Bob Braczyk’s Business Is Picking Up

Nearly every weekend, Bob Braczyk and his wife Monica Bernier come to Westport from their Manhattan apartment.

Every morning they’re here — rain or shine — Bob joins Mark Yurkiw and his wife Wendy Van Wie on their daily 3.5-mile dog walk. The route includes Cross Highway, Sturges Highway, Meeker Road and Bayberry Lane.

Bob is here to relax. But when he joins the Yurkiws Bob brings a plastic claw, and the biggest recycled plastic bag he can find. He wants to clean the streets of his weekend hometown.

No matter how big the bag — and some are huge — he always fills it up. By the end, he’s stuffing in more trash than it can hold.

Bob Braczyk, with one day's haul.

Bob Braczyk, with one day’s haul. Keeping pace is Wendy Van Wie.

Mostly, Mark says, the garbage is

  • Coffee cups
  • Beer cans
  • Liquor bottles
  • Cigarette packs
  • Fast food wrappers
  • Really gross things

“It’s virtually always the same items,” Mark says. “And I suspect from the same people — who live here.”

It’s great that Bob — who lives here only a couple of days a week — cleans up after us.

But what a shame he has to.

10 responses to “Bob Braczyk’s Business Is Picking Up

  1. brad french

    Awesome.I do the same. Litter happens. Great Karma! Make your area better.

  2. Jamie Walsh

    Thanks Bob! You are a true steward of Cross And Sturges Highways!

  3. First, kudos to Bob for incorporating this public service into hiss walking ritual. I find the same sort of stuff along the road by my my house. Not surprisingly, have never noticed any empty boxes of quinoa or protein shake containers.

    Am surprised by your comment at the end, Dan, “….clean up after us.” It implies that the litter was created by Westporters. While I am sure there are some locals who have added to the mess, I had always figured every time I have picked up litter that it most likely came from people driving through town from elsewhere.

  4. Kathleen Burke

    Dan, our classmate, Jalna Jaeger Callan, does this on her daily walk. A gentleman on the Norwalk Beautification committee saw her in action a few weeks ago, and flagged her down and got a present for her out of his car. It was a brand new claw.

  5. Stephanie Bass

    …bad parenting…

  6. Thank you, Bob. You remind me of my Daddy who, back in Detroit in the 60’s, would take our scottie-dog for a walk early in the morning with the same mission so that, “The kids going to school wouldn’t see” as you put it, ‘the gross things” that people chuck out their car windows.

    You made me smile as I read this one as I think of you -as the others who responded in kind- as heroes…so few but so respected in my heart.

  7. Thank you Bob for picking up the garbage and making our community a better and cleaner place to live.

    I have been fortunate to live on Sturges highway for 18 years. When you drive on Sturges you will quickly notice that all of us take great care of our properties. We welcome the community of Westport to take a drive up Sturges Highway, you will see a beautiful horse farm and ponds that are magnificent. On any given day you might see an artist painting the beauty of the landscape by the pond.

    Like you, I am concerned by any amount of garbage on Sturges highway. But I would take a guess that if the garbage was picked up on a Saturday you wouldn’t see it again till Monday.

    I find it hard to believe that my neighbors who spend countless hours working on beautifying the outside of their homes would trash the neighborhood we all love.

    Dee Chapman

  8. Julian Oldale

    Not sure I agree that it comes from’us’ until recently I lived on cross hwy. constantly had to pick up trash from our driveway, seemed to be mostly fast food wrappers and drink cans. I would hope that those who live in town take a little pride in keeping the streets clean, to keep our town beautiful.
    I think tying in the mess left at compo and hhat thrown out of cars are two different things but symptomatic of the same laziness.

  9. Marcy Anson Fralick Staples '70

    Does Westport have the Adopt A Highway program? I think it’s national. What Bob’s doing is exactly what the program encourages…people or groups to “adopt” a stretch of highway and pledge to clean it up on a scheduled basis. We have them throughout the Southwest and it does help to keep the highways, roads, hillsides and walkways clean. Our local minimum security prisons also have inmate work days where they’ll take the prisoners out and have them clean up the trash from the interstates or major highways. I wish there were more Bob Braczyk’s in this world. He’s making a huge difference in Westport….kudos, Bob!