Dascoli Marks Anniversary of 50th Year in Business
From Windham County Transcript, September 9, 1965
Michael Dascoli, who is presently rated as the oldest businessman on Main Street (in 1965), having occupied the same bench in his shoe repair shop at the same location for 50 years, yesterday celebrated his 50 th anniversary on the job.
“Mike”, as he has been known to generations of Danielson area residents, came to this country from Naples, Italy, at the age of 12, settling with his family in Brooklyn, N.Y. When he was 24 he moved to Danielson and shortly afterwards opened the shop he operates to this day.
He is always an affable gentleman, and he has observed his half-century as a Main Street merchant by taking time out to receive congratulations from Chamber of Commerce officials and to chat with newsmen.
One of his main concerns is the change, both economic and social that has come about in the community over the years. With some feeling he recalled that the Danielson of 30 and 40 years ago was a bustling community where it was hard to walk on the sidewalks because of the large number of people shopping.
People used to pile into the community, he said, especially on weekends by trolley cars and trains, “and there were plenty of them running all day long.”
What does a man who has viewed Main Street through the same window for fifty years have to say about the changing times?
Mr. Dascoli’s career here began when Danielson was illuminated by gas lights which were extinguished at midnight. At that time, he would work 16 to 18 hours a day and be back at his bench at 6 o’clock the following morning.
He recalls, “People used to be happy.” He explains that they would stop to kid about everything from politics to pastimes.“Thirty years ago”, he says, “ Main Street was jammed with people like New York, whenever stores opened at night. Now, with more population, we have less business.”
On improving the downtown center, he states, “We need a change on Main Street to bring this business back—if something better can come for this town, I’m for it.” Comparing parking charges in the city to the meter fees here, he said, “I can’t understand why people would leave their town for a penny.”
Mr. Dascoli is the father of Frank Dascoli, former National League umpire, Anthony Dascoli, assistant vice president in the Danielson office of the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company, and Michael Dascoli, a sales representative with the U. S. Gypsum Company.