Dusty And Honey

I haven’t seen them in a few years — the 2 small, elderly women who always dressed alike. They probably lived in Canal Park; that’s where I saw them the most.

They must have been twins, I thought.  They always dressed alike — from their hats to their shoes.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed.  Over the years, people suggested I write about them.

Or they asked me who they were, and why they always dressed the same.  As if I — a longtime Westporter and journalist — knew.

Apparently, someone did.  Their story drew the attention of Hillary Frank, a Staples graduate who is now an independent radio producer.

In 2000 she interviewed the 2 women for a story on “This American Life,” Ira Glass’s quirky weekly public radio show, which explores the many hidden nooks and crannies of our country and its people.

The show — whose theme was “what happens if our relationship with our loved ones never changes?” — was rebroadcast last month.

The women’s chapter is called “Matching Outfits Not Included.”

In it, listeners — and curious Westporters — learn the women’s names: Dusty and Honey.

We hear — surprisingly — that they are not twins. They’re sisters born 3 years apart; the 2 youngest in a family of 6.

Raised during the Depression, their father died when they were young. From an early age, they depended on each other.

Later, after their siblings married, Dusty and Honey cared for their ailing mother.

One day when they were both in their early 20s, they picked the same outfit.

They dressed alike ever since.

They wore the same wigs, glasses and jewelry. They carried the same purses.

They lived together, in rooms with matching chairs. Their twin beds — in the same room — had the same stuffed animals. Over each bad was a crucifix. In between was a photo of Frank Sinatra.

Dusty and Honey ate the same food — and in the same portions.

Dusty and Honey shared a fondness for Frank Sinatra and Ricky Martin.

They loved soap operas together — when they were younger, listening together on radio. As they got older, they watched soaps together on TV.

When Hillary interviewed them in 2000 for the show, they were enjoying a Ricky Martin special.

The women worked together all their lives: first in sweatshops, then in a home for the elderly, finally as housekeepers for a priest.

Dressing differently, they told Hillary, would mean “betraying each other.”

They said of their lives, “this is what was meant to be.”

The sisters seemed to acknowledge that their lives — lived so similarly, together, for so long — was considered odd.

“As long as we don’t hurt anyone, or break a commandment, it’s fine,” they said.

“This American Life” ended with Hillary’s description of the sisters lying in their beds each night. They would make plans for the next day. Always, they talked about what they would wear.

Dusty and Honey had a special relationship. They were, Hillary said, “like best friends on a sleepover that never ends.”

Except it must have.

I have not seen Dusty and Honey for several years.

I hope — wherever they are — they are together still.

(To hear Dusty and Honey’s “This American Life” story, click here.)

17 responses to “Dusty And Honey

  1. Darryl Coates Manning

    I heard recently that they Dusty & Honey still are living at Canal Park. Though not able to walk through town as they once did.

  2. Jonas Shapiro

    I just saw them walking by the Merritt Superette/ Coffee An’ area last week. Now I finally know who they are after all these years.

  3. I, too, saw them a few weeks ago — walking from Canal Park toward the Merritt Superette. Seeing them over the past 20+ years in Westport has always made me smile.

  4. Hedi Lieberman

    I love them…..I would see them in the Gap in town, at the bank, everywhere…we would always have a nice conversation, about (what else) clothes!!

  5. Dusty and Honey are very much with us still here at Canal Park and beloved.

  6. Try Gold’s at breakfast time, some time after 9. Yes, the food on their plates is identical – a shared toasted muffin, I believe. Seeing them is a treat – even better than a Paul Newman sighting.

  7. So glad to know Honey and Dusty are still a Westport fixture, and together. I heard the NPR story when it first aired, and have loved them afar ever since. And always “introduced” them to my daughters as we would pass them on our way to school!

  8. Like so many in town, I’ve also seen them from time to time over the last 20 years or so. I also assumed that they were twins, and also wondered, “What’s their story.” Thanks so much for answering this mystery. Thanks also to those who brought us up to date on their doings. i jumped to the Comments section because just knew that at least one of your loyal readers would have an update. i’m sure that like me, many of your readers were relieved to learn that they are still together.

  9. Linda Hunt look-alikes?

  10. While I certainly do not see them as often , I alos spotted them a few months back in Gold’s settling in for breakfast. I also recall a piece in the Westport News back in the pre-blog era (I am guessing around 1990) which was based on a interview one of their writers had conducted……obviously not Dan!

  11. Elisabeth Keane

    Sometimes I see Dusty and Honey at CVS, most recently about three months ago.

  12. katherine hooper

    every time i see them i get so excited. they are the sweetest women. i always take a pic whenever i bump into them and they always switch positions to show off their “good side”.

    • Do you know how I can find Dusty and Honey? Do you know their last names? I am a professional photographer and would like to photograph them.

  13. Does any one know Dusty and Honey’s last name? I would love to meet them.

  14. Jennifer Purdy

    Just saw them a few minutes ago all bundled up and taking a walk not far from Coffee ‘An. Loved their story on NPR!

  15. I would love to hear a psychoanalysis of them.

  16. I saw them at Stop and Shop on Friday.