The ‘traumatic’ move Trev made as a kid and why he had ‘culture shock’
I read where President Trumps 11-year-old son Baron is moving into the White House with his mother now that he’s finished with school. It got me thinking of when my parents moved us from Union City where I loved to Marlboro — which I grew to hate, through no fault of it’s own.
It’s taken many years to realize that.
Ripping a teenager from his friends for me was traumatic. I was 15 when we moved from Union City, where I lived with some 50 kids within a five-block radius all within five years of each other. We were more than a neighborhood, we were one, big a dysfunctional family. We looked out for each other. You felt that security being part of it.
Everyday there was something to do. All you had to do was go to 17th Street park and wait for enough kids to show up — and they always did. You could be playing football, basketball, punchball, etc. Whatever you wanted you had the entire city at your disposal. On weekends, we’d take one of the buses that ran into the Port of Authority every five minutes and go to either Yankee or Shea stadium depending on who was playing…not to mention the Knicks, Rangers and NY Giants.
In Union City, you were respected for who you were. Whatever reputation you had within the neighborhood. Marlboro in the 1970s was more about how much money you had and what your parents did for a living. Two things I really hadn’t given much thought to until I got there. Although my Dad being a fireman (that’s what they were called then) had one of the coolest jobs ever.
Another thing about Marlboro was the culture shock. Everyone lived so far apart and you really needed a car as opposed to Union City, where you could walk or ride your bike anywhere. I went from hanging out with about 50 kids to roughly six. All great guys, yet they weren’t crazy about being there either. In fact two of them moved back to Brooklyn the minute they turned 21. The one thing we all had in common was how much we disliked the place. It was that common bond that brought us together.
The mistake my parents made when we moved was not ever allowing me to go back. If they had maybe let me ease out of one and into the other it would have been easier. But instead all I thought about was where I couldn’t be. What my friends were doing and what I was missing. Eventually when I got my drivers license I would drive to Weehawken, switch cars with a friend of mine and hang in Union City so my mother — who still worked there — wouldn’t catch me.
Eventually I would acclimate and let that part of my life begin. I would form my own circle of friends and have great time and find the path that would lead me to where I am today. Chances are if I had stayed in Union City, I’d be doing something completely different. I now understand why the move had to be made, but I still don’t like the way it was handled.
Today, my sons live with nine of their friends within biking distance and they go outside play everyday. One day, we talked about possibly moving into a bigger house and they freaked. That is something they will never have to worry about.
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Steve Trevelise is on the air from Monday-Thursday, 7 to 11 p.m. Tweet him @realstevetrev or @nj1015.