In memory of Nicole

To the editor:

In the summer of 2015, I met a neighbor in the old cemetery where I walk my dog. I could tell as soon as I met her that she was special. She had that light, that unjudgmental openness, that makes you feel like you matter. She and her husband owned a house on the border of the cemetery; they rented it out during the school year and spent the summers here in Fairfield with their two children. We chatted a few times, played with their new golden retriever puppy, Scout, and had a funny firefly/lightening bug debate.

The next summer, I was so excited to see Nicole again. She was even more radiant and positive. She had just worked on a series called “Ocean Parkway,” which was being considered by HBO. After having spoken to me about 10 times in the past two years, Nicole gave me the website address and password for these episodes so that I could watch them. It was just so kind, and open, and giving, and made me feel so good.

For the past two years, I’ve waited to see Nicole and wondered why I hadn’t. I discovered this fall that Nicole died from breast cancer two years ago. Two months after Nicole had shared with me her beautifully honest and raw series on a Brooklyn family, she died and I did not know. I did not know for all of these years.

I write this letter in memory of Nicole Haran’s generous and kind spirit. Her positivity and courage, through all that she must have been dealing with, was a gift she gave to everyone around her. It’s a gift that cancer cannot take away. It lives in me, and I’m sure it lives in everyone she ever met. I am in awe of many people in Fairfield like Nicole, facing a struggle against cancer with grace and incredible love. Thank you to Nicole and to all of those courageous warriors who have inspired me, given me a model for the type of person I aspire to be, and given me hope that even with the immense amount of deep tragedy in the world today, we have the capacity to overcome with love and kindness.

In memory of Nicole Haran, 47, who died of breast cancer on Oct. 16, 2016.

Jill Vergara


Tree warden job a biggie

To the editor:

Once upon a time, I knew the tree warden and was impressed by his work around town.

Nowadays, I can’t say much about our tree warden. I didn’t even know we had one because, unlike the tree warden I knew, this one hasn’t been in the news, at least not to my knowledge. Which would suggest that this one is pretty much of the reclusive kind, maybe spends his time in the woods gaging the quality of life along the woody park trails.

Maybe he hasn’t noticed that there is much amiss.

Limbs akimbo, trees denuded, rot, and all, aplenty. Maintenance clearly invisible, probably long neglected. Trails neglected.

There is need for a Boy or Girl Scout crew or two to, maybe volunteer in return for a merit badge in forestry and a good photo story in this paper.

I find the “Community Forest Management Plan” inspiring.

Maybe the selectmen ought to assign someone in the department to read the town’s responsibilities for tree warden or, at least, have the warden read and act upon his job responsibilities and at least one assessment of his successes executing his duties.

I’ve walked a few of these parks and something’s amiss.

Maybe it’s money. But, for what he is paid, maybe not enough, I’d have him work one park at a time, with brush clippers and chainsaw in hand.

Gerard Coulombe