From the Founders II
Of Streets and Scraps
Welcome to April and our annual real estate issue. I’ve had a wonderful time researching the origins of the names on Greenwich street signs — with the help of such patient people as HSTG archivist Anne Young, former archivist Susan Richardson and a nice, nice guy named Carl White, the local historian at Greenwich Library, whose heavily papered office looks worse than mine. Unlike me, however, he seems to know where everything is.
But I didn’t have to go far to find out who Ashton Drive was named for. Seems like back in 1988, Georgine Capazzo, wife of our staff photographer Bob Capazzo, was working as the secretary of the Woman’s Club of Greenwich, mostly for the president Dorothy Mayfield, when their daughter was born. Bob took baby Ashton in a basket around on his photo shoots. That is, until his business started taking off. So, much as she loved her job, Georgine had to announce that she must stay home with the baby.
“No, no, no,” Dorothy told her. “You can’t quit! Bring the playpen, the crib, the bottles, whatever.” So Ashton became the club mascot. Then came the day that board member Pat Giovinco needed a name — a name for a road — and she needed it fast. Her husband Vincent, who had bought land in northwest Greenwich and was building houses on it, had to file papers at Town Hall that very morning. Pat looked at Ashton in her playpen and said: “You know, she’s such a beautiful baby, we’d like to name that street for her.”
The Capazzos were thrilled. So around the time of Ashton’s birthday every year, Bob takes a picture of his daughter — now a sophomore at Skidmore — beside her street sign.
One further thought: If you know how your street came to be named, please let us hear from you. It’s a fun subject that has no end.
Nor does our “Scraps from the Past” department, which we launched to celebrate our sixtieth last year but plan to continue into the future. This month we homed in on Greenwich collectors in every field from silver and scrimshaw to Chippendale and (yes) campaign buttons. Reminded me of a college visit to Boston with daughter Audrey years ago. The head of admissions had an extensive collection of Statues of Liberty and, for some reason (but it was an art school), a lone human skull sitting on a shelf in the corner. I made some comment like: “I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t start collecting skulls.” He didn’t think it was funny. Neither did Audrey. I can’t remember if she was accepted there or not.
Keep your powder dry during these April showers, and remember that they do bring May flowers. — Donna Moffly