Pic Of The Day #1322

Amis restaurant, Bedford Square (Photo/Joel Treisman)

Roundup: Pearl Closes, Scam Warning, More


Yesterday marked the final day for Pearl at Longshore.

Judy Auber Jahnel was there, as the waterside restaurant ended its 5-year run. She says: “Had a wonderful early, last (melancholy) dinner and sunset at Pearl tonight. The staff even took a pic on the lawn. I’ll miss them!

(Photo/Judy Auber Jahnel)


Police report a scam in Saugatuck.

Someone entered a store yesterday, claiming he had to inspect the fire extinguishers. He told an employee he had spoken with the store manager, and showed an invoice for $198.15 to cover the replacements that the manager had “agreed would be paid in cash.” The employee paid; the man said he’d return with 2 new extinguishers, but never did.

The suspect is white, approximately 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, in his 30s. His black sweater and blue shirt attempted to mimic a Fire Department official. Anyone with information about this scam should call 203-341-6000.


And finally … George Harrison died 19 years ago today, of lung cancer. He was just 58.

Nearly everyone has a favorite Beatle. He was mine.

Photo Challenge #309

I haven’t counted, but probably 90% of the Long Island Sound images I post are of Compo and Old Mill.

Both spots are photographers’ dreams. Cannons, jetties, a marina, a playground, a Cape Code-style cove — those and much more keep professionals and amateurs snapping away.

But Westport’s water views are hardly limited to our 2 most popular beaches. Saugatuck Shores, Sherwood Island and Burying Hill also provide ever-changing photographic opportunities.

Other vistas too should get more attention than they do. One was last week’s Photo Challenge.

Tom Lowrie’s shot looked west, toward Burying Hill and, beyond, Sherwood Island. It was taken from Beachside Avenue — the site, 350 years ago, of the first white settlements in what is now Westport. (Click here to see.)

It’s one of the prettiest spots in town. But only Jacque O’Brien, Rob Hauck, Andrew Colabella, Rich Stein and Tom Wall correctly identified it. Congratulations!

Here is this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where it is, click “Comments” below. Bonus points if you’ve got the back story!

(Photo/Mary Gai)

Y’s Men Say …

Y’s Men of Westport/Weston is one of the area’s most active groups.

The pandemic has curtailed many meetings, making their email blasts more important than ever. The most recent one included this first-person account of COVID-19. 

Let one man’s experience be a word to the Y’s.

You cannot overestimate the impact of COVID-19, one of our members told us last week.

His daughter recently came home, feeling fine. He did what every father does: gave her plenty of hugs.

The next morning she woke up feeling she had a light fever, like the flu. He took her for a test. She was positive, and so quarantined in her room for 2 weeks, though she only had symptoms for a day or two.

After a week his wife started feeling badly. He took her for a test. She was positive. He also tested both times and was negative.

Then a few days after his wife’s test he “felt like I got hit by a truck.” He also tested positive and put himself into quarantine for two weeks.

“Pay attention to how you feel.”

He took multiple tests and found that turnaround had increased due to the growing demand — sometimes as long as 5 to 7 days after exposure to have a test show positive. He had 6 negative tests before his positive.

His recommendations were, first: hydrate. Then hydrate some more. “Drink and pee.” Then some more. Flush the virus out of your system. He recommended taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) — not Advil.

Relax as best you can. The moderate case takes 2 to 3 weeks to pass. A more serious, obviously longer.

And pray for a vaccine.

He added: Wash your hands more often than you’ve been accustomed to, wear a mask, keep your social distance, avoid touching your eyes. Avoid indoor gatherings with people who are not members of your household. Wipe down deliveries,

Socializing, while socially distant.

The virus can grow even if you are careful.

He recommended buying a thermometer, a digital device if you don’t have one, and an oximeter, a small and inexpensive device that measures your blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.

Have you been hit by the coronavirus? Click “Comments” below to share your experience.

Pics Of The Day #1321

Early morning at Compo Beach … (Photo/Jimmy Izzo)

… and looking south off of Surf Road, on Saugatuck Shores … (Photo/Todd Freeman)

… and Old Mill Beach (Photo/Ferdinand G. Jahnel)

Roundup: Downtown Tree, Dead Fish, More


The Main Street Christmas tree is starting to look a lot more Christmas-y.

Annette Norton — the owner of Savvy + Grace, whose front door is just steps away — is personalizing ornaments for the handsome tree. (Knowing Annette, I guarantee: They’re beautiful.)

But there’s more to this story than ornaments on a tree. Annette is working with the Ralphola Taylor Charity, a YMCA community center that serves low-income Bridgeport children. They earn points for good behavior during after-school activities — and then redeem those points at the center’s Holiday Store by buying presents for their families.

In return for purchasing a gift for the Ralphola Taylor Charity, Annette will personalize a white dove ornament with the donor’s name, and hang it on the tree.

Gifts can be bought 3 ways:

  • At Savvy + Grace (next to the former Tavern on Main restaurant)
  • Online (at checkout, just choose free delivery to the charity)
  • Purchase something from any other local store, then drop it off at Savvy + Grace. What a great way to support all Westport merchants, and kids in Bridgeport.

