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.