Thursday, May 06, 2021


Four Heroes

I’m writing about my town’s four greatest heroes.

Fritz and Rosie Rettich were small time farmers. Fritz was the school janitor at Academy and would bring various farm animals to the school for show and tell. The couple would go to Hometown Bakery every Sunday and I would meet them with both my daughters. Fritz was not a man of many words while Rosie was always engaging, always wanting to be up to speed on the locals.

Erwin and Tony Bauer were two hard working local farmers. Tony would deliver has produce to the local grocery stores while his brother would tend their farm stand.

It is remarkable years later that Madison would receive such remarkable gifts, true jewels: the gift of open space which is a history lesson preserved for the future. These lands were an oasis for these heroes in an ever growing Madison, a sort of land before time.

Where is your oasis? Your backyard, the beach, Long Island Sound, the state parks, the town of Madison?

My oasis is my backyard, seven acres in the center of town. I am very lucky! This could be developed into 26 units, if permitting allows, according to our new zoning regulations.

Shall I preserve this open space or sell out? The developers are already calling. At present, I will preserve and seriously consider turning it over to the Bauer or Rettich trusts rather than follow the vision that our town leaders are following.

Gerald B. Birnbaum