About

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 26 Commented

On Friday, October 23rd, 2009, I (Crick) received a cryptic email at work from Pat Dawson Lauder simply asking if I was the John Leavitt who grew up in Rowayton. I was thrilled. Within minutes I replied saying “YES” giving Pat our personal home email address, and signing the email with “Cricky” (Pat later said this brought a grin to her face). In exchanging our first emails, I agreed to let her call me “Cricky” if I could call her “Patty”.

We started to ask each other about the whereabouts of other Rowayton kids. We emailed Brooke Maury to ask if she had Connie Henry’s email. Thus, we became three and then four, and now twelve 44 days later … and hundreds of viral emails later.

These exchanges have changed our lives. All of a sudden we are friends again after a hiatus of about 50 years. Our exchanges have jogged our memories with thoughts and impressions of our childhood.

Through this website we hope to find others and continue our exchanges.

We have discovered that there is a lasting bond that developed during our years of innocence. This explains the joy that I felt when Patty first contacted me, and that we have felt with each new re-acquaintance.

Please feel free to contact all of us by email paloaltoeast@hotmail.com  or by posting a comment.

26 Responses to “About”

  1. Rob Harris says:

    Hi, I saw Donna Jensen’s name on the http://rowaytonkids.com/2013/07/12/notable-rowayton-people-17-additional-nominees-by-rowaytonkids/comment-page-1/#comment-83322 page, and wondered if you could forward a message to her to check in with DHS ‘64 Reunion, http://www.dhs64reunion.myevent.com/ . I grew up on the Darien side of the river, and Donna and I happened to share the last name of Harris. We also reconnected around the time that Paul was dying.

    I think I recall Donna’s saying that one of her anscestors built the original church that was replaced by the Snail Church, so I wonder if that is a notable Rowaytonite – though not contemporary!

    Warmest regards,
    Robert (“Robbie”) Harris, Pasco, WA

  2. Crick says:

    Hi Megan, Thanks for popping in. I too began on Harstom Place like Patty and the Hartogs. My family lived there in the 40s and then had two other houses, one on Bryan Road and then two doors down from Hickory Bluff until the mid-70s. If you want me to post some pictures, send them to me at paloaltoeast@hotmail.com and I will post them.

  3. Crick says:

    Bill, You can post it as a comment and I will put it up as an article or you can email it to me at paloaltoeast@hotmail.com. Crick

  4. Bill Tyrrell says:

    Hi,

    How does one go about leaving a reminisence?

    Bill

  5. Megan Gallagher says:

    Hi Everyone!!
    I spent the 1st five years of my life in Rowayton, I was born in 1959. I still have my Rowayton school teashirt, as tiny as it is. Our home was on Harstrom Place. We had a baby sitter name Kathy Kiggins. Someone may remember her.

    Anyway I don’t know anyone here but looked like fun to pop on in and say hello.

    Megan

  6. Lisa WIlson Grant says:

    Does anyone know where the name “Bee Hive Curve” came from? It is the bend in the road on Rowayton Avenue, near Witch Lane and the United Church of Rowayton. Just wondering about it, I have a photo of it min my “Norwalk” book which is due out mid-2014. Arcadia photo book similar to one we did on “Roton Point”.

  7. Crick says:

    Hi Cynthia, One Raymond house is the house shown here http://rowaytonkids.com/2010/08/02/raymond-house-late-1800s/ . This is right on Rowayton Ave not far fromthe river where Witch Lane intersects Rowayton Ave. It would be nice to have a picture and a little more info about your mother. People who go to the Rowayton Civic Association website would alo see the picture if we posted it.

    rowaytonkids@gmail.com

  8. Cynthia Ives mcElhannon says:

    Hello,
    My Mom grew up in Rowayton. She was born in 1932 and her name is Katie Viola Ives. She lived with her Grandmother Edna Thompson Raymond right on the river. Would anyone recall my mom or her Grandmother? I do know my mom attended Thomas School in the 1940’s.

    Thank you, Cynthia

  9. For those of us that grew up in Rowayton here’s a cool website sent to me by Harry Hussey.
    .http://www.threebands.com/

  10. Lisa Wilson Grant says:

    Hello Rowayton Kids, I am one, too but grew up in the late 60’s-70’s here as a kid. Anyway, I am working on another Arcadia book like the one we did last year “Roton Point” – my book will be about “Norwalk” with chapters on different sections of Norwalk, CT. I’d like to find photos of Hickory Bluff – or any interesting vintage photos of Norwalk – but I noticed that Diane Valentine posted above and perhaps she has some photos. I don’t want to use anything that’s been in other books before. My email is lisawgrant@yahoo.com. Anything that I use in the book I would add a courtesy line to the person whose photo it is, just as we did in the “Roton Point” book. Thanks!

