The Flanagans of Fairfield County, Connecticut: Chapter 16
Rosie Schwartz and Terry Flanagan met one another on a nasty day in the dead of winter twenty some years ago while her husband was still alive. They were seated at a ten person table together in the back of a banquet hall and they exchanged nothing more than a smile, a handshake, and their names to one another. Terry was smitten, despite the fact that he was head over heels for his wife Ellen.
The Inaugural Ball for Lowell Weicker, the newly elected 85th Governor of Connecticut, took place at the State Armory in Hartford, Connecticut on January 9, 1991. Thunder, lightning, and rain could be heard from inside the armory and interrupted speeches made by general assemblymen and Governor Weicker alike.
Rosie Schwartz, then an assistant to the state’s attorney general and a newly married woman, could not remember a crowd so sparse for such an occasion. She had met her husband Cedar at a campaign rally for the Governor a two years prior and they had fallen fast, electing for a shotgun wedding in Vegas a mere thirteen months after meeting.
The Inaugural Ball brought out many well-known politicians, including Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Christopher Dodd, both Democrats.
As expected, though, there was less-than-perfect attendance by General Assembly members. Weicker, a liberal who formed the Connecticut Party, has no members of his own party in either chamber.
In particular, conservative Republicans, many of whom have long despised Mr. Weicker, stayed away in droves. "I will go to one when we are celebrating the inauguration of a Republican," said State Senator Fred Lovegrove of Fairfield, a Republican.
Terry’s wife Ellen did not like attending political events. They bored her immensely, and she anestichized herself throughout the evening with Chardonnay. She took to Rosie immediately, and the two of them had been friends ever since.
It wasn’t until Cedar Schwartz died from pancreatic cancer in 2010 that Rosie started considering Terry Flanagan a viable option to replace him. Rosie never liked Ellen Hughes all that much. She found her pretentious, even for Darien standards, and when she talked, whether it be during lunch with other housewifes at the club or at cocktail parties, it seemed as if Ellen was over compensating.
Perhaps, Rosie thought, it was the fact that Ellen had gone to the University of Connecticut, whereas herself and the rest of their peers were mostly Ivy League educated. It was true that they looked down on Rosie for that, but it never came up in conversation.
Maybe she was jealous of what Ellen shared with Terry. Perhaps it was the fact that Ellen had a healthy husband and Rosie did not. More than likely it was a combination of the two, and this culminated in a disdain that she kept pent up deep inside, in a crevice somewhere in the far reaches of her cranium that no one could see. Whatever the case, Rosie saw nothing wrong with having an affair with a married man. This was Darien after all.