Happy Anniversary To Me!

Three years ago today — March 6, 2009 — “06880″ was born.

The first post described what this blog would be:  open-ended conversations with a Westport angle, no matter how tenuous.  I invited comments, feedback, tips — anything.

No one responded.

Things picked up soon — my 2nd post, on a Staples PTA “Risky Behaviors” panel, drew 5 comments.  “06880″ was off to the races.

Time flies when you’re having fun.  Exactly 3 years later, my blog and I celebrate our 3rd anniversary.

Thinking of a gift?  That’s sweet.  The traditional 3rd-year gift is leather. (Ahem.)

I’d prefer money.

Donate as much as you'd like to "06880"

For the past 3 years, “06880″ has published over 1,900 posts — nearly 2 a day.  Some have been international in scope — the ones on porn star Marilyn Chambers, “Paranormal Activity” star Micah Sloat and supermodel twins and “Amazing Race” stars Derek and Drew Riker still draw viewers, years later.

Others are intensely local:  the departure and return of Mike Aitkenhead to Wakeman Town Farm. Drivers who leave the Robeks parking lot by going directly over the curb onto the Post Road.  Tributes to remarkable people like Esta BurroughsRich Rollins and Manny Margolis.

When snow -- and trees -- fell in October, "06880" was there.

I cover all our crazy weather: windstorms, hurricanes, a freak October snowstorm. When the power goes out — yeah, it happens — “06880” keeps publishing. With photos, updates on what’s open (the library and Y, usually), and we’ll-all-get-through-this-together tales.

I’ve given shout-outs to Westport kids — international science fair winners, an 8-year-old future hotel owner, even a beloved kids’ librarian.

I’ve looked back at the history of the Mill Pond, chronicled the changes on Church Street, and peered into the Twilight Zone of Westport’s own Rod Serling.

"06880" has gone Down Under for stories -- well, to the Down Under kayak shop in Saugatuck, anyway.

I’ve covered the ABC House, the Tea Party, the environment, education, restaurants,  artists, oystermen, fires, the movement for a new movie theater, the movement of the Y, the demise of downtown and the rise of Saugatuck.

I’ve provided a forum for wide-open discussions of anything and everything — on-topic, a bit tangential, and way, waaaaay off.

And it’s all been free.  A public service, if you will.

Of course, even servants like to eat.  So in honor of my anniversary, I’m making an NPR-style plea.  If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.”

Am I worth $1 a month?  $1 a week?  Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.

You can turn the page -- or you can help this man eat for a day.

If you think “06880″ deserves 10 cents a day, that’s only $36.60 (2012 is a leap year 🙂 ).  If you think it’s worth more — and you can afford more — well, who am I to argue?

Unlike Channel 13, you won’t get a Peter, Paul and Mary DVD.  Or a tote bag.  Donations are not even tax-deductible.

What you will get is the chance to help me recover a bit of the cost of registering domains, keeping “06880″ ad-free, and spending 2 hours every day interviewing, researching, writing, responding to comments (public and private), taking and sizing and framing photos, and scouring the web for appropriate (and occasionally inappropriate)  graphics.

Thanks for 3 great years.  I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

But it would be nice.

You can donate by PayPal: click here, then go to “Send Money” and enter this email address:  dwoog@optonline.net.  You don’t even need a PayPal account!

Or checks may be mailed to:  Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.  Put “06880″ on the memo line.  It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

73 responses to “Happy Anniversary To Me!

  1. On behalf of the Brannigans Happy anniversary. Happy to support the cause!

  2. Loved the blog from the very first post I read. Westport’s lucky to have you.

    Keep on drivin’.

  3. Thank you, Dan. Keep on rockin’ the boat!

  4. Estelle T. Margolis

    Your blog is a daily education about our Town and the extraordinary people in it. I don’t know how you get the time to write all you do and still eat, sleep and coach Soccer. To say nothing of the Westport News editorials and the constant walks and drives around town to check it out and take photos.
    So, you see, YOU ARE one of our extraordinary people who should be written about!
    Thank you for your endless attention and energy. You are a superb journalist and I award you the Pulitzer.

    Love, Estelle T. Margolis

  5. You and my coffee cup are among the best parts of my morning and I don’t know what I’d do without either of them. Thank you for your efforts in bringing 06880 to my desktop everyday. It’s always a pleasure to see ‘you’ there!
    God bless you!

  6. Happy Anniversary, Dan! I enjoy each and every one of your Posts. Glad to hear you will continue on and happy to lend you some support.

