Westport Shoes: Gut Für Das Wasser

Alert “06880” reader Kate Comstock Davis was looking for a local store. She googled “Westport shoes.”

Which brought her to “WestportShoes.com.”

That’s the name of an entire line of boat shoes.

Surprised you’ve never heard of them?

Well, you might have. If you live in Germany.

“Westport Shoes” is based in Munich. Which is why the website proclaims, in somewhat garbled English: “Shoes that walk you to the best places!”

The site adds:

Westport Original boat shoes is an authentic brand that has made significance all over Europe since its establishment 10 years ago. Our shoes are designed for people who love sailing as much as staying stylish. Westport shoes are made of natural and comfortable fabric, making sure no synthetic fabric contacts your feet. The top of the shoes are made of 100% real leather guaranteeing you to feel extremely comfortable taking them on and wearing them all day.

Westport shoes are perfect for every kinds of weather because of the special technique that allows them to let the water out from under the shoe itself. Also the sole of the shoes are designed in a wavy style so you don’t have to worry about the risks of slipping either. The collection contains many styles from classical to modern, in a wide range of colours. You can always count on Westport in finding the shoes perfectly matching your personality, whether you’re looking for functional boat shoes or fashionable footwear.

They sound great! And they look pretty cool too.

Prices range from €79 to €95.

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The William Cribari Bridge footpath. Al’s Angels holiday lights are hung year-round. (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

Paul Green Memorial Service Set For June 10

A celebration in honor of the life of Paul Green — the longtime Westporter who waged a defiant battle against Parkinson’s disease, before finally succumbing last month at 94 — is set for Sunday, June 10 (Saugatuck Rowing Club, 2 p.m.).

The site is perfect. The club is where Paul Green kept his strength, by rowing and working out every day.

And it is where he inspired all who knew him, of every age, by his determination and grace.

The public is warmly invited to attend.

Paul Green

 

The Fall Of The House(s) Of Harvey Weinstein

Yesterday, Harvey Weinstein went down to Manhattan Criminal Court, and was arrested on sexual assault charges.

Soon, several of his former Westport homes will go down too.

Applications to demolish the properties at 26 and 28 Beachside Avenue — adjacent to Burying Hill Beach — have been filed with the town.

The 8,896-square foot home, and 2 other houses, were sold in February to Andrew Bentley, for $16 million. He already owns several other properties on Beachside.

In 2012, Weinstein’s main house was the site of a fundraiser for the re-election of President Obama. Among the guests joining the president at the $38,500-per-person event: Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin, Anna Wintour, Joanne Woodward, Jerry Springer and Governor Malloy.

Bentley told “06880”: “We have engaged the Westport-based, world-class architectural firm of Roger Ferris + Partners to design a house for the property. With their local roots and global vision, we are confident they will produce something that is right for the location.”

The presidential motorcade at Harvey Weinstein’s Beachside Avenue house, in 2012. (Photo/White House pool, courtesy of WestportNow)

Going To The Parade? Send Photos!

The Memorial Day parade is one of Westport’s favorite town events.

Everyone has a favorite spot to watch from. Everyone has a favorite band, float or marcher to photograph.

But why share them only with a few hundred dear pals, casual acquaintances and random how’d-they-get-on-my-list Facebook “friends”?

On Monday — weather permitting — let all of Westport see “your” Memorial Day parade. Send a few (not all!) of your photos to “06880” (email: dwoog@optonline.net).

The deadline is 1 p.m. Please include brief identification, if needed, and of course your own name.

I’ll post some (not all!) in the afternoon.

And be creative! We want special photos, for our special parade.

Westport celebrates Memorial Day in many ways. Here’s one shot from the parade route.

Mike Joseph’s Very Sound Career

Growing up with 20,000 records filling his basement, a new-fangled stereo in the living room and a Wollensak tape recorder in his bedroom, it’s no surprise Mike Joseph spent the rest of his life around music.

The Westporter’s father — Mike Joseph Sr. — was a radio executive. In the 1960s he turned WABC into an AM powerhouse. In the ’70s he flipped more than a dozen major market stations to the “Hot Hits” format he created.

Mike Jr. got the music bug, and never let go.

In 1960s Westport, he recalls, “everyone was either in a band, or listening to one.”

He took his reel-to-reel tape recorder to Mike Mugrage’s basement, and recorded classmates Jeff Dowd, Dave Barton, Brian Keane, Rob McClenathan, Julie Aldworth, Peter Rolnick, Harry Miller and others.

In 1971, Jeff Dowd practiced guitar in a Staples High School music rehearsal room.

It was quite a crew. Dowd went on to become a noted opera singer. Keane is a Grammy Award winner. McClenathan and Aldworth — who got married — still make music. So did Mugrage and Barton.

That’s the milieu Joseph remembers fondly.