  11. Jim Griffin says:

    Hi Crickie!

    While not a “Rowayton Kid” myself, I had many friends who were, and spent enough time there to feel as if I were, too. One very good friend was Sue Harris, with whom I spent a good part of my life.

    I came across an audio interview with Sue, from Virginia Voice, of Richmond. If you or any of the other Kids knew Sue you would be interested in her listening to her success story. Click on “Sue Griffin, What’s Your Story? ” at http://www.virginiavoice.org, and enjoy the story of a Rowayton Kid who made good!

    J K Griffin
    Colico, Italy

  12. Carolyn Park Bruno says:

    Hi to all – It is really enjoyable seeing names from the past, the pictures, and stories. I grew up on Pennoyer Street (by the Cannon) and had 3 siblings – Dory, Bill, and Judy Park. I graduated from Brien McMahon in 1962 and saw the post from John Blake and he mentioned Ricky Phillips and Gloria “Bunny” Harding and Miss Strand. Many of us are on Facebook and have connected with others from Rowayton. It is always fun to hear how everyone is doing and where they all settled. Wishing the best to you and thanks to Cricky, Patty, Brooke, and Connie for starting this website. Hopefully I too will get out my old photos and get them on here. Warm regards, Carolyn

  13. JEFF REES says:

    THIS FROM SUELLEN BIRCHARD’S FACEBOOK PHOTO THIS MORNING!!
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4650336&id=707445938

    All Rowaytonites new and old. Did you know that Norwalk plans to take down the chain link fence at the entrance to Rowayton starting today? Yes the one with all the signs and Rowayton’s personality. Join the group below and send an email.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=134778549896306

    MAYORS EMAIL ADDRESS:
    TO ALL: RMoccia@norwalkct.org

  14. Greg Pettys says:

    Hi folks,
    This sure brings back a lot of memories. My mother, Barbara Bailey owned River Real Estate, and my grand parents, Ted and Stew Hopkins lived on Bell Island, where I grew up. Tom Hammang told me about the website. I see Win Carlson is still there. Ranny Grinnal my best friend passed away about five years ago and I think that was the last time I was down there. I live in Westerly RI now and it reminds me a little of what Rowayton was like back then.
    Thanks
    Greg Pettys

  15. Win Carlson says:

    Diane,
    I remember your Mom & Dad very well. I’m so sorry to hear of their passing. Your Mom was great to work with on the Rowayton FD ambulance. I also enjoyed coming to the Bluff for those delicious ice cream cones! Those were the days that I cherish and look back on. I’m still living in Rowayton (61 yrs) I still enjoy the town even though there have been alot of changes.

    Ed (Win)

  16. JAMES "JEFF" REES says:

    DIANE, I REMEMBER YOUR DAD WELL, HE AND MY DAD JIM REES WERE PRETTY GOOD BUDDIES, I CAN REMEMBER GOING DOWN TO THE BLUFF & MY DAD RENTING A ROWBOAT AND ROWING OUT TO LITTLE TAVERN ISLAND TO GO CLAMMING, SOMETIMES WITH MY UNCLE JOHN WIESIGHT, I CAN ALSO REMEMBER HIM OPENING UP A NEWLY CAUGHT CHERRY STONE, SPLITTING IT OPEN AND DEVOURING IT RAW.

    I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO STAND ANY CLAM PRODUCTS AS IF WE DID NOT EAT THE CLAM CHOWDER DAD MADE SURE WE HAD IT CLOD FOR BREAKFAST THE NEXT MORNING, YUUCCKK!!!

    LATER ON ART BARNES A FELLOW NHS CLASS MATE AND NICK DYSLIN WORKED AT THE BLUFF DURING THE SUMMERS AND AT TIMES IT WAS A GREAT PLACE TO GO WATCH THE “SUBMARINE RACES”!!

