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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaugs Scott Meyer, left, was honored as the recipient of the 2024 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award at the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete Banquet on May 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. (Courtesy of the CIAC)
Nonnewaug’s Meyer Wins Prestigious CIAC Perseverance Award
Gianna Lodice '24, Senior Editor • June 10, 2024
Nonnewaug boys soccer coach Toby Denman, left, and assistant coach Josh Kornblut address the team after a game last season. Denman says hes tried to learn how to be an effective coach by observing the ones hes played for and coached with. (Kyle Brennan)
Crocker: Coaches Can Have a Positive Impact — or a Negative One
Anna Crocker '26, Junior Editor • June 10, 2024
Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
The (Nick)name Game: Teammates Bond Over Inside Jokes
Audrey Doran '27, Reporter • June 10, 2024
Kyle Viveros is ready on his toes, awaiting the ball. Viveros and Landon Parks took home the BL doubles title. (Courtesy of Sophia Cenatiempo)
Nonnewaug Repeats as Class S State Runner-Up in Boys Tennis (PHOTOS)
Addison Bushka '27, Reporter • June 10, 2024
Chief Advocate editor-in-chief Izzy DiNunzio bids farewell after four years in Nonnewaugs journalism program. (Courtesy of Izzy DiNunzio)
DiNunzio: Journalism is More Than Just Words
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-In-Chief • June 10, 2024
Deme Jones looks at students orphan portraits at Nonnewaug’s art show on June 6.
Artists 'Shine' at Nonnewaug's Annual Art Show (PHOTOS)
Brynn Clampett '26, Reporter • June 7, 2024
The memorial for Chester Carruthers. (Courtesy of Find-a-Grave)
The Chief Suspect Podcast: Chester Carruthers
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-in-Chief • June 7, 2024
Nonnewaug girls tennis seniors, from left, Maggie Keane, Skylar Chung, Maylan Hardisty, Kiley Stampp, Sam Duncan pose on their senior night. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
Senior Athletes Feel Mixed Emotions as High School Careers End
Ava Hirleman '27, Reporter • June 7, 2024
Lets Talk Nonne: Year-End Wrap-Up
Let's Talk Nonne: Year-End Wrap-Up
Katie Savulak '26 and Morgan Willis '26June 7, 2024
Nonnewaug freshmen discuss their worries about the testing, including potential AP exams, they have to take next year.
Savulak: AP Tests Aren't That Stressful
Katie Savulak '26, Reporter • June 6, 2024

Timko: Local Past Worth Remembering

A photo of the Town Hall building in Bethlehem, being a common sight for residents of the town, or local visitors from Woodbury, Southbury and beyond. (Courtesy of the Old Bethlehem Historical Society)

WOODBURY –– Time is an inevitable thing. By the nature of our world, things grow, degrade, and emerge renewed. Our history is more complicated than the land itself, and clarity is often lost if details are blurry, documentation is slim, or evidence of moments in the past or locations where the happened no longer exist. 

Connecticut, by all estimations, is a state of rich melded history over the course of three-plus centuries.

Connecticut is the origin point for many things that would define American history. There’s everything from ecological preservation, to upkeep and restoration work on historical buildings, houses, churches, and monuments. Keeping all of this intact and open to the public allows newer generations to understand and appreciate our heritage and how we got to where we are today. Our hometowns of Woodbury, Bethlehem, and the surrounding areas have a big legacy to unpack and explore.

“Woodbury is an ancient, by American standards, town. If we preserve our own history, we create a bridge back into the 1650s and preserve a useful perspective for the American communities that came later,” said Nonnewaug U.S. history teacher Michael Sturges. “Only a handful of towns on the East Coast can claim as much history as Woodbury, and many of those have done less work to preserve their colonial character as Woodbury has done over the years.”  

According to the official Town of Woodbury website, in the many years the town has existed, Woodbury stayed a sleepy, relaxed town, with its many historical buildings and longstanding natural landscapes staying consistent over the past 300 years. Woodbury was settled around 1672-73.

A screenshot from the 2013 “Video World” documentary film, showing a child browsing some of the movies and video games at Woodbury’s Video World in fall of 2009. You can spot a few popular games and movies from that time. (IMDB)

However, it’s not just the longstanding centuries of history we hold, but also forgotten local landmarks from comparatively modern times. For instance, the building where Woodbury Pizza sits today used to have a video store next door called Video World. Opened in 1987, the store offered rentals for VHS, DVD, audio records, cassettes, video games, and other home entertainment. Video World became a notable hangout spot and companion to Woodbury Pizza for over 20 years, with a home-grown atmosphere with hand-painted cartoon characters on the walls.

The store eventually closed on March 31, 2010, nearly 14 years ago, with the space now taken up by a gym. Video World embodied a different era that, while probably not as noteworthy as colonial-era cottages, still is an important part of the town’s overall history, even if it only lasted 23 years rather than 300. 

Beyond physical spaces, there’s also the element of first-hand retellings of experiences or things with very little existing documentation. You might hear from relatives or older members of your family about things that used to exist or thrive in Connecticut, or things they remember doing or seeing back then.

There are decades of community experiences and history, too, not just the nationally significant parts. One photo of someone when they were younger can give you a whole new perspective on the scope of knowledge you have, both in terms of your personal memories or the gaps in time you hadn’t really touched upon. Businesses, schools, and homes all have a story, be it from previous owners or an extended history in that space. 

There’s a very different mood to simply the data on that place or event, and actually living it and the atmosphere of that place at a given time.

“The records rarely contain the feel of the place and it’s importance to those who spent time there,” Sturges said. “The feeling of visiting them is perhaps more important than anything else, in my opinion.”

Sturges said it’s great when local establishments remember their roots.

“A great local institution that preserves the feel of its past is Charlie’s Ice Cream (formerly Dairy De-Lite),” Sturges said. “If you look at the large poster boards full of old photos over time, a young me is on one of them.“  

Digital archival pages like the Facebook page Old Bethlehem Historical Society help give context to forgotten places or significant buildings throughout the town, often showing comparison photos of the location when first built, compared to its current condition.

The greatest takeaway from all of this is that, we create and do so many things, and a lot of them are still important to us. Having means to show newer generations how life was lived and why certain things mattered to us is vital to understanding who we are, and using the knowledge of the past to shape our present.

This is the opinion of Chief Advocate reporter Tyler Timko, a senior who lives in Bethlehem.

About the Contributor
Tyler Timko '24
Tyler Timko '24, Reporter
Tyler Timko is a senior writer for the Nonnewaug Chief Advocate. He is from Bethlehem and runs cross country during the fall months while doing track and field in the Spring months. He has also done a lot of art pieces, enjoys Nintendo games, and has a knack for detailed descriptions. Tyler enjoys writing about entertainment topics like film and video games alongside more complex discussions in the Nonnewaug community.
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