Winnebago No-Go

A longtime Westporter who owns property in Saugatuck writes:

Recently, new tenants moved into an apartment building on Franklin Street. But one of their family members live in a Winnebago parked on the street!

I don’t think a narrow 1-way side street is a good parking spot  for something the size of a NYC apartment. And it seems like this could be a permanent fixture.

One view of the Franklin Avenue Winnebago...

One view of the Franklin Avenue Winnebago…

I called the police. They say they can’t help me, as long as it is moved every day.

Yes, they move it: forward one day, and back the next. It has not moved away from in front of the apartment for over 2 weeks now.

I called the town to see if there was any noise ordinance for the constant running of the generator. Of course, the answer was no.

Franklin Avenue front

This thing is a definite eyesore. It blocks the view of traffic on this tiny but very busy road. It’s probably a safety issue if there was a fire. And did I mention someone is living in it?

I can’t believe our town would allow something like this to go on. What is setting us apart from a Walmart parking lot?

25 responses to “Winnebago No-Go

  1. mary ruggiero

    What about P n Z? Healthdept?

  2. It seems like a relatively simple solution is available. Can’t the RTM pass a resolution that people cannot live in vehicles on any town or private road in Westport? It comes under health and public safety, as situations such as that on Franklin Ave., would surely impede street cleaning and maintenance as well as fire fighting and police actions, if needed.

  3. Taylor, Charlie

    Winnabago A Go GO


    Charles Taylor
    Director of Major Gifts
    Vanderbilt University
    School of Engineering
    Mailing address:
    PMB 401531
    Nashville, TN 37240-1531

  4. I’m sure the person living in the Winnebago would much prefer to live in a house like the one owned by the person who is complaining.

    • A, that wasn’t my point; and B, I believe someone posted that it’s gone. In any case, I grew up in Westport and am appalled at the materialism and lack of charity I see in a town I once loved. I subscribe to Dan’s blog because people I love (such as my former minister, who baptized me, and just passed away — and many others), are mentioned and it’s a way to connect with a better time — and place.

  5. I was just (11:15 A.M. Tuesday) at an appointment on Franklin Street and noticed that the Winnebago is not there.

  6. Just to clarify, the the street you are speaking about is Franklin Street, not Franklin Ave. which is off Imperial Ave, correct? .

    • I may have mangled the Franklin Street/Ave. distinction, but the camper was not where it had been, when I was in Saugatuck this morning. Maybe it will be like the Southport Beach Shack, (last seen in a parking lot in Southport,
      near the Exit 19 I-95 N on ramp), and pop up elsewhere? I guess we will have to wait and see.

  7. Just wondering….if they set up a Westport PO Box, can their kids (if any) then attend Westport schools? Hope I didn’t open a can of worms.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

      All they’d have to do to be welcome in Westport is move the Winnebago over to the railroad station and serve hot coffee to commuters at 5AM. But the first time that anyone oversleeps their ass is grass!!!!

    • Robin, apparently you yourself did not have the advantages of “some of the best ‘schooling,'” judging by your grammar. I would think one who has grown up less fortunate might be a bit more compassionate, not less.

      • Um,, the Winnebago is gone the last I heard. Also, it was parked in front of an apartment building, not a house, where the RV people were VISITING. The people being visited were living in the apartment building, according to the person posting. Again, this insane hostility and meanness is dumbfounding. Do you people have any idea how FORTUNATE you are to live in Westport? Yes, I’m sure you work hard (or someone does) to provide you with this beautiful place to live but MANY people work just as hard as you do (or your sugar daddy or mama does), and are NOT as fortunate, some through their own bad choices, many NOT through anything but simple fate. There but for the grace of God, etc. Finally, I wasn’t “judging” someone’s educational level, I was observing it. The post was completely illiterate. However I later took the first opportunity to apologize and retract my comments because they were personal and yes, mean. That person can’t help it that she can’t write properly. But I was again stunned that she was complaining about “undeserving” children POSSIBLY getting into Westport schools, which without a street address I strongly doubt they could do anyway, certainly not with just a P.O. Box. You people are just (still) really nauseating me with your viciousness and scorn. When I grew up there, Westport was a lovely rural town full of writers, artists, musicians, and other creative people. We were hosts to the Mississippi Summer Project exchange program for African-American students from the South to attend our schools and vice-versa; Rabbi Rubenstein had Martin Luther King speak at Temple Israel, Tracy Sugarman and others advocated for peace and civil rights and we students joined them. We believed in equality, certainly in mercy and simple politesse. Those are the people (like Tracy Sugarman) I like to read about on this blog, not people spewing hate, paranoia and spite. Hogging 2 or 3 parking spaces (or a disabled person’s space) in a BMW is one thing; a poor person visiting relatives is, IMHO, a bit different. Peace out.

    • Mary Ann West

      Ed, I’m sure this is in jest, what if they did have kids? Should they not attend school?

