Friday Memory:

Mr. Ira Brooks

Ira Brooks moved to Skillman, NJ in 1931 at the age of 14. He worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for 28 years and also held odd jobs, like chauffering for local families. His frequent trips driving to Tuckahoe, NY for employers led him to Mrs. Looney's boarding home where his bride Evelyn Brooks lived. Ira stood at a mere 5ft 3in, but with all of his charm; he was a giant of a man. The two courted and were married on November 24, 1940. Four years later, he and Evelyn would settle on "The Mountain”.

 

The couple and their three oldest children first lived on Wertsville Road across from Minnietown Lane. Then, in 1948 the couple purchased 28 acres on Mountain Church Road; a deal which was strategically negotiated by his wife. A man of color owning 28 acres in Hopewell Township certainly was not commonplace in those days.
 

In the early 1950s, Ira known as “Brooksie” and later “Pop Pop” to many began towing & hauling to earn extra money for his ever growing family. It was part time at first and then full time when he retired from the railroad. He would continue to tow and haul with his “wrecker”until 2000, nearly 50 years.

 

Over the course of those 50 years, he rescued many of us from ditches, flat tires,overheated engines, you name it. Stony Brook was a bit of a Lover's Lane in those days and he would frequently pull cars out of the woods when their drivers found themselves stuck in the mud. Most of us have a story of Pop Pop coming to our aid with his chains and that old wrecker of his.

Bev Mills/Elaine Buck

Friday's Memory, August 17, 2018

 

From the archives...

 

This Friday's Memory goes out to Ira Brooks (Pop Pop), who moved to Skillman, NJ in 1931 at the age of 14--and who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for 28 years. In 1948, Ira and his wife, Evelyn, purchased 28 acres on Mountain Church Road. A man of color owning 28 acres in Hopewell Township certainly was not commonplace in those days.