Way We Were

Way We Were, for the week ending January 11, 2019

Published: January 11, 2019 at 07:00 am


January 14, 1994

Not only was last week’s snowfall a thrill for school children who went sledding instead of to school, it was a bonanza for snowplowers. Business continued to boom with Wednesday night’s accumulations. “It looks like it’s going to be a good year,” said Thomas Adams, of Thomas Adams and Sons. The company has 10 vehicles that plow commercial properties. In between runs, Mr Adams and his crew can be found warming up at the Blue Colony Diner or at the garage working on the trucks. Scott Kimball and his brother Ed plow residential driveways in Hattertown, Brookfield, and Sandy Hook. Don’t put your shovels away; more snow is in the forecast for Friday and Monday. And the predicted wind chill temperatures are 30 to 50 degrees below zero, the coldest weather we have had in years.


A fire, which started in a car parked in an attached garage, caused an estimated $50,000 in damage at a house at 14 Fern Lane, Wednesday night. Flames shot up more than 25 feet and containers of gasoline and other chemicals stored in the garage exploded as more than 30 firefighters from the United Fire Company of Botsford, Dodgingtown, Sandy Hook Volunteer FIre and Rescue, and Newtown Hook & Ladder battled to keep the fire from spreading into the house. No one was injured. Deputy Fire Marshal Joseph Cavanaugh said the homeowner, Palgi Gyamcho, had parked the car, a 1986 Pontiac 6000, in the garage and went into the house. At about 10:20 pm he smelled smoke, discovered a smoldering fire in the car, and called 911. Mr Gyamcho tried to push the car out of the garage, but he couldn’t. When firemen arrived, flames were already out the garage door. They did a good job stopping the fire and limiting the damage, but there was heavy smoke damage in the house. Mr Cavanaugh said it will have to be professionally cleaned before anyone can move back in.


James O. Gaston, a trial attorney who lives on Main Street has been appointed to the Borough Board of Burgesses to replace Stan Verry, who resigned in November. Mr Gaston, 34, will serve until the 1995 election on the seven-member board. His appointment was approved by the board at its meeting Tuesday night. A partner in the law firm Gaston-Ruane with its principal office in Bridgeport, Mr Gaston is an active trial attorney whose practice emphasizes plaintiff personal injury and civil trial work. He is one of fewer than 50 in the state to be board certified in civil trials by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr Gaston and his wife, Stephanie, moved to Newtown in 1992 and live at 18 Main Street. “We’ve lived in several communities and picked Newtown specifically because of its historic Main Street and the borough,” Mr Gaston said.


OVER THE BACK FENCE: Perhaps the weather and the storms it has produced in the past couple of weeks has satisfied the ones who have mourned the absence of “old fashioned winters.” This is the way I remember the winters of my childhood, with exceptions! There were no sleek leather boots with side zippers to wear over warm and snug L.L. Bean socks, no ski suits and jackets. No thin thermal layers to keep out the cold. Instead, we wore arctics with rows of buckles which had to be evenly lined up and hooked. They were made of heavy canvas with rubber soles. Mittens were made by the great grandmother, a tiny, talented lady who provided mittens for all, gray for the males and cranberry for the females. In those days, long underwear was an accepted form of dress. How I hated them. They wrinkled around the ankles and knees. It took a special talent to wrap them around once and hold them in place while one pulled up a long brown stocking. Girls wore only dresses or skirts.

A winsome dog and cat, created by local artist David Merrill, peer from the cover of a new cookbook created by SNAN, the Spay and Neuter Association of Newtown. The handy spiral-bound book is filled with the best recipes of SNAN members and friends: family-pleasing and company pleasing dishes, quick, and easy to prepare. The book includes chapters on appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, main dishes, vegetables, breads, desserts and sweets, low-cholesterol recipes and dog treats, like Ruth Ingham’s Canine Crunchies, Yummy Dog Cookies, and Cheese & Garlic Dog Biscuits. Spay and Neuter is a volunteer organization which is attempting to end the suffering and unhappiness experienced by many cats and dogs in our community. It attacks the problem of pet overpopulation that leads to neglect, abuse, and abandonment. The organization aims to educate people about the need to spay and neuter their pets.

