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The Way We Were, for the week ending May 11, 2018

Published: May 14, 2018

May 14, 1993

Students who attend the senior prom this year will be asked to take a breathalyzer test — the administration’s move to take a firm stand against drinking at school functions. The decision was made after “more than just a handful of kids” showed up drunk at the school’s Snowball dance this winter, according to principal Bill Manfredonia. A random testing will be conducted as students enter the prom at the Fireside Inn on Friday, May 21. The decision to use the breathalyzer resulted from the expression from some students of their concerns about friends’ drinking habits. Students are angry over the administration’s new policy. Junior class president Sarah Wasko said prom ticket sales are way down. Other students are having second thoughts about going. “It’s offensive,” said Stacy Frisher, noting that kids will have “spent a lot of money getting all dressed up, then they want us to blow into a machine. It’s almost accusing us of doing something wrong.”

***

The third possible child-abduction attempt in Newtown has demonstrated the difficulty of solving such cases, according to police chief Michael DeJoseph. “These are very difficult incidents to investigate as evidenced by the reported number of attempts in the country in the past year and the fact that there have been no arrests,” he said. The most recent incident was at 4:50 pm last Thursday when two long-haired men in a white Isuzu Trooper approached an eight-year-old boy on Clearview Drive in Sandy Hook. The child told his mother, who witnessed the incident, that the men asked him to get in the vehicle. They drove off as he turned and ran to his house. In January an eight-year-old Sandy Hook student was waiting for the bus when a driver, wearing a ski mask, invited him to get in his car. In February a 10-year-old Middle Gate student was approached by a man in a lavender van. In all cases the drivers drove off when the children fled.

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Five youths escaped injury on Friday, May 7, when the 1985 BMW in which they were riding wound up upside down in a creek alongside Hattertown Road. The driver told police that he lost control of the car while trying to avoid a large green truck which was straddling the middle of the two-lane road. The car struck a curb, went airborne, and landed upside-down. The driver of the truck did not stop.

***

YES, LOVELL’S IS COMING DOWN; PERMITS HAVE DELAYED WORK:  One permit from the town of Newtown is not enough to take down a building. Before the first blow, the state of Connecticut, Newtown Water Company, CL&P, and Yankee Gas all have to be involved. Thus, the delay in the original time schedule since demolition was supposed to start 12 days ago. According to Bruce Mondo of Mondo and Lee, “We are just waiting on the state at this point. Someone must come out and check for asbestos since they will not take our word that there is none in the building.” Hopefully inspectors will be out by the end of the week, as they have indicated that it takes 10 working days to process such a request.”

***

Town Players of Newtown is having auditions for its July production of 6 Rms Riv Vu, a comedy by Bob Randall, on Sunday, May 23, from 2-4 pm, at The Little Theater on Orchard Hill Road. Casting call is for four women and four men, aged 30’s to 60’s. Billed as a “Summer Souffle,” the play concerns two strangers who meet while apartment hunting and the romantic involvement that ensues.

 

May 17, 1968

The Newtown Choral Society will present its fourth annual spring concert Sunday, May 19, at 3 pm, at Edmond Town Hall. For the first time, the 51-voice chorus will be joined by the Western Connecticut State College Brass Ensemble. Director Joseph Grasso has given considerable thought to the selection of music for this program. The chorus has been rehearsing weekly since January and while this shows dedication on the part of the choresters, it does not equal the dedication of Mr and Mrs Grasso, director and accompanist. The Grassos regularly employ a babysitter for their three sons to attend rehearsals. Mr Grasso teaches a course in music history at Bridgeport Engineering Institute in summer months and on weekends plays in a dance band. He is working toward his master’s degree, which he hopes to receive in September.

***

Let It Be Known that Jim Heth of Eden Hill Road is now in the camping trailer business on Route 6 in addition to his duties with American Airlines. Dr Robert Grossman, Main Street’s apiarist was out bee pickin’ Tuesday morning. Sugar Lane’s pilot Ralph Whitehead enjoyed four days off this week before leaving for LA. Kenneth Shaw, the singing policeman, turned down a strong request for “Down By The Old Mill Stream” at the Lions-Rotary meeting last Friday night. The price of coffee went up 15 cents at the Center Lunch.

***

Cadet Capt John H. Peck, son of Mrs Thomas Northcott of Taunton Hill Road, received the Company Commanders Plaque for commanding the outstanding company at Michigan Technological University. The award was presented at the annual review, May 4.

***

A good audience turned out on Wednesday evening for the annual fashion show at Newtown High School, this year called, “Maypole Fashions.” The program started at 7:30 pm and included creations set to the moods of playtime, sleepytime, schooltime, holiday time, and evening time. Sisters in the show Mary and Kathy Jerolman, made last-minute adjustments to bright yellow outfits.

