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The Way We Were, for the week ending August 11, 2017

Published: August 10, 2017

August 14, 1992

Newtown may have its Labor Day Parade this year, but local police will probably not direct traffic. “So far everybody has declined to work the parade,” Officer John Kotch said. According to Officer Kotch, the police are refusing to work the parade because they are not pleased with contract negotiations with the town. Department heads received a five percent pay increase for 1993. “We asked for whatever is reasonable and they [town officials] wouldn’t even give us that,” Officer Kotch said. The union’s last contract expired June 30, 1991, and it has been without one ever since. “They have the right not to work,” Officer Kotch said, regarding the parade.

***

A local attorney has proposed amendments to local zoning regulations that would allow car washes in town. A public hearing is slated for Thursday, August 20 at 8 pm at Town Hall South. Attorney Robert Hall has proposed amending several sections of the Planning & Zoning rules to allow car washes by special exception. In a related amendment on lot frontage, his change would allow lots in business and industrial zones to be subdivided into two lots with the rear lot having frontage on a private road. The application concerns changes to the regulations, and not the site specific concepts of Brian Corson and Peter Concilio, even though it is that concept that prompted rule changes. The men are two partners in Greenhouse Associates, which developed Sand Hill Plaza.”I think there’s tremendous need” for car washes in Newtown, Mr Corson said.

***

For many years, jumping off the “Silver Bridge” into Lake Zoar has been a favorite pastime for foolhardy youths. Although it is exciting to those who take the plunge, it is dangerous and against the law. Late Saturday afternoon while on routine patrol of Glen Road, Newtown Police Officer Robert Haas spotted two males on the bridge. He saw at least one of the males jump, but saw no one in the water or on the shore. After the arrival of other officers from Newtown and Southbury, it was determined that in the interest of safety that the Sandy Hook Fire Department rescue squad and Newtown Dive Team would search for anyone who might be underwater. After 90 minutes of scouring the lake, searchers reportedly found no one. The incident is under investigation.

***

On Monday, vice presidential candidate Al Gore stopped for lunch in Waterbury. Shortly before Senator Gore arrived, a few of his people moved through the luncheonette deciding where to sit. Obviously, they wanted something that would make for a good “photo op.” For about three hours a woman had been sitting at the counter at Robinwood Luncheonette and telling people she was saving seats for Senator Gore. Right next to those seats, the Senator’s advance people spotted the perfect person for the Senator to sit next to. It was Katie Lehay from Newtown, a 7-year-old who was not only quite cute, but who was even missing two front teeth. Some days, fortune shines on the campaign trail.

***

The Women’s Auxiliary, United Fire Company of Botsford, invites people to join a trip to Foxwoods Casino and Bingo in Ledyard on Wednesday, September 23. The bus will leave the Botsford Fire House at 8:45 am to arrive in Ledyard at 11 am. Departure from Ledyard will be at 5 pm.

 

August 18, 1967

The lights have been burning late this week in The Bee office, with installation of the new Goss Community web offset press completed in time to print two sections of this issue on it. The first section was done on the veteran Goss Comet, which has been printing each issue of The Bee by letterpress method since 1925.

***

SAC BENEFIT. The Boys’ Social & Athletic Club of Sandy Hook has set a date for their benefit movie, Cinderella, starring Jerry Lewis, at Edmond Town Hall. Showings are at 7 and 9 pm. This one-a-year event supports funds to run the club for a full year and gives the people of Newtown the opportunity to reaffirm their belief that the boys’ club is an asset to our community.

***

The Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department will bring fun and entertainment to visitors from near and far at the 16 Annual Bridgewater Country Fair August 18, 19, and 20. This rural community will put its shoulder to the wheel to help its volunteer firemen in the annual event. Starting 16 years ago with three tents and 28 animals, the Fair has grown. The entire community of 12, persons and friendly neighbors from nearby towns lend helping hands to the firefighters. Proceeds will be used to help finance construction expenses of the new fire headquarters.

***

The tall steeple on top of the St Rose Church on Church Hill Road came crashing down on Monday afternoon, putting to an end an 85-year span of the building’s service to the town. With a strong cable attached to one of the trucks owned by the Capozziello brothers of Bridgeport and the other end looped around the steeple, a steady pull snapped the structure below the roofline, dropping it directly into the foundation of the structure. After the dust settled, it was found that only the very tip of the cross failed to fall within the brick walls on which rested this House of God symbolized by the cross that withstood wind and weather of many years, reflecting rays of sunshine for all those who gazed upon it.

