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End of the line

Ridgefield’s days on the railroad line had diminished from the turn of the century, when one could take the train from Grand Central Terminal to the Prospect Street depot in the center of town. They would soon officially end after the trustees of the bankrupt New York, New Haven and Hartford line filed a petition to abandon the freight line into town, the Dec.13, 1962, Press reported.

The Ridgefield Supply Co., on whose grounds the railroad line ended, opposed the abandonment (the depot still exists at the lumberyard). In time the tracks were taken up, and now joggers and snowshoers use the trail, and the goods that formerly came by rail arrive in town by truck.

The transportation of pupils to and from St. Mary’s parochial school was approved at an all-day referendum. The question won by 212 votes: 1,402 to 1,190. The cost of the service to the town was estimated to be $20,000 to $36,000 a year.

The Story of the Christmas Light by George Leeman of North Street was presented at the Veterans Park PTA meeting. It traced the history of man’s worship of light through the ages, culminating in modern day Hanukah and Christmas celebrations at the time of the winter solstice.

Santa Claus came to the Grand Union supermarket (now the CVS building) and was surprised to receive nine requests for pool tables from kids in town.

Ridgefielders were involved in the opening of the 1963 World’s Fair in New York. Frank D. Burgess of Shadblow Hill wrote the building code for the fair. He spent months writing the regulations for the 200-odd buildings in Flushing Meadow. J. Mortimer Woodcock, whose Woodcock Nurseries off Farmingville Road was hired to arrange some of the plane, hawthorne and holly trees planted for the 1939 World’s Fair, was involved in the plantings for the 1963 fair. James Hansen of Cain’s Hill Road supervised the construction of the security building, which housed a staff of 1,000 Pinkerton men.

Julius Robert Tulipani, a senior at Danbury State College, was practicing teaching of sixth graders in Norwalk.

Mrs. Richard Kinnaird, Mrs. Cornelius Ryan, Mrs. Henry Minot, and Mrs. Howard Willets attended a matinee of Oliver for the benefit of the Harvey School.

Pan American Jet Clipper captain Edward M. Black of Spring Valley Road was offering an unusual service on his flights into what was then the Idlewild International Airport (now JFK). Just before landing in New York he asked on the PA system if he could give anyone a lift to Connecticut. About 15 passengers a year took him up on the offer. Capt. Black flew Pan Am Clippers through the Berlin Corridor for seven years during the height of the Cold War.

The Ridgefield basketball team had won all of its games so far in the season, with Bugsy Santini and Lance Harrison as high scorers. The Townies bowling team won over Brewster on the steady performances of Gene Lavatori, Duddy Mead, Art Bellagamba, Bob Stolle, and Tony DeLuca.

John B. Jessup of North Salem Road was elected president of Silver Spring Country Club. (Two weeks ago the club elected its first female president, Betty Spielman of West Lane.)

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