Looking Back: At the polls, sniffing glue

The Nov. 5, 1992, edition of The Press was all about Election Day.

“The mood at Ridgefield Democratic headquarters Tuesday night bordered on exultation as unofficial reports from the polls showed incumbent state Rep. Barbara Ireland winning a fourth term and a television in the corner broadcast the news that the White House would have a Democratic occupant for the first time in 12 years,” The Press reported.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democrat, defeated Republican Brook Johnson, which further lifted the spirits of those who voted blue.

“Around the corner at Republican headquarters, a subdued group sat around a television set,” The Press reported.

State Rep. Ireland was photographed on the phone giving a thumbs-up after hearing poll results from Scotland School. The Press reported she won the 111th District by a substantial margin, defeating Herbert Camp 7,120 votes to 5,164.

“One vote is enough,” she said of the margin.  

Camp, a former state representative, failed to regain Ridgefield’s state house seat to Republicans. Before Ireland, who was first elected in 1986, the GOP had held the seat since 1911.

First Selectman Sue Manning summarized the Republican mind-set that night.

“We’re not used to this somber mood at Republican headquarters,” she told The Press.

50 years ago

There are few headlines from The Press archives that jump out more than “Police Apprehend 2 Boys for Sniffing Model Glue,” which ran above the fold of the Nov. 2, 1967, newspaper.

The Press reported that police Chief John Haight Jr. had warned parents that “glue sniffing in Ridgefield may be on the upswing.”

The warning came a day after two teenagers were caught allegedly sniffing model airplane cement in Ballard Park.

“Chief Haight said the police department lately has been aware of excessive sales of glue at various stores in town but that this was the first case in recent years where youngsters have been caught in the act,” The Press said.

The problem was so bad that police asked town store owners who sold the cement to keep a record of the purchasers’ names.

“In this way the police hope to discourage youngsters from buying large quantities and they will have a record of any sizable purchase,” The Press said.

The boys, who were ages 14 and 15, were turned over to Juvenile Court authorities after being apprehended by Officer James Vozzi.

Chief Haight’s message to parents was simple: Glue sniffing is against the law and and can cause brain damage or even death.

Elsewhere on the front page, 40 residents participated in Ridgefield’s first-ever peace march on Oct. 28, 1967.

It didn’t go so peacefully, though, as police had to protect the marchers from opponents at several different locations.

“Minutes before the march began, police Sgt. Ronald Molles confiscated a dozen or so eggs which a group of teenage boys, standing in the post office parking lot, had brought with them,” The Press reported. “During the march groups of anti-marchers, some of them waving American flags, shouted derogatory remarks.”

“‘Draft dodger,’ shouted some of the hecklers,” The Press said. “‘You ought to be home taking care of your children.’”