I recently dropped off my husband's chain saw for its annual sharpening at. The place is a gold mine for any lawn crew member, as well as for a photographer.
John Lapolla and Tony Fratarolli have owned the business since 1971. They know every tool, every spare part, every machine, and just about every worker who stops by for service. For the better part of four decades they have serviced, supplied and maintained the lawn equipment for the armies of lawn care professionals in Fairfield county.
Pete Prosio, Lapolla and I walked over to the cannery row-type buildings that house hundreds of different mowers being worked on or stored. The buildings are full of old machine parts, blades and sharpeners for outdated machines, but they hold on to them. You never know when someone might need one.
We took out flashlights and searched for a treasure on one of the old doors — the names of the 1955 Silliman baseball team players, carved into the wood. The players worked at the shop when most of the block was owned by Silliman's Hardware, before they sold to Lapolla and Fratarolli. Prosio and Lapolla went down the list of the familiar names and recalled the positions each of the guys played. A lot of the guys on the team served in the war together, and the bonds still hold.
As for the chain saw I brought in, it was sharpened and a spare chain was hanging around the handle, finished and ready to go by the end of the day. Once again, chain saw happiness for my husband.
New Canaan Lawn Equipment, 16 Cross Street