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Chris Hoyt Is Gone

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

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From Jeff

Mr. Christopher William Hoyt, 72, died Thursday evening, October 30, 2014, at his home in Saratoga Springs, NY, surrounded by his family following a brief but valiant battle with cancer.

Born January 1, 1942, Chris was the first baby born in the New Year at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, CT. He was the son of William Bradford Hoyt and Mary Raymond Lynch Hoyt, who were natives of Connecticut.

In his youth he attended the Holderness School in Plymouth, NH, where he played on the football team. He then attended Union College, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and psychology.

On August 24, 1963, Chris married Linda Morehouse Albin in a ceremony at the First Methodist Church on West Avenue in South Norwalk, CT.

For many years, Chris was employed as a sales engineer for General Electric. He and Linda and their children, Kimberly and Christopher, lived in many places throughout the country, including New York, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts. They lived the longest of any place in Ramsey, NJ, where the Hoyts were very active in their church and community.

In 2002, Chris retired from GE in Albany; Chris and Linda settled in the home they built in Saratoga Springs, NY. Through the years, he and Linda enjoyed tending to their homes and gardens, and especially enjoyed the ponds they built on the hillside behind their house in Saratoga Springs.

For many years, Chris was actively involved with the Hatch and Bailey Company in South Norwalk, CT. A residential and commercial construction supply company founded by his family in 1872, he was currently serving as Secretary of the Board of Directors.

An accomplished sailor, Chris always enjoyed being out on the water whenever he could. In later years, Chris and Linda took great pleasure in sailing their 38′ catamaran many places along the eastern seaboard. Chris and Linda also enjoyed playing golf, tennis and travelling together throughout the world.

Chris is survived by his wife of 51 years, Linda, of Saratoga Springs; a daughter, Kimberly Betts Hoyt Dallon and her husband, David, of New Jersey; a son, Christopher William Hoyt, Jr., and his wife, Laura, of Virginia; and five grandchildren, Kyle William Dallon, William Alexander Hoyt, Andrew Bennett Hoyt, Aiden Christopher Hoyt, and Nina Isabella Hoyt.

He is further survived by three sisters and their husbands, Caroline and Michael Sicilian of Stamford, CT, Betts and Bud Bain of Rowayton, CT, and Margo and Richard Lepore of North Carolina; as well as many, many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be offered at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 8, 2014, at the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 5th Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY, with Rev. Heather Williams, Senior Pastor and Rev. Drew Sperry, Pastor, officiating.

As an alternative to flowers, the Hoyt family kindly suggests that memorial gifts be made to Yaddo Garden Association, P.O. Box 395, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, or Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 5th Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thehour/obituary.aspx?n=christopher-w-hoyt&pid=173035923#sthash.ckWjYS8k.dpuf

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Don Thompson Is Gone

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

I have turned off comments because of a problem with our spam filter. Hopefully this will be corrected soon. Until then, send communications to me at paloaltoeast@hotmail.com

I was fortunate to be the kid who played softball with the Rowayton men on Saturdays and Sundays at the nursery school field on Highland Ave in the early mid-1950. Don Thompson was one of the regulars along with Jerry Beatty, Charlie Wilson and others. I recall his winning ways in the first years of the Rowayton Little League coaching a winning team with Charlie Wilson. Don was a real roll model for Rowayton kids of that era. Crick

From Jane

Donald W. Thompson
Volunteer; Retired Magazine Exec.;
WWII Marine Officer

South Yarmouth, MA – Donald William Thompson, 90, husband of his late beloved wife, Maryanna (Norton) Thompson for nearly 60 years and his high school sweetheart, died October 30th at Cape Cod Hospital. Mr. Thompson was born in Boston to William A. and Mary (Shyne) Thompson, and spent his first 10 years in Atlantic, MA, a small section of Quincy. His family then moved to Nutley, NJ, where he attended high school. He was a graduate of Seton Hall College (now University). During WWII he served as an officer in the Marine Corps in the Pacific, aboard the USS Colorado and later the USS Indiana. On the USS Indiana, after the war was over, he organized and coached the ship’s basketball team to a record of 33 wins and 3 losses.

Following the war he was employed as a magazine advertising salesman for Reinhold Publishing and then McGraw-Hill Publishing. After moving to Cape Cod in 1969, he was employed by Cahners Publishing in Boston. He later retired as Deputy Publisher of Cruising World Magazine, then owned by the New York Times Company, in Newport, RI.
Mr. Thompson had been a resident of Rowayton, CT for many years before moving to West Dennis, MA in 1969, and later to South Yarmouth, MA in 1983. He was well-known in Rowayton, where he instituted the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration beginning in 1956, and assisted in the formation of a Little League. He managed a Little League team that had a 17-1 record. He was also one of the first members of the Fairfield County Football Officials Association. After moving to Cape Cod he became one of the first members of the Cape Cod Football Officials Association. During the last nine years of his life he lived at Thirwood Place in South Yarmouth, surrounded by many good people and kind friends.

As a Yarmouth volunteer he was chairman of the Yarmouth Cable Advisory Committee until suffering a stroke in 1997. He also volunteered as a monitor for handicapped parking, reporting to the Yarmouth Police Department.

