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Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Pondering the past, looking to the future

Seen: Progress on the Rowayton Avenue lowering project. This is the site of a former tree, which had been perched on a hill.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk:

Words of wisdom from a vet

Joseph Buono and Harold Mccready were hanging out in front of their largely-dormant Cedar Street businesses recently, enjoying the sun as they watched a construction crew work on granite curbing, reminiscing on their long lives.

Buono, who said he was one of “Mussolini’s boys” — a member of the army sent to school to be trained as a technician — said the Americans landed in Italy in World War II, and took him and others aboard a minesweeper, where they spent the next four years. Then he came to America.

Mccready offered philosophical thoughts.

“The only war in my time, that I agree realistically we had to get into, was when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. All the other wars that we have gotten involved in was none of our business,” he said, urging that the United States not get involved in Ukraine before moving on to thoughts about today’s youth.

“I am in a family of nine straight brothers and all of us did serve in the military. Back then it was routine – that’s another thing that we’ve done stupid in this country, was to discontinue the draft,” he said. “In my family, when you would reach 18 years old, you were physically and mentally examined. If you passed those tests you automatically were drafted into a branch of our service. Today no one is drafted any more. You’ve got to volunteer to go in. If the draft was still on you wouldn’t have as many young people in prison as you do now. They’d be in the military.”

 

Passing the buck in a moment of luck equals four times the benefit

Norwalk was lucky several years ago to get Colonial Village converted to Section 8 housing, Norwalk Housing Authority Executive Director Curtis Law said recently.

“The first proposal, they were going to convert 50 units,” he said. “I said, ‘That’s a good idea. Why don’t we have a meeting and you’ll come down and explain to them which units will get replaced.’ (They said) ‘Hold on Mr. Law, we will look into this.’ (They said) ‘Well, we can probably do 100.’ I said, ‘That’s great. You come down and look at what you’re going to do…’ We ended up getting 200 units.”

 

Taking baby steps

Law said that, in a month or two, the Housing Authority would have to think about reorganizing.

“We are maxed out,” he said. “What we don’t want to do is not do a good job on the things that we are doing. So we want someone to come and take a look at what we are doing and what it is going to take to keep doing. This may be a heavy burden. There are other things that other folks are looking to the Housing Authority might do as a result of the demise of NEON. When you look around, I don’t know if it’s good or bad but we are still standing.”

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