Way We Were


Way We Were, for the week ending December 14, 2018

Published: December 14, 2018 at 06:00 pm

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December 17, 1993

Gabor Hajzer says he does it every year because he loves America so much. Dave Rosato started it in honor of his daughter, Desiree, almost 5. The two across-the-street neighbors on Berkshire Road near the high school have strung thousands of Christmas lights in displays that are drawing carloads of gawkers each night. “We have a friendly competition,” Mr Hajzer said. “I have 16,000 lights and plan to add 3,000 more at the oak tree out front. But I need Mr Rosato’s cherry picker bucket truck and his help to do it.” The two men planned to string the additional lights last weekend, but a sudden snowstorm postponed their plans. They said they’ll try again next weekend.

***

Newtown Fire Marshal George Lockwood has issued a warning to residents not to use certain Christmas lights sold, until recently, by Waldbaum’s. The miniature light sets called “50 Lights” were sold in three-packs containing 50 lights each. Manufactured by Right Wealth Development. Waldbaum’s recently removed the lights from their shelves because they lacked proper insulation.

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The Newtown League of Women Voters recently celebrated its 45th year with a “Champaign and Chocolate” social at the Edmond Town Hall. Among the many speakers were League President Gail Halapin, Connecticut LWV President Anita Silverburg, and Newtown LWV member Mae Schmidle, who gave a talk on the history of this local organization. State Rep Julia Wasserman presented the LWV with a plaque from the state legislature

***

In a recent ceremony, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308 observed the post’s designation by the US Department of Defense as a “World War II Commemorative Community.” The commemorative community initiative is designed to encourage communities, states, federal agencies, military installations, and veterans’ groups to have programs honoring America’s veterans of World War II, their families, and those who served on the home front. Lt General Claude M. Kicklighter, executive director of the Department of Defense’s 50th anniversary Commemoration committee, said, “No matter what our nation does to thank and honor this very special group of Americans, it won’t be enough. We hope through this program, we will be able to touch, in some fashion, the almost nine million living World War II veterans, no matter where they are.” At the ceremony, Post Commander Donald Monckton paid tribute to Americans who served in this country’s armed forces during the war.

***

Santa Claus, riding in a limo from Frank Provenzano’s Zano’s Limousine Service, prepares to leave the Newtown Shopping Center after making a stop at My Place Restaurant where John Tambascio helped him load up the limo with toys left at the restaurant. Santa was collecting for the 11th annual Children’s Christmas Fund administered in greater Danbury by Connecticut Children’s Services, Inc. Santa also made a stop at The Nail Boutique, Bethel, where toys also were left.

 

December 20, 1968

WHO? WHERE? Can any Bee reader help turn this start of a sad Christmas story into one with a happy ending? Does someone have insured parcel post receipt No. 298243? Right now, in the post office at Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone, is a big beautiful doll and several packages of dried foods — with no address of any kind and no sender’s name nor return address — only the number of the parcel post receipt. How did The Bee get into the act? Because the Woodbury section of this well-traveled paper was used in packing! Neither Albert Nichols, the Newtown postmaster, nor the Woodbury postmaster can throw light on the problem. If you can, please write to M. J. Halley, Finance Branch Superintendent, at Albrook, AFB, Canal Zone.

***

The town road crew showed no immunity to the prevailing epidemic of the flu, which has been running rampant in Newtown, as well as everywhere else. When Sunday’s storm descended, seven of the 15-man crew were sick and unable to work, and on Monday, two others had joined them. However, with the hiring of extra men and the personal efforts of First Selectman Tim Treadwell, who pitched in and drove one of the trucks for the two days, 200 miles of road were plowed in a 48-hour period. By Monday night, most roads were open for travel.

***

Dr Waldo F. Desmond had the misfortune to fall on the cellar stairs at his home on Main Street last Friday night, suffering a fractured hip and fractured left arm. He is now a patient at Danbury Hospital but is hopeful that he will be able to return home before Christmas.

***

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT… Only three more shopping days until Christmas. Send get well cards to Dr Desmond who is on the mend following a fall and several broken bones. A new phone booth arrangement has been installed outside the Chase building. It is the kind you can freeze at in the winter instead of going into that little booth to keep warm. High on the birthday calendar this year is Billy Hayes, marking 80 years on Wednesday and 66 years at Warner Store in Sandy Hook. Miles and Jean Harris celebrated an anniversary on Tuesday, and Jacob and Cleone deJong also have a December date. The bell choir of the Congregational Church is going to be at the prison in Danbury on the 22nd.

***

The Newtown Jaycee Wives recently made a $25 contribution to the Newtown Fund, which will enable them to supply one needy family with a Christmas basket. The Wives have raised funds for Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets as well as for other service projects, through their annual Fall Fundraiser Dance.