Following his retirement in 1989, Mr. Thompson worked for F.E.M.A., assisting individuals who had experienced losses from national disasters. He also worked as a shuttler for AVIS Rent-a-Car and was a popular shuttler at Bayberry Hills Golf Course in West Yarmouth. As an avid golfer he was a member of Yarmouth golf courses. He also held an airplane pilot’s license, a real estate broker’s license, and was an accomplished boatman of both power and sail.

Mr. Thompson is survived by two daughters, Theodora T. Helfrich of Hingham and Joan T. Rogers of Halifax, and her husband Charles; and two adored granddaughters, Elizabeth Rogers of Nashville, TN and Sarah Rogers of Burundi, Africa. He was pre-deceased in 1953 by another daughter, Kathleen Mary, and earlier this year by his son-in-law and friend, Robert W. Helfrich.

Visiting hours will be held Monday, November 3, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. in Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Ave., South Yarmouth. A Funeral will form at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday November 4th in the Funeral Home, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. in St. Pius X Church, Station Ave, South Yarmouth, where he had been a lector. Burial, next to his loving wife, with military honors, will be in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne at 2:15 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Pius X School, 321 Wood Road, South Yarmouth, MA 02664. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thehour/obituary.aspx?n=donald-w-thompson&pid=173028439#sthash.cAUKR6gN.dpuf

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“Notable Rowayton People” – 29 Additional Nominees By RowaytonKids

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

Update: This list and additions to the Rowayton Wikipedia site were completed on July 12, 2013. In interacting with Wolf Guibbory at FB I went to Wikipedia to double check if Shem Guibbory was on the list. I found that the list had been trimmed back somewhat selectively. 13 names have been removed and none were added. I will make an inquiry. See and compare Wikipedia.

Here is my message to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:NickCT

Nick, Please explain why you trimmed 14 names of notable Rowayton people from the list that a group from RowaytonKids compiled on July 12, 2013.

John Leavitt

The Rowayton WikiPedia site has a list of “Notable People – Past and Present” that we thought did not do justice to Rowaytonites. So we added names and links to biographic sketches below where we could find them. Most notable are Richard Bissell (author of Broadway musicals like Pajama Game), Harry Marinsky (sculptor), and Jimmy Ernst (artist and teacher, son of Max Ernst). Please leave other names in a comment and we will add them to the list. We will need a biographical sketch or another URL to hyperlink that tells of the contributions of notable individuals.

Nominees By RowaytonKids
(all of the people below have been mentioned at RowaytonKids and can be found by searching the individual’s name in the search box):

The last 29 additions contributed collectively by the founders of RowaytonKids

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Yacht On the Five Mile River in the 1940s

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 4 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

from Jane

I purchased this postcard on E-bay today. I am interested in knowing who owned this yacht moored in the Five Mile River during the 1940s. Quite an impressive yacht and I am wondering if it is the “Rand”, owned by the President of Remington Rand on Rt. 136 in S. Norwalk. Perhaps some “Rowayton Kids” might know? Thanks.
/Jane Smith Graham

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“The Other People”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 11 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

from Jane Smith Graham

I found this clipping from The Norwalk Hour, August 23, 1967.  Stephanie Dell’Agnese and Mike Souney lived on Belle Island,  John “Joss” Staplefeldt and Walt Graham grew up on Wilson Point and Dave Brown was from Wilton.

Mike Souney and his wife, Pat live in Guilford CT, Stephanie Dell’Agnese is an English prof at a community college in Middletown CT, not sure about Dave Brown, Joss Staplefelt lives in Aspen CO, and Walt and I married in 1976 and remained in Norwalk.

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Miss Strand is Gone

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 2 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Willis (Bill) Ryckman

One of the best times I’ve had in the past 20 years was the reunion at Bayley Beach. It was tremendous. Couldn’t wait to finally move back here. Grew up in the Association but now live on Belle Island. But for news.

(Click to enlarge) Sadly Robin and I have to report that Anne Strand passed away just a little while ago. I believe Anne was 93 years old and had been in an assisted living facility in Athens, Ga. which was near her stepson, Warren French. Anne had been the sixth grade teacher and also was made principal of the elementary school when she was in her 30’s. She was a very good friend of our parents and Robin and I visited her frequently when she and her husband retired to Vero Beach. I saw her a few times in Athens and we had wonderful talks about old times. Her younger brother, Roy, still lives in town.

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Found: Caroline Hoyt Sicilian

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 2 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

This post was first published on December 31st.

See Caroline circa 1947.

We found Caroline galloping her horse, Misty, on Penfield Beach in Fairfield last winter.

Caroline Hoyt

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Almost Eight Decades Between the Fosters of Ridgewood Drive and the Cornbrooks of Bell Island

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 3 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

Kate passed away on August 1, 2014.

Nina Foster and Nancy Hamman Cornbrooks visited Kate Cornbrooks last weekend in Kennebunk ME. Kate may be the eldest of Rowayton residents of the 50s and 60s still living at about 90 years old. Kate and Charlie Cornbrooks lived on Bell Island with Suzie and Nancy Hamman (Cornbrooks) in the 50s and 60s. Nancy and David Foster with Gray, Meg, and Ian lived on Ridgewood Road in Rowayton before Nina was born. June Leavitt (down below), Kate’s sister, and Peter Leavitt lived on Harstrom Place, Bryan Road, and Bluff Avenue up from Hickory Bluff in the 40s-70s, and their children John, Phoebe, Peter, David, and Andy were RowaytonKids too. Other sister, Lois, with Rex Gatten and children Meg, Tupper, and Neal lived on Wilson Ave next to the Ladrigans in the 50s and 60s. The fourth person in this picture is Kaila Hamman LaPierre who is Nancy Hamman’s daughter.

