALL GANG ...its free ..cost ya nothing .but a good memory ..stay well ML ..hoboken kid ... . .

Dennis Maloney said...

Bob, Maureen and I have been friends thru the years. He thought I forgot about them till one day I got a phone call and it was like there were no years in-between. I knew about Bob amd Maureen thru third parties and he knew about me the same way. He has been my e-mail buddy for years now and I pray he and his wife will continue to be my best friends. Bob is a quite sort of man, the kind you don't want to mess with. He is always polite and always has been.
He and Maureen have been great Parents and Grandparents. Ahh, it's kind of hard writing thru glasses and crying at the same time. Both of them are faceing a great challange in their lives and my prayers are with them.
Shalom Aleichem
"Rabbi"