Drips And Drops From Irene

With power back on here at “06880” headquarters — my house — we’re ready to report stories, observations, thoughts and photos from the long-anticipated, the-jury’s-still-out-on-its-hype Hurricane Irene.

Alert “06880” reader Denise Nicoletti reports:  “Several people, including my son Chris and I, were at Starbucks downtown.  A very kind hearted soul went out and bought a power strip for everyone!”

Equally alert reader Andy Kaplan saw a similar Starbucks-related random act of post-storm kindness:  “Early this morning, there were a couple of CL&P trucks repairing power lines at the intersection of Gault and Imperial.  A guy in a Land Rover pulls up, and hands out Starbucks coffee to the entire crew.”

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Very alertly, reader John Karrel emailed:  “The Burying Hill Beach parking area looks more like a bad minor-league infield right now, post-Irene.  I wonder if it’d be worth trying to organize a dozen+ strong types to dig out and sweep off the lot this Friday afternoon, prior to the long weekend?  It would tick one item off what must be a substantial Parks & Rec punch-list/budget.”

I said to myself:  What a great idea!  I’ve got nearly 100 strong boys trying out for Staples soccer right now.  School is off until Wednesday; they’ve got time on their hands, and no doubt would love to impress the coaches work hard.

But it made sense to check in first with Parks and Rec director Stuart McCarthy.  I wouldn’t want to rain on his parade.

Stuart thanked me profusely for the offer.  But, he ventured, it might not be a job for high school boys — as fit as they are.

“I’ve got 2 front-end loaders from Kowalsky down there right now,” he said.  “They say the sand’s almost too heavy for them.”

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John Hooper of Christie’s Country Store was hit by Irene not once, but twice.  He, his wife Renee and son Nash were in Puerto Rico when the hurricane hit that island.  They returned to Westport Friday night, just in time for the 2nd coming.

“My poor son’s 9th birthday was yesterday, and of course no  power,” John says.

“So I packed up the clan (2 employees rode out the storm with us), dodged downed trees in Greenfield Hill and made it to Christie’s, where the new generator was humming along.  Many folk stopped by looking for coffee, food, conversation.  We stayed open till 9;30.

“It’s been the same way today.  I just sold out of ice, and the bakery couldn’t make it — but Chefy was here at 5 a.m., baking bread.”

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Finally:  Metro North had its hands full this weekend (still does, in fact).  So we’re not trying to pile on.

Still, this sign caught our eye.  In its own, strange-spelling way, it manages to convey the essence of the situation, in calm, collected, almost Zen-like prose:

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