Nell Moll has been named this year\u2019s grand marshal of the Milford St. Patrick\u2019s Day parade, which will take place Saturday, March 11\u00a0in downtown Milford. Moll became a bit of a Milford icon back in 1990, when she was an integral part of the downtown business landscape as the owner of Issie\u2019s Big News, a newspaper and magazine shop that also sold coffee and tobacco on River Street. She was Milford\u2019s queen of coffee, conversation and hometown flavor. She had bought the business from the late Robert Gaudette, and says it had existed since 1905. Moll became a mainstay on River Street, attracting customers with easy conversation and a natural love of the Milford area. She attended local schools, grew up hunting fossils and playing kid games at Bayview Beach, and knew the ins and outs of the city. It was a slightly different downtown in 1990, boasting Wanda\u2019s Sugar Shack and Dom-A-Deal\u2019s antiques, Fladd\u2019s Music Store and the Capitol Theater. Inside Issie\u2019s it was a different time, too: Moll said she sold 75 New York Times on Sundays, and served up a weekly supply of Hartford Courants, New Haven Registers and some of the more obscure publications that existed throughout the state. \u201cPeople would reserve four or five papers,\u201d Moll said. \u201cNobody read online,\u201d she added with a laugh. She owned the business with Patricia Dull, and she remembers going in at 5 a.m. to start sorting newspapers that had been delivered outside the store. She would stack and fold the papers on a front bench, labeling them with the names of the people who had ordered them. When they came in, Moll remembered which tobacco and candy to get ready for that particular customer. She and her customers would talk about the local happenings. Issie\u2019s was a place to go to find out about events planned in town, and to buy tickets to them. Local artists would hang their work there. \u201cIt was like a community center,\u201d said Moll\u2019s partner, Dory Neilson. Five years at Issie\u2019s solidified her connection to downtown, but the bliss didn\u2019t last. Business problems forced the store to close in 1995. But it wasn\u2019t long before Moll\u2019s business and people connections helped her land a job at the Milford Chamber of Commerce as director of membership, opportunities and enthusiasm. Her business philosophy has always reflected her personality, she said during an interview several years after taking the Chamber job. She believes you have to talk to someone to get to know and understand them. Conversation and dialogue in the business world all are part of the big \u201cN\u201d \u2014 networking \u2014 she said. \u201cI find people interesting, fascinating. There\u2019s so much good in people. You don\u2019t have to look hard to find it,\u201d Moll said. With that ideology, it\u2019s easy to believe that Moll has a lot of friends and admirers. Neilson said Moll runs into people she knows wherever she goes in Milford. \u201cIf she\u2019s going to ShopRite, I know I\u2019m not going to see her until four o\u2019clock,\u201d Neilson said. Moll said she was \u201cstaggered, stunned\u201d and \u201chonored\u201d when she listened to a voicemail and learned she was selected as the grand marshal of this year\u2019s parade. Neilson said they listened to the message four times. Moll traces her Irish ancestry through her mother\u2019s line, which includes McCabes and Matthews who came here from Ireland in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Being named grand marshal of the St. Patrick\u2019s Day parade has sparked her interest, and now Moll said she will start doing some genealogical research to really understand her roots. Linda Hardiman, who runs the annual Milford St. Patrick\u2019s Day parade with her husband, Martin, and a team of volunteers, said Moll was a natural choice to lead the parade this year. \u201cShe was nominated, as were others, and we went around the room and everyone agreed on Nell,\u201d Linda Hardiman said. \u201cI think she will make a great grand marshal.\u201d Martin Hardiman said the parade committee planned to select this year\u2019s Miss Emerald Isle this week. Miss Emerald Isle also helps lead the parade, and typically she is selected from one of Milford\u2019s high schools. The annual parade, which attracts an estimated 20,000 people, will take place in downtown Milford Saturday, March 11, kicking off at 1 p.m. The parade starts at the Parsons Government Center and makes its way to the Broad Street green.