Looking Back: What kids in school?

“Workers’ children go to town schools: Is it a benefit or a burden?” read a headline 25 years ago in the Sept. 17, 1992, Ridgefield Press.

“Of the 3,469 students attending schools here this year, 32 don’t live in town,” said the story. “...Their parents are Ridgefield teachers, school workers, bus drivers and town employees.”

Three Ridgefield students — Chad Sclove, Daniel Trutt and Andrew Zornoza — were among 15,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists nationwide. Merit scholarships were $2,000. While Ridgefield had three semifinalists, Westport had four, New Canaan five, and Wilton had nine.

With new wells approved by the state, Ridgefield Water Supply Company President Joseph McLinden predicted a moratorium on new water hook-ups would end. The Press reported: “The two Beechwood wells, located in Great Swamp off Farmingville Road, are expected to produce about 250,000 gallons of water a day. ‘Our average production now is about 800,000 gallons per day, so that’s a significant improvement,’ Mr. McLinden said.”

RHS Football Coach Ed Coviello, replacing Guido Maiolo, liked quarterback Dana Baxter’s arm: “We’re expecting a big year from him,” Coviello said.

A photo showed Dr. Arvid Sieber with his two doctor sons, Stephen Sieber, staff pathologist at Danbury Hospital, and James Sieber, an intern there.

Rev. William Nigh of Ridgefield’s First Congregational Church, returned from his wife Mariana Nigh’s native Romania. He was optimistic about the future of the country, which had ousted communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.

“‘The people are educated and literate. They have a strong work ethic … the long-term investment potential is incredible,’ Mr Nigh said.” The Press’s Lois Street wrote.

50 years ago

“Varian M. Fry dies at age 59, aided refugees,” said a page one headline in the Sept. 14, 1967 Press. The obituary touched briefly on Fry’s work helping 2,000 to 4,000 Jewish and anti-Nazi refugees escape occupied France.

“Varian Mackey Fry, writer and teacher, who had made his home in Ridgefield for the past 15 years, was found dead yesterday … When on the Emergency Rescue Commission he succeeded in helping many refugees escape from the Nazis, including Marc Chagall, Wanda Landowska, Jacques and the Landsbergers of Ridgefield,” The Press reported.

Frey received the Legion of Honor from France in 1967, and in 1994 became the first American in the “Righteous Among Nations” listed at Israel’s Holocaust memorial. In 1998 Fry was awarded commemorative citizenship in the state of Israel.

At the state police barracks: “Lt. Jack Croce of Mary’s Lane, Ridgefield, assumed command of Troop A Ridgefield…”

And “Lawrence W. Hoyt Jr. was elected president of the Community Center at the annual meeting…”