Donations are accepted now through December 7. Let’s fill that tree — and the Ralphola Taylor Charity Holiday Shop! shelves!

Main Street Christmas tree.


It’s a common — and natural — occurrence, though not often so late in the season.

When bunker form large schools they deprive themselves of oxygen, and suffocate.

Dozens of dead fish have been spotted recently, at Compo Beach and Grace Salmon Park. Here was the scene yesterday, at Parker Harding Plaza:

(Photo/Arlene Yolles)


And finally … the Grand Ole Opry debuted on this date in 1925, as a “barn dance” broadcast on WSM. 95 years later, it’s the longest running radio broadcast in American history. 

Uncle Jimmy Thompson was the first performer on that first show. He was 77 years old — so the recording below shows someone born 13 years before the Civil War began. Talk about American Roots music!

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 36 Gallery

Many submissions this week reflect nature.

Naturally, our Saturday art gallery casts a wide net. Each week, we welcome submissions from all artists. You don’t have to be a pro, or even experienced. We want it all!

Works should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current lives. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Chrysanthemums” (Werner Liepolt)

Print: Gingko leaves from the Westport Library tree (Amy Schneider)

Untitled (Jo Ann Davidson)

“Spring is in the Air?” (Bob Weingarten)

“Doing My Best to Get It Right” (Lawrence Weisman)

Untitled (Leah Nash)

“Fire!” (Wendy Levy)

Finding New Life In An Old Cemetery

As COVID cases soar, Westporters search for safe activities.

Among the best places to explore on your own: cemeteries. Odds are you won’t find anyone infected there (or anyone else alive, for that matter).

Our town is filled with fascinating graveyards. Willowbrook, off Main Street near Cross Highway, is the biggest. Greens Farms Church — Westport’s first meetinghouse — has 2 (“upper” and “lower”) on Hillandale and Greens Farms Roads, near the Sherwood Island Connector.

Saugatuck Church’s Evergreen Avenue cemetery and the one shared by Assumption and Christ & Holy Trinity Churches on Kings Highway North near Old Hill are also filled with Westport names, both famous and obscure.

Smaller cemeteries include Compo Beach Road, Longshore Club Park, Post Road West near the Norwalk town line, and Wilton Road near the Merritt Parkway.

Gray’s Creek cemetery on Compo Beach Road. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

All are easily accessible. But the Kings Highway Colonial Cemetery is not.

It’s a small graveyard at the corner of Kings Highway North and Wilton Road. Unless you walk or bike there, the only access is by parking at the medical office across the street, then taking your life in your hands (bad analogy) as you cross Route 33.

The other day, David Wilson did just that. He grew up in Westport (Staples High School Class of 1975), and still spends plenty of time in the area.

Yet in all those years, he had never explored that cemetery.

He was dismayed to find parts in disrepair. Headstones were knocked over. Brush littered the grounds. Broken trees were everywhere.

(Photo/David Wilson)

Intrigued, David found 2 archived Facebook Live tours of the cemeetery. They were led by Nicole Carpenter, director of programs and education at the Westport Museum for History & Culture.

Once in a driving rain, and once on a beautiful spring day, Nicole gave viewers a look at the gravestones. She explained back stories too, including the changing styles and meanings of the stones’ shapes and colors.

The Taylor family — who gave their name to the neighborhood then called Taylortown (the nearby marsh is still called that) — share a large section with the Marvins (of tavern fame).

Abigail Taylor’s grave.

A non-family member is also interred there: Dinah, a “colored” servant and cook. That’s highly unusual, Nicole explained.

There’s the Judah family too, among the first Jewish residents of Westport (then part of Norwalk). Michael moved from New York City because of anti-Semitism. His son Henry became an Episcopal minister; Henry’s son, Henry Moses Judah, was a brigadier general in the Mexican-American and Civil Wars.

The Judas family owned an estate in Saugatuck, which was named for them. Over the years, Judas Point morphed into Judy’s Point.

The 2 tours are fascinating. If COVID keeps you indoors, click here and here to watch.

Kings Highway Colonial Cemetery.

But Nicole missed one of the most fascinating parts of the cemetery. At a mound not far from the road — perhaps the spot where Benedict Arnold (not yet a traitor) set up a cannon to thwart the British as they returned from their 1777 raid on Danbury (they thwarted him, by taking a different route back to Compo Beach) — there was a secret, spooky spot long known to kids like me, growing up in Westport.

If you lay flat on your stomach, and peered into the area where the ground had shifted, you could see all the way down to the bottom. There — arrayed like a horror film — sat a set of bones.

I’ve forgotten many things about being a kid here.

But as long as I live, I’ll always remember that skeleton.

A section of the burial mound, near where the earth has moved.

Pic Of The Day #1320

Railroad footbridge (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Cribari Bridge Is Lit. Let The Holidays Begin!

The crowd was far smaller than usual.

But even the coronavirus can’t dampen the joy of one of Westport’s favorite traditions: lighting the William F. Cribari Bridge.

The bulbs are new. The colors are beautiful. And now more than ever, we need this annual Al’s Angels gift.

(Drone photos/Patrick Sikes)