50 years ago, they had snow in early October!

A record snowstorm on Sunday, Oct 4, dumped  three inches of wet, heavy snow, the October 8, 1987, Press reported.

The storm brought criticism from town officials over the power company’s handling of the matter.  After the storm hit, 83 percent of Ridgefield’s households were without electricity.

Acting First Selectman Sue Manning   blamed the utility’s management  for its “slow response” to the crisis, and along with State Representative Barbara Ireland, filed a complaint with the state’s Public Utility Control Board.

According to Dr. Mel Goldstein, meteorologist at the Western Connecticut   State University weather center, the storm was a “freak of nature” that caught CL&P, and everyone else by surprise.

“To say that this storm was a surprise is an understatement.” The unusual circumstance of wet snow, 40 mph winds and fully leaved trees contributed to the “nasty affair” that caused limbs, which ordinarily wouldn’t break, snap off.  “It’s never happened before in recorded history.  It was a strange quirk of nature,”  he said

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection reported that Ridgefield had claimed the dubious distinction of registering more deer road kills, 128, than any other Connecticut town. Ridgefield Police Lt. Phillip Mitchell advised that “an organized thinning of the population is probably the best solution” and warned against “any quick-fix solution.”

The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association announced that former Ridgefield High School soccer star Curt Onalfo was selected to play on the mens’  Under-18 National Team.  Onalfo was to play for team USA in the 1988 World Youth Cup.

As part of his run for reelection, Republican incumbent to the Planning and Zoning Commission John Katz was featured in the Press espousing his views on corporate development in Ridgefield.  Mr. Katz said that planners should carefully weigh the benefits of corporate development against how that development would affect the future of the town.  (The most significant distinction between the 1987 Katz and our Katz of today is that when Mr. Katz was posed for his Press photo-op, he was wearing a white cowboy hat and a white western jacket. Today he wears it black.)

Native Ridgefielder Peter Gabbianelli died after an automobile accident in Lee, Maine.  He was 67.  Mr. Gabbianelli was a fixture at Ridgefield Hardware.  He served in the Army Air Corps for three years in China, Burma and India and received a Bronze Star for his service.  He was survived by his wife Jane and four children, Francis, Edward, Mary Jane and Annemarie.

Former Ridgefield resident Clare Boothe Luce died in her home in Washington, D.C. at 84.  She had served as a U.S. congressman from Connecticut  from 1943 to 1946 and as the U.S. Ambassador to Italy in the 50’s.  Mrs. Luce moved to Ridgefield with her husband, the famous publisher, in 1946 after buying a 110-acre estate between Limestone and Great Hill Roads.

Ridgefield High School had a new boss —Elaine B. Bessette stepped in as the principal.

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