Tag Archives: George “Nooky” Powers

Street Spotlight: Quintard Place

This is the third story in “06880”‘s series highlighting Westport’s roads.

Quintard Place is a small dead-end street, off South Maple Avenue not far from the Post Road. It’s near the northern edge of Greens Farms.

Quintard Place (red balloon) is a quiet street — but not far from the Post Road.

It’s easy to miss. That’s fine, according to the people who live there. Today — as in the 1950s and ’60s — kids of various ages play together. It’s a true neighborhood.

Melanie Heiser, her husband and young child moved there in 2014. Since then, they’ve added 3 more kids to the neighborhood.

“It’s an amazing street, with wonderful people,” she says. “We have block parties, as long as someone is willing to host.”

Quintard Place (Photo courtesy of Google Street View)

Two of Westport’s most beloved men were longtime Quintard Place residents.

Art Marciano taught elementary school for many years. He died 2 years ago this month. His wife Suse still lives in the house where they raised 2 boys.

George “Nooky” Powers lived there too. A star athlete at Staples in the 1930s, and a World War II veteran, he was a mail carrier whose route was nearby.

Those were the days when many more teachers and postal workers — and police officers, firefighters, Public Works employees and other men and women vital to our town — lived and raised families here. They were part of the fabric. They did not leave when their shift was done.

Nancy Powers with her dad, George.

Nooky’s daughter Nancy Powers Conklin remembers her childhood well. She writes:

When I grew up, there were just 8 homes on the street. Still, quite a few kids lived in those homes. Most of the time we all played together.

It was a private road, so there was very little traffic. We rode our bikes up and down, and cars knew to look out for us.

Nancy Powers learned to ride a 2-wheeler in the middle of Quintard Place. Some of the hedges still remain.

We played with twin boys –Brian and Kenny Grant — and their older brother Bobby. Whether it was baseball, football, running bases or Mother May I, we all had fun.  When there was no one around to play with, I climbed trees and played in the woods at the end of the street.

A circle at the end of the street had trees in it. Cars drove down the street and went around the circle when they realized there was no outlet. The “circle” became a meeting place to decide what we were going to do. Sometimes it became a make-believe cabin where we played house.

On the other side of the street, we played football and baseball in a big field.  I learned how to hit a baseball in my back yard with my father as my instructor.  Once I learned, the boys let me play with them.

Nancy Powers and her sister Diana in their front yard on Easter Sunday, 1957.

Neighborhood kids met in the Souppas’ yard to decide what game we would play. Giant Steps and Red Rovers were favorites. They were lots of fun.

Growing up on Quintard Place was great.  I have no complaints.  It was my childhood, and I was with my friends. What more could a kid want?

So where did Quintard Place get its name? The Quintard family made its mark in Stamford. There are streets named for them there, and in Norwalk, Old Greenwich and Rye. If you know of the  Quintards’ Westport connections, click “Comments” below. 

If you’d like your street featured on “06880,” email dwoog@optonline.net,

Isaac Quintard was born in Stamford in 1781.

Mike The Mailman Does Deliver

Amazingly, this is my 2nd “inspirational mailman” story in 2 days.

Yesterday I highlighted Westport’s George “Nooky” Powers.

Today it’s Mike the Mailman. You may not have heard of him, because he works at Penn State University.

Mike the Mailman...  (Photo courtesy of CBS News)

Mike the Mailman… (Photo courtesy of CBS News)

Then again, you may have heard of him. If, that is, you were like Hedi Lieberman: snowed in, and watching “CBS Evening News.”

Mike Kerr is a much-loved postal worker in State College. He’s worked there for 38 years.

He was grand marshal of the Homecoming parade. One woman buys stamps when she doesn’t need them, just to see Mike.

So what does 16801 have to do with 06880?

Mike Aitkenhead.

...and Mike the Teacher.

…and Mike the Teacher.

“You really have no idea who you’re going to influence and when you’re going to influence them,” says Mike, who CBS’ Steve Hartman identified as “a high school teacher in Connecticut,” but who we know as both an outstanding Staples High School educator and the Wakeman Town Farm steward.

But let CBS Evening News take it from there:

(Mike Aitkenhead) got his master’s at Penn State, and although he didn’t know Mike the Mailman very well, years later, when he was awarded teacher of the year in his district, guess who he thanked for his success.

“The one person I’m always going to remember and probably taught me the most about life was actually Mike the Mailman,” Michael said in his speech.

“It was honestly his example that kind of taught me it’s not what you do in life, but it’s how you do it,” Michael says.

Now that’s something to write home about.

Nooky Powers No Longer Delivers

The news that the Post Office will end Saturday delivery in August was not unexpected. If my mail is any indication — I can’t recall the last time I received an actual “letter” — mailmen may soon go the way of milkmen.

Both professions were once important — even crucial — parts of Westport life.

I am fascinated by a story I once heard about the postal service here. Back in the day, it seems, mail was delivered twice a day — every day. This was before most people had telephones. So post cards — picked up, sorted, delivered, replied to, etc. — were a primary means of communication.

I vaguely recall, as a child, that mail was delivered twice a day in the week or two before Christmas.

Westport artist Stevan Dohanos used his home town as models for this May 13, 1944 Saturday Evening Post cover called "Mailman."

Westport artist Stevan Dohanos used his home town as models for this May 13, 1944 Saturday Evening Post cover called “Mailman.”

I do have vivid memories of our mailman (“postal carrier,” to use today’s term).

He was George Powers — “Nooky,” as he was universally known. A star athlete at Staples in the 1930s, and a World War II veteran, he served High Point Road with professional care, and personal attention to detail.

He took pride in punctuality, and knowing every home on his route. But he also found time to deliver packages to doorsteps, not mailboxes; to look in on whoever was ailing; even check on homes when owners were away.

Nooky Powers was more than a post office employee. He was my father’s friend.

Nowadays, I’m not sure how many people know their mailmen. Routes routinely shift; streets are clogged; carriers probably have many more stops than before, and I’m sure they’re not treated with the respect and courtesy that once was the norm.

The factors leading to the end of Saturday mail delivery are many and complex. But perhaps the fact that most of us no longer have a Nooky Powers in our lives has something to do with it.