There’s a certain pleasure in writing on walls — no matter what your age.
But for the men and women of Save the Children, scribbling on a wall just off the main lobby is bittersweet.
On June 2 the worldwide relief organization moves from its Wilton Road headquarters to new, larger digs in Fairfield.
Save the Children has been in Westport since 1974. Forty years of memories are now scrawled on that 1st-floor wall.
Titled “Thanks for the Memories, Westport,” it’s where the 300 employees memorialize the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, the scary, and — hey, this is a workplace — the trivial and mundane.
Sitting a few feet from the river, there are many memories of hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. Gloria, Irene, Sandy — they’re all there.
Animals were big, apparently. Save the Children workers saw plenty of geese, swans, turtles, cormorants, beavers and deer. They heard crickets. And one memorable storm drain rescue caused a temporary name change for the organization, to “Save the Ducks.”
The wall is filled with other memories: “Annual trip to the Sidewalk Sales.” “The gift shop.” “Walking to the library.” “Our community garden.” “The scenery.”
One person will remember “Kurt the UPS guy.” Another recalls “Meeting my husband.” (I don’t think he’s Kurt.)
Not all the memories are written on the wall. The other day Andrea Williamson, Erin Bradshaw and Ginger Tinsley gathered in the lobby, and talked about what working in Westport has meant to them.
They spoke of shopping on Main Street at Gristede’s and Liquor Locker. Of the bar around the corner (Bridge Grille) and the one down Riverside (Black Duck). They mentioned how helpful local institutions like the Saugatuck Rowing Club, Saugatuck Congregational Church and Earthplace have been to Save the Children.
But then we turned back to the wall. An entire history of the past 40 years is enshrined in just 2 lines.
Looking ahead to Fairfield, one employee will not miss “the soul-crushing commute.”
But another will never forget “quiet, still mornings on the river.”