At Staples High School, the Class of 1971 grad says, “people sat outside the cafeteria playing guitars and harmonicas.” He had a morning shift on the school radio station WWPT-FM. Music was everywhere.

Rich Bradley — Joseph’s English teacher at Coleytown Junior High School, who later taught at Staples — was the first director of the Youth Adult Council. Concerned that teenagers were just hanging out downtown, he recruited Joseph and Guy Rabut to put on a coffeehouse.

Held first downstairs at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, then at Bedford Elementary School (now Town Hall), the shows harnessed the talents of local singers.

As audio director for Staples Players, Joseph served as stage manager for acts that played at Staples: the James Gang, Delaney & Bonnie, Taj Mahal, the Byrds, Mahavishnu Orchestra and more. He showed roadies where the electrical tie-ins were, and shepherded the groups to and from the green room (usually a music rehearsal space).

Hiding mics in the catwalk, he occasionally recorded concerts for personal use.

Then he did sound for Jesup Green concerts. Joseph owned big Altec Lansing speakers, and borrowed power amps from his friend Bob Barrand. He’d rig up a PA system on the flatbed trailer that served as a stage.

Mike Joseph, in the early 1970s.

Back in the day, music and politics went hand in hand. In 1971 he and Barton hitchhiked to Washington for a May Day rally. Joseph wore bell bottoms and a t-shirt, had 39 cents in his pocket, slept on a church floor — and helped handle the sound on the Capitol steps.

At Ohio University, Joseph helped build one of the first large student radio and audio production facilities in the country. He recorded bands in the studio and the field — including the Pipestem Bluegrass Festival in West Virginia for a very young NPR.

He transferred to Syracuse University — site of the nation’s first 16-track student-oriented recording studio.

Then came a long career as a recording engineer, record producer and club designer. He collaborated in Nat King Cole’s Hollywood studio with Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Blue Cheer and others.

Mike Joseph, at the mixing board.

In San Francisco — as chief engineer for Oasis Recording Studio and producer for BBI Productions — he worked with George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, Tower of Power, Santana, Journey and dozens more new wave and disco-era bands.

In 1989 Joseph became editor of Recording Engineer/Producer Magazine, and founded another publication. In that capacity he traveled the world, visiting studios like Abbey Road.

These days — decades after leaving his Westport home with its 20,000 albums, stereo and tape recorder — Joseph is still in Kansas City. He’s a strategic marketing and business planning consultant.

Mike Joseph today.

He’s just built a home production studio, to digitize vintage analog tapes.

He does it all: concerts, weddings, lectures. And — of course — old recordings for his many musician friends.

He’s happy to talk to anyone who has tapes they want to save.

Particularly if they also have stories about the very vibrant, really rich Westport music scene of the 1960s and ’70s.

(For more information, email mike.joseph@sbcglobal.net)

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Double duck on the Saugatuck (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Compo Ready For All Comers

The temperature is near 90. A 3-day weekend beckons.

Let’s head to the beach!

Compo is certainly ready.

The new pavilion next to Joey’s is finished. A handsome new roof is up. Picnic tables — including some with cutouts for wheelchairs — are back.

(Photo/Carmine Picarello)

An eco-friendly “Mobi-Mat” has been installed. It’s perfect for people with walkers or canes, in wheelchairs, and parents with strollers.

(Photo/Carmine Picarello)

New signs direct daily parkers to a special area. Season sticker owners now get first dibs on the best spots.

(Photo/Chip Stephens)

Parks & Rec has made sure Compo is all set for summer.

Are you?

Life’s A Bitch. Dog Festival Postponed — Again

Once again, potential thunderstorms have forced the postponement of the 3rd annual Westport Dog Festival.

After discussions with partners, sponsors, town officials and a National Weather Service meteorologist, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce made the difficult decision to delay the event.

First scheduled for last Sunday, then pushed back to this weekend, the new date is Sunday, June 24 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Winslow Park).

There may be only one teeny-tiny silver lining in Sunday’s clouds. The rain is supposed to end in the afternoon. That means Monday’s Memorial Day parade may not be postponed due to weather.

Which happened to it too, the past 2 years in a row.

Friday Flashback #92

In honor of Monday’s Memorial Day parade, here’s a look back nearly 50 years.

Ed Stalling posted this family home movie on YouTube. Shot in 1969 or ’70 on Riverside Avenue — mostly opposite King’s Texaco (now Sunny Daes) — it shows cops, veterans, the Red Cross, state police cars (with comical 1-bubblegum lights on top), Indian Guides, Little Leaguers, and the Long Lots Junior High band.

Very briefly at the end there’s a shot of the Long Lots band downtown, opposite the old post office (now Design Within Reach).

Half a century ago, the Vietnam War raged. Our country was torn apart — politically, socially and culturally.

But — as shown in the video — Westport had a great Memorial Day parade.

We will on Monday, too. See you there!