***

William Honan, chairman of the Park and Recreation Commission, reports that the tennis courts at the town park will be recoated in an easy-on-the-eyes green, and the lines repainted. The treatment should keep the courts in good shape for several years.

 

August 14, 1942

Uncle Sam’s call must come first. A serious plea is made by officials of the Southern New England Telephone Company, asking the general public to curtail telephone use as much as possible. The phone system, country-wide, is jammed with calls — many of them of extreme importance in the nation’s war effort. And so the public is urged to make only the most urgent long distance calls during the day, at the same time cutting down on local calls and making calls as brief as possible.

***

The club golf championship at Newtown Country Club was hampered considerably over the weekend because of heavy rain and wet conditions. Three matches were played, however, one on Saturday and the others on Sunday. The match Saturday found Mike Hoitko taking the count of Fred Duncombe by the score of 3-1 to put Hoitko in the semifinals. Sunday morning matches resulted in Irwin Baker defeating Gene Previdi, while Bob Leahy scored over Art Carmody by the same margin.

***

George B. Beers and his granddaughter, Miss Barbara Mitchell, and Mr and Mrs Albert Blakeslee of New Haven, spent three days this week in Goshen N.Y., attending the races.

***

Over 200 persons flocked to the third Square Dance on Saturday evening, when the Edmond Town Hall gymnasium was filled to capacity. To attend these parties is a thrilling experience. It is genuinely exciting, even for the onlookers, to watch the sets, composed of young and not so young dancers following the lively music with so much pleasure.

***

Dr and Mrs Benton Egee are very pleased to announce that their son David is now out of danger at the Bridgeport Hospital and is making a rapid convalescence. They also wish to express their appreciation for the kind thoughts and deeds of the townspeople.

 

August 17, 1917

Playing the part of a good Samaritan proved costly for A.J. Metro of Bridgeport, Monday night as he was passing through the borough. As he came to the main street he was asked for gas by a Ford jitney driver, Joseph Athans of Danbury whose car was stalled. Metro agreed to help the man and as a result lost his car. It seems the jitney driver was under the car looking for the opening to the pipe and Metro, in order to assist, struck a match to show the point, which had already been found by Athans, who was about to help himself when the damage was done, the nozzle having been found and opened before Metro was aware of it. The explosion of the tank moved the burning car some distance. Metro said he had filled the tank with 20 gallons before leaving Danbury. The destroyed car was not insured but was not a recent model. The car was not removed from the street until noon, Tuesday.

***

On Friday afternoon while crossing the Dayton Street bridge, former Representative Michael Killbride noticed Arthur Kelly and Arthur Carmody fishing from the bridge. He had gotten but a few feet from the bridge when he heard a splash and saw that Kelly has fallen into the water. In a flash Mr Killbride ran to the river, waded in and pulled the unconscious lad to the surface and carried him to the river bank. A few sharp slaps on the back brought the boy to consciousness.

***

A remarkable automobile collision took place Wednesday night on the Newtown-Bridgeport state road at a point directly opposite the residence of Editor A.P. Smith. Both cars were Fords. One was the property of Durbin Van Vlick and his mother and sister on their way to Waterbury. Instead of taking the road east to Waterbury, they turned south and were headed for Bridgeport, when the accident occurred. The other car was driven by Gregory George of Bridgeport. Van Vlick claimed that George forced him to the other edge of the road, causing his machine to strike the edge of the bar over the sluice. The Van Vlick car was turned completely around and two wheels taken out from underneath it. George claimed that Van Vlick was to blame and struck his car, turning the machine over. George’s car contained a lady with her child and another young lady. They crawled out from underneath the car and were uninjured.

***

Service on the Litchfield branch of New York/New Haven and Hartford railroad was delayed by the derailment of a light engine about a mile south of Roxbury station. The tender of the engine went down a steep embankment for nearly 20 feet, while the locomotive went several feet down the bank.

***

Keep an eye on the date for Labor day night at the town hall. The Sandy Hook band will give an open air concert, followed by a dance in the hall.

Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with readers. Images can be e-mailed to kendra@thebee.com, or brought to the office at 5 Church Hill Road to be scanned. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.

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