Looking Back: A death a year

“What if a lottery were held each year to select one perfectly healthy Ridgefielder between the ages of 16 and 24 for sacrifice to a bloodthirsty demon?” asked a story atop the front page of the May 7, 1992, Ridgefield Press.

“It happens,” the story by Lois Street continued. “Twenty-five young Ridgefielders have died in motor vehicle accidents in Connecticut during the last 25 years, according to records in the town clerk’s office.”

Happier circumstances were highlighted in a photo just below: “About 200 kids swarmed over slides, towers, bridges, and beams of the new Ballard Park Playground equipment dedicated Sunday. George and Eva Landegger — who matched Ridgefielders’ donations of $35,000 for the new equipment — also provided free ice cream.”

The police union was asking Connecticut Superior Court to order that the town’s budget referendum ballot include a separate question on the police department’s budget.

“The union hopes the question will help avert possible layoffs for three officers, while keeping  the 6.5% wage increase provided in the police contract,” The Press reported.

“Michael Troy, son of Jane and Michael Troy of 55 Neds Mountain Road, was honored by Boston College as a student athlete with a 3.0 grade point average or higher.” A lacrosse player, he was a 1990 RHS graduate.

A photo showed fourth grader Albert Dellaposta making an origami frog in a Scotland School enrichment program.

The town was considering allowing sewer hookup fees — “which start at $5,700 and could be much more for big sewer users” — to be paid in installments over the 15-year payback of the $13-million state loan that financed the sewer plant renovation.

Today the town is planning another plant upgrade, expected to cost more.

50 years ago

“Ridgefield’s oldest church, the First Congregational Church, organized in 1712 within four years after the purchase of the town from the Indians, will acquire a new site on which to build a new church. The congregation passed the measure by a vote of 97 to 89,” reported the May 4, 1967, Press.

The church, “constructed of granite quarried in Ridgefield,” had been on the corner of Main Street and West Lane since 1888  — and is still used today by the congregation, which apparently came to its senses and stayed on the corner.

“Three well-known Republicans” wanted to replace retiring First Selectman Leo Carroll. “J. Mortimer Woodcock, Paul Hampden and Michael Hagen interviewed with the Republican Town Committee,” The Press said.

And in news echoed 25 years later — see above — “the salary dispute between the Police Benevolent Association and the Board of Finance was settled.”

RIdgefield High School students were photographed for the fall’s “back to school’ issue of Ingenue magazine. A photographer was to take shots of the kids “in their native habitat, the high school, The Family Room, a discotheque and the community center.” The Family Room, where Steve’s Bagels is today, was known among teens as “the shaggy dog.”