No headphones, no iPhones: 'Walk for Mike' is Sunday

Michael Nardone touched a lot of people’s hearts over the course of two decades he spent walking Ridgefield’s streets.

The man known as the Ridgefield Walker died on Thanksgiving after a battle with stage 3 myeloma, and residents will honor his memory with a “Walk for Mike” Sunday, Dec. 3.  

Debbie Haughney, who’s organizing the walk, told The Press that walkers should meet at the parking lot of the RVNA at 9 a.m.

There’s no formal route, and only one rule for everyone to follow: No headphones, no iPhones. 

Haughney recalled how Nardone famously shunned any electronic distractions in his walks around the community.

“I’ve lived here for 27 years, and I feel like I’ve seen Mike for at least 20 of those years,” Haughney said.

All-weather walker

A former management consultant who worked for Honeywell and Eastern Airlines in the 1960s and early 1970s, Nardone moved to Ridgefield in 1997 as a widower.

He took up walking the streets and leaf-covered country lanes day in and day out.

“He walked every single day he lived in that town — 12 months, 365 days a year, for four to five hours a day. It didn’t matter if it was raining or if it was snowing,” Michael Nardone Jr. told The Press about his father last week.

Nardone Jr. said in Ridgefield, his father got to know everyone — even the cooks and dishwashers.

“There’s something about the townspeople and the streets that brought something out in him that wasn’t there before. It was incredible to watch,” Nardone Jr. said.

Haughney asked that walkers consider donating non-perishable food items to the Ridgefield Food Bank, in the spirit of Nardone’s generosity.

She will be collecting the items when the group meets at the RVNA lot.

She hopes the walk will go ahead, rain or shine.

“He walked in all weather,” she said. “So we’ll see.”