Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Mike Socci

Robin Rockafellow has lived in New Canaan since 1964, and though she’s had positive interactions with the Fire Department in the past, last Tuesday was the first time she recalls meeting Capt. Mike Socci. An early riser (4:30 a.m.), Rockafellow heard her garbage truck around 5:30 a.m. and then heard a “boom” as if something had struck the house, though gently. “So I came downstairs, and the security lights were on over the garage, and I saw the truck pulling out, and I didn’t see anything,” Rockafellow told NewCanaanite.com. “So I went back to read and around 10 o’clock I went out to do some errands and I noticed this wire lying in my driveway. And I had done morning prayer on Zoom on my iPad, so I knew the Internet was working and my lights and everything were working.

Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Jim Davis

For New Canaan’s Laura Ault, Jim Davis is “the very definition of a good neighbor.”

Davis and his wife, Sally, “have lived in New Canaan for years, and Jim gets up very early on weekend mornings to pick up trash on our road from end to end, wearing a reflective safety vest,” Ault told NewCanaanite.com by way of nominating her neighbor for the Quiet Heroes of New Canaan series. 

Located in northwestern New Canaan, Greenley Road zig-zags east-west between West Road and Ponus Ridge. Zoned for two acres, it has 32 residences on it, according to municipal tax records, as well as 18 acres of open space, including undeveloped parcels protected by the New Canaan Land Trust. 

According to the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society’s street name database, the road “takes its present name from mid-nineteenth century residents who spelled their surname ‘Greenly.’ The road appears on maps and in deeds as Greenly Avenue or Greenly Road until the 1920’s when the third ‘e’ somehow was acquired. The old Greenley farm was long known as ‘Indian Cave Farm,’ because artifacts found in a cave on the property seemed to indicate that the cave once had been used as a shelter by Indians.”

Ault said in her nomination letter: “I really hope he won’t mind the public recognition—I don’t think he cleans up our street to be known for it. He just seems to have a sincere sense of propriety and responsibility, and he’s definitely the nicest guy on Greenley Road, if not the world.”

[Editor’s Note: This is a new installment of our periodic “Quiet Heroes” series. We’re accepting nominations for it, see guidelines here.]

Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Izzy Kaufman

James Marks didn’t hire New Canaan High School senior Izzy Kaufman at Greenology—she’d been working for a predecessor fresh foods provider in the shop, located at the corner of Main Street and East Avenue. But he says now, “I wish I could have more of her.”

One of the most impressive things the teen has done at the organic, plant-based and natural foods provider is establish a successful food scraps program. 

WIth support from Marks, Kaufman established a program where the local Oak Forest Farm picks up scraps every day from Greenology—and it’s already seen about 2,000 pounds collected. “We have quite a bit of food scraps making juice, all the pulp and rind that’s left over,” Marks told NewCanaanite.com. “We easily fill a garbage can of that stuff.”

Asked what Kaufman is like as a worker (Marks launched Greenology is November 2020), he said “fantastic.”

“If she wasn’t in school she’d be a manager right now,” he said. “I’d have her managing a shift.

Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Jenn Eielson and Steve Karl 

Jenn Eielson, New Canaan’s health director, paid out-of-pocket for a balloon guy and treats for kids for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for children 5-and-older, held Nov. 11 at New Canaan High School, officials say. In all, 927 kids received their first dose during the clinic, Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission during their regular meeting, held Thursday morning via videoconference. “Steve Karl from Karl Chevrolet caught wind that I paid for the balloon guy and all the treats and everything out of my own pocket, so Steve Karl and Karl Chevrolet graciously are going to be absorbing all of that cost,” Eielson said. “So I thank them greatly for that.”

The comments came during a general update from Eielson.

Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: ‘Man with an Orange Shirt’

Yolanda Gjuraj said her son was the first to discover the full-size soccer goal left on a patch of grass out front of her family’s Cross Street home. It was the morning of Sept. 11, and he’d just come home from a walkthrough football practice. Several of the kids in the neighborhood play soccer on the residential street that runs between Cherry and Summer just off the eastern edge of downtown New Canaan, according to Gjuraj. “Someone must’ve noticed the boys playing soccer as they always do and was kind enough to bring this goal to our home for the neighborhood kids to play,” she told NewCanaanite.com in an email.