I’m away from “06880” for a few days — literally, though not cyberhoodically.
I’m in 05676. That’s Vermont. The Staples boys soccer team is on its annual summer trip. A ropes course, running up and down mountains, paintball — you know, the usual stuff.
I love Westport. I also love Vermont. They’re very different, of course. But, a couple of days before I left, I realized that there’s a little bit of Vermont in one tiny corner of Westport.
It’s Christie’s Country Store.
Everything about it — including the name, which it’s kept since 1926 — oozes a simpler way of life. (Though the food — in a nod to modern-day tastes — is not stuck in the Jazz Age.) And there’s a great ice cream stand next door. (Right next to a great auto repair shop.)
All day long, real people wander in. Local kids ride bikes. Neighbors meet neighbors. Contractors, lawn maintenance guys, repairmen, delivery folks — all stop by.
Most customers are regulars. They banter with the staff.
They hang out at large tables inside. Or eat on the porch.
And there — watching what passes for the world going by on Cross Highway — is the real Vermont vibe.
It’s quiet. It’s green. It’s serene.
Occasionally, cars go past. A guy on a bike, or a woman walking a dog. But they’re all at the right speed.
I eat in peace. I’ll soon have Westport places to go, Westport things to do.
But for a while, at least, I have Vermont.
I grew up at 228 Bayberry Lane and my grandfather Leslie Mills lived on Cross Highway. He owned and drove one of the school buses in Westport, before Massiello bus Company ran the whole thing. I would ride my bike down to Christie’s and meed my grandpa there and enjoy a soda and candy bar with him.
I of course also met my friends there. I remember Christie’s of course when Christie ran the store, with Don and another gentleman there. In the early days they used to grow some of the vegetables in the back, before all the houses went up.
Lots of memories of Christie’ s Country Store just came back with this story, all these years later. Thanks for so many great stories and the memories of Westport you bring back to us all.
I haven’t been there in years Dan;( Thank you for reminding me that it’s
there, and very much like you described. I will make it over to that
“Vermontian” part of town very soon!
Maybe I will see you there;)
A short walk up the road and we love it. Also, Tim runs the beast garage in the area.
Enjoy Vermont, Dan.
Growing up on Woody Lane put me a quick bike ride away from a Charleston Chew at Christies, or putting air in my bike tires at the gas station. Christie, Mary and Don (and Jim at the gas station I think) are a part of my Norman Rockwell memories of those days. A few weekends back, my kids and I rode our bikes to Christie’s (a slightly longer ride than it was for me some 40 years ago) for some ice cream. Sitting on the generous front porch there with my kids, it was as if I had brought them back to 1972 with me. A real local treasure.
Dan, hope the pace is a little slower than in Westport! Enjoy Vermont while you can and return relaxed and refreshed.
Yeah that’s when a real cool 69 Z/28 would roll on by and as cool as we may have been with our Honda Mini Trails and our Schwinn or Raleigh Chopper bikes…never as cool as the guy rumbling by in the Camaro! Wow…just, took myself back 40 Years
When my husband and I were house hunting, we drove our realtors insane with our love for Westport, as it reminded us of Vermont , where we both grew up. Glad others see the resemblance too.
the other “gentleman there” would have been Jimmy or his father Jimmy
I am late in seeing this article and therefore in writing a response but as a Woody Lane resident who is a frequent visitor to Christie’s I wanted to to add my 2 cents. John and Renee Hooper have done a great job in retaining that Vermont feel AND with the food options. I encourage those of you who have not been there to go and check it out! And of course, the garage and the ice cream gazebo are both fantastic as well as their own separate businesses! We are lucky to have it in our neighborhood!
I am very pleased to hear that Christie’s is still going strong and still has the look and feel of all those years ago. I’m going to be in town next week, and I’m hoping to sit on the porch with my daughter, who is named after my great-aunt Christie, and tell her some stories about those days.
I know there have been several different owners since my family sold the property and business, and it is an honor to my aunt Christie that her name continues to grace the building and that the building a premises look much like it did sixty years ago. Not a small feat in this day and age… Thank you!!!
BTW, Jack is referring to Jim Harmon, who ran the service station in the 70s and 80s. My father and uncle (Richie and Jim Masiello) ran it for a time before they started ‘Model Garage’ in the building behind Carvel.