A Year in the Life of the Observer Trivia

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1. In the search for names of Suffield veterans to inscribe on the Veterans Memorial in Veterans Park located at the intersection of South Main Street and Bridge Street, Lester Smith in April 2002 wrote of several poignant veterans’ stories which were revealed in the search. Which answer is incorrect?

a. Melvin Sheldon was presumed dead after fighting in Germany in WWII, but his body was never found. In 1961, a small German cemetery was moved and in it was the casket containing Mr. Sheldon. In his honor the farm on Sheldon Street was renamed the Sheldon-Mel Farm.
b. It was decided to include the name of Smoky, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, on the monument. She was found during WWII in a foxhole and was adopted by Corporal Bill Wynne. In January 1945, she crawled through a tiny, impacted 70-foot culvert, carrying a communications cable which was used to alert soldiers of enemy bombings while they were working to clear a taxiway for planes.
c. Twin brothers Donald and Edward Oppenheimer submitted requests for deferment from the Korean War so that they could work on the family farm. Only a limited number of deferments were granted, and the State draft appeal board decided to induct Donald who had the lower draft order number as the father was reluctant to name which son was more valuable to the farm. It was the first time the twins were separated. Donald served two years in Japan. When he returned, Edward entered the service.

2. In May 2002, Lester Smith wrote about the old Bridge Street School which was located on the south side of the street, where Maple Court is presently situated. It was last used as a junior high in 1939. What happened to it afterwards?

a. It became a restaurant.
b. The American Legion Post bought the property.
c. It became a youth center.

3. In June 2002, Mary Anne Zak wrote about a bitter controversy in town. Before the first Suffield High School (now McAlister Intermediate School) was built in 1938-39, its proposal was met with strenuous objections. Were all of these arguments made at the time?

a. There was no need for a high school as a student could legally leave school at the age of 14.
b. If students wanted more education the town should pay tuition elsewhere such as at Suffield Academy or high schools in other towns.
c.  The building would be partially funded by the WPA. Accepting federal “Roosevelt money” was not an option for many in town.

4. The Suffield Little League celebrated 50 years in 2002 reported by Coleman Smith in June of that year. The League was founded by Chet McComb, H. Clyde Taylor and John Washburn. McComb was the league president for 16 of its first 22 years. In 1953 there were two teams, in 1959 there were six. What organizations sponsored the first two teams?

a. St. Joseph’s Church and the First Congregational Church
b. The Suffield Rotary and the West Suffield Civics
c. Babbs Beach and The Suffield Players

5. In the June 2002 issue, Gerry Crane, President of Citizens Restoring Congamond, received a donation from a celebrity. Who was it?

a. Jimmy Buffet
b. Stephen Spielberg
c. Madonna

6. Joanne Neilson wrote about Suffield policework in the 1950s in an article which appeared in the July/August 2002 issue. The town was then mostly peaceful, few tickets were issued, there were few arrests and not many automobile accidents. The portable police radio weighed about 15 pounds, the size of a small suitcase. No formal training was required to be an officer; learning was done on the job. In the article, Joanne describes a Suffield Savings Bank robbery which occurred on October 16, 1959 which was solved by Officer Paul Ford. Within four hours the stolen $14,000 was recovered and the trio of robbers were behind bars. How did Officer Ford solve the case?

a. The robbers inadvertently left a trail of the stolen money behind them.
b. Two weeks before the robbery, Officer Ford had questioned the trio when he saw them driving up and down in front of the bank.
c. The demand note for the money was written on the back of an envelope bearing the name and address of one of the robbers. The robbers returned to this address after the robbery. They all lived there.

1. b. is incorrect. Smoky is not listed on the Suffield monument. She was a true WWII veteran and hero but Bill Wynne was from Cleveland, Ohio not Suffield.
2. b. and c. are correct. The building was never made into a restaurant. It was bought by the local American Legion from which the Suffield Rotary leased it. They improved the facility and opened it as a youth center in February 1950. In 1951, it was reported that nearly 200 youths came to the Center in a week. Unfortunately, the Youth Center lasted less than three years. It closed following an announcement that it would not reopen until a competent director was found. The building was torn down in 1966.
3. All were arguments against building the high school.
4. b. The Suffield Rotary and the West Suffield Civics (later known as the West Suffield Grange)
5. a. Jimmy Buffet donated $500. The celebrity had no apparent connection to Suffield but donated regularly to environmental causes. The Conn. Chapter of the Parrot Heads recommended the donation to Buffet’s national organization.
6. b. Two weeks before the robbery, Officer Ford questioned the trio when he saw them drive up and down in front of the bank.

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