Sarah B. Murray and her 16-year-old granddaughter, Chelsea Murray


                                       By John Murray

   In the early morning of June 17th, 2005, the Waterbury Observer lost its staunchest supporter, a woman who invested $10,000 to help launch the Observer 12 years ago, a woman who floated needed capital into the business when we veered towards the rocks, a woman who championed the paper across all corners of America, and beyond.

   The Observer lost its biggest booster that fateful day in June, but more significantly, I lost my Mom.

A Man for All Seasons

Article by Shelly Frome

   At the grand old age of ninety-one, and some months after receiving a humanitarian award, Morris Stein recently took stock of his life and times. He did so as though still firmly at the helm of Waterbury's Torrington Supply Company: keeping track of inventory, everything in its place - a matrix of associations, linkages and connections that make up his world.

Photo: Freelance writer Dave Howard hiked 40 miles through the largest tract of rain forest left in Central America to reach the lost city of El Mirador, and interview Dr. Richard Hansen.


Hiking Eighty Miles Through A Guatemalan Jungle To The Lost City Of El Mirador

              Story and Photographs By John Murray 


Editor’s Note: The following story is an account of a 12 day adventure that transpired in July 2003 when Observer publisher, John Murray, travelled into the jungles of northeast Guatemala with his friend, Dave Howard, who was on assignment for Travel & Leisure Magazine. Murray was invited along to photograph the expedition and fired off 45 rolls of film. Murray damaged his Canon EOS camera during the journey and 60% of the images were unusable, and totally out of focus. After emerging from the jungle, the good film languished inside the photo department at Travel and Leisure for ten months, and was ultimately never used in Howard’s feature story. By the time the images were returned to Murray, and he had gathered notes, tapes and recollections from Dave Howard, nearly a year had elapsed. For the past 18 months the story lay buried beneath a jungle of details inside Murray’s head. Thankfully, and with great joy and relief, the story has been extracted from the thicket of Murray’s brain. We hope you enjoy the adventure.

No Nonsense Kay Wyrick

Story By Maryanne Moon Boyen

    Kay Wyrick could have been a statistic, a mere victim of life’s circumstances. At a tender age, she had plenty of fodder for a future of victimhood; born in Hartford in 1923, by the age of nine she was placed in the custody of the State of Connecticut.



Story By John Murray

   Billy is dead.

   That's what his parents think.

   After 18 months of tirelessly searching for their missing 32 year old son, Janice and William Smolinski now believe Billy is dead.


Born To Run

Story by John Torsiello

   Talk about tough acts to follow.


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