Here is Nancy Adamson Foster and Kate Magill Cornbrooks in Milton Gardens, Rye NY in 1931 or 32. Nancy is furthest to the left in the front row with Kate next to her. June, my mother is on the left in the back and young sis Lois is on a lap. in the back.

Nancy Foster’s eldest daughter, Gray Foster, passed away due to cancer in 2012. She was 65. I uncovered this picture of Grey taken at a wedding in 2001 (12 years ago). Grey ended up living in the Seattle area for most of her life. Here she is with her grand-daughter (I believe), Lily. All the Fosters, Father David, Mother Nancy, Grey, Meg, Ian, and Nina were/are very handsome people and close long-term friends with my family, the Leavitts of Rowayton. David and Nancy moved to Vermont after Rowayton in the 60s when David left a NY job to become a carpenter building houses. They remained in touch with my parents into the 1990s. After David passed away Nancy moved to Kennebunkport to be close to my aunt Kate Cornbrooks. They often visited our farm in Woodstock CT after we arrived in 1996.

In the late 50s David and Nancy Foster bought the Fogel’s house on Ridgewood Road across from the Tebo’s house and down the road from the Smiths (Jane), Dawson’s (Patty), and Thompson’s (Teddy and Joan). The Foster’s moved in with RowaytonKids, Meg and older sister Gray, returning from North Carolina with perfected southern accents (the girls said “Y’awl”). Meg became my sister Phoebe’s closest childhood friend. I couldn’t help but notice that Meg liked catsup on her spaghetti or rice (yuk!). Later after acting school in New York, Meg became a successful Hollywood actress; I was always impressed with Meg’s light blue eyes and enjoyed seeing her in movies and on TV. Older sister, Gray, was very pretty. Gray was once married to Dick Kreager’s brother (Dick is Lyn’s husband). Her oldest child is Tad Kreager.
Here’s Meg (right) and Gray having a sister chat at our house in the 70s.

Nancy Foster passed away in the middle of this last decade after moving to the Seattle area to be near her children. My mother and sister Kate Cornbrook’s friendship with Nancy goes back to the 1920s when both families lived in Milton Gardens in Rye NY. That story is told at the Milton Gardens website in the right sidebar.

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Sailing School in the 50s

Sunday, June 8th, 2014 2 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

I spent 5 years in summer sailing school at the Norwalk Yacht Club which was on Bluff Avenue in Rowayton before it moved to the opposite side of the Cove to Wilson Point in the 1960s. I notice that the NYC still has junior sailing classes 5 days a week for 8-foot dinghies and 14-foot Blue Jays.

I enjoyed these daily classes immensely and discovered that I had a talent for winning races. While Paul was playing little league and pony league baseball in Norwalk, I was sailing. In retrospect it’s easy to see how the Rowayton kids of the 50s started to head in different directions between 1955 and the 60s. We all had our different diversions.

I remember Linda Gloetzner and Bill Lilly attending sailing school. Bill Lilly was killed in the mid-60s in Viet Nam, possibly the only Rowayton casualty in the 60s in that war. I made the point of looking for Bill’s name on the Viet Nam Memorial when I visited Washington DC later on.

The satellite view below shows the playing field for Sailing School which spanned from Wilson Cove in the north past Tavern Island to a buoy just south of the southern tip of Bell Island. The smaller picture of the dock and looking southeast to Sheffield Island and Long Island Sound shows the perspective from the docks of the old NYC. In the satellite view, the green arrow shows the approximate location of the old NYC, the pink arrow shows the new location of the NYC since the 1960s, the yellow arrow shows Wilson Point Beach where I was lifeguard/beach boy/tennis teacher in the early 1960s, the red arrow was where I capsized in Shelly Trubowitz’ canoe in early March in the early 60s (and had to swim pulling Shelly’s canoe to Wilson Point Beach), the white arrow shows Tavern Island, and the pea green arrow points to Bell Island. The number of boats moored in the harbor has greatly increased since the 1950s.

The light blue arrow shows the location of our house in the 60s next to Billy Rose’s house for the proprietors of Tavern Island, and Hickory Bluff. The Trubowitz live next to us on the north side of our house.

yacht club dock
I remember the very first day I sailed in a race at sailing school. Since I was new and knew nothing, I had to crew for another student who showed no interest in winning the race. As we floated past Bell Island to the buoy at the head of the channel in near last place my frustration mounted. Never again would I sail with that guy.

In one memorable race, our starting line was near the old NYC and the first mark was up wind near the point of Wilson Point. I got a good start and was ahead of 15-20 boats. But there was practically no wind. In retrospect, I was probably good at this because of my concentration on the angle of the sail and the direction of the wind. I made a strategic decision to head on a port tack southeast because it made sense that there might be a better chance of catching a breeze further out in the harbor. The other boats followed me initially but then the second boat tacked to the left (starboard tack with the wind coming over the right side of the hull) and all the other boats followed the second boat. The rule of thumb was that I should have tacked to the left also to maintain my lead and take advantage of the wind that they were looking for. But I thought it was a stupid tack because it just took the boats deeper into the cove. The end result was that I found a breeze and they didn’t – I finished the race about 45 minutes ahead of the other boats and received a resounding scolding from the sailing instructors. Nevertheless, I watched the rest of the boats cross the finish line with great pride.

