Fate steps in as Trumbull club opens showers
In February 2011, the Tennis Club of Trumbull at 64 Monroe Turnpike collapsed under the weight of that winter's record snowfalls. It was near miraculous that owner Ed Pagano had decided to close early because of the snow. The place was empty and no one was injured.
Pagano was determined to rebuild and rebuild he did, reopening just seven months later with a spanking new facility.
During the course of Hurricane Sandy, the club inadvertently, but totally willingly, became a Light in the Storm.
As a result of a garbled phone conversation between a club employee and an employee at the Trumbull-Monroe Health District, a public announcement went out that the club was open for showers for anyone who brought their own towel.
Pagano traced the information back to the source of the confusion and officials said they would stop the announcement immediately.
It turns out Pagano, a soft-spoken, easy-going sort, was fine with it.
"No, no, it's OK, I told them," he said the other day. With his son, John, who helps run the club, they readied for action.
Over the course of the bad days, roughly 120 people from Monroe and Trumbull -- the club sits on the line -- came to shower.
Now, is there a scheme to the cosmos? When the Paganos rebuilt their club, the law required installation of a handicapped shower stall in both the ladies' and mens' locker rooms.
"You know, we scratched our heads a little over that," Pagano said. But of course it was done. Maybe for a reason: On one of the free shower days, a woman who used a wheelchair was transported to the club. Pagano shook his head and laughed. "She was the first person to use either handicapped shower. I'm so happy. Can you imagine how good she felt after a hot shower?"