 

December 24, 1943

A handsome wreath has been presented by the boys at the Junior Republic in Litchfield to Paul S. Smith. The wreath now adorns the door at The Bee office, where it is hoped it will be seen and appreciated by the many local friends of the Junior Republic.

***

Christmas music is being enjoyed each evening this week as it is amplified from 5 to 6 o’clock from the steeple of the Congregational Church. This Thursday evening will be an organ recital by Gregory Cohn; Friday, carol singing by Junior Choirs, and Sunday, Christmas hymns sung at the vesper service. The amplifying system has been installed and operated by Charles Robinson of Sandy Hook.

***

Christmas of 1943 cannot be a merry one for many thousands of people. We count it one of the penalties of a sin-stained world, in which wars have been waged. The broad outlook is not cheerful. Sparkle and Gaiety are not in evidence … Yet the Spirit of Christmas never dies. It spreads, slowly but surely, to fill the dark corners of the world. Here in our small part of New England, there is still life of comparative safety and an opportunity to enjoy the blessings of freedom and brotherly love. For whatever part The Bee has played these last 12 months in support of community welfare and a better way of life, we are most happy to have served. Many thanks, best wishes, and a fervent prayer for the restoration of World Peace and Happiness in 1944. — Paul S. Smith, editor, and the staff of THE NEWTOWN BEE.

***

Notice is given that a Farm Machinery Repair Class will be started in Newtown, with the first meeting on Monday, January 3, at 8 o’clock at Lovell’s garage. The class will meet two nights a week for six weeks, each class lasting three hours. Mondays and Thursdays are the nights chosen, depending, however, on the desire of the majority of those in attendance. The class is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Vocational-Agriculture, with Vincent Gaffney and Louis Lovell as instructors. There will be an opportunity for members to bring in machinery and repair it. It is expected that it may be necessary to limit the number of people in the class to 20 or 25. The course will confine itself to repairing tillage, haying and seeding equipment, with the possibility of further instruction on other machinery if there is sufficient interest at the end of the six-week period.

***

It is with regret that the Chamber of Commerce is unable to adorn the fir tree near the monument at the head of Main Street with Christmas lights, as has been the custom for the past several years. A ruling from the war production board prevents the Danbury Bethel Gas and Electric Light Company from making the necessary connections. All outside lighting is being prohibited, so that this bit of community Christmas spirit must be omitted this year. The Chamber hopes to resume its custom next season.

 

December 20, 1918

Patrick F. Carey, an employee of the Harris Wire Mills, met death by accident on Friday morning last. Mr Carey was in the engine room with Patrick McMahon, and on starting the kerosene engine, a spring on the governor became loose, through the breaking of a pin, striking Mr Carey on the head and killing him instantly. Mr McMahon had a close call also, the flying spring striking his hat and tilting it back. Mr Carey was a faithful, hard-working man, and was liked and respected. A wife, three sons — Herbert Carey with the expeditionary forces in France, Thomas Carey in camp at Camp Upton, and John Carey of New Jersey — and a daughter, Miss Mary Carey, survive him.

***

Letter from John C. Rasmussen. France, November 1. My dear little mother, father, and brothers. Today is the All-Saints day here in France and as far as I can make out, it is a day of national mourning, as all the people carried chrysanthemums and flowers into the church yards and decorated the graves yesterday, and today they have been going to church dressed in black, and the bell has been tolling on and off all day. Yesterday, I received a fresh batch of letters — two from Albert, one from Elsie, one from Anna, and one from Rich and Mamie; the latest dated September 28, so this afternoon while we were out on detail another company relieved us and that left some time to write you again before we go back up the line, which may be anytime. On looking over the list of casualties in the New York Herald, I saw my namesake, who came from Minot, N.D., had lost his life on the battlefield. The reason I looked the list over was that a fellow who had been up the line said on coming back that he found an overcoat with my name on it lying in a dugout. Of course, I knew it wasn’t mine.

***

A man named Rollin, employed by the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company on a wood job near Botsford, was the victim of a strange accident last week. He had just sharpened up a big broad axe and was going through the woods, when he fell and struck on the axe. The side of his face was laid open and he just missed putting out one eye. Dr Kiernan was hastily sent for and took a number of stitches to close the gaping wound.

***

With commendable energy J.L. O’Neil has been making improvements in the building he is occupying in Sandy Hook, owned by Edward Troy. He has just finished putting in two bay windows, giving him a chance to display goods and letting in needed light in his store. Abraham Klein is doing the work.

***

Patrick Larner, who has been at Fortress Monroe, has been mustered out of the army and is now at home.

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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