This week, “06880” turns 7 years old. My, how our little blog has grown!
365 days a year — often multiple times a day — “06880” (aka “yours truly”) posts stories. They appear on your phone, on your laptop, in your inbox — without fail. Like wacky weather, entitled drivers and the Minuteman in your driveway, “06880” is a part of Westport life.
In those 7 years I have written more than 5,300 stories. Whew!
Just as impressively — because “06880” is not really a blog, but a community — you all have posted nearly 60,000 comments. Holy ****!
“06880” covers the waterfront. And by that I don’t just mean Compo, Longshore, Old Mill, Sherwood Mill Pond, Burying Hill, Saugatuck Shores, Nash’s Pond, the Saugatuck and Aspetuck Rivers, and Muddy Brook.
I mean everything that goes on in this town.
The good — no, the incredibly amazing — things that Westporters do. Raising money for Bridgeport fire victims, local organizations and African villagers. Starting businesses and raising families. Living life fully every day, while nurturing the town that nurtures them.
The bad. Enough said.
And everything in between. Schools, the Town Farm, cops, the library, real estate, religion, commuting, the Y — if there’s a Westport connection, I’ll find out about it.
Then I’ll write about it.
I do that 365 days a year. But once a year, on the 365th day — my anniversary — I put out my tin cup.
Because I do a lot more than write what I hope are moderately interesting stories.
I also do research. I interview. I moderate and respond to comments — and to every private email. I scour the interwebs for photos, and take my own. I also size and frame them.
I answer all kinds of questions. Like “What was the name of the restaurant that used to be where…?” And “Can you forward my email to…?” As well as “Will you fix the typo in my comment?” Plus (OMG) “My daughter is selling Girl Scout cookies. Can you let everyone know?”
I even spend money on “06880.” I pay to keep it ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for photo-editing software.
If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.” Scroll down — details at the bottom!
Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.
If my 5,300 stories are worth a penny each, that’s $53. If half of them are worth a dime each, that’s $265. I’ll leave other calculations to you.
I hope that if “06880” has ever
- made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
- spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
- kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
- alerted you to a new housing or zoning development in town
- delivered news about a favorite person or store
- galvanized you to support a cause
- helped publicize your event, book, appearance or concert
- published your photo
- paid tribute to someone you loved or admired
- connected you to your hometown from many miles away
- saved you time or money
- opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
- given you a voice in the “Comments” section
- inspired you
- made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “holy f—!”)
— you will consider tossing something my way.
Thanks for 7 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.
We’ll still have our annual summer “06880” party at the beach. Plus the weekly photo challenge.
But hey. You tip a taxi driver you don’t even know for a 5-minute ride, right?
You can donate by PayPal: click here. It’s easy (and safe)! You don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, try www.paypal.com; then log in, create an account, or send money from the drop-down menu by entering this email address: email@example.com. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”
Checks may be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880″ on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.
I cannot believe that 06880 started only one year before I returned to Westport after many years in Washinton,DC . Keep up the good work Dan and thank you !
Westport Historical Society
Wait — I thought you moved here as an infant!
you deserve every penny dime dollar $$$$
keep up the good work you are a Westport Treasure
And right back at ya, Mike — thank you! See you at the beach…
I never seemed to have time to read your blog while I was living in WP. I guess I just ‘lived it”. I recently moved to Bonita Springs, Fl and now subscribe to your blog and I love it! It keeps me abreast with what is going on in WP and brings back many memories. Thank you.
THANKS, Diana — much appreciated. Glad you still feel part of Westport — I hope Bonita Springs is good to you too!
Another amazing year Dan! We love you because you write about the great…the good…the bad…and the ugly sides of Westport in a factual and direct manner!
Thanks, Jamie! And fortunately for all of us, the great and the good far overwhelm the bad and the ugly. May it ever be thus!
Don’t know what I would do without
‘06880’. It’s with me wherever I go.
Thank you, Judy!
Happy anniversary, Dan. It’s been about half a century since I lived in Westport, but I’ve reconnected with what I consider to be my hometown thanks to your work.
Happy anniversary, Dan! 06880 informs, educates, entertains and enriches us all — and this year we actually get 366 days! Happy to click on the Donate button today to show my support of this virtual (and virtuous) town jewel. Curious: What’s your all-time favorite blog posting?
Thanks, Scott — and right back at ya. Thanks too for the excellent question. My answer is the same as the one any parent says, when asked about his or her favorite child: “I love them all, in special ways.”
