Richard Targett (Interview)

Dublin Core

Description

~30 min; 1 cassette

Source

Herb Janick Papers, MS012

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Ed Biebel; Aaron Lieberman

Interviewee

Richard Targett

Duration

~30 min

Time Summary

Side A:
0-10 min: Military service; he was stationed at Fort Dix; 1955 got report of flood emergency; granted emergency leave; Targett Laundry; family owned business located on White St.; stared by great-grandfather in 1879; building was two stories and built over the Still River; Still River; prior to flood, was not flowing; Damage to Danbury; by the time he got to Danbury, White St. had been devastated; debris and mud and rocks all over; Damage to Targett Laundry; sustained no structural damage; left a lot of mud behind; Removal of mud; he had to shovel the mud into wheel barrel; Damage to equipment and files; motors removed from machines; some office machines were salvaged and others weren't; files and ledgers were illegible; Politicians; several visited the area including Sen. Prescott Bush (father of George Bush) and Sen. Abraham Ribicoff; People of Danbury; worked together during the disaster; firefighters from NY came to help pump out basements; Damage to other buildings; wooden structures suffered most damage; After the flood (August flood); left Danbury five days later to report back to service; the building was still not restored to capability to be used; Targett Laundry employees; there were about 50; 55 at the time; they all pitched in and helped; Targett Laundry after the flood; hit by August flood, then later hit again by October flood; two years later, his father got out of the business;
10-20 min: Danbury restoration; White St. had to be restored; businesses had to be located; Changes in Danbury after the flood; White St. and Main St. businesses had to be located; some streets now no longer exist; Memories; the way people bonded and worked together to help in clean; up effort; Danbury before and after the flood; Downtown was filled w/ many "Mom and Pop" stores prior to flood; greatly populated in Downtown before; flood displaced many out from center of town to outside; everyone travels by car today; the friendly atmosphere disappeared, lead to decline in private business;
20-30 min: Tragedy; only time people ever come together today; Time between floods; most businesses were back by October flood; businesses that were more financially strapped took longer to recover; the amount of damage also factor in time it took to recover; most likely w/in 30 days business were back running; October flood was deviating; Coverage of flood; the media not as big back then; most coverage was print or radio; Danbury wasn't hit as hard as other places; didn't get amount of coverage other places harder hit got; media today do things to be seen, back then they did things to do them; Other sources; Jerry Davis, resident historian

Citation

Janick, Herbert F. “Richard Targett (Interview).” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 22 Nov. 2019.

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