Celebrating 20 years of publishing The Waterbury Observer, John Murray decided to leap out of an airplane 10,500 feet above Connecticut. The plunge reminded Murray that launching a business with no money, or chasing dreams of world travel all have one thing in common, facing fear, and letting go.
Story By John Murray
Photographs By SkyDive Danielson
For most of the twenty-minute ascent I tapped into breathing exercises, and positive imagery, to try and keep myself calm.
“That’s the University of Connecticut,” said Norm Nault, my tandem skydiving instructor, “and if you look to the south you can see Long Island Sound.”
At 5000 feet my attempt to relax faltered, and the metallic taste of fear marched across my tongue. I looked around the plane - which was no bigger than a car - and checked on my daughter, Chelsea. If I was starting to lose it, I was sure Chelsea’s heart was clanging against her chest. Chelsea was tandem jumping with instructor Scott Barylski, a dead ringer for actor Ben Stiller. There was something comical, and terrifying, about hurling yourself out of a tiny airplane with Derek Zoolander strapped to your back.
By John Murray
Vernon Riddick has been a busy man the past eight days.
On September 12th he attended the funeral service of Fortune, the former slave in Waterbury whose skeleton was on display for 170 years. During Fortune's burial in Riverside Cemetery a woman injured herself climbing a steep hill walking towards the gravesite. Riddick left the service to check on the woman, and then walked back to pay his respects to Fortune.
Six-year-old Christian Mullins prayed as the coffin of a former slave named Fortune was lowered into a grave in Riverside Cemetery last night in Waterbury, thus ending 200 years of disrespect.
Fortune was a slave in the 18th Century and when he died under mysterious circumstances in Waterbury, in 1798, his master, Dr. Preserved Porter, boiled him, and used his skeleton in his medical practice.
With a quick snip from oversized scissors at 11:35 am today, the new city wide senior center at 1985 East Main Street is officially opened for business. Pictured here holding the scissors is Alexis Rotella, who will run the center, and is in charge of dealing with senior issues for the city. The Waterbury Senior Center is a city-run building for all seniors ages 60 and over, and completely dedicated to the senior population.
By Victor Lopez Jr.
President of the Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
By John Murray
During an interview with Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary yesterday he announced the results of a civil service test for the opening of police chief in the city. Vernon Riddick, pictured here, has been the acting police chief since the sudden retirement of Michael Gugliotti in January, and Riddick is seeking to become the permanent chief.