The Newington World War II veteran, who was nearly evicted from his apartment for not complying with the complex’s smoking policy, is back in the news.
But, it’s not the potential for losing the roof over his head that’s grabbing headlines. It’s the roof over his sidewalk.
A September settlement allowed 90 year old Andy Nowicki and his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, to remain in their Cedar Village apartment, as long as he smokes at least ten feet away from his building. That is regardless of weather conditions. Well, now, there’s a remedy for that.
The path from Nowicki’s apartment to his puffing post, just outside a breezeway, is now not only handicap accessible, it also features a canopy constructed last week.
“It’s great. Look at the beautiful job they did. It’s gorgeous,” said a thankful Nowicki.
The material for the job was donated by the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. The labor was gratis, too.
“Cal Caldarella, a builder in Old Saybrook, called me up and offered to put the new roof on for free because his father was a World War II vet. He read about it. He wanted to help Mr. Nowicki,” said Paul Doyle, who is Nowicki’s attorney and a state senator.
“What this man did, for our country and to be subjected to the type of situation he was, at his age, with an ill wife, bothered me,” said Caldarella, whose MDC Corporation is a general contractor.
Mr. Caldarella’s crew of three took about ten hours to construct the canopy. And, it’s a labor they won’t soon forget.
“It was one way of giving back to a veteran, first hand, who was in need. And, that just feels so good,” said Caldarella.
As part of the deal struck with the Newington Housing Authority, the Nowicki’s will be also have the option of moving into the first fully handicap accessible housing unit that becomes available.