Features


Way We Were, for the week ending December 21, 2018

Published: December 21, 2018 at 03:00 pm

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December 24, 1993

A lone figure holding a menu board and wearing a chef’s hat stood in the frost-covered Ram Pasture early Saturday morning, highly visible from both Elm Drive and South Main Street, Route 25. How he made the trip from Ocean Grill in Sand Hill Plaza still remains a mystery, but by early Monday he was back where he belonged.

***

A trouble maker known as Dot was finally nabbed last fall along Route 25, ending the longest dog hunt in Newtown’s history. The lovable shepherd and lab mix, who created havoc with traffic for three years, now enjoys a happy home with Ann Manly’s family, another adopted pound dog, and a playful ferret. “It was love at first sight,” Mrs Manly said. She originally went to the pound to adopt one of Dot’s puppies. “We bonded right away. I renamed her Amanda, Mandy for short, because it’s such a pretty name.” At the time Mandy was caught, she and her litter of nine puppies were living in a crawlspace beneath the Raveis real estate office.

***

Katherine Kearns, a life-long resident of Newtown, has combined her interest in history and writing to create a very special Christmas present for her children. She has bound a collection of her poems and stories documenting memorable events in her life. Kate Tales began to take shape in the early 1980s when Mrs Kearns took a creative writing course offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. All the stories are written for children. “My dad was Miss Hawley’s chauffer, and she owned the house [at the Ram Pasture],” Mrs Kearns said. “My family lived there from 1926 until 1956.” In one story she recounts the day her father was showing her a Nightshade plant, and her brother fell into a nearby bees’ nest. Another tale was based on “one of my own little girls getting stuck in the mud on her way to school,” she said. Someone pulled her out but her boots were left in the mud. “Ethan Squires, A Tall Lad” is Mrs Kearns’s favorite tale, based on information she found in Ezra Johnson’s History Of Newtown. The tale “shows how you can still do things well although adversity comes upon you — in a simple way.” This year Mrs Kearns decided to collect and illustrate her stories for her family. “My daughter put it all on computer for me and I had it bound for Christmas,” she said The present is destined to be a big hit for her 15 grandchildren too.

***

Last Saturday night, members of Newtown Ambulance Corps gathered to play Pictionary and swap dozens of home-baked cookies. Members were kind enough to share some of their recipes for everyone to bake and feast during the holidays. Pam Goodpaster’s Lace Cookies: 2½ cups oats, 2¼ cups light brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 tsp salt, mix together and stir in 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup melted butter, then drop by teaspoon on foil and bake at 375 degrees until light brown. Let cool.

***

Adam “AJ” FitzGerald was recently named tri-captain of the Notre Dame Catholic of Fairfield hockey team. FitzGerald, who has been playing hockey all his life, transferred to Notre Dame after Immaculate High School, where he played for two years, cancelled its hockey program a year ago.

 

December 27, 1968

The flu has forced Danbury Hospital to restrict visitors to a minimum. On the advice of health officials and staff, for “the duration,” visitors are limited to new fathers, one parent at a time in pediatrics, and the immediate family, one at a time, for those on the critical list. The hospital regrets the precautionary move, and will restore regular visiting hours as soon as possible.

***

About 170 children a week and a number of adults benefited from the Newtown Fund Christmas Basket Program this week. Many organizations and individuals provided boxes of food and toys so that those less fortunate could have a more cheerful Christmas. Thanks go to everyone who helped make the project a real success from committee members Mrs Frederick Abbott, Mrs Richard Burdett, Mrs J. Norris Dunlap, Mrs Albert Goodrich Jr, Mrs Robert Gorton, Mrs Henry Mahler, and Mrs Lee Owen.

***

It was a quiet time, relatively speaking, for Newtown’s volunteer firemen in the days preceding Christmas, although a number of calls were received. On Friday, December 20, a lady dashed into the Town Hall at about 3 pm to say that her car was on fire in the parking lot. Hook & Ladder firemen investigated and found that the supposed car fire was in reality a broken radiator hose. Also on December 20, at 9:10 pm, a chimney fire was reported at the home of C.H. McLaughlin on Albert’s Hill Road. The Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Company responded, as did Engine One and Tanker One. The fire was quickly brought under control. There was no damage. On Sunday, December 22, two calls were received. The first call reported a blaze at the Allen house on Mount Pleasant at about 1 pm. Hook and Ladder’s aerial truck and pumper were dispatched. The blaze turned out to be a controlled rubbish fire, however, and the firefighting equipment was promptly recalled.

***

Santa arrived at the Hook & Ladder Co. Fire House on Sunday afternoon to hand out packages and lead Christmas carols following a ride up Main Street on the aerial truck. He was greeted by about 35 youngsters who came out for the party, the first of its kind held by the company. The planning for the event was under the direction of Lou Pelletier.

