Andover, Connecticut

Hislorical - Democratic Town Committee, WWII Newsletters
Andover Newsletter, Vol. 3, #8
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
Andover, Connecticut
February 24, 1946

To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!

The worst and (we hope) the last blizzard of this storm-ridden winter has given way to sunshine and receding snow drifts, while Andover shovels driveways that were filled and filled again with the wind-driven beautiful white stuff called snow.  The storm was supposedly over on Wednesday morning, but then it was renewed--horizontally.  Johnny Gasper, Percy Cook, their helpers, and their plows started early only to find that their trucks couldn't make any headway in the hard-packed drifts. So they resorted to bull-dozers and finished the road-clearing soon after the 40-mile blasts had died down late Thursday night.  We are glad to have this season almost out of the way, for it has been a winter of perpetual motion for the road crews.  Roads that were sanded in the morning were sheets of ice again by evening.  The selectmen have run out of funds for road work twice already, and, when there were no helpers available, John Gasper and Ned Merritt manned the sand truck alone.  By next month, perhaps we can report a good crop of freckles on Andover noses, and rivulets of melted snow running down the roadsides of Andover.  The daffodils, foolish things, have sent their spikes more than an inch above ground, and spring must be coming soon.

Wedding bells rang at the Storrs Congregational Church yesterday afternoon at four o'clock for Betty Shepherd and  William Burr Andrews.  Jean and Andrew Gasper did the honors as maid of honor and best man.  After the ceremony (double ring) which was performed by Rev. Garland Waggoner of Storrs, Mrs. Shepherd gave a reception for the bride and groom at her home.  Betty and Bill left for a short honeymoon trip through New England.  Bill (QM 3/c) must return to the U.S.S. Eaton by eight o'clock on February 27, and Betty will return to her duties at Hartford Hospital on March 3.  Bill will probably receive his discharge in April, but their post-war plans are indefinite as yet.  So here's to Betty and Bill.  May they have a long life and a merry one together!

Another recent wedding that receives our hearty applause is that of Mrs. Anna Jurovaty and Michael Sirak of Columbia.  They had a quiet wedding in Columbia, and they are making their home temporarily with the groom's brother, John Sirak.  They are planning to buy a poultry farm in Lebanon and make their home there.  Good luck and lots of happiness to them!

We missed one wedding, which should have been reported in the January issues of the Newsletter.  Shirley Willis and Eugene Minor were married at the Methodist Church at Crystal Lake on December 22.  Mr. and Mrs. Willis gave them a reception at the Crystal Lake Community House, and the bride and groom are making their home with the bride's parents in Rockville for the present.  Our very best wishes to them!

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Murray (Irene Willis) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, are the parents of a son, Louis Peak Murray, who was born on January 8, 1946.  Bob, a captain in the Air Force, is on terminal leave, and Irene was discharged from the Army Nurse Corps last fall.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rankin, who now live in South Coventry, are the parents of a baby girl, Elizabeth Vivian, who was born at Hartford Hospital on January 28, 1946

There are some men on our honor roll from whom we would like to hear before the March issue goes to press.  Among them are Joe Remisch, Hi Schildge, Ted Watts, Oscar Martino, Ed Heimer, and Bill Grenon.  Where are you, and what are you doing?  We'd really like to get a card or letter from you.

George Bonkowski missed his February Newsletter. because it was returned to us, but we have a new address, and we hope he'll soon receive two month's news, somewhere in Europe.

The sponsors of this Newsletter have been discussing the possibility of discontinuing the publication with the last number of this volume--the June issue.  We should like very much to hear how those of you who are still in the service feel about that.  We are reluctant to call a halt, and yet circumstances now make it seem sensible to do so.  Please let us know how you feel about it.

A word of hearty appreciation goes to Mrs. Pfeifer, Jimmy Grey's mother, who has for several months been voluntarily gathering news for the Newsletter.  She picks up clues and tracks them down until she can give me the whole story on each item--thus saving me a lot of telephoning time and supplying news I wouldn't even have heard of.  Thank you, Mrs. Pfeifer.

The Mittens have moved to a wonderful new home on East Center Street, Manchester, and Leslie and Frannie Friedrich Billings have purchased the Mitten Place.  And speaking of the Mittens, Ellsworth has been crowding his schedule as an insurance executive and a musician-in-great-demand, to find time for benefit concerts at the State Prison and the Newington Hospital for veterans.  He has another benefit concert tentatively scheduled for the Avon Old Farms Hospital for Blinded Veterans.  Nice going, Mit!

We have heard that Duane Faulkner, who was discharged in December is weighted down with decorations--especially  the Presidential Citation, pinned on him by the President of the United States.

Albert Heinz has received his discharge after long service in the ETO, and has gone back to his old job.

Erskine Hyde, one of Andover's oldest and highly respected citizens celebrated his 85th birthday on January 16.  About sixty friends of all ages attended a party in his honor.  The choir sang for him, and Rev. Broad gave a short talk.  The refreshments alone made the party well worth remembering for a long time.

Bill Merritt has had his discharge from the Navy (PTO) and he and his bride are living on Pleasant Street, Willimantic.

Whitney Merritt is also home from the wars, with PTO experience, and he and his wife and two children are living in Andover.

Fuzzy Tedford and Jimmy Grey, who spent long weeks in the hospital at Bainbridge, Maryland, have finished boot training, and have been home on leave.

Johnny Gasper discovered that a little skunk was using the Gasper door yard for a hunting ground, and decided to tame it.  Risking social ostracism, he taught the wood pussy to eat out of his hand.  It made a nice little pet until, one Sunday afternoon, one of the local Sportsmen arrived at the trap shoot at the Cabin carrying a dead little skunk by the tail.  "The hunting is good right in your driveway," he called out, and then there was mourning for the little skunk whose good manners had not been sufficiently publicized.

Stanley Gasper has completed Gunnery School, and he is now helping the Navy wrap up its excess boats at Mayport, Florida.  He won't be surprised to receive his discharge soon.

We've had a letter from Major Bertram C. Wright, Kyoto, Japan, that made us feel a great satisfaction in connection with the Newsletter.  You see, he was emphatic in his praise of the enterprise, and it was a big help to our morale.  He said, in part:  "....Most of the people spoken of in the Newsletter I know well, although once in a while a name appears that makes me wonder if the draft board has been forced to call upon the services of the sixth grade of the Andover Grammar School--but then I remember that the world (Andover included) does not stand still....

"According to present plans, I am  scheduled to stay overseas until next summer.  That should be a pleasant time of year to return to Connecticut, and I hope to seen the people of Andover in a healthy and happy condition at that time.  All I can say to the former service people is:  Keep the battle going until I get there, and then we'll refight it over again.  I'll try to bring the latest dope on the occupation of Japan..."  Thanks, Bert, for a good letter.

That flash of robin's egg blue seen around Andover these days is Joe Gasper's new 1946 Chrysler sedan.  He is leaving tomorrow for a trip to Pennsylvania, Illinois, and points west.  He says that by the time he gets back he'll be ready to go back to work.

Don't forget that we want to hear from all of you who are still in the service soon!  We want to know how and where you are and what you think about the closing of the Newsletter.

Safe home!

Vera Cross Taylor, Editor.