Wilson Point Cove
These photos show what dinghy racing and Sailfish racing looked like.Dinghy racingSunfish racing

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Sailing From the Five Mile River

Sunday, June 8th, 2014 3 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

by Crick

In September of 1955 or 1956 I received a Sailfish (shown below) for my 12th/13th birthday. This was the best birthday present I could imagine. We launched the boat on the Five Mile River at a small beach that was next to Rowayton Avenue just south of Hartogs’ boat yard (this scene may not be on the Five mile River though). I believe that’s mom rowing the boat with Peter and David on board. I don’t recall who was on the sailfish with me at the time. This was an early wooden Sailfish which was heavier than the newer fiberglass boats.
Crick on sailfish mid 50s

It wasn’t long before I started sailing solo out of the mouth of the Five Mile River over to Fish Island to the southwest of the Tokeneke Beach. In August of 1958 I entered an annual sailfish race organized off of Tokeneke which consisted of well over 30 boats from the nearby coastal towns. My sister Phoebe, at 80-85 lbs, was my required crew. This was quite an adventure for me because I was unencumbered by the jaded instructors at the NYC, on my own with my own boat. I remember getting a very bad start in the race in 1958, but we doggedly perservered.
Five Mile River
The distant mark was the Green Ledge Lighthouse which was always within earshot on foggy days. As we rounded the Lighthouse we ran into turbulent waters…and we capsized. Fortunately, Phoebe was wearing a life preserver, so I was free to right the sailfish, and we were able to continue the race. I recovered a plaque that I received after that first race from my parents house a few months ago that verified that we came in 7th in the 1958 race even with the bad start. The following year (1959) we finished forth.

In the ensuing 50 years of living in West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Howard County Maryland, Palo Alto California, and now Woodstock CT, I have yearned to return to the Rowayton waterfront. In my mind’s eye the images are as bright as in this website, and I still sense the smell of the Rowayton waterfront.
light house

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Four RowaytonKids Well Remembered

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Bill Ryckman

A picture of (l to R) Bill Ryckman, Terry White, Bunny Harding, and Jon Kellogg in Sarasota at a mini-reunion April 2014. Jon lives in Nokomis Florida, Bunny in Shelton Ct, Terry in Concord, Ohio and I am back in Rowayton. We plan on making this an annual event and hope that this picture will prompt some others to join us. Bill
See Bill Ryckman, Terry White, and Bunny Harding in Miss Falzone’s Class further below.

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Miss Falzone’s 5th Grade Class at Rowayton School – 1955

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 5 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Bill Ryckman

The kid with the baseball glove was me (center back row). I am distraught no one picked up on that. What a great picture and Ms. Falzone’s look I will never forget. I see Jon Kellogg all the time. He just moved from Rowayton to Nokomis, Fla. and we visited last month. He is doing great and hasn’t changed a bit. My sister Robin is living in Delray, Fla. I remember a few from her class, Andrea Sweet, Camilla Meyerson, Paul Ballard, John Hagerman, Perry Seifert etc. I am back in Rowayton living in Belle Island. I have great memories of my seven years at Rowayton School. Ms. Sherman, Ms Lyons, square dancing in Mrs. Franks third grade with my first girl friend Terry White, although I don’t think she knew it, and all the fun times growing up in town on a bike.

My email is Wryckman@hotmail.com would love to hear from anyone.

Terry White says ” John Derrick is 4th from left in the back row. And that’s Sandy Willmott next to him and not in front row. Doug Penn is in back of Steve Woodcock, next to Donald Eleck. And I am Robin White’s older sister!

Pat thinks the kid in the back row, third from the left, may be Ranny Grinnell. He does look like Ranny. I believe he stayed back one year so it could be Ranny. Crick

From Jane

I found this photo with my mother-in-law’s (Anne Graham) note on the back: “Class picnic at Wilson Point. 5th Grade, Miss Falzone, 1955″ David Smith (Roton Ave) enlarged it for me and was able to identify some of the students. Front row L to R: Dick Ackerman, Alice Smith, Sandy Willmott, Missy Warner, Terry White and Connie Young. 2nd Row (kneeling) L to R: Bunny Harding, David Smith, Walt Graham, Barbara Winola (and her younger sister) and Tom Hammang at the end. 3 row L to R: ?, Fred Moore, Ranny Grinnell, Tom Nelson, Linda Brown, Bill Ryckman, ? ? ? Don Eleck, Ed Mechek, Marty Ferman, Peter Johnson and Eddie Hart. Can anyone identify others?

Thanks, Jane.
This is a very nice picture. This class was a year behind my 6th grade class that had Pat, Connie, Margo, and Marcia, as well as Sue Harris and others who have come to RowaytonKids. I remember Fred Moore, a “Steve” Ackerman, and Tommy Hammang’s father who gave me tennis lessons. I didn’t know Sandy Wilmont but her brother Dick was a good friend. It’s funny, but I remember Eddie Hart but I am not sure why. I vaguely remember Marty Ferman. Albert Eleck sat next to me in 6th grade. Albert was my Lieutenant on the safety patrol when I was Captain. Terry White may have been Robin White’s older sister. It’s strange how our classes didn’t interact.


