ANDOVER NEWSLETTER, Vol. 3, #9.
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee.
To the Service Men of Andover, Greetings!
The buds on the lilacs are swelling to promising proportions; there are crocuses and a very few daffodils blooming in sheltered corners; the temperature has been in the 60’s for a couple of weeks; the woods still wear the dull grey of winter; the wild ducks have returned to the old mill pond; the ice is gone from the edges of the brooks and the frost has disappeared from the ground in a burst of oozing mud; the children are playing marbles and skipping rope. The long, hard winter is over, and spring is here in Andover! The frequent wail of the fire siren should be short and penetrating sermons for anyone who is apt to be careless with matches. We need a little rain to bring out the green on the lawns and to dampen the woods for the fishing season. The local farmers have been leaving their important spring work to rush out to quell grass fires all over the territory. There was one fire that started near Bert Lewis’s incinerator and roared over onto Harold Smith’s property. A train started a fire in the woods near Paul Smith’s place. There was a grass fire up beyond Monty White’s place, and another in Columbia, near the Willimantic Wrecking Co. Very little property damage resulted from any of those fires, because the AFD got there in a hurry and did a good job. The Andover Fire Department had its annual meeting this month, and there’s a new man in the president’s chair. He is Bill McCarroll, who says the job will be a hard one, because Harold Smith, retiring president, left a record that will be difficult to equal. Harold refused the nomination this time, because of the press of business responsibilities, and because he wanted someone else to have a chance at the job that he has held for many years. John Hutchinson was elected vice-president of the AFD, replacing Percy Cook, who has also served for many years. Bob Seyd was reelected secretary, and Arnold Hyatt is treasurer. George Nelson was elected chief and Ed Whitcomb is the new assistant chief. The annual meeting brought out a big crowd, and there were cars parked all around the “block”. Harry Sheldon, Art Savage, and George Nelson fed the gang well, and the firemen had a good time together, as they usually seem to do. In keeping with the timely interest in fire prevention, the Grange program on March 18 concentrated on Forestry. Forest Ranger Clark Standish presented slides on the subject, and John Hutchinson, Russell Thompson, and Howard Stanley spoke on the work of the AFD. George Nelson’s car may now be identified as the one with the caved-in fenders. He was about to turn off the main highway to return to the post office one day recently, when he was suddenly hit by a Massachusetts car, which had been following him from the direction of Willimantic. A big truckload of lumber was approaching from the direction of Hartford. The details of the accident have not been fully explained, but I do know that the truck took to the ditch and went down over the bank, spilling lumber hither and yon. George’s car was shoved into the cable fence, from which it bounced back into the road. The Massachusetts car was smashed beyond repair, and the sight of flames under the hood resulted in a call for the faithful AFD. By some lucky miracle, no one was seriously injured. The lumber and its truck were retrieved in short order, and went upon its way. George pulled the fenders out away from the tires and went on about his business. Ted Watts has dropped the title S2/c in favor of bringing his wife and baby home to Andover after two and one half years with the Navy. Ted was stationed at Pensacola, Floriday during most of his absence from Andover, and he has now gone back to work for the Helo Krome Screw Corporation, Elmwood. Congratulations are in order for two little strangers who picked Andover for their home town. They are Lawrence, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willis Covell, who was born on March 1, 1946. (That makes two boys for Barbara and Sonny.) and Laurel Elain Warner, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Nelson Warner of Andover Lake, who was born on March 9, 1946. (That makes it a boy and a girl for the Warners) Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Benton are recuperating from pneumonia, which was serious enough to get them into the hospital for a short stay. We are glad to know they are home again and doing well. There will soon be a new business in town, for Murray Burns of Andover Lake has been granted a permit to erect a gasoline station on Highway 6, east of the church. We have a short letter from Don Parks, who had just finished unpacking in the heart of Tokyo. He says he is living in the “Mitsubishi” building, where he has all the comforts of home. He has charge of a dozen Japs, who do the sweeping and mopping of the rooms and corridors of the sixth floor of the building. He is in hopes of coming home in a month or two, and that’s good news. Glenn Griswold has arrived at Pearl Harbor. Let us hear from you, Glenn! Ivan London of the Merchant Marine and Bolton, a baseball team mate of yours, sent us a good letter while he was home between voyages. He had just returned from Bremerhaffen, Andwerp, Rotterdam, Falmouth, and the Azores, and had been out in the middle of the great storm which whipped the Atlantic from December 22 to 27, 1945. The ship was the S.S. James M. Wayne, and he hopes he never has to see it again. While he was home, Ivan has been driving the C.M.P.A. milk truck that goes through Andover daily, so he can back up our tales of blizzards, slippery roads, and back-breaking shovelling. He sends his best regards to all those he used to pal around with. The Board of Assessors (Marion Stanley, Waity Brown, and Donald Macdonald) put in a hard winter revaluating all taxable property in the town. That is a job easier said than done, for they were conscientious about equalizing the assessments of comparable properties. The net increase of the grand list comes to $132,820, and the total is $966,802. The resulting tax rate is 2 mills lower than last year’s--18 mills for the general expenses and 2 mills for the school building fund. Plans for a big baseball season are under way, with Ed Grenon sponsoring the team. (That means he’ll buy uniforms, etc., thank you, Mr. G.) Organization to date finds Bill Thornton (the only owner of a jeep in Andover) as manager; Moe Pringle, coach; Fred Broad, treasurer; Arnold Hyatt, score keeper. They have voted to join a league with Hebron, Bolton, Columbia, Lebanon, and Colchester. The same field (down by the mill) will be used for practice and games, and there’ll be a lot of work done to improve the field. We hasten to wish them much, much better luck than they had last year and a lot of fun along with the luck. The most recent trap shoot, sponsored by the Sportsmen’s Club at the Gasper Cabin, found John Gasper, Charles Phelps, and Joe Carter in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. They have the shoots quite frequently, and there’s an enthusiastic bunch of contestants. Joe Remisch is on his way home. Emily Yeomans Barefield and Rusty return to Florida on March 29. They are flying down to join Benny who has found a house for them in Coral Gables. We’ll miss Emmy, and we hope they’ll all be happy in the new home. Next month we hope to have an accurate account of those of you who are still in the service, and just who has returned to civilian life. Vera Cross Taylor, Editor.
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