WESTFIELD, NJ — On Sept. 28, Christopher Wolfson and Cathy Seastream-Barry hosted “The Sherbrooke Drive Block Party Reunion 2013,” a nostalgic celebration for those who grew up on that street.
Months of planning by Wolfson and Seastream-Barry went into the party, which recreated block parties of days past. After gathering at Seastream-Barry’s house and exchanging greetings and hugs, about 15 participants walked to Sherbrooke Drive, stopping for a photo of the Seastream family in front of the tree planted in honor of their brother Ricky, who died while he was a student at Washington School.
Once on the block, the group began the festivities with a bubble gum-blowing contest. Up next was an egg relay race, with participants balancing raw eggs on spoons and walking as quickly as possible to beat the other teams. A raw egg toss followed, as well as a three-legged race.
“It all brought back such fantastic memories and was so much fun,” said Peggy Rothbaum, who grew up on Sherbrooke Drive and works in Westfield to this day.
The group continued up the street together, stopping along the way for photos in front of the homes where they grew up. One friendly new owner allowed for a photo on “the rock,” which was home base for countless games of hide-and-seek, according to Scott Finter, who grew up on the block. Another owner was the mother of one party-goer, still living in the same home.
“Incredibly, we crashed a party at the Lepore’s house and they welcomed us and invited us in for a tour. We took a great Wolfson family photo inside their former home,” said Rothbaum.
The group returned to Seastream-Barry’s house to continue the festivities, eat and enjoy each other’s company. Guests left with a poster of Sherbrooke Drive and treat bag of delicacies like they used to buy at Heidi’s, a candy store that once stood in Westfield.
Linda Wight, who grew up on Sherbrooke Drive, said that the party recreated happy childhood memories and rekindled friendships.
“While some of the memories were bittersweet, it was by all accounts a very happy celebration and the beginning of a new tradition,” said Wight.