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The 1957 Memorial Day Parade in Norwalk

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

Here comes NHS band marching with me (trumpet), Paul Tebo (tenor sax), and Paul Ballard (drums). You can clearly see the Norwalk City Hall in the background. The Norwalk Theater is playing a Jane Mansfield movie “The Burglar.”

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Dirk Kretschman Leads the 1975 Memorial Day Parade up Rowayton Avenue

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 2 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Dirk and Kipp are shown below.

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Billy and Judy Hartog, Our Neighbors in the late 1940s on Harstrom Place

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 2 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

The Hartogs were our neighbors from 1946 to about 1951 on Harstrom Place. Our house there was four posts down. I recall seeing black and white cowboy movies on the Hartogs TV before we had a TV. We used an ice box and had ice and milk bottles delivered through our back door. Such was life then.

This is Billy, Judy, and me in my red wagon.

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Lanny Openshaw Reveals All

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 one Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Lanny

This is probably not the type of response you (to Ellin) would expect from your post.
My guess is Teddy Thompson and you were the consensus most attractive girls in our class (judging from the response in Miss Hollowell’s Dancing School, after the click of her castanets). But, one afternoon, after a group of us paired off in Tom Garvey’s basement, I remember Kirk Hamilton proclaiming to us all that Missy (Horace McMahon’s daughter) had the “Most Kissable Lips”! Must have been around 1958 – give, or take a year.

I believe the last time I saw Missy, Robin White and I had rented a place on the river from Ted Jones. It was late winter in 1972 and the streets were flooded beyond Rowayton Marine.

Missy and her mother, Louise, couldn’t get home to their home in Rowayton Beach, so, to get out of the cold, they visited with us until the waters receded.

Ellin Braun’s father Joe with Horace and Missy at a Yankee game.

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Diane Wilkinson Now in Mariposa CA – Birthday Party in Rowayton, Late 1940s

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 one Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

Diane and daughter Tricia got together with Becki and me for breakfast in San Mateo CA this last week. Diane got her start on Covewood Drive (see below). Becki and me at the Golden Gate Bridge on the same day.

from Diane (Wilkinson) Trefethen

I moved from Covewood Drive to Darien right after my 8th birthday. I had just started to get up the courage to defy my Mom and ride my bike out on [ GASP!!! ] Wilson Avenue. Plus my Dad was determined that I go to public school so was almost certain that I’d have met up with a lot of the other Rowayton Kids if we hadn’t moved to Darien. That would have meant SAILING! But I missed out and didn’t sail anything till my 30s, and then only dinghys. Now, reading about all your adventures and the Bluff, I decided I’d waited long enough and I went out and found someone who gives ASA sailing lessons on a Catalina22. I’m now an official beginner, lol, but I’ve already crewed in a race :)
Courage may be inherent in the individual but even the bravest amongst us needs heroes.

Not sure whose birthday party this is (maybe Linda’s Wadlow’s).
Can anyone fill in the names?
The date is probably not 1949 or 1950, more like 1948 or 1949.
Left to right back row: Linda Wadlow, Ann Delafield?, Me (Diane), Mary Empy, Susan Davis?, Unknown

From a comment left by Diane on May 30th:
I was doing a google search for Bronwyn Jones (here’s an article by Bronwyn over a year ago), a Thomas School, class of 1960, classmate when I found RowaytonKids. SO many remembered and half-remembered names and places.

I lived at 4 Covewood Drive from 1942 – 1950. Attended “The Farm”, Thomas School’s nursery school and kindergarten in 1946/47. See others at the Nursery School maybe a year later – Caroline Hoyt, Margo and me, Crick. This was after they no longer had the horses and equestrian program. Then I attended grades 1-3 in Greycote off Wilson Ave. Getting to school in the morning was tough – just had to cross the street Nevertheless, I managed to be late more than not. Somewhere in my parents’ old pics are several circa 1947 including a street photo of all us kids. I will find it and try to find someone to scan it.

I remember my Dad taking me to the Rowayton Library on Saturday mornings in the Summer, his getting some new mystery novels and then we’d go out to Bayley Beach (funny, I always thought it was Bailey). I remember the chain link fence separating “us” from “them” (the Wee Burnites). My Dad wouldn’t let me go up to the north end of the beach so I only remember seeing from afar what I think was the base of the old carosel. Then in the afternoon, I’d walk barefoot with my Dad ALL the way across the parking lot (dang that lot was HOT) to get Good Humors. I loved the peach ice cream on a stick with the raspberry ice coating.

I fell in love with horses for a lifetime at the old Rowayton Fair… it was the first time (I was probably 2) that I was taller than my Mom

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Chris Pemberthy Announces an Exhibit at the Rowayton Historical Society

Friday, April 4th, 2014 one Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

I live in the Maury-Bruno-Wilson-Penberthy house at 72 Witch Lane. Was married to John Penberthy. My kids played for Rowayton Fuel in Little League. (Go, Fuel!)