***

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT … Hope you had a merry Christmas and got everything that you asked Santa to bring. If you received something very special, or different, let us know about it. The same is true if you gave a real humdinger this season. Andrew Forbell, the son of Stretch and Peggy, probably did all right for when Santa asked if he had been a good boy all year, replied, “Yes, and I helped daddy dig holes with the Army shovel.” Elsie, over at the Center Lunch, wore the chef’s hat recently in honor of cooking the best eggs that Dick Blomberg has ever eaten at the luncheonette. Don’t worry when Lion President Charlie Lewis jumps in front of you with his camera. He tried it recently to a group of people, spending all kinds of time getting everyone in focus, and fired the bulb. He lacked only film in the whole process. Also keep an eye on Alice Carroll when she takes a picture. The way she holds her hands she must get lots of shots of her fingers.

 

December 31, 1943

A Christmas letter from First Lieutenant Paul A. Cullens reached Newtown in time to be read from the pulpit of the Congregational Church during the Sunday morning service. The setting in North Africa on November 30, when the letter was written, scarcely resembled Newtown on December 26, yet thoughts on his mind and in the minds of Newtown friends were centered on each other at Christmas. Lieutenant Cullens writes: “I have been sitting here in this African olive grove in my tent office, trying to get into the proper spirit. It is a mild night and I let the fire in my stove go out. Wood is pretty hard to get here. For those who are interested I am burning cork trees. We are familiar with the bark, but the wood is hard as oak. I have to use two wedges and a sledge hammer to work it up. I like to do it, but one of our Italian prisoners (We have 117 and somehow I find myself Commanding Officer of their Company) sees me and comes running to take over. They are all so grateful to be with us. One walked 30 miles to be captured. Another lived in New York and was visiting Italy when the war broke out. He served unwillingly in the Italian Army and is now one of our good cooks. So, I have no fire, the grass is green, the birds are different, even an old toad we call Socrates has an African twist. All this is not very conducive to the Christmas spirit. Yes, there is one reminder. My desk is piled high with Christmas packages. All very gay in their colored ribbons.”

***

Readers of Life magazine in this vicinity found of much interest an article that appeared in the December 20 issue titled, “Our Kids Are In Trouble,” by Roger Butterfield. The article shows with startling evidence that the rise in juvenile delinquency during the war is a problem concerning everyone in the United States. The town of Kent is given much credit for steps taken there to prevent what might become a more serious problem. Organizations and citizens have banded together to revive Boy Scout, Girl Scout and 4-H Club activities, and provide skating, dances, and movies for the young people.

***

Mr and Mrs William Johnston of Pleasant View Farm have just returned from a flying trip to Missouri, where they spent two days with their son, Petty Officer William A. Johnston Jr. USNR. Bill flew into Kansas City from California on a four-day leave, having arrived on a Pacific port on the flagship of an admiral of the Pacific Fleet. He took part in twelve raids in 19 days. He has been in the midst of it all and says we ought to be very proud of what our boys are doing in the far-flung Islands of the Pacific to assure victory over the barbarous Japs.

***

Both the Newtown and Sandy Hook post offices report that the Christmas mails, incoming and outgoing, showed a considerable increase over previous years. Acting Postmasters Elizabeth Proctor at Newtown and Arthur Carmody at Sandy Hook had extra help during the rush of Christmas week.

***

There was a nice gathering of bridge fans at the Newtown Country Club on Monday evening. Miss Ethel Cooke earned high score for the ladies, with Arthur Judd Smith leading the gentlemen. Mrs Ernest Fenn and George Velloheld high scores so far for the month of December. The hostess was Ms Ethel Cooke. On next Monday evening Dr and Mrs Henry L. Clow will entertain.

 

December 27, 1918

Frank Keniry, a son of Mr and Mrs Martin Keniry, arrived home this week from the hospital in Baltimore. Frank has been in this country about three weeks. He was wounded twice while serving in France. His many friends are glad to see him and welcome him to Newtown.

***

The household of Mr and Mrs A. W. Reynolds is very sick, with all the children numbered among the sick.

***

Miss B. C. Keane, teacher of the primary department at Sandy Hook school, is now able to sit up after a serious illness.

***

Benjamin F. Sears, whom everybody knows and those who don’t know him ought to, has just opened a bridge lunch at 304 Main Street, Danbury. He will keep a first-class lunch counter and would be pleased to see many of his Newtown friends. Mr Sears is all right and his lunches are all right too. —[Adv.]

***

Mr and Mrs Stanley Blackman of South Britain were guests on Christmas day of Mr and Mrs Herbert Coger of Huntingtown.

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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This Week's Poll

When do you purchase calendars?

As early as possible.
0% (0 votes)
November
0% (0 votes)
Early December
29% (2 votes)
Late December
29% (2 votes)
The first time I go to write something in one in January and realize I've forgotten to buy one for the new year
29% (2 votes)
In March when they get discounted heavily
0% (0 votes)
I don't. I do everything electronically.
14% (1 vote)
Total votes: 7