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The Way We Were

July 1, 1988

No one was planning to live in the middle of I-84 east between exits nine and ten, but that’s where a house ended up Tuesday afternoon, after the driver of the cab pulling the house swerved to avoid a runaway spare tire. Jack Lee Wassing of Clarksville, Indiana was driving a truck cab in the right lane of I-84 east shortly after 3 pm Tuesday, when the cab’s spare tire fell off. The tire rolled and then collided with Mr Wassing’s cab, causing it to spin counterclockwise. In the meantime, Douglas Lyons of Miffinsburg, Penn., who was driving a cab pulling a modular home, tried to avoid the spare tire, causing his truck to jackknife and the home to slip off and hit Mr Wassing’s truck. The tire wreaked more havoc when it hit the car escorting the modular home. Eastbound traffic had to be diverted at exit nine and through the center of Newtown. Chief DeJoseph said the traffic wasn’t as bad as he had thought it would be.

 

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There will be no town-side celebration of the Fourth this year and for the third year, there will be no fireworks. A lack of volunteers to man the picnic project is behind the decision not to hold the annual picnic at Dickinson Park, according to Kathy Anderson, chairman of the Summer Festival. “We’re lucky to be pulling off the Labor Day Parade,” she said, noting that the Festival committee needs to attract younger families for volunteer work.

 

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Negotiations are going on between the Newtown Congregational Church and Associated Plastics over who is going to fix the church’s steeple. The color of the steeple, which has been lying in the church parking lot for several weeks, doesn’t match the color of the rest of the church. According to Rod Gulick, coordinator of the building program, the wrong color chip was sent to the company by a member of the building committee. But the Texas based company has admitted their error in not cross-checking. The steeple is made of Fiberglass and polyester and can’t be painted. There never has been any intention of sending the steeple back but rather to have it recoated with the proper color gel.

 

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Five members of the Newtown Python’s youth soccer team are going to spend a summer in Europe. The players have been selected to play with Team Connecticut, an All-Star squad based in New Canaan. The Pythons making the team are Tommy D’Amico, a sweeper; Alex Trigaux, fullback; Brian Gorman, halfback; Patrick McFall, goalie; and Shawn Reeder, halfback. The team will leave for its two and a half week journey on July 6. The players will compete in Holland, Germany, and Denmark.

 

July 5, 1963

Just before lunch on Monday, Newtown’s summer population added an active 80 youngsters as Camp Stepney opened for the season. The camp on Toddy Hill Road is a summer project of the East Side House in New York, the third oldest settlement house in the country. Its first 1963 campers are young ladies from seven to 12 years old who will spend the next three weeks on its 130 acres, enjoying its natural lake and every conceivable kind of summer activity. Directors of the camp are John and Joyce McGinn.

 

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The Rev Kenneth E. Halcott is now the pastor of the Newtown Methodist Church on Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook, where he preached his first sermon last Sunday. He and his family this week moved into the parsonage next to the church. In the period 1948–53, Mr Halcott served as a Navy corpsman with the US Marines in Korea. After being discharged from the service, he received the call to enter the ministry.

 

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The Board of Selectmen at its meeting Monday night received a detailed, comprehensive report from Henderson and Casey, consulting engineers, on “Surveys of Sewage Disposal Problems in Newtown,” which indicated that there is at present no serious sewage problem in Newtown, nor have residential and industrial developments so expanded as to justify the cost of installing a sewage disposal system.

 

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“After 18 years of selling Sunday papers at Pitzschler’s Barber Shop in the winter and at the Newtown General Store in the summer, it has become necessary for me to discontinue my business as of July 14, because of my health. Earl Meyers of the Newtown General Store will be handling the papers in the future under similar conditions as they have been sold in the past. I have appreciated your patronage, and would be pleased if you would show the same loyalty to Mr Meyers.” Claus Magnuson, Edgewood Road, Newtown

 

July 1, 1938

Many townspeople had the opportunity of viewing a rattlesnake at close range on Saturday afternoon at the store of Morris and Shepard, when Albert Knapp displayed the reptile in a wire covered box. The snake was captured on Schaghticoke Mountain, Kent, by Patsy Fiengo for the Fairfield State hospital. The rattler was over 3 feet long and had eight rattles and a button.

 

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The Hardscrabble Work Shop, under the direction of Jerome P. Jackson, Jr, which has enjoyed four successful seasons, will open its fifth year on Tuesday, July 5th, at the Jackson home in Zoar district. The work shop is for boys between the ages of about six and thirteen and during the sessions which are held Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout July and August, the boys are instructed in manual training and the use of tools.

 

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Newtown was visited by a freak storm last Friday afternoon when the lower part of Main street was deluged with one of the heaviest rains of the season, while the Main street itself scarcely received any rain at all. The high wind accompanying the storm raised havoc with numerous trees and disrupted telephone and light service in many parts of the town.

 

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Attention of the residents of the Borough is called by Warden A.J. Smith, to the fact that the shooting off of fireworks is positively forbidden by a Borough Ordinance. Celebrators will please take note as this ordinance will be strictly enforced over the Fourth.

 

July 4, 1913

The Taunton schoolhouse was crowded, Tuesday night, when Miss May B. Lord, the well known evangelist, conducted the service and gave an interesting address. A.G. Lord brought Miss Lord in his auto. John Beard brought over an auto load of Bethel men. The meeting was an inspiring one and will not soon be forgotten.

 

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William A. Honan, the new merchant at Hawleyville, finished the inventory, Monday, and on Tuesday took possession of the store, succeeding David Smith. Mr Honan has been with L.C. Morris nearly 14 years and won a lot of friends by his genial and friendly bearing. Mr Honan occupies the former A.G. Baker furniture warehouse at Hawleyville. Mr Honan is also engaged in the undertaking business, in this last department being associated with Selectman Brew under the firm  name of Honan & Brew. Michael Honan will assist W.A. Honan in the Hawleyville store.

 

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Some time last fall or early winter a smooth-talking individual appeared in town and to people he approached stated that he represented an installment house in New Haven. He succeeded in interesting a number of people here with his 50 cents down and 50 cents a week scheme, agreeing to give them at the end of so many weeks certain pieces of furniture, etc. Those who secured the goods got something in the way of a gold brick, and those who are still waiting to go to New Haven to pick their household goods are “stung” for quite large sums of money.

 

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George R. Wilson has accomplished a fine piece of road improvement on Castle Hill, widening out the road at least two feet on each side. Throughout his entire section Mr Wilson has done good work. Leonard Kindle of Hopewell says he has the best roads in town. A.D. Fairchild of Taunton praises Mr Wilson’s road work highly throughout that district. We hear praise of work accomplished on the roads in the other sections of the town.

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