I am contributing to an exhibit the Rowayton Historical Society is mounting on Rowayton in the 1950s. A big part of it — the children’s book authors and illustrators who lived here in at the time (Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson and others), and other bits.

I have the assignment of writing a bio of Ruth Krauss. Can you ask your members if they remember working on A Hole is to Dig, or anything else about her or her husband? They lived on Crockett Street and also (I think) at 74 Highland Avenue.

The exhibit runs from May through November of this year. If anyone wants to come back to visit the exhibit, or in advance, share stories by email, that would be greatly appreciated.

Feel free to call or write. We would be thrilled to have stories and photos.

Thank you all! Chris

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Our House on Harstrom Place in the 1940s

Friday, March 28th, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

My mother, dad, and I lived on Harstrom Place one house up the street from the Hartogs between 1944 and 1949. This is our house on the east side of the road. The kids on the steps were probably there for my birthday on September 8th in 1944 or 1945. I am next to the front wall on the right at the top of the steps and Brooke Maury is sitting at the top of the steps (I believe). I bet there are some Hartogs there. The bottom picture is the back of the house with a little studio behind the house. My bedroom was on the second floor with the window on the upper right. We had an icebox and the ice man visited once or twice a week. The milk man left milk bottles on the back porch. I learned to ride a two wheeler bike right in front of the house. There was a path through an empty field to get to Rowayton Avenue just south of where the firehouse was on the west side of Rowayton Ave. The firehouse became the library when Charlie Bradford’s new firehouse was built on the other side of Rowayton Avenue. Bad boy Warren Madison lived across the road from the Hartogs with pretty sister Lynn Madison.

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Eight Rowayton Girls Around 1950 – Two From Harstrom Place

Friday, March 28th, 2014 2 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

Lynn Madison and Patty Dawson were two of my friends when we lived on Harstrom Place.

Carol Fairchild Smith April 17, 2010 at 1:20am on Facebook to Patty:
“Pat, was checking out RowaytonKids – talk about a walk down memory lane. On two of the pics you sent in – the one with Kathy Lago, Sue Fay, etc. the last person is Bill Pfifer. There was another one with Lynn Madison, Diane Parr, Joanie, etc. the unknown I believe is Alice Weston.”

Seven Girls
from Pat
Front row from left to right: Joan Kuchman, Lynn Madison, mystery, and Patty Dawson.
Back row from left to right: Carol Fairchild, Diane Parr, mystery, Caroline Hoyt.

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Miss Strand 1956, Sixth Grade Teacher at Rowayton School

Friday, March 21st, 2014 5 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Check out Emily Levine’s comments under “Recent Comments”

from Linda Brown Odle by way of Carolyn Park Bruno

This is a picture of Miss Strand, our 6th grade teacher and principal at Rowayton School. The picture has the date of 1956.

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Bayley Beach Tennis in the Summer of 1959

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 3 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From the United Church’s SEXTANT, September 1959 – transcribed by Crick who added the italics.

Numbers were the big news at the Rowayton tennis courts this last summer. The addition of the fourth court provided more playing area and a record number of local folk enjoyed the use of the tennis facilities. Over 150 entries in the local tournaments provided excitement for the matches and tennis enthusiasts were encouraged to see the many youngsters who were playing.

Ward Chamberlin successfully defended his position as the RTA men’s champion and Dick Aycrigg and Algie Middleton regained the doubles championship that they won in 1957. Charlie Wilson won his first title when he teamed with Jane Wadleton to take the mixed doubles championship. The women’s matches were not finished as this SEXTANT goes to press.

There were a lot of hard fought matches in the boys’ singles for 10-15 year olds, and two 11 year olds, Robin White and Cleve Penberthy, battled for the title, with White coming out on top.

Connie Henry defeated Bonnie Banks for the girls’ championship.

Bill Talbert, former national title holder (actually he won the US clay court championships once and was runner up in the 1944 and 1945 US Championships), accompanies by Abe Segal from South Africa, Don McNeill from Darien, and Harry Van Rensselaer from Greenwich, put on an exhibition match that thrilled several hundred spectators. This unusual treat was made possible by John Sharnik of Bell Island, who has co-authored a book, “Playing for Life, with Talbert. Ward Chamberland helped with the arrangements and played in one of the three sets.

Numerous visitors played at Bayley Beach this summer; two outstanding guests were Jackie Robinson and Norman Thomas. Crick Leavitt was given the honor of warming up Jackie for his exhibition match; the picture of Crick was taken at a match with the all-conference team at Bethany College. Many young Rowaytonites are proudly exhibiting tennis balls with Jackie’s signature. John Tunis came back to play a few sets on the local courts, just a month or two before his seventieth birthday! In the early 1960s John Tunis often joined Ward and Crick at the tennis courts at Wilson Point.

Jay Cheek, president of the newly-formed Rowayton Tennis Association, resigned in July and Eadie Park, vice president, stepped up. Bill Prophet was tournament chairman and Kim Aycrigg handled events for those under 16. Charlotte Judge coordinated the adult activity, running a highly successful (albeit often postphoned) Round Robin that was won by Ben Rice and Sally Plaut. Helping her were Sandy Goennel in charge of the weekly morning session for “the gals” and Dede Hegeman who arranged four inter-club matches with the Shore and Country Club and Roton Point women’s teams. Local ladies lost one and split three of these.

