To the Editor:
While traveling, we went to dinner with a group of colleagues from around the world. As we all started to share our stories I was asked where I grew up, and a sudden sinking feeling came over me as I knew as I answered what would follow and how the energy of the conversation would change. And sure enough I was greeted with the “Wow, what happened there was just tragic, you must really have been impacted by it.”
Typically I get annoyed by this because you want to say what truly is on your mind, but this time I replied after a huge deep breath “the world was impacted by it, the families and the community will never be the same, and I can not imagine the families’ pain, but let me tell you about a different Newtown.” I pick up my iPhone and pull up the photo on my timeline that shows fall in Newtown taken from Castle Hill. I tell the group how growing up in Newtown was the best experience ever and how the summers were spent at the town park swimming out to the dock in the middle of the big pool where no one knew what really lived in that water... how the town would come together for the annual Block Party and Fireworks and kids were free to run around and have fun, how we had the best parades each Labor Day and how going to the annual school fairs whether it was the Green Giant Fair at Sandy Hook or the International Food Fair at the middle school, we all came together. How we all were touched by amazing teachers and faculty in our lives (Jack Lynch and Lash Ashmore), and how I am still friends with childhood classmates as you made forever-friends from Newtown, how Newtown will always be “where I am from.”
My colleagues all smiled as I told these stories and a different energy was created and hopefully a different impression.
930 Bullet Hill Road, Southbury November 8, 2013