8 months ago

Granby Living April2018


CELEBRATING OUR SENIORS GRANBY’S DON SHAW IS DEDICATED TO COMMUNITY SERVICE AND MEANINGFUL CONNECTION Don Shaw with former President Jimmy Carter on a return flight from Haiti in 2012, after Shaw’s second trip to Haiti as a construction crew member for Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project. BY SARAH MERRILL Shaw played for the very first Simsbury High School soccer team. Though he is now retired, energetic Granby resident Donald “Don” Shaw barely qualifies as a senior, having been born in 1947. But he is certainly worth celebrating, as his community service and humanitarian involvement suggest that Shaw will continue working and contributing for many years to come. Born at Hartford Hospital, Shaw grew up in a “quieter, more rural” Simsbury, where his family had lived for generations. His maternal great-grandfather drove a horse and buggy for a meat company in Weatogue, and his father’s side included farmers in West Simsbury. For the first few years of Shaw’s life, he lived in his grandmother’s home on Hopmeadow Street, just across from Ensign-Bickford, the aerospace and defense company. Then Shaw’s family moved, and he was raised on Firetown Road. When Shaw’s parents attended high school, Simsbury High was located where the town hall is today, and it was a regional school serving the towns of Simsbury, Avon, Granby and East Granby. “When my wife and I moved to Granby, many of the older residents knew my parents,” Shaw says. He notes that the town of Simsbury did a great deal of growing in the early-to-mid 1960s, while Granby remained relatively rural. Shaw graduated from Simsbury High School in 1965, attended Ohio Wesleyan University, and then served in Vietnam with the Navy. Shaw met his wife Peggy (Margaret) in college. He says that after his tour of duty, he “just wanted to come home,” and in 1973 he and Peggy rented a farmhouse in Granby on the corner of Bushy Hill Road and Route 20. More Than Just “Once we settled in and got to know the town, we just loved Granby,” Shaw says. Horse Feed! Peggy taught at Valley Pre-School from 1990 to 2012, and she has continued to teach Dog and Cat Food and Supplies music to the students there. She also was involved with the 4H Club, where she was known Pet Nutrition Consultations as “The Rabbit Lady.” Daughters Sarah and Katie graduated Chicken from and Duck Granby Feed Memorial and Supplies High School in the 1990s. Goat Feed Pig Feed With an inclination to work in public service, Shaw started in Wethersfield Llama Feed as the assistant to the Chief of Police, and next as the assistant to the Town Rabbit Manager. and Guinea He was Pig then Supplies recruited Wild Bird Seeds by Arthur Andersen (now Accenture), 15 Mill Pond a consultancy Road role in which he could apply some of Deer Chow his public service skills. Granby, CT 06035 Dog and Cat Grooming Services “You have to show people the 860-413-9880 benefits of certain approaches,” Lawn and Garden explains Care Shaw. and Supplies “You can’t just tell them what to do.” 15 Mill Pond Road Granby, CT 06035 860-413-9880 Find us on Facebook! Open 7 Days/Week Lawn and Garden Care and Supplies Equestrian Apparel Engraving and Embroidery Leatherman Chicks Arrive in March! Find us on Facebook! Open 7 Days/Week Dog and Cat Food and Supplies Pet Nutrition Consultations Chicken and Duck Feed and Supplies Goat Feed Pig Feed Llama Feed Rabbit and Guinea Pig Supplies Wild Bird Seeds Deer Chow Dog and Cat Grooming Services 15 Mill Pond Road Granby, CT 06035 15 Mill Pond Road 860-413-9880 Granby, CT 06035 860-413-9880 Find us on Facebook! Find us on Facebook! Open Open 7 Days/Week 7 We Deliver! Equestrian Apparel Engraving and Embroidery Leatherman Chicks Arrive in March! More Than Just More Than Just Horse Feed! Horse Feed! Dog and Cat Food and Supplies Pet Dog Nutrition and Cat Consultations Food and Supplies Poultry and Pet Gamebird Nutrition Feed Consultations and Supplies Chicken and Duck Feed and Supplies Goat Feed Goat Feed Pig and Pig Cow Feed Feed Llama Llama Feed Feed Small Rabbit Animal and Feed Guinea and Pig Supplies Supplies Wild Wild Bird Bird Seed Seeds Deer Deer Chow Chow Valley Dog and Dog Cat Grooming Salon Services Lawn Lawn and and Garden Garden Care Supplies and Supplies Riding Equestrian Boots and Helmets Apparel Engraving and Embroidery Engraving and Embroidery Leatherman Chicks Leatherman Arrive in March! More Than Just Horse Feed! 860-413-9880 Find us on Facebook! Open 7 Days/Week Lawn and Garden Care and Supplies Equestrian Apparel Engraving and Embroidery Leatherman Chicks Arrive in March! 12 | APRIL 2018

