Back in 1954 the Seton Hall ROTC was in the St Patrick’s Day and the Armed Forces Day Parades. B Gen Schwarzkopf, Stormin’ Norman’s dad was an Army officer during WW I and with the newly formed NJ State Police being organized along military lines he was selected to be the first superintendent with the rank of Colonel. I don’t know how long he held that post and I imagine he went back into the Army for WW II and rose to Brigadier General. I don’t know all of Stormin’ Norman’s history but I do know he was 100% Jersey Boy. To my mind he was the last and the only real combat type general along the lines of my hero, George Patton.
After thought about the St Patrick’s Day Parade. 1954. All units marching smartly on Broad St, Newark and doing “eyes right” passing the reviewing stand which was at City Hall. Military, police, fire, college ROTC units, other groups and The Ancient Order of Hibernians playing their wonderful bagpipes.
The parade had to swing down a side street to get onto Washington St which was where the Bishop had his headquarters in a small church pending the completion of the Cathedral which was under construction for more than 100 years. Finally completed about 40 years ago! I guess by design McGovern’s Tavern was on that side street and as we went by, the Devil made me do it, I ordered “eyes left”. The place was packed with “Mick’s” drinking green beer. There was another reviewing stand for the Bishop and another “eyes left”. Across the street from the church was where I had my first job after high school and at nearby Military Park the parade ended.
It was a long and very traditional and wonderful parade. That evening a couple of us stopped at McGovern’s and it was so full of customers you couldn’t get to the bar to order a beer.
Speaking of Taverns
We had a tavern in Newark where they had a big piece of corned beef on an automatic slicer slicing very, very thin slices. When that piece was all gone, another piece. You ordered a corned beef on rye and it was outstanding. Meat piled a few inches thick; you usually asked for two more slices of bread so you could get two big sandwiches. Probably a buck or two. They also had great ham and Swiss also piled thick on a Jewish hard roll with slices very thin. The story was that above the bar was the bell from the USS Arizona, which had to be false, and that IF…the bell rang while you were eating, it was free. I never heard the bell ring. The best Jewish rye is a huge round loaf, about 4 lb. They have it cut in quarters you buy a 1/4 loaf which if you want they will slice. Perfect for sandwiches. An older cousin had a tavern in Newark across from a factory & in an industrial neighborhood. He was from Germany and a brilliant busisnessman. His money was beer but he made his own wine and had a wine cellar. He drew crowds with ham and with ham and Swiss sandwiches. He had a half ham on the bar and as ordered sliced the ham by hand and made the best sandwich. I don’t know how many hams a day he went through but quite a few. When we would visit mom would order a “combination sandwich” and as we were leaving take a used up ham bone. Our next meal was lentil soup and potato pancakes which I loved.
During prohibition he and another uncle ran “speak easys” and had, per usual, dealings with the gangsters.