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The Way We Were, for the week ending October 27, 2017

Published: October 27, 2017

October 30, 1992

The American voter has been told that this year’s presidential election is about jobs, trust, taxes, spending, deficit, gridlock, owls, lips, waffles … need we continue? Democracy, that golden ideal, always seems to get scuffed up a bit in elections, but this year in particular the process has left most voters feeling more abused than uplifted. Certainly, the poor showing of the economy in the last half of the Bush administration has driven the President’s soaring popularity after the Persian Gulf War into the dirt. This week it was interesting to see the President, who has tried to steer capping debate into any direction other than economy, embrace some modestly encouraging economic news as vindication of his economic record. We don’t think so. George Bush is right when he says that the state of our economy is the result of global economic forces that are beyond the control of any president, or even any government. As much as he was maligned, the same could be said for Jimmy Carter, who was held responsible for the economic upheaval created by OPEC and its oil embargo. Those who run from the blame for economic recession should not be so quick to claim credit for economic growth.

***

Goblins and Good Fairies were gathering in various location around town in anticipation of the big night on October 31. One of several parades of costumed Story Hour children at Cyrenius H. Booth Library made its way down the library steps. Meanwhile, at the Parks and Recreation Department Halloween party, Jamie Minalgo wrote down her guess regarding the weight of a pumpkin. The pumpkin weighed 35 pounds and three ounces and the winning guess was from Shayna Moliver who guessed 35 pounds and five ounces. About 60 children attended the party, which included refreshments, games, and pumpkin decorating.

***

For college-bound students in Newtown, there is nothing like the Newtown Scholarship Association. “The Newtown Scholarship Association is unique in all of the towns I know,” said Dunham Smith, a proud second-year president, “because it is based solely in town and solely supported by townspeople.” The group’s largest fundraiser, the Scholarship Ball and silent auction, is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, at the Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury. A bit more elaborate than the first ball, the fundraiser is the most visible part of a special organization. According to Newtown High School Guidance Director Donald Elliott, it is a group that gives students the financial help and emotional uplift they need to further their educations. “We are very lucky to have this in town,” he said.

***

This is a story about a dog that couldn’t be caught. For the past few years the homeless dog — who appears to be a cross between a German shepherd and a Lab — has been a fixture on South Main Street. At times it has lived in the rocks at the Newtown Country Club. Sometimes, when having a litter, as she often did, the dog lived with her puppies in the crawl space beneath the Raveis realty office. The main problem was the dog’s proximity to Route 25, and the fact that the dog crossed every afternoon to take lunch at the Deli Monster. “You would hear the brakes slam,” said Elise Klein, who works at Trudeau’s Service Center. Police Dispatcher Linda Rasmussen said many motorists called to complain about it. She took a special interest in the dog and her puppies. Dog Warden George Mattegat said he tried “to catch the dog all the time,” but couldn’t get near it. One puppy was caught and put in a trap around the corner. With her other eight puppies by her side, “Dot” would go nowhere near the trap. Instead, she ventured across the street for roast beef and muffins. While Dot was gone, Ms Rasmussen’s friend, Ted Swigart, crawled into the crawl space and rescued the other puppies. When Dot returned she immediately went to the puppy in the trap. She finally was caught and she and her nine puppies went to the pound.

***

As Halloween approaches the Newtown Police Department would like to remind residents of the following safety recommendations: Have children wear light-colored clothing short enough to prevent tripping. Add reflectors to clothing. Make sure children can see well through face masks. Try to get out in the daylight. Watch for traffic and large, rowdy youths.

 

November 10, 1967

Pumpkin Picnic will be the theme of the St Rose Home and School Association dance. It will take place this Saturday, November 11, from 9 pm to 1 am at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Route 6, Newtown. Mr and Mrs John O’Byrne are chairmen. Mrs Jack Obre is in charge of tickets. There will be entertainment and prizes. Refreshments will be served. Set-ups will be provided, but bring your own bottle.