Seriously, I can’t pick one. But I’d say that any story that elicits some reaction — whether it’s “wow,” “I never knew that,” “I forgot that,” “I learned something,” “I disagree completely” or whatever — is a good post.
Betsy is referring to a story about when Elwood Betts — a beloved, longtime Westporter — saw the Hindenburg fly over Westport, just a few hours before its disastrous end: http://06880danwoog.com/2012/05/06/elwood-betts-remembers-the-hindenburg/
Tough and tricky question, darn you. Aside from the many inspiring stories of just how amazing the kids at Staples, past and present, are, I think I’d have to pick the “No More Trolls” posting from April 2013, in which you called on us commenters to be personally accountable.
Wow – that WAS a good one! Here is the link: http://06880danwoog.com/2013/04/26/no-more-trolls/
And the follow-up a year later: http://06880danwoog.com/2014/04/26/no-more-trolls-the-sequel/
Those were the days!
Happy anniversary! I join the many grateful Westporters who say thank you for training your journalistic lens on our great town. We look forward to enjoying 06880 for many more years to come!
Thank you, Rabia!
06880 is the first click on my mouse every day. It keeps me in touch with what is going on in the old home town. Many Thanks Dan – Dick Alley
Wow – what a great honor. To those who don’t know Dick Alley, he was one of Westport’s Finest — and still is!
5,300 stories is simply amazing! You do a heck of a job, Dan, keeping us all informed of what is happening in and around Westport. I certainly appreciate all the work you do. The writing is only part of it. You do research and interview people, but you also spend money on the blog in a number of ways. I hope the over 5,000 followers of this blog will send something your way. So how come you don’t have your P.O. Box address listed for sending donations? Congratulations on your 7th year anniversary!
Thanks, Barbara — much appreciated! No PO box for me — just 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880! 🙂
Borrowing from “The Graduate,” I have just two words for you: “subscription model.” Since many of your readers pay a good amount to read The New York Times and/or the Wall Street Journal, I think a number of them would pay to read 06880. Happy anniversary.
You are amazing; as all are your honest, factual, funny, interesting and simply all around awesome daily posts. I am so thankful that my friend (Amy Swanson) tuned our family on to your blog as soon as we moved to this amazing town. CONGRATULATIONS on your anniversary Dan!
THANKS, Nicole! I’m so glad you came to our “06880” summer party a couple of weeks after you moved here. And I’m proud our friendship has grown since then. Here’s to both of us!
Dan- your humor and your intelligent columns are a great way to start the day!! And who would have ever known so much fun, interesting, awe inspiring and terrible parking was going on in this small corner of Connecticut with out your 06880danwoog.com!! Thanks!!
Thanks, Steve! And I appreciate your comments and story tips too — we’re all in this together!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Dan!! All the accolades are so well-deserved, but there IS one thing you apparently don’t do…………..sleep!! Wishing you continued success as you keep all of us informed ~ you’re the BEST! $$ on their way………..
THANKS, Deb. Hearing your wonderful wishes means a lot — the Holliday family goes back a LONG way in Westport. As for sleep: what’s that?!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, to you and your followers; it’s a two way street.
You’re a combination of Town Crier and the soul of the community, and we’re very fortunate to have you and 06880.
I suspect we’re all with you for the long haul. Westport is that special place where “You can check out any time you like/ But you can never leave!”
You remind us of where we are, or where we came from in your fascinating blogs. You’re not rattling your tin cup, but instead allowing us to participate with you. Thanks for the opportunity. And the check is in the mail.
Adam, thank you so much! I know you (like many of us) have checked out from time to time. But none of us ever leave. Why would we?!
Many conversations in our family begin with “Did you see today’s 06880?” Your stories are enlightening, informing and entertaining. Thanks!!
THANKS, Dan! I hope those conversations are good ones!
Thanks Dan for all the car photos that make us laugh and almost cry, for the good and the bad. I am kinda glad to not be there but still check out 06880 everyday and forward to people I know will appreciate your news. Thank you for covering special things like Amy’s Little Black Dog Resuce, Tiny Miracles and all the wonderful heartfelt stories about the people who make a difference in a good way. Love your humor and sarcasm and all the in between.!!!!!
Thanks, Robin. It’s a great “ride,” isn’t it?!
Dan, have you considered setting up an account on Patreon? A lot of web content creators use that to get regular donations from people who like their work.
Great idea – thanks, Brian!