Looking Back: ‘Made in America,’ Trumbull shooting

Water heaters were all the rage in the Jan. 28, 1993, Ridgefield Press — but not for reasons one would think.

The Aldrich Museum’s latest show, “Simply Made in America,” was featured on the front page because a piece from artist Nancy Rubins, called Drawings and Hot Water Heaters, drew the attention of many onlookers that week.

The old water heaters were repurposed and strung together on top of one another for the exhibit.

It wasn’t the only arts and leisure story to appear on the front page that week.

“Sunday Openings Return to Library,” one headline read.

The Ridgefield Library had stopped Sunday hours in May 1992 — its traditional summer schedule — but did not restore Sunday hours in the fall, as it usually did, for budgetary reasons, The Press reported.

Thanks to a generous $5,000 donation by the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, hundreds of residents were able to return to the library on Sundays.

“We get 800 to 900 people on a Sunday afternoon — it’s a mob scene,” Don Charles, treasurer of the library’s board of directors, told the newspaper that wek.

“The people in town have been just great in supporting the library.”

Outside of town, Ridgefield resident Noah Hirt-Manheimer talked about a shooting that happened at Simon’s Rock College in western Massachusetts, where he went to school.

“It’s as if a bomb exploded in the Garden of Eden,” said Noah’s mother, Judith, about the small school hidden away in 275 wooded acres in the Berkshires.

The 20-minute shooting rampage left two people dead and four others injured.

“It could happen anywhere, to any one of us or our kids,” Aron, Noah’s father, told The Press. “And that’s a hard reality to accept.”

50 years ago

Picking a site for the new high school and limiting the town’s “floating zone” to Route 7 stole the top headlines of the Jan. 25, 1968, Press but undoubtedly the story everybody in town was talking about that week pertained to a Jan. 18 shooting in Trumbull that left one Ridgefielder dead.

“Police said Lawrence Denette of Rolling Hill Road and Mrs. Eleanor Dedufour of Trumbull died almost instantly of wounds inflicted by a .30-caliber M-1 Army carbine,” the newspaper reported. “Mrs. Dedufour’s husband, Frank, was arraigned Friday morning, charged with the double homicide.”

The pair were sitting together in a parked car in front of Dedufour’s home around 9 p.m. when the shooting happened, according to The Press.

“Trumbull police said Dedufour came out of the house, saw Denette and his wife in the car, went back in the house, returned with the rifle, and shot the couple,” the paper said.

“Police have made no statement on a motive for the murders.”

Denette was a father of two small children and had lived with his wife at Ridgefield Arms before buying a home on Rolling Hill Road in November 1967. He was a programmer at IBM in Port Chester, N.Y.