Stories for My Grandchildren

"Kresge's & the Monorail"

My earliest memories take me back to my birthplace, Newark, NJ. So many good thoughts originate from there because that's where my Nan & Pop and Uncle Lou and Aunt Ruthie lived.

Before there was Wal-Mart or K-Mart there were huge department stores like Kresge's in Newark. The founder, Sebastian Kresge would later start SS Kresge which later became K-Mart. 

There were neighborhood toy stores but nothing, and I mean nothing compared to the toy department in Kresge's. It was a dream come true which I have a hard time explaining because everything is so readily available nowadays. In comparison, it would be like playing baseball or softball on a Little League field and then finally going to a Major League Stadium. The first time you're just in total awe.

The highlight of the trip back in the early 50s was the monorail which ran suspended from the ceiling. I heard about it from my older brother, Cliff, way before ever seeing it and of course his  "word of mouth advertising" was gospel. Just imagine nowadays waiting in line for a brand new roller coaster - this is what it was like.

Back then, every kid was fully dressed for such an occasion which usually meant slacks, shirt, leather shoes, and even a bow tie and perhaps a jacket, winter coats, mittens, ear muffs, etc. Girls of course wore dresses.

Once there, we of course had to have our pictures taken with Santa. It was an all day event. The monorail was a fully "caged- in" marvel which we could peer out and see our parents & grandparents on the floor below. We were packed in like sardine's! Boy, what an experience. 

You can view a photograph of the famous monorail by clicking on the link below. Thank goodness that Gordon Snyder put it out there for all to see.


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