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Shelley Neill

Shelley Neill was born in the culturally rich rough and tumble Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey in the 1950’s, and abandoned by her Irish Catholic mother and Hungarian father at birth. She was adopted, as an infant, into a Jewish family that had grown up and lived in Newark. She considers herself “a child of Newark.”

Her most vivid childhood memories of Newark in the 1950’s – cobblestone streets, people speaking in English, Yiddish, and Italian, horse-drawn vegetable carts, streets with names that sounded strange – Peshein Avenue and Demerest Street – where her grandparents lived – egg kindlers, fresh-killed chickens, Silverman’s Bakery, chocolate egg creams, family circle meetings, chain-link fenced school playgrounds.

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