Marchand Insurance Agency  
Thursday, December 13, 2001
So I've Heard Column

I nearly spilled my cup of coffee when a table cover in the Lic's Restaurant caught my attention. An advertisement read: "We are now in Webster. Marchand Insurance Agency Inc., 55 East Main Street. Offering various types of insurance and invesements."
The Marchand Agency, representing Travelers Insurance Co., was established in Worcester around 1973 by Roger E. Marchand, one of my classmates from kindergarten at St. Anne's School in Webster. Roger's wife, Junice A. (Racicot) Marchand joined the staff after their youngest child entered kindergarten.
Now, that child, Carole Marchand, of Worcester; and one of her seven siblings, Gregory H. Marchand, of Woodstock, Conn., own Marchand Insurance, and its new home, next to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Roger and Junice remain on the staff.
"The insurance business has changed a lot since we started," said Roger. "People don't come into your office the way they used to." Toll free phone messages, fax lines, and different programs, like registering cars at point of purchase, has changed the emphasis, he said. There's a lot of out-of-office business.
While exposure to the public was important, and the Marchand Co. had this at Chestnut Place in Worcester for 10 years, location is no longer a major requisite. Besides, Marchand manages accounts in most parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, so Webster is as central as Worcester in some cases. Roger and Junice aren't walking from their insurance and investment roles, but they're looking forward to winters in Florida, convinced the store is in good hands.
I enjoyed reminiscing with Wanda "Nell" (Nowakowski) Sczepamski recently in Dr. Stephen Lorkiewicz's dental office. We had the pleasant side of a visit--waiting for others.
Ms. Sczepanski, once an official of the former Middlesex Casket Co., is wintering in Webster these days.
She opted for warmer climes for a while, acknowledging her status as a senior citizen, but has insulated herself from cold weather problems. "There's no place like home, like Webster," she said.
I mentioned her late father, Stanislaus "Stein" Nowakowski. He was quite a businessman, according to Ms. Sczepanski. Before getting into the manufacture of caskets, he ran a five chair barber shop, had a funeral home, and made hair pieces, all in one building.
The ice cream mystery has been solved, supplanted by a candy puzzle, as Saturday morning rumblings seem to carry in Sandi's Webster restaurant.
Sisters Lucille Gilbert and Lorraine Puls mentioned McCann's ice cream recently. Harry Tucker remembered its freebies. "You got a second paddle pop for nothing if the word 'free' was on the stick after you licked it clean," he laughed.
This puzzled Lucille and Lorraine. They worked in the family store as kids but couldn't remember the give-away. Lucille telephoned another sister, Doris Warhurst, who lives in greater Seattle, Wash., and Mr. Tucker's claim was confirmed. Paddle pops were a store made novelty, and Ms. Warhurst was the one that made them.
Then, restauranteur Mark Fontanella came forth with an old, half pound candy box. The cover reads: "Harlow Candies Par Excellence, Webster, Mass." One of the waitresses, Judy Wonowski of Dudley, found the empty box cleaning out storage space in her house. Julian "Pee Wee" Kaczynski, who runs a next door barber shop, remembered Brunelle's candy factory in Webster, Mr. Fontanella said, "but nobody remembers Harlow, not even Jimmy Manzi."
Beverly and Albert Nowicki, he's the retired BHS custodian, examined the box but couldn't offer any information. "My brother (Theodore, a physician) worked at The Stadium when he went to high school. They made candy but I don't think it was Harlow," Mr. Nowicki said. He had a subsequent report. "I asked my sister (Frances Nowicki) about the name for the candy. She's 93 and thinks it was before her ti
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