Supporting a Family

After that I had no job, I was married. I had a little girl named Audrey and then I had a little girl named Donna. So I went to work for O’Mara Trucking. When I was in the gas station I learned how to drive a tractor-trailer and at that time you didn’t need to have a CDL. So, I went to work, but the thing was with O’Mara Trucking, who trucked for A&T, you had to shape up every day. I shaped up every day and I couldn’t earn enough money to support a family. 

When Bonnie and I got married we lived in a house on the third floor on Maple Avenue in Newark. The place was so small it had a bedroom and a kitchen and a bathroom on the third floor. Bonnie had to sit on one side of the table and I had to sit on the other side of the table and the table folded down and we had to put the table up. So Bonnie sat on one side, I sat on the other and we had a two stove burner to cook on. Bonnie was pregnant with our first child, Audrey. The people downstairs who supply the heat and they sat in the house with coats on and they never had the heat up. I complained to the landlord to no avail. So I said, “With you being pregnant and a child coming we have to look for something else.” So we looked for something else and we moved to Hobson Street in Newark, right behind Weequahic High School. That’s where we had Audrey and then we had Donna and we lived there for many years. 

I had the gas station on Frelinghuysen Avenue and then when I left Frelinghuysen Avenue and was working for O’Mara Trucking and it wasn’t enough, I heard about a gas station on Lyons Avenue and Schley Street. I approached my brother who’s ten years younger than I and asked him if he wanted to go into business with me on Lyons and Schley. Richie had been working for me on Frelinghuysen Avenue and he liked the business so Richie went into business. He borrowed money from my father, and like I and Bonnie, had paid my father back in full through the business as we earned money on Lyons and Schley. And we were doing very well. 

Also, I used to like to ride motorcycles and I would go home from lunch because it was three blocks away from the gas station. So I’d jump on the motorcycle and ride, and if Bonnie was in the street with the girls she’d duck into a store because she never wanted anybody to know that her husband was riding a motorcycle. If I would holler, “Hi Bonnie” because Bonnie did not want anybody to see her husband riding a motorcycle that she was saying hello to. I’d go home, eat my lunch, then go back to work. I stayed in the National Guard for about 10 years and then I left the National Guard because it got too much with having two children, having a gas station, having to leave my brother and the gas station by himself. 

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