January 17, 1969

Newtown’s first baby of 1969, under the rules of the Newtown Bee First Baby Contest, is Michael Lee Walker, son of Mr and Mrs Richard Walker of Head of Meadow Road. Born in Danbury Hospital on Wednesday, January 8, at 1:24 pm, little Michael Lee weighed in at eight pounds and eight and-a-half ounces. Dr Anthony Borrelli was the attending physician. The contest winner is the sixth child, fifth son in the Walker household. He joins Larry, 16; Richard Jr, called Stanley, 12; Ronald, 11; Elizabeth, 7; and James, 5.


The Bee welcomes this week’s announcement that Newtown is to become headquarters for the state police now stationed in Ridgefield and Litchfield. Lt Joseph Perry, commanding officer at Ridgefield Barracks, tells The Bee that the exact site near I-84 has not yet been decided and that a number of properties are under consideration. The state would welcome additions to the current list. Funds were appropriated two years ago for the site and the building, which will be similar to that housing Troop F in Westbrook. It is planned that some of the 35 men now headquartered in Litchfield will remain there with most moving to join the Newtown Barracks to join the 38 men from Litchfield Barracks.


LET IT BE KNOWN THAT… Two Jeans on the birthday list this week, Mrs Miles Harris on the 23rd, and Mrs Nelson Roberts on the 26th. We learned of a New Yorker who solved his problems during the recent garbage strike in the city. He gift-wrapped his refuse, left it in the car while parked in the city, and it was stolen. Doug Hewitt won another trip due to his expert salesmanship in the field of business machines and he and wife Gail are just back from Nassau. The winning included a side trip last Sunday to the Super Bowl.


Senate Minority Leaders T. Clark Hull and Thomas Dowd Jr have introduced a resolution calling for the renaming of Route 25, between Bridgeport and Newtown, the Martin Luther King Highway. In a joint statement on January 15 the two Republican Senators said, “Today would have been Dr King’s 40th birthday. We feel Connecticut should create a permanent memorial to his name.” The legislators are seeking bipartisan sponsorship of the measure.


Mr and Mrs Harvey Hubbell Jr of West Street and Mr and Mrs James Smith of Little Brook Lane will join the delegation special inaugural train on Friday morning in Bridgeport. The train, carrying 200 people and starting at Hartford, will stop at New Haven, Bridgeport, and Stamford, arriving in Washington in the late afternoon. Festivities begin Saturday. Mrs Hubbell will attend a “distinguished Republican ladies” reception to be held at the National Gallery of Art.

January 21, 1944

While assisting in unloading a cooler at his garage on Monday evening, Louie Lovell had the misfortune to have a heavy plank drop on his foot, breaking a large bone and badly bruising the foot. Mr Lovell was attended by Dr Benton Egee, later being removed to the Bridgeport Hospital where he was placed in a cast. Mr Lovell is now about on crutches.


Miss Helen Rogoff of Bridgeport has begun her duties as dental hygienist in the schools of Newtown. At present, Miss Rogoff is examining the teeth of the children at Hawlye School and will later visit the other schools in town.


Friends will regret to learn that L.I. Grimes of Main Street is a patient at the Danbury Hospital, having been taken there on Wednesday evening suffering from burns received from a gas heater at his home on Monday.


AN APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE OF NEWTOWN: In this Fourth War Loan Drive, Newotwn has been allotted a quota of $493,000. This is a challenge to us. We must meet it. If all of us do our full part, we cannot fail. Money is as necessary as men to win this war. We loan it to the strongest nation on earth. We give nothing. Buy War Bonds to the limit, the safest security in the world, and you will help win the war. Back up the boys, they are fighting for us for Victory in 1944. —Arthur T. Nettleton, Chairman.


The Bee would not be complete this issue if a few lines were not written in appreciation of the long years of office served by Miss Susan J. Scudder as president of Newtown’s Visiting Nurse Association. At Tuesday afternoon’s annual meeting, Miss Scudder handed the reins to a younger leader, Dr Rowena Keyes, the officers and those at the meeting voicing the sentiments of the whole association, and the entire town, in thanking Miss Scudder for performing so faithfully and well the duties of office.

January 17, 1919

Microfilm for the January 17 through April 18, 1919 issues of The Newtown Bee are not available. It is unclear why New England Micrographics, Inc in 2000 was not able to produce film for these dates. Based on the poor quality of the early January issues, the film for which reveals torn and damaged originals, the newspapers for these dates may have been destroyed.


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.


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