As Westport prepares to honor its war heroes, the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce has something else on its mind:
Don’t drink and drive.
But if you do — and you get caught — here’s a number to call.
The Chamber sends out more emails than Nigerian oil ministers’ widows. Most hype upcoming events. Some spotlight members — the restaurants, small businesses and solo practitioners that make up Chambers of Commerce like ours.
This afternoon’s message was blunter. Something about it — okay, almost everything — rubbed me the wrong way.
The big, bold headline read:
Please be smart and safe this holiday weekend while celebrating the unofficial start of summer.
Then it cut to the chase:
Should you find yourself in trouble, whether it be for suspicion of driving while under the influence, underage drinking parties, drug charges or any other offense, you have the absolute right to contact an attorney. DO NOT waive this right!
Next came advice:
If you have been arrested for DWI and are asked to submit to a breath test, you should always take the tests, unless you have been in an accident or unless you have any previous DWI convictions.
That was followed by info about Attorney John P. Thygerson: his phone number. The helpful reminder “24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
And this seal-the-deal sweetener:
A courtesy discount will be given to Chamber members and their families.
Attorney Thygerson has spent the last fifteen years representing thousands of juveniles and adults charged with the commission of criminal offenses. You pay an attorney not only for what they know, but also for who they know, such as the judges and the prosecutors, and to navigate through the criminal justice system towards a successful resolution.
Maybe I’m in a contemplative mood because, this morning, every Staples student and staff member viewed an insightful, thought-provoking video about the wartime experiences of assistant principal Rich Franzis (Iraq) and long-time Westport Bruce Allen (World War II).
An hour later, “06880” reader Tom Allen emailed me his own Memorial Day reflections. He mentioned Staples ’66 classmate Tim Barmer (killed in action at Khe Sanh), and his friend’s father, George Hopkins (a World War II POW).
Tom also included the 1990 obituary of Sigfried Schreiner, who survived the Battle of Bataan and the infamous Bataan Death March to become chairman of the industrial arts department at Staples (and later owned a group travel business for educators and students).
Thinking of all those men, then reading that crass Chamber email, I couldn’t help wonder why it couldn’t have said:
Attorney John P. Thygerson joins the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce in wishing everyone a safe Memorial Day weekend, as we honor the memories of the many Westporters and Westonites who for generations have so honorably served their country, and us.