***

Bee area residents who will be on the Poor People’s March in Washington D.C. will leave by chartered bus from the Deer Hill Avenue and West Street parking lot in Danbury on Wednesday, May 29. They will return Thursday evening.

 

May 21, 1943

Simple observances will mark Memorial Day in Newtown, when members of the Charles Howard Peck Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, with members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, will meet in front of the Edmond Town Hall on Sunday morning at 8:15 and march to Memorial Park, at the head of Newtown Street, where ceremonies will take place. John E. Wood, local Post Commander, will lay a wreath at the base of the War Memorial monument and place a flag between the plaques in front of the monument. Chaplain Al Liskin will lead the group in prayer.

***

Thursday morning’s edict by the OPA reinstating the ban on pleasure driving will not be met with public favor. The reason is obvious. Almost universal is the attitude that any amount of sacrifice will be made for our fighting men, but official justification has not yet been made for the restrictions placed upon New England when other parts of the country are imposed upon to small extent. Resentment is natural. It all smacks of official incompetence somewhere. To say nothing of the disgraceful traffic in black markets which grows daily and with which officialdom seems either unwilling or unable to cope effectively. Prohibition made hundreds of Al Capones — big and little. We trust the present OPA will not bring back an era similar to that of prohibition days.

***

Close to one hundred persons, many from Southbury, Brookfield, and Stepney, have expressed the desire to rent space in the proposed locker plant and quick-freeze unit. They signed up at once upon hearing that there was such a possibility of a plant being started in Newtown, and it is felt that there will be no difficulty in adding another hundred or more names list, whenever plans become definite. However, despite the evidence of popular demand, no business man in Newtown has been found who is willing to install and run the plant.

***

License your dog, and keep it confined — or else! Warning is issued by John Sedor, Dog Warden, that any unlicensed dogs found at large, and even loose dogs with license tags will be picked up and destroyed. Mr Sedor has received numerous complaints from property owners indicating that much damage is being done by dogs tracking through newly planted gardens, and so drastic action will be taken at once and all during the present planting season. Any dogs found at large will be captured and killed, with no chance of recovery on the part of the owners.

***

During the severe electrical storm on Thursday, the spire on St Rose church was struck by lightning. A number of shingles were ripped from the roof and a cornice damaged. Lights in Newtown were extinguished for some twenty minutes. Wind, rain, and lightning combined to make it one of the worst storms in some time.

 

May 17, 1918

PRINCIPAL HICKSON CATCHES FARMER CORRESPONDENT IN CLEAR-CUT MISSTATEMENT:  To the editor of the Newtown Bee: In the Newtown newsletter of the Bridgeport Farmer is the following article: “Prof Hegson after making a laboratory test of the public water, ordered students not to drink the water, as it was badly contaminated by sewage. The attention of the water company has been called to the matter, and other users of the water supply are resorting to wells. In Justice to the Board of Directors of the Water Company and myself, I wish to state that: 1. No laboratory test was made by me or anyone known to me. Indeed, we have no facility for such a test. 2. That no students were ‘ordered’ or requested to refrain from using the public water. 3. That no statement was made to the effect that the water was contaminated by sewage. Personally, I have found the water to be of very high quality, and I consider the Town of Newtown is very fortunate in having such a splendid water supply. —Leo T. Hickson

***

Mrs Louise Gibson of New York spent Sunday at her summer home in Sandy Hook.

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Charles E. Blakeman bought a valuable parlor organ at the Blackman auction in Brookfield, Tuesday. His friends are in doubt if he will give up his wood business and give organ and singing lessons, or turn it into a street vocalization and attach it to his automobile as he rides to and from his wood jobs.

***

Michael J. Carroll has redecorated the altar and side altars in St Rose’s church, covering it with a white gloss finish.

***

To two young school girls — Catherine and Tessie Jacobson, attendants at the Pootatuck School — the editor is indebted for the gift of several large and beautiful bouquets of wild flowers, of which the writer is passionately fond. They took the pains to bring them to the store of Corbett & Crowe, Wednesday afternoon, and gave the newspaperman a pleasant surprise. What more a pleasant pastime this time of the year than to wander the woods and fields in search of the wild flowers.

Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with The Newtown Bee 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.

way we were - May 11, 2018 -- Methodist Church moving 1972

This photo, courtesy of Newtown Historical Society, is from 1972, when the United Methodist Church moved across the street from where it sat on Church Hill Road near Dayton Street, into its current location at 92 Church Hill Road. The church needed more room and purchased land across the street, where the Fredericka House, also the former home to illustrator Henry Gibson, once stood.

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