Of History, Husbands and
June is the perfect month to contemplate a respite from the heavy activities of winter. And to smooth the way for more time spent with your family, we offer you an article highlighting thirteen secret and not-so-secret places to take the kids when they’re out of school. All these places — from New York to California — come highly recommended by Greenwich families who’ve been there, done that.
Among other things, we have expanded our popular Weddings section to include a helpful directory of services for brides and grooms. Our Scraps from the Past department, well, because it’s June, June, June, that celebrates newlyweds, too. We also take a look at the remarkable job Jon Doidge has done helping the disabled become independent, and we congratulate the Historical Society on its seventy-five-year effort to preserve our Greenwich heritage.
Researching that piece, I had a fine time reading the oral history of archivist emeritus William E. Finch, especially when he talked about his ancestors. One named Elizabeth Morse was tried as a witch in Newbury. It started when a grandson who didn’t much care for her threw pigs down the chimney and called the neighbors — and “Goody” Morse was almost hanged for it. Another relative, Eleanor Knapp, was burned at the stake, right here in the town of Fairfield because “Goody Somebody, Goody Somebody and Goody Somebody got together, and they just didn’t like Goody Knapp,” noted Bill. “That’s the way they did things in those days. Poor old Eleanor.”
In the small world department, I received a phone call from my longtime Riverside friend Nancy Vaughn who said: “Donna, you won’t believe this. I read the piece you wrote about Walpole Woodworkers (House Call, March 2007) and guess what? My grandfather founded the company!”
Apparently, it was during the Depression and a number of people in Walpole, Massachusetts, were on the dole, which troubled Philip Allen a lot. He owned a fairly large tract of land in what was called the Cedar Swamp in South Walpole and set some of these men to work clearing and stacking cedar to make five-rail cedar fences in his barn.
It became a thriving business, and in the seventies, the Allens were bought out by two board members, Arthur Clapp and Dick Leavitt.
As Fats Waller used to say, “One never knows, do one?”
What we do know is that two Moffly Publications’ writers have just won top awards from the Connecticut Press Club — Mark Branca for Best Column, his Postscript in New Canaan-Darien magazine, and Tim Dumas for Best Feature, his article “Shooting for the Truth” on war photographers, in Westport.
Two talented and deserving gentlemen who have made us proud.
Have a wonderful read and a wonderful June.