  7. Timothy Woodruff

    Congratulations DW! Love 06880 – Wish I could send a big fat check instead of mere gratitude and congrats!

    Best to you!


  8. The Dude Abides

    Happy Anniversary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $2.73 a day is $1,000 a year in four (4) easy
    installments of $250.00 a quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beats any subscription out there these days and you can deduct it from your income tax (that is if you have a very smart tax attorney). So give heartily and think of the starving kids in Kenya when you write the check!!!

  9. Happy Anniversary! If you haven’t already I am sure you will be getting offers from qualified investors for this blog. With 3 years standard ‘start-up’ phase, it would, if you wanted, only be natural next step.

  10. AUDREYH =^..^=

    Love love love your blog, Dan! Not to mention your kind, generous and helpful advice 🙂 And for all of that, I’m happy to support you via Paypal! Keep up the awesome work! p.s. Happy Anniversary!

  11. And we are the better for it. Thank you.

  12. I am curious. In the 3 years, what is the most “commented” blog article????????????

  13. Thanks, Dan, for providing such an invaluable service to our community — delivered every day with wit, deep local knowledge, and a unique perspective. I think my favorite 06880 items are those about the amazingly talented Staples students you introduce us to. So, when’s the first offline gathering of your loyal (“alert”) readers? The Dude gets my vote for MC…

    • Thank YOU, Scott — I love what I do, I love this town, and I love the people in it (quirks and all). We’ve actually batted around the idea of an “06880” gathering. We couldn’t get our act together last summer. Let’s aim for this one — and yes, the Dude would make a masterful MC.

      • AUDREYH =^..^=

        So if we get our act together this year for an 06880 gathering (and we wear name tags) I can just imagine the number of those wearing “Anonymous!” 🙂

  14. The Dude Abides

    Me thinks is was the deer story that went national. 149 comments.

  15. katherine hooper

    happy anniversary new friend! i love your blog, your ideals and your passion for kids and westport.
    your biggest fan

  16. Congratulations! I’m new to your blog, but so glad I’ve made a connection with you and with my hometown,Westport.
    Thank you for all of the hard work that you do to keep everyone informed.

  17. Westporter Since '03

    You are the BEST !

    Combining: Local Interest, Personal Commentary, a Dash of Moxie…
    The TEENsiest Bit o’ Spin,

    Along with granting all of us LTSOM (License To Speak Our Minds)… GOTTA LUV IT !

    Keep up the Bloggin’… We Like Your Noggin 🙂

    PS. I “third” the Dude for M.C. (Master of Chillin’)

    • THANKS — I try, and I’m glad to know it works at least some of the time. But “06880” would be nowhere without the help of all those very alert (and not-afraid-to-comment) readers!

  18. Dan,
    You are a brilliant breath of fresh air. Your concise tongue in cheek style is refreshing. I have no idea where you get your ideas or your energy, but I enjoy waking up to your blog.
    Thank you for all you do to keep Westporters thinking and entertained.

    • Thank you, Tom — but I get my ideas and energy from YOU — and all the other readers. “06880” is about all of us — our wild, crazy and (slightly) dysfunctional Westport family. We all keep each other going!

  19. You’ve done so much for too little for too long, Dan. Since I just got a part-time job, I’ll be happy to contribute to yours. Forever grateful, your pal, Muggs.

  20. We warriors support and respect your objectivity. We acknowledge your continued support of our nations military.
    God Bless You.

  21. Thank you, Veteran. One of the things I am most proud of is my (late-in-life) ability to separate my feelings about warriors from my feelings about war.

  22. Fred Cantor

    06880–you give it 22 minutes (actually less), and Dan gives you the world of Westport every day. (OK, I “borrowed” from 1010 WINS, but this is Westport’s slice-of-life answer to WINS.) And, if you’re going to subscribe to a local publication such as the Westport News, or contribute to a local advertising-free outlet such as CPTV, why not support 06880?

    Now, Dan, if you could only find a Westport angle to the Jeremy Lin story….

    • The Dude Abides

      Send in 17 bucks every month!

    • Actually, Fred, YOU’RE the one who can find a Westport angle to anything.
      “06880” owes a huge debt of thanks to you.

      As to Jeremy Lin — hmmm, let’s see — too bad no one from Westport has ever gone to Harvard. Otherwise I’d start there…

  23. Happy Anniversary Dan! Thank you!

  24. Thanks, Dan, for building a bridge between the old Westport, which some of us remember fondly for having been there, and the new. My vote also goes to the Dude for MC — and to Patty Driscoll ’66, our class’s most recently novelist, for scribe. Patty, you will find some excellent material and characters here.

