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Chapter V - Newark

Social life found me in the center of things. The friends I had made and the fellows I met made my life in Bridgeport a wonderful one. On Sunday afternoon there would be a gathering of young people at various neighbors' houses. We would dance and sing while the accordion supplied the music. It was usually played by one of the young boys. The boys would buy a few pints of beer and the party atmosphere was very enjoyable. Life was becoming very interesting and I loved it but a letter from Nicola to my brother urging him to move to Newark took away this life of gaiety. This city had more opportunities for moulders, my brother's occupation. In Bridgeport he was working in a paper mill.

I was very sad to leave my friends, but since I was his ward and a minor, I was obligated to follow my brother. During my stay in Bridgeport my sister had married and now lived in Philadelphia. Instead of going to Newark with Guiseppe I really wanted to live in Philadelphia with my sister but my brother threatened to have me arrested. At this difficult time I really wanted to be near Emilia.

In order to secure a job and find a place to live in Newark my brother left ahead of us. We joined him later. When we arrived in Newark by train we were met by my brother and Nicola. Nicola said hello and I greeted him back. Nicola paired off with me and took me to see Bamberger's Department Store and its escalator. He urged me to go on the escalator so I did. It was a thrilling new experience. After that he took us to dinner at the place where he was boarding.

Joseph (Guiseppe) had an apartment ready for us to live in but the furniture had not yet arrived from Bridgeport so we had to lodge for the night elsewhere.

Orientation to Newark was not easy. Philadelphia is divided into squares - north, south, east and west. Therefore it was easy to know your whereabouts. Newark streets were not planned as well.

After finally getting my sense of direction I began to hunt for a job, any job. I needed money. At one place of work there was another girl waiting to be interviewed. She was interviewed first. When she emerged she looked happy. I assumed that she had gotten a job, and that the outlook for me to be hired looked good.

I was ushered into the same office. The interviewer asked many questions, such as why did I want to work. My answer was that I needed money to live on. He responded, "You are a beautiful girl. You should live a better life than having to work."

He insinuated that I could own a car with a chauffeur if I wanted to. These words of luxuries kind of frightened me. Then he asked me if I had a boyfriend and I told him I had. After finding this information he told me I could go. Once I was outside I ran all the way home. I realized in what manner he wanted to use me. I did not even know what the English word prostitute meant. He tried to take advantage of my innocence and lead me to a corrupt life.

After that job interview I did not give up hunting for work. Luck was with me. I found one in another hosiery factory working in a better position than the one in Bridgeport. This new job paid better and I was able to save some money but even with this success I missed the life I lived in Pennsylvania. I missed my sister.

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