George Shiras had a full program of inter-club matches (George’s son Leif Shiras made it to the Wimbeldon chamionships in the 1980s). The RTA teams played New Canaan Field Club, Pelham Country Club, Shore and Country Club, and Noroton Manor. The locals won four and lost one match. Mike Newman and I often sought out George for a weekend tennis match.

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Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:—
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look’d upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

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Some History of Rowayton’s Cannon

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 13 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

The 1959 Sextant was provided by Connie Henry Walley

This is an article published The SEXTANT by the United Church of Rowayton in September, 1959.


Reminding of the Heroic Deeds of our Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Rebellion for the Preservation of the Union.”

So reads the principal inscription on the stone base of the cannon occupying the small triangle of land at the junction of Wilson and Rowayton Avenues. On the western side of the baseis a bronze plate that quietly records the names of 51 young citizens who never returned from World War I. This much of the cannon’s historyis obvious to the interested passer-by. But did you ever wonder where it came from and how it got there? We did.One of the least known and most unappreciated local landmarks is the great iron cannon that commands the northerly approach to our village center.

Establishment of the memorial dates back to 1900, when a group of Rowayton Civil War veterans, members of the Douglas Fowler Post of the G.A.R. in South Norwalk, prevailed upon their parent organization in Washington to provide the gun. As recalled by those familiar with the event, obtaining it was no great problem. Finding a suitable location and mounting the five-ton weapon, however, took a bit of doing.

A Gun Committee, which had been formed to accept and maintain the field-piece, held many meetings to work out these problems. The more serious one, obtaining a site, was solved when Elias Pennoyer, owner of the house at 168 Rowayton Ave., agreed to give the community a portion of his front lawn. According to the minutes of the original Gun Commity, know in the hands of Capt. Frank Stevens, the little park was deeded, without cost, “for the sole and only purpose of erecting thereon a memorial dedicated to the deceased soldiers and sailors of Rowayton.”

The deed specifies that the property shall be held by nine trustees, to be selected as required by those remaining or surviving. In addition to Captain Stevens, a member of the original group, the other trustees currently are Edgar L. Raymond, Edgar D. Lynch, and I. H. Kiggins. (Thus it is fitting that grand-daughter Kathy Kiggins is shown in the second picture below at about the time this Sextant article was published. CL).

The gun itself appears to be a coast artillery piece developed around 1860-63 by Robert Parrott, on of the nations first and most illustrious ordnance experts. With a bore of 6 1/2 inches and a barrel about 12 feet long, it fired a 100-pound prjectile a maximum of 8400 yards at a 5 degree elevation. Although there have been other less charitable explanations, its size seems to explain adequately why the gun points North, as that axis is the only one which permits a symmetrical placement and an attractive approach to the memorial.

The gun was originally mounted on the U.S.S. Tallapoosa, one of  aclass of fifteen “double-enders” of 1175 tons, completed in 1863, apparently to enforce the highly effective Union blockade of Confederate commerce. The Tallapoosa carried two such guns, in addition to other lighter armament.

Little is recorded of the Tallapoosa’s naval career except that she did not have a climatic ending like her sister ship, the Otrego (this name is smugged so unsure about the “r”), which was set afire by Conferate guns in the Roanoke River in 1864. Her chief claim to recognition lies rather in the factthat she outlived her sisters, which were all retired by 1870, remaining in service until 1892. This explains the success of the Committee in obtaining the Parrott gun thirty five years after the end of the Civil War. How many other such cannon may still be found across the land is an interesting question.

They were, in any event, noted for their wonderful durability during the Civil War and added luster to the name of their inventor. A New Hamshireman, born in 1804, Parrott was a graduate of West Point in 1824, saw service aganinst the Creek Indians, and subsequently taught mathematics and physics at the Military Academy. In 1836 he resigned from the service to become superintendent of the West Point Iron & Cannon Foundry at nearby Cold Spring, New York.

In addition to his fame as an inventor and manufacturer, Parrott was noted – fittingly, in view of the destiny of the gun – for a rare lack of greed and evident unwillingness to take personal advantage of the needs of the Army. He severed his connection with the foundry in 1867 and died on Christmas Eve a decade later.

For all its notable history, the 97-year old gun (now 142 years old in 2014) has suffered a number of monumental indignities during its residence in Rowayton. Most especially it has been the target of youthful fun-seekers. On one occasion the gun was turned into a king-size teeter-totter when too many youngsters crowded onto the muzzle end. Another favorite halloween prank revolved around one William Huyler, an earlier occupant pf the white house on Bee Hive Corner.

Huyler had served in Hawkins’ Zouaves, a colorful Civil War regiment, and was something of a martinet. Although small in stature, he is remembered for his peppery personality, parade-ground voice, and distinguished shock of iron-gray hair. A military dandy, with a highly developed patriotism, he was prone to call to account anyone he observed showing the slightest disrespect to the flag or otherwise behaving in a manner which he did not approve. Every Halloween for years, the youngsters of the village painted “General Bill Huyler” in bold letters on both sides of the barrel.

In earlier days, pyramids of cannon balls (which incidently did not fit the gun) once graced each corner of the stone mounting. Youngsters have rolled many of them into the Five Mile River, and during World War II a junk man was caught trying to make off with some of them. Only a solitary sphere remains in place.

