Newtown news of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago, from the files of The Newtown Bee....Read Full Article
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- The Way We Were, for the week ending April 20, 2018
- Snapshot: Becca Marks
July 31, 1992
A state lawmaker has formed a citizen-based task force to meet with state officials and help determine the future use of land and buildings at an increasingly smaller Fairfield Hills Hospital. “It’s high time that there be established a line of communication,” said Rep Julia Wasserman (R-106), referring to the hospital that sits on hundreds of acres at the heart of Newtown. “They’re like an ivory tower,” she said. “We’re two entities living apart. We have to have a relationship with mutual trust. We have to involve the community much more meaningfully. We have to be sensible and knowledgeable about what’s going on over there.” The hospital is reducing its patient population and a new jail is due to open in 1993. As patients are moved to community-based treatment systems and various state agencies, Rep Wasserman said the time is ripe for contributing dialogue now limited to state officials.
On a day in late August, two families from Fern Lane, Newtown, will go to John F. Kennedy airport. Each family will bring a white scarf. Meanwhile, two Tibetan women, after spending years in refugee settlements in India, will be on a flight from Rome to JFK. They also each will bring a white scarf. In Tibetan culture, a white scarf is a sign of welcome and meeting. Diski and Palgi Gyamcho will exchange scarves with a 44-year-old woman named Yangzom, a widow and mother of six children ages 4–21. After establishing herself in this country, Yangzom plans to bring her family to America. Josh and Margaret Hull will exchange scarves with 25-year-old Tseten Lhamo, an unmarried woman who has been working as a tailor in India. The two families have signed affidavits promising the US government that these immigrants will not receive public assistance. The Connecticut relocation efforts are part of a national effort calling for the relocation of 1,000 Tibetans by September 1993.
The energetic children’s librarian at the C.H. Booth Library is foregoing storytelling for a career change to social work — a change that may ultimately result in a merging of the two disciplines. Sylvia Vuillemenot, popularly known as “Mike,” will start an internship this fall with a residential facility for troubled children, Green Chimneys, in Brewster N.Y. By May she will have completed a master’s degree in social work.
3 – 2 – 1 … CowaBUNGEE!!! It’s 7:30 am, a crisp Saturday morning in Woodbury. Nineteen-year-old Greg Mucci of Stratford is standing on a platform about 12 inches wide that is hooked to the outside of a hot air balloon’s basket, and he is ready to jump off the platform. The balloon is 200 feet in the air. As a crowd gathers below, spectators begin to talk. “Will he do it?” “Is he going to jump?” Mucci looks down and is no doubt wondering the same thing. Greg Mucci is about to take the first bungee jump. “My dad just told me about this a few days ago,” he said, before leaving the ground. “I’ll probably get really scared at the last minute.” And what was his decision? He jumped. He bounced a few times and his baseball cap flew off. “That was cool,” he said. He was hollering, smiling, and ready to go again long before his feet touched the ground.
Three months ago the Fireside Inn in Newtown decided to add some different musical flavors to its weekly menu, and added a Country-Western Thursday Night Dance Party to its weekly events. So far, the results have been smashing. “We had a lot of response from local people who were going out to other places in the area which were sponsoring nights like this,” said Donald Pulieri, one of the owners. With a large ballroom and dance floor, the Fireside owners put out a cattle call on local radio and ran ads to get the word moving. The first Thursday night saw about 50 curious cowboys and cowgirls. Last week, the crowd had grown to over 300, dancing and singing along to the DJ.
August 4, 1967
Friday night, August 4, there will be another Progress Festival dance for teens. The Uncalled Four will hold forth from 8:30 to 11 pm at the Park Pavilion. All who attend must have park stickers on their cars. With the popular Uncalled Four playing, this will be one more successful Progress Festival for teenagers.
We are impressed with the long list of events that appear weekly in The Bee calendar. It seems to grow from week to week, in large measure from requests from advertisers and publicity chairmen to be included. Just now summer activities are at their height, so that the list in this issue is probably at its longest. Certainly anyone who labors under the impression that there is not much of interest do to will find his misconceptions promptly corrected after consulting our weekly calendar. More and more, readers tell us that it is increasingly helpful to them. Indeed, no one need feel lonesome, bored, or tired of his own company with such a wide selection at entertainment, amusement, education and participation events so readily available.
The Newtown Business and Professional Women will sponsor “A Night at Southbury Playhouse” on Thursday, August 10, to see the comedy Luv. Reservations should be made immediately with Mrs Helen Megin. Six local club members attended a fashion show in the Student Center of the University of Bridgeport on Thursday, July 27. Following the show was a tour of the new Sears Roebuck Company, which presented the fashion show.
