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Photo-The average kid could only dream of owning a Huffy radio bike!
Photo- It's movie time at the "Capitol." Every shape size and make of bikes. And no locks needed!

Bicycles gave us our first form of freedom and independence, and played a very important part in our formative years. I look back with such warm memories of those days!

There were the top of the line brands, Roadmaster, Schwinn, J.C. Higgins, Rollfast, Hawthorne and the Cadillac of bikes, the Huffy radio bike. Retailers like Sears, Wards, Firestone, and others had their own brand, made by others.

Opportunities to customize your bike were endless. In Newark we had Freddie's Auto Supply, Noah's Ark, and Gerry's Trading Post, who had an endless array of accessories, including lights, mud flaps, reflectors, and handlebar grips. All this made our bikes special and one of a kind, all possible with money earned from taking newspaper to the scrap yard, mowing lawns, or taking bottles back to the grocer for that nickel deposit, as well as our weekly allowances. Sometimes there would be money left to grab a Hires root beer in a frosted mug at Tony Muscolino's pool hall. We did not have to go in, as Mr. Muscolino sold the root beer and steamed hots through the sliding front window. "Hey you kinds- don't scratch the window with you bikes!" Was this Newark's first drive-up fast food window?

Free movies were offered every Thursday afternoon during the summer, shown at the Capitol Theater, thanks to the Newark merchants. This was a way to get moms in the store, as the tickets were given to adults only. Featured were 20 cartoons, and a double feature, and usually a drawing for a new bike or roller skates. The other ploy in the free ticket deal was to encourage mothers to do their shopping while the kids were at the movies. My mother admitted to me many years later that the movie times were her chance to have some peace and quite at home!
When the movie let out, usually at 4:30, it was back to the bikes and the real world, and on home to wait for dinner, if we could get past Military Brook without stopping to get a hot foot!


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2 Comments to "The Fabulous Fifties"

  1. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    I guess Apple's new iBike isn't such a revolutionary idea after all! The Huffy Radiobike came first by a longshot.

    Posted on Tue Jan 11, 06:44:00 PM EST

  2. Anonymous Said,

    Great article, Zornmeister! (You don't look that old in your picture.)
    Jim Bush

    Posted on Wed Jan 12, 08:19:00 AM EST


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