Looking Back: Squirrel attacks and bored teens

By June 25, 1992, another fire had destroyed a home in Ridgefield; however, this one was of suspicious origin.

“‘We’ve ruled out all accidental causes, and we’re working on the fire being set,’” Ridgefield Fire Marshal Louis Yarrish told The Press.

Chief Nagle added: “The enormous volume of the fire and the theory that it had not been burning long before the fire department was notified contributed to the suspicion.”

A graduate of the Class of 1989 wrote an editorial to describe just how dull Ridgefield can be to teenagers, especially teenagers under 18. However, she ended with some inspiring words of encouragement and hope.

“A note to any high schoolers who may be reading this: After 21 years of waiting, I am now old enough to get into a bar or club. Guess what — Ridgefield is still boring.”

Martin Greenberg had started the Civic Awareness Committee, its members tasking themselves with providing a neutral viewpoint on issues that concerned residents of Ridgefield, regarding the town’s education system, the town government, and town finances. Although they held no decision-making power, Greenberg assured that even if the committee’s only accomplishment was more intelligent and informed voters, he would be happy.

A story in the Senior Citizen News section was titled “Squirrel Attacks l.o.l.” — l.o.l. standing for “little old lady.”

“A little old lady who opened her screen door recently to enjoy the spring breeze was catapulted backward 10 feet by a jet-propelled large squirrel which landed on her shoulder, scratched her protesting hand and, as the l.o.l. fell heavily to the floor, raced around the living room.”

RHS Principal Joseph Ellis was trying to continue his plan to gradually phase out smoking on the school campus.

“The board voted 7-2 to consider waiving the rule prohibiting smoking at the high school for a second year.”

Dr. Ellis was confident that his approach was working and would lead to a smoke-free campus. “The phase out, he added, is better than suspending students for smoking in the bathrooms.”

Julianna Starbuck, a 17-year-old Ridgefield resident, was one of the nation’s premier horse jumpers in the Under-18 equitation category. When faced with a tie-breaking jump at one competition, her athlete’s confidence shone through.

“‘Julianna really went for it. She went from about 20 mph and really accelerated to a good hand gallop [a quick pace for jumping]. It was a real crowd pleaser and she won the class.’”

50 years ago

Honorary RHS student Ace, a black Labrador retriever, received his diploma with the class of 1967. A formal petition was circulated by the seniors to organize the special diploma.

“‘I think most of the student body and faculty members signed it,’ Coach Bill Allen said. ‘They took the petition to Dr. Harold Healy who agreed to sign Ace’s diploma.’”

Ridgefield residents were preparing to take in children between the age of five and 13 visiting from the city for two weeks through that year’s Fresh Air Fund “Friendly Town.”

“‘No matter how little you have, you have more than they have,’ said Mrs. Richard L. Saville… whose family is looking forward to the return of Anne Marie Bair in August.”

The Press published a small thank you note to Tim, a reader who had given the Press staff dandelion wine.

“The flavor is zesty, a little fruity, more like a liqueur than modern wines we have tasted, and very good.”