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Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to: Restore the past and return it. (Updated)

I promised to update this story once I returned the items. To read that section skip to the bottom of this post. To read the story from the beginning, start with the link to the Patch article below. 

This is a continuation of a story that started on Patch. Read from the beginning here.

Every now and then, when I feel the need to question why I chose Urban Archeology as a hobby, my own searches present me with the answer.

The sad news of John Krizan's death.

The discovery of clippings and photos from 2 Connecticut brothers who served in WWII, and their story, made me ask the question: What do I do with this?

Martin Krizan

Feeling it was maybe too personal to post, I held on to these items and shared it with some people I know from the area.

Enter my friend Leo McIlrath, Ecumenical Chaplin with a long history in senior and social service in and around the Danbury area. When I shared my find with him he immediately offered to see if he could locate a member of the family. I didn’t think it possible, but just this week I received a phone message that he had found a member of the Krizan family and they were very much interested in what I had found.

Original Photo
In the group shot in which Martin Krizan appears you will notice is in very poor condition. Knowing something about photo restoration I was able to repair much of the damage.
I HAVE connected with Leo  (READ BELOW) yet to return these items to the Krizan family, but it gave me an opportunity to begin writing the story and if you check back I will share its closure. When we do meet, whether in person or by exchange through Leo McIlrath they will have at least one item in better condition than when I found it. 
Original photo's reverse
I was thrilled to get the call a few days after originally posting this story from my friend Leo (mentioned above). He had reached out to one of the surviving brothers of  Martin and John Krizan and told him about my discovery. Last week, I visited Mr and Mrs George Krizan in their kitchen with Leo to share memories of their family and...
 ...return the items that belonged to the brothers. I gave a black 3-ring binder with the items inside page protectors to George and in return got some great stories above their memories of growing up in Danbury and what the city used to look like when hat factories and stores were everywhere. George shared one story of his days in the hat factory that produced a hat made for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. "Everyone in the shop took turns putting on Eisenhower's hat." What a picture that would be to have. 


  1. What a great story! Thanks. I too look at pieces of people's lives and families and wonder. The restoration is nice. Good of you to pursue it.

  2. That's just great. I hope you find some family that want all this. I know I would.


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