This is it folks! Not the Hilton in anytown U.S.A. by any stretch of the imagination, but surely a getaway to us city slickers. It was the closest thing to "Country" that we would ever come to. This is Grandma and Grandpa's house in Wayne , New Jersey, about 26 miles on the other side of the George Washington Bridge. The main house had running water and believe it or not, a bathroom. Of coarse no one was allowed to use the bathroom because Grandpa complained it made the pump kick on and cost money to run, so we had to depend on an outhouse that our Uncles built. I'll never forget that outhouse. You know Aunt Nancy was there because of the constant aroma of Lysol disinfectant. It was an outhouse, but it was a clean one thanks to good ol' Aunt Nancy. A few Aunts and Uncles purchased the land next door and built a garage on it, but it's where we really slept over the summer in fold-down beds with damp, musty smelling mattresses. Outside was a manual hand operated pump for water. The only thing was, you needed water to prime it before it would pump any water out of the ground, so we had to walk next door to Grandma's house to get the water to prime the pump. Didn't make much sense. I often thought: "Why don't we just use the water we just got from Grandma's house?" I never did figure it out, then again, it was hard to figure why we punished ourselves all summer long roughing it the way we did, but like I said, it was "Country" and a welcome getaway from the big city. We kids loved it, but I know my father hated it. He dubbed the place "Tobacco Road." It had no toilets, running water or comforts of home, and just one good rain would flood the river and we would have to be evacuated by the firetrucks to Mountainview. Indeed "Tobacco Road" left us with many fond memories to last a lifetime. Swimming in the river or paying Aunt Mille 25 cents each to squeeze 10 kids in her car and take us to Revere Beach or McDonald's Beach on route 23. It was always a treat to go horse riding in Verona, or shop at Two Guys From Harrison Discout Store which was like a K-Mart or Wal-Mart today. I remember the fair in Mountainview and the trips to the movies in Pompton Lakes and the end-of-the summer tradition of spending the day in Patterson to buy our going-back-to-school supplies and lunch at the restaurant with the electric train set that delivered your order on it's flat bed cars. I remember the Mack Molding Co. and the whistle that blew marking the time of day. I remember the little Mom & Pop Candy Store across the street and the roller coaster path we rode our bikes on and putting dimes and nickles on the railroad tracks waiting for the train to come and crush them flat as a pancake. I remember coming home from the movies late at night when the only sound was the crickets and how quiet those of us lucky enough to be assigned a bed upstairs in the attic had to be because grandpa was sleeping and the creeking sound the steps made would wake him up. Once upstairs, there were two tiny rooms with four beds and a crib for eight people and a baby, and who could forget the "Little House" between the garage and Gandma's house? We used to call it Uncle Anthony and Aunt Millie's lovebird nest. The next morning me and my Uncle Anthony would go for buns and donuts. He'd always let me drive even though I had no license. Then it was time for church, and again we had to pay a quarter for gas so Aunt Millie could drive us to church. One cousin would drive there and another would drive back while the rest of us fought to see who would get that all-important window seat and we'd always stop at Nieces' grocery store for Italian Ices. I remember the Sunday dinners on the long homemade wooden table that grandpa made on the side of the house right next to Uncle Nicky's 1946 Desoto filled with newspapers from ten years earlier. I remember Aunt Millie yelling for Uncle Nicky to come out of the woods from picking up garbage to come and eat and Grandma yelling for Grandpa to come in from working in his beloved garden. Grandma made her world famous pasta dough hats and twenty of us had a feast on pasta, meat, bread, wine, soda, salad and all the trimmings. This was our experience at Wayne New Jersey. No, it wasn't the Waldorf, or the Hilton, but it was "Our Family." and
"Our Place" The old garage is gone now, as well as some of our family members, while the Aunts and Uncles have aged and the cousins went on to get married and have families of their own and have since scattered abroad, but the one thing that will always remain in the hearts and minds of all who graced the grounds of "Tobacco Road," are the memories we all share of Wayne New Jersey. It is my hope that this web site will capture and preserve those memories in the minds of all whose eyes fall upon these pages, because after all is said and done, memories are all that's left!
Grandpa Cesare Muccioli
In His Beloved Garden
Friends From Wayne
Can you find Cousin Richie, Elaine Helinski and Junior Villasenior?