    • “Excellent material and characters here” — and some of it might even be true!

  25. Betty Lou Cummings

    congratulations to #3….Please continues always…you make my day clicking on to 06880…you truly have your heart in Westport and you should know you are dearly loved…keep smiling with loads of hugs always, Betty Lou

    • Thanks, Betty Lou — and if you are new to Westport, please know that HER contributions to Westport are boundless. Hmmm….time for a story on the wonderful run of the Apple Festival?

  26. Eric Buchroeder

    I hate to say it, but thanks to you, I’m probably better connected to Westport although I’ve been gone since ’78 than I was when I lived there from ’52-’78. You were always a positive person and a force for sincerity when I knew you in school but the media has given you a platform to touch many lives for the better, not to mention the great tradition in SHS soccer that you’ve continued as a coach and mentor.

    • Thanks, Eric — and one of the amazing things I’ve found since I started blogging is how many former Westporters are still interested in this town. Growing up here — in whatever era — means something, to a lot of people. I’m honored to be able to help link them to the Westport of today.

  27. Eric Buchroeder

    Dan, you have reconnected me to at least three people from my distant past through your blog: Jim Calkins, before he died, Gerry Kuroghlian, a great teacher who I grew to appreciate AFTER I left Staples and Tom Allen who was my next door neighbor since before I was born and hadn’t been in touch with since I was 4. You therefore not only connect former Westporters to their hometown in the present, but you help them reconnect to their past. Quite a lot of power for the smallest guy physically on the ’71 soccer squad 😉 Long life and good health to you, Dan!!!!

  28. DAN, Thank you so very much for making me still feel like a Westporter!
    The vibes I get from your blogs are so comforting.
    Your writing and grasp of life is amazing and so erudite.
    I have lived in Los Angeles for a very long time but still consider myself one of your community.

  29. Dan,
    This is your most interesting blog ever. Because of your sincere replies to every loving comment. Your Exchange with Veteran was priceless. I’ll cast my vote for THE DUDE as MC. let’s gather at the cannons!

    • Wait — the cannons? Not the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen peace bridge?!

      • That was a travesty cooked up by Diane and Ken Bernard, both of whom violated every rule of procedure to push it through. I and quite a few others spoke and voted against it on the RTM. I queeried voters and citizens before the vote and NOT ONE knew who she was or what she did. But the good news was that bridge naming and a few other of her deceitful little tricks came back to haunt her when she took our money as salary and did nothing but campaign. And then she lost and ran out of town.

        Well, you poked me real good and got my Irish up. But that’s another thing I like and respect about you. You stir the pot in subtle ways.

        • Way to tell it like it is Feeley! It should be renamed WESTPORT VETERANS BRIDGE.

  30. Eric Buchroeder

    Dan, there is a little known fact outside of real old time Westporters about Ms. Steinkraus Cohen that goes back about eighty years and is funny. Do you know what it is?

  31. interested reader

    Dan, as a former Westporter, I love reading your blog every morning. Haven’t lived there for years but as we all know, once you’ve lived there, hard to forget Westport and what it meant to our lives. My most favorite subject this year is the rise of Saugatuck over downtown as the “it” place. I love Saugatuck and that whole area where I spent years as a child exploring the banks of the river and more, including being scared of the men at the Jocky Club! Will be stopping by this summer and will definitely be checking out Saugatuck. Sending you something via paypal!

    • THANKS for the great perspective. You’ll love Saugatuck. And when you’re in town, give a yell. It will be great to catch up (whoever you are!).

  32. interested reader

    Ha ha — well, you’ll know! Yes, I will give you a shout when we’re there in July. Look forward to meeting you and again, thanks for keeping the special place of Westport accessible to those of us who remember it well and want to keep it in our hearts for many reasons.

  33. Happy to contribute to the cause. I love your blog, Dan! I’ll put a check in the mail tomorrow.

    • Thank you, Prill! And for any “06880” readers who don’t know her work (“Defying Gravity”), she is an amazing writer.

      I won’t tell our readers how far back Prill and I go, and she better not either…

  34. Gerry Kuroghlian

    Staples HS has produced many great writers in its long history: however. only one writer, Dan Woog, has chronicled not only the history of the school but keeps the town contantly alert to history in the making. You are a major force in keeping Westport honest. Keep the commentary flowing. Heartful