You hear a lot of bad things about Newburgh, and some of those things may be true. But Newburgh has been through a lot over the years, and has not only come through it, they’re thriving in many areas. I grew up in Newburgh in the 1970s, and I think I had a pretty happy childhood. Are you with me, fellow Newburgers? Here are some of my fondest memories that complete the sentence ‘You know you grew up in Newburgh in the 1970s if…’

You shopped at Lloyd’s.

Lloyd’s was a superstore before superstores even existed. You could get groceries, clothes, furniture, toys… you name it and you could get it at Lloyd’s. And Lloyd’s had the best record department I’ve ever seen in a department store. Plus, a liquor store and restaurant. Even a coffee area in the center of the store where the old folks could hang out. All under one roof.

You roller skated at the Avalon.

I spent many a Saturday afternoon roller skating at the Avalon. Our girl scout troop would occasionally have skate days there, and lots of kids had roller skating birthday parties at the Avalon. But the best part was the frozen Milkshake candy bars. What I wouldn’t do to get my hands on one of them again.

You hung out at the Mid Valley Mall.

It was an outside mall, but it was all we had, and we loved it. We’d go to the Village Shop which was a really cool head shop where you could get candles and posters, and all kinds of groovy stuff. We’d smoke cigarettes and eat french fries at the donut shop. And there was nobody cooler than we were.

You remember the wafting aroma of freshly baked bread when you passed Luna’s Bakery on Robinson Avenue.

If you were driving by at just the right time, you’d catch a whiff of the greatest bread I’ve ever had. Luna’s was a favorite stop for our sweets loving family.

You remember when the now booming Newburgh Riverfront was a scary and desolate place.

It was beautiful and full of shoppers in the 1960s, but by the 1970s it wasn’t a place you wanted to hang out for too long, or at all.

You ended your night at the Vails Gate Diner.

No matter which bar you were at, everybody seemed to come together at the end of the night at the Vails Gate Diner. It was as busy at 2 in the morning as it was at dinner time.

If you were short on money you ended your night at Jack in the Box.

For me it was usually the one at the corner of Broadway and Fullerton Avenue. And I always got the same thing. Two tacos and a Breakfast Jack. Yum.

You tobogganed down Epiphany Hill if you lived in New Windsor.

I think the Newburgh kids tobogganed down the hill behind North Junior High School. Those of us from New Windsor usually ended up at the Vails Gate Diner (see above) for hot chocolate after tobogganing.

You remember the Peppy’s Pizza Wagon.

This one is a really vague memory for me, but I’m pretty sure there was a Peppy’s Pizza and they made deliveries in an odd little vehicle called the Peppy’s Pizza Wagon. Can somebody either confirm or deny this one for me, because it’s such a vague memory I’m not even sure if it’s real.

You’re a badass.

Newburgh has always had it’s problems. I remember living through racial riots, increasing crime, and the deterioration of many parts of the city. It makes you somewhat of a badass, and frankly, that’s something I’m rather proud of.

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