This week we explore the possibility that he met a governor — although my grandpa wouldn’t have known it at the time, and if anything, the governor would have been trying to impress him.
Somehow, it largely escaped my notice until recently that incumbent Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is a native of Stamford. Malloy served four terms as the city’s mayor before being elected governor in 2011.
(As mayor, Malloy tried to take more control of the city’s fire coverage by steering resources toward Stamford’s professional fire department and away from five volunteer departments that also serve parts of the city. Full disclosure compels me to mention that a close relative of mine is among the volunteer firefighters who landed on the opposite side of the table — and the courtroom — from the Malloy administration. None of this directly affected my grandpa who kept the calendars; he was long gone from town by then.)
Anyway, this magazine mini-profile of Malloy mentions that he held a job as a teenager at The Squire Shop, a clothing store on Stamford’s Atlantic Avenue. According to the story, he started as a stockboy, then worked his way onto the shop floor selling men’s suits.
The story doesn’t mention dates. Since Malloy was born in 1955, I’m guessing we’re talking about the early to mid-1970s. In the latter half of the decade, Malloy was at Boston College getting his law degree; he became an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn in 1980.
(Thinking about the Stamford rag trade, I was reminded of this prior Hope Street post. Did everybody famous who came out of Stamford hawk men’s clothing at some point or another? And is anybody monitoring the current roster of city schmatta vendors in hopes of discovering a rising star?)
I could have sworn I’d seen several calendar entries of my grandpa’s mentioning the Squire Shop.
But when I looked, I could only put my hands on one — from December of 1965, too early for the future governor to have been on the other side of the counter.
It’s still possible that my grandpa went to the Squire Shop at other points and just didn’t write it down. Or, he did and I didn’t take a picture of it.
But, any firm proof that he crossed paths with a young man bound for notability is lost to history.
Of course, just because a person has fame in their future doesn’t automatically mean they’re the only noteworthy side of a transaction. The future Gov. Malloy should have been just as glad to deal with my grandpa as my grandpa would have been to deal with him.
Indeed … while I know (for various reasons) that it won’t happen, I like to imagine Gov. Malloy looking at the photo on the About page, thinking, “Hmmm. I wonder if I ever handled that suit.”