Shaw in his regular role as Grandpa Don at Granby's Valley Pre-school, working on a pretend walkie-talkie with one of the children. He retired in 2003 but was then recruited for an “encore career” with the city of Hartford, applying his diverse skills in various roles for seven years. In the late ’90s Shaw began a deep involvement with Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, assisting with the building of over 100 homes (so far) in and around Hartford. Through this work, Shaw has gotten involved with the refugee and immigrant communities. “Because of Habitat, I have been able to get to know many Hartford neighborhoods and the people who live there,” he says. “It’s led to some really rewarding involvements.” Shaw knows Hartford very well now, and he is enthusiastic about bringing friends into the city. “One of the things that concerns me about living in the suburbs,” says Shaw, “is our disconnection from the city and its communities. It’s difficult to get people to go to Hartford in order to gain an appreciation for what it has to offer.” He cites a diverse array of neighborhood restaurants, plentiful cultural events and diverse multicultural celebrations such as the Park Street Festival. In addition to his Habitat work in Hartford, Shaw has participated in seven international Habitat building projects, known as the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. He’s helped build homes in South Africa, Mexico, India, Thailand, Haiti (twice) and, most recently, Edmonton, the capital of Canada's Alberta province. Shaw has met President Carter a couple of times and describes him as a warm and engaging man who “firmly believes that housing is a human right.” Shaw believes that Granby itself “would be well-served to offer more affordable housing.” To this end, in 2016 he spearheaded the building of the first Granby Habitat house, located on Route 20. (Hartford Habitat was founded in 1989 by Granby residents, the late Bob and Marion Mayo.) “All of the local businesses that worked on this went above and beyond,” Shaw says. He would love to build more Habitat homes in Granby, if affordable land becomes available. Regarding the genesis of his humanitarian streak, Shaw credits his mother, who grew up quite poor during the Depression and was “the most caring person you could ever meet.” In the spirit of serving a diverse range of communities, for eight years Shaw has volunteered weekly with the students at Granby’s Valley Pre-School. To this knee-high cohort, Shaw is affectionately known as “Grampa Don.” He does special projects, leads the kids in games and occasionally dresses up — this February, he arrived as the emperor in honor of Chinese New Year. Shaw also volunteers with the youth group at First Congregational Church. He blogs in order to make connections and keep a record of what’s important to him. He describes his blog as “a forum to highlight, celebrate and share the good works of people and organizations dedicated to catching the hurtful stones we are prone to cast at, or throw in the path of, the marginalized, vulnerable and victimized among us.” You can find his blog at WALK-INS WELCOME! We treat colds, flu, sinus issues, asthma, stomach bugs, skin infections, sprains, fractures and much more! THE DOCTORS TREATMENT CENTER Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine Avoid long lines at the Emergency Rooms | On-site X-Ray WE ACCEPT ALL INSURANCE PLANS WALK IN SCHOOL, SPORTS & DOT PHYSICALS Open 7 days a week Monday-Friday: 7:30am - 8:30pm Saturday & Sunday: 9am - 3pm 7 Mill Pond Rd., Granby 860-653-2382 Two Locations 240 East St., Plainville 860-747-4541 Coming Soon to Bloomfield Mini Mall BLOOMFIELD URGENT CARE Sarah Merrill is a personal historian with Merrill Memoirs, based in Granby. She works with individuals and families to capture and record their personal memoirs and family histories. Visit her website at GRANBY LIVING | 13

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