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Danbury Native's Memoir Harkens Back To The Fair, The Doors, The Lake

Former Danbury resident Marc Catone wrote a memoir called "Until The Birds Chirp: Reflections On The Sixties," about his life growing up in Danbury during this era. Photo Credit: contributed
Marc Catone, age 15, in November 1965 on his back porch at Putnam Drive in Danbury. Photo Credit: Contributed
Marc Catone in November 1971 (age 21) Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Former Danbury man Marc Catone wrote a memoir about his life growing up in the 1950s to 1970s in Danbury. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox

DANBURY, Conn. -- In the summer of 1968, 17-year-old Marc Catone was hanging out at the Danbury Town Park with his friends, listening to Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" on WABC-AM while eating a hot dog near the lifeguard's hut.

"Anyone who was anyone was there," recalled Catone, who is now 65.

Catone will never forget his years growing up in Danbury. To preserve his memories, he published a memoir called "Until The Birds Chirp: Reflections On The Sixties," which can be purchased on Amazon.

Growing up, Catone lived in the Danbury Housing Authority housing called Putnam Drive on Coal Pit Hill Road.

He graduated from Danbury High School in 1968, a member of the first class to spend all four years at the "new" building. "Our class tried to make things better in the world. We had an exchange of ideas and a lot of group unity at the same time," he said.

"Regardless of what political philosophy you supported, the 1960s had an effect on everyone," he said. "You couldn't go through the '60s without it having some sort of impact on you -- whether it was the draft, the Vietnam War or the music or culture of that time."

A large part of growing up in Danbury at that time revolved around the Danbury Fair, which is now in the location of the Danbury Mall.

"The fair affected everybody. You either worked there or knew someone who worked there. It was a combination theme park, carnival, Wild West show, and agriculture exhibit," he said.

Catone worked at the fair as a short order cook at Freddies, one of the fair's few sit-down restaurants. "I would wake up at 4 a.m. and load up a neighbor's van with supplies. I served breakfast to all the people who worked at the fair. It was a blast."

Another memory Catone shared was when "The Doors" performed in the Danbury High auditorium. "I sat two or three rows from the front with my sister Sarah and some friends and watched as Jim Morrison banged his microphone stand on the stage."

The next Monday, he snuck in through the back door of DHS and went onto the stage to stand in the same spot where Jim Morrison had stood and belted out, "We want the world, and we want it now," a lyric from a Doors song.

Capone is now retired and lives in Lansing, N.Y. with his wife Donna, whom he met at WestConn.

"I wrote this book to pay homage to my Danbury upbringing and the culture of the 1960s," he said. "I am hoping my book will inspire other people to share their own memories of this era."

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