My 375th Anniversary Memories – AC

by Anita Catardi

Anita CatardiAs I look back on our town’s Generations Jubilee, I am pleased with the way it developed. I experienced a day of a rise and drop of emotions. At 11:40 a.m., I was anxious when the fire truck was there and the crowd amounted to about 10, maybe 12. My heart dropped to my feet. A year’s worth of work and no one was coming. With my head down I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day. I looked up and like ants at a picnic, streams of people – families, kids, elderly, dogs dressed for the occasion – began to come forth. “If you plan it, they will come.” By the time the photo was taken, there were over 500 people there. The emotions took a spike to a high!

People gathered for the noise parade and some marched, while others started for the churches where the concerts were being held. All day the churches were packed. The Guilford Community Center has not seen so much activity in one day as they did that day.

I remember going in to talk to Rick Maynard a year ago about the event. I told him I needed the Community Center. He asked what rooms did I need, I said no you don’t understand – I need the whole building for the whole day.  He hesitated a moment and then said ok and reserved the rooms.

I reflected back at the meeting with the Green Committee when I came to ask them if we could have a bonfire on the Green. I think they thought I was crazy. But they agreed to it.

As the day continued, I saw the crowds diminish; another drop in the emotions. It’s too cold, no one will come out. I went inside the Community Center to get warm and rest up for the bonfire and fireworks. As Stephen Page and I walked towards the Green we could see the crowd growing and gathering around the bonfire. Awesome. When the 8 o’clock hour neared, Edwin Bartlett called to say they were ready to fire them off. I relayed the message to Doug McGee who instructed the crowd with a bull horn to seek a good spot from the center of the Green … they soon started. It was awesome. Another emotional high.

The day was a success because of the hard work of a great committee and the cooperation of many town departments. I will be ever grateful to them for giving me memories I will cherish forever. I will be ever grateful to Stephen Page and his endless energy, ideas, and organization. I have a new friend, even though he refers to me as his “den mother.”


  1. Diane VanSteenbergen says:

    A great reflection write-up Anita “Mrs. Catardi”! I was so happy to be on this committee with you and reconnect with you after so many years and also make so many new friends. You and Stephen did an amazing job and I would be glad to be on any committee with the two of you! We made the history books with the bonfire on the Green!! I will always be proud to be a Guilford Townie!

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