A car, belonging to Mr and Mrs David Kaufman of Huntington Road, went up in flames last Friday evening at about 11:15. The fire is believed to have started from a short circuit at the rear of the vehicle, which had refused to start when Mr Kaufman attempted to put it in the garage. The Kaufmans had retired for the night when they saw the flames. The Botsford Fire Company and Chief John Trowbridge responded, as did Engine No. One. Interior of the burned vehicle was damaged beyond repair.
The Fairfield County 4-H Fair on August 11, 12, and 13 will feature games, singing and entertainment groups, a parade, dances, and contests. The three-day fair at the Extension Center in Bethel is open to the public, and designed to attract the whole family. Games for youngsters will include a sack race, balloon toss, three-legged race, and bladder ball.
July 31, 1942
More than 600 blind people are being instructed in their homes by the State Board of Education of the Blind and many of these are now proficient in making useful articles which are offered for sale under the auspices of the state board. One of these sales will be held at the Edmond Town Hall from 11 am to 5 pm on August 4. Sales such as these are held throughout the state and in the course of a year most of the 169 towns in the state are visited by the sales work. Many of the products made by the blind people in their homes are sold and the proceeds are turned over to the blind workers.
Quite a display of pyrotechnics took place on South Main Street in Monday afternoon’s storm when the branch of a tree on the Halsey lawn caused a short circuit on the lines of Danbury & Bethel Gas & Electric Company. Flames shot into the air and with loud crackling the wires fell to the ground. The short circuit burned out two transformers further along in Palestine District. A crew of repairmen was kept busy for several hours.
The second of a series of square dances was held Saturday night at the Edmond Town Hall and was attended by an even larger group of dancers than assembled for the previous affair. The improved amplifying system met with general approval and all present joined in the dancing eagerly. Music was furnished by Al Brundage and his King Street Pioneers. Remaining unrecognized was Eleanor Holm, former Olympic Champion and star of Billy Rose’s popular Aquacade at the New York World’s Fair.
As the new gasoline rationing starts to function, the office of the local War Price and Rationing Board at the Edmond Town Hall is one of the most hectic spots in town. During the last ten days the office has registered more than 200 trucks and 250 non-highway engines. Aside from the considerable clerical work involved, the registrars report that they have had to use all of their diplomacy in discouraging a small but persistent group who claim they need 100 gallons of gasoline to mow their lawns for the next six months and have had to battle also with irate ladies who farm for a hobby and need more fuel for their tractors than the busiest bona fide farmer in town.
Owen W. White of the Fabric Fire Hose Company has been confined to his home for the past several weeks with a heart ailment and is under the care of his physician, Dr. J. Benton Egee.
August 3, 1917
A Newtown boy writes of his experiences in Camp Chickamauga, Georgia. Dear Aunt Mary and Uncle Will: I was looking for a letter from you last night, but will get it today, perhaps. I realize that it takes some little time for a letter to go home and back again. We are not drilling today; just cleaning up, washing our dirty clothes, etc. We had inspections this morning at 8:30. We had to put on our cleanest clothes, polish our shoes, shave, and appear as clean as possible. Leggins also had to be clean. I washed mine last night but they were not dry this morning, but they passed inspection. We stood at attention for half an hour with our cartridge belts on while the lieutenant inspected the rifles. There are 12 companies of infantry here at the present, besides the machine gun companies and supply companies. We were out drilling on the parade ground yesterday afternoon when it commenced to rain. We had to double back quick to our squad rooms, so we wouldn’t get wet. Carpenters, masons, and a lot of colored men are working here. Well, I guess this is all for this time so I will close. Hope you are well. Frank Goodsell. Co. L, 56 Infantry, military branch.
The exemption board for the district in which Newtown is a part begin their examinations on Tuesday of next week. Examinations for the Newtown men drafted will probably take place on Friday or Saturday in Fairfield.
Owing to the oppressive heat Wednesday night, a number of Sandy Hook young men, after a plunge in the Pootatuck River, took blankets and slept on the lawns in front of their residences. Sensible young men, these.
The popular Mahoney’s Corner Drug Store at Shelton has a wonderful display of all the latest ices and ice cream made by the New Haven Dairy Co. in their corner window. Even Teddy Bears have their share in the display, for they are seen partaking of the most toothsome delicacies of the season. And it is all made of jellatine and something that won’t get all mussed up in these hot days of ours.
Once more the “Boys of the Old Brigade” assembled, but this time their mission was different, for instead of good cheer, stories of the long ago and happy greetings, it was with moistened eyes and heavy hearts we bore our loved comrade Henry E. Waite to his last resting place in Mountain Grove Cemetery, and as taps sounded over his open grave, many of his old regiment, the 17 Connecticut Volunteers, who stood there, were looking back with the eye of retrospection, down the ivy-clad arches of the past.
Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with readers. Images can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.