***

On Veterans Day 1966 John Knauer found himself alone at 11 o’clock in the morning as he stood in front of the War Memorial Monument at the head of Newtown’s Main Street. The November 18 issue of The Bee printed his article, “Lest We Forget.” He wrote, in part, “I waited. The hour had struck and passed. I was alone; no ceremony; no flowers. Two tattered flags left over from days past … Returning home I made a solemn vow: next year it will be different. Indeed it will be different. On Friday at 1 o’clock the high school band and students will march from the school to the monument and will conduct an appropriate program there. On Saturday at 10:45 a short but impressive ceremony has been arranged with a few remarks, a wreath, taps, and silence while the church bells toll for two minutes at 11 o’clock. Perhaps it is the struggle in Viet Nam which returns the meaning to Veterans Day. It is hoped that townspeople will attend one or both ceremonies, doing so in number to show how deeply appreciative we are for those who ‘ventured all unto death that we might live,’ as inscribed in the monument.”

***

Preliminary plans for providing holiday gifts for the patients at Fairfield Hills Hospital were discussed at a recent meeting at the hospital. Each year, friends and interested organizations in the communities have responded to this annual gift appeal and the staff expresses hope that the response this year will be equally generous. Providing a remembrance for a patient is one way of sharing the happiness and joys of the holidays.

***

The Alexandria Room was turned into a “dojo” last Monday night when the Democratic Women’s Club watched an exciting judo demonstration put on by James Yonkers and Rubin Rodriguez, both brown belts. The literal translation of judo is “the gentle way” but it appeared anything but gentle to the ladies present. Defense judo and sport judo was the program. Quick to learn was Mrs Carl Schutz, giving the business to James Yonkers, and Mrs Yale Parker giving Ruben Rodriguez a tumble.

***

The Board of Selectman on November 7 authorized the closing of town offices on the Friday following Thanksgiving. They will be open on the following Monday for the usual conduct of business.

 

November 6, 1942

On Monday the local War Price and Rationing Board conducted the final registration for fuel oil rationing in the Alexandria Room. The total number of applicants is about 1000, but this number will be increased as many applicants have not yet been filed, due to that forms were again exhausted. With unprecedented demands on government printing offices in Washington, delivery of fuel oil forms has been delayed throughout the country. Here in Newtown the lacking forms is 1,103, used for domestic cooking and lighting and agricultural purposes. The names are on file for those who asked for forms and each applicant will be mailed as soon as they are received.

***

The Newtown Ambulance, which has been housed at the Firehouse for the past several months, has been moved to the garage of the Episcopal rectory.

***

Housewives and others are reminded to save tin cans, a second collection of which will be made in Newtown on November 14. As was done here on September 25, Newtown is joining with Danbury, Ridgefield, Redding, and Bethel in chartering a freight car which will be loaded in Danbury. Newtown’s quota is two tons. Cans can be left at Hawley Manor, Liberty Garage and Lovell’s Garage, Honan’s Store in Hawleyville, Levinson’s Store in Huntingtown, Rasmussen’s Store in Botsford, Dodgingtown Store, H.G. Warner’s, and Dickinson’s Service Station.

***

Because the Atlantic seaboard has not yet suffered from enemy attack is no guarantee that it will always escape. For that reason, Civilian Defense continues in importance. The Newtown Defense Council has arranged a public meeting for next Thursday, November 12, in an effort to perfect the routine of our various defense services.

***

Once again Mrs Sarah Hampton, Red Cross sewing group production chairman, wishes to urge all those women who have knitting at home, to please return the garments by November 10, for at that time a new shipment of yarn will be distributed and the old work is to be packed and shipped to headquarters.

 

November 2, 1917

Members of the Connecticut State Council of Defense in the various towns were informed last night, by telegram, that persons posing as government inspectors were visiting houses in the state and demanding that people give a portion of their canned goods to the government. This is a malicious attempt to injure the United States food administration and these persons should be promptly arrested and reported to the state council. This is doubtless an attempt to defeat the Hoover Pledge Card campaign. Back up your government and sign your card today!

***

A party of 12 juveniles in Berkshire, dressed in Hallowe’en costume, called on Mr and Mrs William G. Hard, Wednesday night, and were treated to sandwiches and wafers.

***

Over 500 people were present at the first day of sale at the Hendryx auction, at which C.F. Beardsley officiated in his usual entertaining style. There were 60 autos and 24 teams present.

***

H.N. Tiemann has received this week from Gov. Marcus H. Holcomb his commission as first lieutenant of the Newtown Platoon of the home guard.

***

Miss Gladys Green of Danbury County Teacher of Home Economics will give a lecture on the “War Breads” at the grange hall, Newtown, Friday, November 2, at 2:30.

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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