Hey! I Know You!

Last night, the Westport Historical Society celebrated 2 new exhibits.

“Larry Silver/Westport Visions” is a fascinating look at our town, through 40 years of remarkable photos. Larry has focused a keen eye on Longshore, downtown, the railroad station — you name it, he’s captured it in a special way.

"Compo Beach Showers" (Photo/Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

“Compo Beach Showers” (Photo/Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

His most remarked-on shot last night may have been the “Dragon Lady”: the striking woman who for years strode up and down Compo in heels. If you didn’t know her, don’t call yourself a Westporter.

Equally intriguing is the 2nd exhibit, in the smaller Mollie Donovan Gallery. “Faces in the Crowd” consists of a few dozen group shots from long (and longer) ago. Class shots, Little League teams, parties — if there was a gathering in Westport, it might be on the wall.

Here’s one, of teenage Hi-Y Club members at the YMCA:

WHS - Hi-Y

And another of a crazy party in the barn at 57 Kings Highway North, owned by Ann Sheffer’s grandparents:

WHS - barn party

But what’s really fun is the interactivity. Each photo has a number; each number has a small notebook. If you recognize someone in any of the photos — Ed Hall, say, or Harold von Schmidt or Dan Woog — you can write where that person is in the photo, and add something about the scene.

Yeah, me. I’m in the WHS exhibit, in the photo below. Go, Apaches!

DW - Little League

(The Westport Historical Society is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday 12-4 p.m.)

21 responses to “Hey! I Know You!

  1. Judi Simonetti

    I’m not sure if the Dragon Lady you refer to is a neighbor I grew up with, Mrs. Mars. She had a big black bouffant hair do and was quite eccentric, definitely one to wear heels to the beach. She was such a sweet and great lady! Her daughter, Melinda, was a Vegas showgirl (from what my mom tells me). This was back in the very early to mid 70’s. I think she would have liked the nickname, Dragon Lady! It’s a cool name and she was a cool lady!

  2. Oh my, The Dragon Lady!!

  3. I remember the Dragon Lady! She always wore animal print print outfits, high heels, had long black hair, red lipstick and sunglasses …At least that is how I remember her 🙂 Can you post the picture of her Dan?

  4. Joyce Barnhart

    I remember the Dragon Lady from Stop & Shop. She was such an exotic creature to be doing something as mundane as buying groceries. I was told her husband was an executive at IBM. If true, she must have really stood out among the wives!

  5. Judi Simonetti

    I misspoke about her daughter, Melinda, she worked at Circus Circus, a showy job, but was too short to be a showgirl. Her second husband had her on state with him and he was a mentalist! They were great neighbors! We all lived on Blue Coat Lane off North Avenue.

  6. Another memory restored….”The Dragon Lady”! She certainly did stand out, especially wearing heels and a large hat at Compo, while many of us were barefooted or flip-flop adorned. It would be terrific to see a picture of her Dan. I have to wonder who came up with her nickname?

    • I am trying to get a high-res photo. If so, I will post it. She (Ms. Meagher) is certainly remembered by a lot of people!

    • Bobbie Herman

      I remember her — she wore a big red hat and a fringed bikini. Not knowing who she was, my sister and I called her “Big Red.” The last I heard, she was teaching aerobics at the Senior Center (when it was still at the Greens Farms School). But that must have been 20 years ago.

  7. Jack Whittle

    I don’t have a picture, but if you were at Compo Beach during the mid to late 70s and early 80s, you would know who Dan is referring to – long dark hair, older but keeping it together ok, always in a bikini, usually sporting a large, fashionable, floppy hat, and seemed to sit in the area in front of the pavillon (where we hung out, near the splinter-giving boardwalk) but towards the water. Surely someone has a picture . . . there may be other women known locally as the dragon lady, but we are talking about the Dragon Lady of Compo Beach. There should be a plaque for her down there . . .

    • Loretta Santella Hallock

      Wow such memories. She was certainly fun to look at! I believe her name was Lee. I think she was a dancer.

  8. Doug Conner

    Was she the one always yelling “Coney Island! Coney Island!” ?

  9. Sandy Soennichsen

    Dan, I’ve been looking at those pics trying to pick you out, and I haven’t found you. Not in the party pic or the Hi Y pic, or baseball pic, so I can only guess, is thatr you in the shower?

  10. Is that you in the middle of the front row?

  11. Cherie Quain

    U look adorable. Just as I remember !!

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. Sharon Paulsen

    Wow, I remember the eccentric “beach lady” very well! (That’s what we kids, or at least my immediate friends, called her in the late 70’s, maybe early 80’s too – can’t recall for sure). Never heard the “dragon lady” reference in the past that I can remember. I do recall thinking that she was so blatantly obvious in her grandeur, trying a little too hard to stand out, and I actually felt a little embarrased for her, thinking in my young mind that she was trying too hard to look like “something that I couldn’t quite put into adolescent words” at the time. Now, I may come up with many, but, she was a cool cat, all the same. That’s not something you’ll see everyday in Westport. Vegas, yup, for sure, without a blink, but not oe’r here in ye ‘ol Wespo, LOL.