  8. Sandy Soennichsen

    Why is this even something to be discussed? Did anyone check with the home owners/residents there to see how long it would be there? Is it family visiting family? Geez people….if that’s all you have to complain about, you have it good. No worries about Obamacare; no worries about the health and welfare of your family; no worries about any problems with the education system in town; no worries about which senior citizens can stay in this idyllic little town…… must all have it good.

  9. Try living in Austin during South by Southwest.

  10. I was out of line. I apologize sincerely for what I wrote about you personally. I regretted it immediately. But I am shocked and saddened at the cruelty and mean-spirited comments here. I grew up in Westport too, a long time ago, and people didn’t have these attitudes then. By the way, I’m sure school districts don’t accept PO boxes as addresses for children. Nice to see the holiday spirit here – not.

  11. PS I am no longer subscribing to this blog, NOT to hide from your attacks on me personally (believe me, I can take it) but because the general tenor of what i have read today, and observed on a recent visit to Westport, sickens me. I enjoyed reading about dear Sally and her records, whom I remember so fondly, including talking with her while getting music for my sister’s funeral; the Remarkable Book Shop, where I had my first job; the Staples Players, which I loved being a part of along with the Staples band, orchestra and choir; the early rock concerts I saw (Yardbirds, Remains and many others). And of course, the Civil Rights and peace movements, SNCC, CORE, etc. But I don’t enjoy this, so if you post any more nasty replies to me, I won’t see them and I don’t care about them. I’m sorry a beautiful place has turned into a haven for haters. I was one of many who worked hard, when I had the joy and privilege of growing up there, who tried to make it, and the world, a nicer, kinder, better place. Sorry to learn it is going the other way, big time. But it’s certainly clear to me after today that is the case.

  12. I dunno. The comments seem pretty tame.

  13. Hey Madeleine — I was hoping you’d stick around. I loved your candor and your heart here. I’m like you, a former Westporter long gone but a great love for my childhood town and home. Such fond memories of the place, the scenes, the people, the spirit — it was a golden era that, yes, has, passed and there’s a new sheriff in town.

    Don’t leave 06880 — keep some of the old Westport around with some of us that love it in our mind’s eye and why we hang around 06880. I love Dan’s photos, snapshots of the past, news, and all — great stuff. Don’t deprive yourself because you had an honest and charitable reaction to some differing comments about privilege. Who cares! You were nice and followed our own heart and were civil — hang around! 🙂

  14. Sandy Soennichsen

    Mandy…..sorry to see you go like this. However, I do feel a bit like you at times. Seems the majority of people in Westport feel that they are entitled to something, usually something that benefits them and forget about anyone else. It shows up in their attitudes, their driving, their relationships with unknown people they come across, etc. And unfortunately, it comes across in their children’s attitudes also. We used to call it the “nouveau riche” attitude, now it can probably be called the Westport Attitude. People who forgot where they came from. It’s not easy living with them, you have to build this perimeter around yourself that keeps reminding you that you are a better person, at least happier. Unfortunately, as BJ said above, this is a new era in town, and there is a new sheriff and posse…….Westport will never revert back to that period that many of us so fondly remember, eventhough we are definitely entitled to that! Think about staying…..remember, you are probably a better person.

    • I was cheering Mandy on from the sidelines here as it was kind of an appalling attitude to say some of the things that are now gone here in the comments. Interesting. But, I say “More Mandy” — it was awesome, she laid it out there, and was real and she has charity and values that apparently don’t resonate with some of the new Westport but they sure did with me. And I feel the same about the old Westport as Mandy — it was a cool town with wonderful people and spirit. I love to drive through every summer or have a meal in Westport and have my memories — and it’s changed a lot in ways that Mandy speaks of and you also Sandy. If it were my street and my neighbor, I would have kindly knocked on the door and asked “how about we work out a street visibility problem together?” instead of calling police, fire dept., health dept and then posting a long complaint with visuals — how humiliating for that family. Sad.

      • I removed comments that were not accompanied by the writer’s full name, as I’ve been doing for several months. (It sometimes takes me a while — this is not my fulltime job!). If a real email is provided, I write the commenter and ask him or her to repost using real, full names. Sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t.

        • Yes, get it. Thanks for all of the posts, photos, memories – loving the Ice Cream Parlor posts. Wouldn’t that be quite something to have that force back in Westport again.

  15. Carol D'Amico

    Late in the comments here but… i lived in that white house/apartment for 5 years between 1982 – 1987! What a fabulous spot for a young woman in her 20s. Really…the best of times. That apartment building (which once was a house) was broken up into four apartments. I lived in the studio apartment and have the best memories of Franklin Street. I suspected when i first saw this post that it was just someone visiting a resident in the bui building and was probably just a few days. ion antother note, mean people are everywhere, not just Westport. You just have to tell yourself you are superior for not being mean…and its’ the truth!