Letter: Reader appreciates Secondo’s look at Southington

To the editor:

In response to Art Second’s “Second Look” column, I must say all of what he has stated, and more, definitely needed to be heard by our Southington Town population.

When he refers to “passion” and “caring” that began decades ago, it is just over four decades ago that we, as a young family, came to Southington due to job changes. There was no question that very caring people who had a passion for Southington drew us in instantly.

I also recall how much my late father, Pat Mango, adored the town and spoke about it constantly, mostly for its caring and wonderful people. (He told me that at one time his father walked to Southington from the hills of Waterbury, and that is one long walk). At that time, he was manager of the Grand Union that borders Old Town Line Road, now an apartment house.

Left over bread went directly to St. Thomas Church, where I was later employed at the junior high school. Additionally, all four of our children attended that school, and to this day my sons and daughters still hold dear friendships made at that time.

Recently, during the season of Lent, we attended the Pasta Fagiola Friday night supper together, and it was heartwarming to visit the halls they walked, the office in which I worked, and much more memorabilia.

After reading this wonderful article, I circled back to the feeling we all had, especially when coming from the tough neighborhoods of Bridgeport, and how we could now walk to so many downtown merchants, park our car right in front of the store, find everything at our fingertips—most especially the very new Observer newspaper, for which my husband worked, and Art was kind enough to allow him to move into the position of sports editor. Those were good and happy years.

Time has moved on, and life changes. However, my children have contributed in many ways to follow their dad’s leadership over the years. Not too long ago, Diana Senich Sheard, won an award for her great deeds throughout the town. If one of our sons isn’t coaching, another is building, and another s writing sports.

It is due to the passion, dedication, loyalty, and deep caring of Art Secondo and many mentioned in this article, that we can feel safe in one of the only towns in Connecticut that still holds family as a priority. As for his lovely wife, Marie, what she has done to bring the Barnes Museum to its present condition today, so gloriously improved, needs great applause. I have been there several times, in different seasons, and it never ceases to amaze me. She has added a personal touch, and it defines who she is to all of us, a real love.

I can only hope that the recent passing of such great friends as Ruth and Dottie Riccio, as well as Gail DePaolo, and so many more I could mention, will help everyone keep in mind why we are such a great community, a “shining star” as Art has said, and continue to help keep it that way through efforts like his wife’s and his own. Kudos to both of them and to “the Lady” as Art so appropriately calls our town.

I fully realize how difficult it is for some old-timers to see the modern changes, but we were told before coming to Southington that it was the “City of Progress.” It certainly has been upgraded, and at the same time, has been able to maintain its home town flavor. I doubt that it will ever change in our future. Let’s keep it that way.

Pat Senich, Southington resident

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