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Balloon Man of Cadwalader Park

For many years, a man delighted Trenton's kids selling balloons and other small toys on Sundays at Cadwalader Park.

   A Trenton legend was the Cadwalader's Park balloon man.  Manuel Abramowitz was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants to Trenton.  He was a great athlete and was selected to the U.S. 1936 Olympic team in track and gymnastics (The olympic games that brought Jesse Owens fame.  Also, Manuel was one of three Trentonians selected to participate in the Berlin Olympic).  He refused to go because of Hitler's anti-Semitism.  He brought "bright smiles" to Trenton's children (Today's old timers) for many years.  He attended Grace A. Dunn school where he was a star athlete.  He then practiced his skill at the Trenton YMCA.  He fought in World War II with General Pattern and came home seeking a life without stress.
   Abramowitz had a personality that brightened the day of visitors to Cadwalader Park.  He was sure to be out there welcoming visitors to the park every Sunday in any type of weather.  It sure must have been a welcomed site to see the rainbow of balloon colors when entering the park after a long week at the mills.  Children would beg their parents for a helium balloon or a small toy to play with in the park.  The children's area contained a merry-go-round, pony rides, and swings.  Several types of animals were on display in the park including a bear, monkeys, and deer.  There were regular concerts on Sundays.  The park was a truly fun location to picnic for children of any age.  
    Manuel's tradition continued with help from family members after his death in 1963.  In 1983, when Trenton's council created a ban on vendors that were not on wheels, Abramowitz was given an exception.

Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016