Louis and Chris Rotello (interview)

Dublin Core

Description

1 cassette, (60-minute stock)

Abstract

Mr. and Mrs. Rotello recount their time living and working in Danbury between 1955 and 1995.

Date

1995-04-21

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Cordaro, Nicholas

Interviewee

Rotello, Chris
Rotello, Louis

Duration

43 minutes

Time Summary

0-10 mins:
(interview begins w/ Mrs. Rotello); Life in Danbury during 1950s and 1960s; before most women worked; she was married w/ children at the time; more small town atmosphere (everybody knew each other); more family center (they were active in town); more interesting things began happening in 1960s; they were active in Civil Rights movement; Family in Danbury; she is a life; long resident and descendent from three of the original eight founding families in Danbury; Working; wasn't working at time of flood; went back to school (went to WestConn); later taught; her husband also taught; Danbury activities; theaters, restaurants; most entertainment came from family a friends or would go to NYC; Memories of the 1955 Flood; two floods (August and October); October was worse; kept raining all week; they were in White Plains, NY visiting friends at the time and on the way home, the rain really picked up; they knew something was going to happen; lived on Division St. at the time; Flooding of Danbury; listening to the radio, heard how White St. was flooding;

10-20 mins:
Began to see flooding in the house; Rt. 7 was all under water; took several years for her to not worry when she heard steady rain fall (interview now being done w/ Mr. Rotello); Memories of the flood; teaching in Weston, CT; that August, it rained for several days; he was delivering produce to Carmel, NY; as he got to Brewster, NY, he saw the railroad track under water; October flood; ground was wet and localized flooding in some areas (Lake Ave. and Danbury Fair grounds); Mr. Rotello helped his brother-in-law Arthur with his shop/warehouse.

20-30 mins:
The roads were flooded, especially White St. area; the basement of their house was flooded (he had to go down to shut off the electricity and care to appliances); Other businesses; tried to salvage what they could and sell it for whatever they could get; "The Swamp"; area where the WestConn parking garage is today; Rescue efforts; helicopters were needed to rescue some people;

30-40 mins:
Visual material of flood; neither have any visual materials of the flood; didn't really take pictures of the area (spent most time out of time); lived in Danbury, but worked in Weston; Names of other people from flood; Ben Dodo; Robert Feinson; Ace Hardware (Ginsbergs); Targett Laundry; The Scalzos; Flood control and urban renewal; federal government came in w/ the core engineers; surveyed the river beds and built side walls to sustain river; rerouted the Still River away from area to prevent further flooding;

40-43 mins:
Redeveloped the White St. area; left other areas untouched. River planning by the feds came shortly after the flood, but urban renewal did not occur until later.


Citation

Rotello, Louis and Chris Rotello. “Louis and Chris Rotello (interview).” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 1 Aug. 2019. Accessed on the Web: 18 Sep. 2019.

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