  17. Diane Valentine says:

    This is wonderful! Just when I needed to connect with my past the most…my parents, Grace and Bill Valentine, who owned Hickory Bluff, both passed away recently and I was feeling rather “lost.” Rowayton was a wonderful place to grow up. With sea walls to climb and islands to explore and the safety (and occasional inconvenience) of living in a fish bowl, I lived a true childhood fantasy!
    My father grew up in Rowayton, as well and he told me so many wonderful stories, about the oyster shell roads that blinded you in the bright sunlight and the amusement park at Roton Point…where as a boy he broke in an stole the fireworks that were to be used for the fourth. He took all he could carry and put them in the attic of his family garage; Luckily, just as the heat of the day hit the garage roof, my grandfather smelled smoke!!!
    I remember him telling me how much it all had changed, and I find myself telling the same thing to my grandson Owen, when I take him on our annual “Rowayton tour,” visiting the Belle Island and the Bluff and the cannon to see his great grandpa’s name.
    Thank you for this. Memories are such a valuable commodity.
    Diane

  18. Peggy Gibbs says:

    What a fantastic website! I grew up in Rowayton from 1956 through 1974….first on Rowayton Avenue and then on Wilson Point. Rowayton was a magical place. In all my travels and the thousands of people I have met during my life, I have never heard of another place like Rowayton to be a child in. This website verifies what I have always felt……the bonds that we formed with our little “fishing” village can never be broken, no matter how far you roam. Rowayton will truly always be home for all of us who were children there.

  19. Ellin Braun Drasser says:

    Teddy Thompson Helfrich just told me about this website…(see Ellin’s new article. Admin).

  20. Jeff Rees says:

    Hello all, After breakfast Saturday I called an old friend from Rowayton, Warren Mattison we talked for a while reminiscing about old friends male and female, kinda where are they now and remember when talk. Warren is divorced and retired from the Norwalk Fire Department and still lives in Norwalk up near the hospital. After all was said and done he is not computer literate so he said for me to say hello to all that may or may not remember him.My best to You all,
    Jeff Rees

  21. Jeff Rees says:

    WWII Clamdigger –
    May 1944, Memorial Day

    Note: During WW II 180 men and women from Rowayton served in the armed forces. Only one was killed, Albert Lawrence. (Jerry Hayes, Uncle died on the Battan death march with so many others) In his memory a tree was planted at Bayley Beach on Memorial Day 1944 to remind us of what he did and gave. The following is the dedication preached at that ceremony…(see Jeff’s new article. Admin).

  22. Kipp Kretschman says:

    Rowayton….certainly something very special growing up there.

  23. Lynn Bradford McNeely says:

    Would love to hear about some of the younger brothers and sister of all of you, most of you were about 10+ yrs older…My mom and dad both grew up in Rowayton ,as did I and most of my brothers and sisters. My dad was Vinnie Bradford, Charlie Bradford was his brother along with Ronnie and Alger. My mom is Shirley Prince Bradford from McKendry Ct in Rowayton.
    I have found several Rowayton people on Face Book..I was really surprised who was on there..The list just keeps growing.
    I love reading about “The old Rowayton” I have to dig them out ,but I have some great pictures of when the guys use to Play Ball at Bailey Beach..Thanks for the memories.
    Lynn

  24. John C. Funk says:

    I lived across from the school on Rowayton Ave. from 1922 to 1924 and at 26 Hunt St. from 1924 to 1927 and 1931 to 1938 when I went off to college. I attended the four-room grammar school where “Angie” Wakeman was the Principal. My best friend was Lester “Chubby” Fairchild who stayed pretty close to Rowayton for the rest of his life. My sister, Betty, married Jim “Peachy” Rees whose family lived on in Rowayton. Jim opened and operated for many years a Plumbing Supply Co. in Nrwalk. I understand that Andy Rooney bought and renovated the old “Pepper House” on the corner of Hunt St. & Rowayton Ave. Our home there used to be a barn. My Dad bought it from Mr. Schoonover and had it moved from the south side of Dibble Lane to its present location at 26 Hunt St (aka “Witch Lane”)..Somewhere I have some old pictures, if anyone is interested. I currently live in Ventura, CA; about 70 mi. nw of Los Angeles. I became 94 today. – John Funk

  25. Mike Newman says:

    Hi Guys! This is great!

    I’m still at Cornell (as an employee now) but get to Norwalk / Rowayton, for holidays and other times, where my mother and two sisters, Barbara and Wendy, are still going strong. I look forward to others “surfacing” here!

    Cheers,

    Mike

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