Interest in the gun and affection for it have been reviving recently, however.  Following a report at the Civic Association meeting this Spring that it was in need of maintenance, an energetic feminine trio of Anne Henry, Otis Griffiths, and Grace Lichtenstein gave it a new coat of black paint, the latter together with brushes, donated by Jack Harding.

The top picture of the cannon was provided by Jane Smith Graham. The lower picture was provided by Kathy Wilmot Pinto. Here is Kathy Kiggins in 1959, granddaughter of I. H. Kiggins who was on the original committee which acquired the cannon. Kathy lived on Rowayton Avenue near the Darien line as a kid and married Tony Macri.

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RowaytonKid’s Years at the Pauling Institute in the 1980s

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 No Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

See the second article of a two-part series on my work at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto in the 1980s published at Oregon State’s Pauling Blog honoring their alumnus and two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling.

Becki is featured in this part. The first part was published last Wednesday.

See the first article of a two-part series on my work at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto in the 1980s published at Oregon State’s Pauling Blog honoring their alumnus and two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling. The second part will be published next Wednesday.


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Dick Willmott

Sunday, January 12th, 2014 one Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

From Crick

Dick Willmott lived on Ledge Road near Johnny Wrigley and Jimmy Coates. Dick , Lenny Calendriello, Paul Tebo, Rick Amon, Jim Coates and I were good friends and had many memorable moments together. The last time I saw Dick, he was living with girlfriend or wife and new baby in an apartment in Stamford. This was in December 1966 when I had started grad school. I have lost touch with Dick and have always wondered how he was doing. He went to Yale and I believe he was an aspiring writer. He had been a voracious reader when he managed the gate at Bayley Beach.

The picture below is his yearbook picture at Norwalk High in 1961. He ran cross-country for three years. In my senior year I joined the team to get in shape for tennis in the spring. I uncovered the Norwalk hour clippings in an envelop that was stashed with all of my family photographs kept by my mother. These race results show that I was always a step behind Dick. Frankly I am surprised that I was that close behind because I wasn’t swift by any means. I usually felt completely spent by the end of the race which varied in distance from 2.5 to 3.5 miles. The state championship race was 5 miles. We used to practice on a seven mile course. The longer the race was the better I did. Knowing that I could run long distance came in handy for a college stunt that I won’t go into here. If anyone has information about Dick, please share.

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Skating on the Five Mile River in the 50s

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 5 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

from Jim Coates

This recent cold snap reminded of the times when the Five Mile River froze over and we could ice skate on it. Our parents probably did not know we were doing it as the salt water ice would crack behind you as you skated along. It also gave you no warning when it would give way. It was somewhat difficult to get on as the shore ice would be broken up because of the tides so you had find a float that was not pulled up. My father used to tell a story that he remembered one winter that the Sound froze half to the light house. Maybe others have other tales.

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Stefan and Marion Schnabel – Marion is gone too

Saturday, January 4th, 2014 9 Commented Categorized Under: RowaytonKids.com 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

See daughter-in-law Wendy’s comment below.

from Crick

Stefan and Marion lived on Pennoyer Street in a house one or two down from Billy Parks. Stefan played the father of Barbara Cooke, the heroine, in “Plain and Fancy” on Broadway in the mid-50s. Here’s a photo (below; Marion is to the left) from Life Magazine with Stefan and Barbara on the right after the Amish community erected a barn. His role was major, and he even sang solos. It was a terrific hit. I went to this show, my first, which left me with indelible memories. After the show, we went back-stage to see Stefan in his dressing room. He later (in the early 60s) starred in the Three Penny Opera in German which was also a hit on Broadway. I discovered the picture below while cleaning out some drawers at my parents house recently.


One memorable experience with Marion and Stefan happened in June of 1966. They invited me to a barbecue at their house on Pennoyer Street. I was about to leave for the summer to travel around Europe on my own and they wanted to give me some advice for my travels. I remember only one piece of advice. Stephan recommended a restaurant in Munich, “Meine Schwester und ich” (translated “My sister and I”). So I took off from Idlewild Airport and flew to Frankfurt over night then hopped a train to Munich. I was exhausted from the trip when I arrived in Munich so I found a hotel near the train station and took a nap. I arose in the late afternoon. Then feeling a little lonely, I hailed a cab and asked to be taken to Meine Schwester und ich. It was still a little early when I arrived at the restaurant for dinner so I was the only patron in a long narrow dining room. I was led down the aisle with single tables on either side and placed at a table at about the middle of the room. I ordered goulash soup, the only dish I recognized on the menu. While waiting to be served, I noticed that there were many framed photographs on the wall. Then I looked to my right to the picture next to me. It was Stefan’s “actor photo” the same one that I had at home. I was both amused by this and comforted in my lonely state. After dinner with Stefan at Meine Schwester und ich I hailed another cab and went off to the Hofbrauhaus.

Stefan and Marion visited us at the farm in Woodstock from Switzerland near Lake Como in the late 1990s during a gibbous moon. I remember the conversation because dad and Stefan argued incessantly about whether the “G” was hard or soft. Stefan took the side of “Gee”. Stefan died about 10 years ago. More recently Marion called before my father passed away and recently to ask for some momentos that my mother and father had saved for her including the picture above which she wanted to give to her grandchildren.

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