Down By Billy’s Old Mill Beach

Many Westporters think of the beach parking staff — if we think of them at all — as men, women and teenagers who glance at our stickers, wave us through, and spend too much time dealing with out-of-towners who are incapable of understanding signs.

After reading this story, you might think differently about at least one of them.

Billy works at Old Mill Beach. A Westport resident, he clearly cares about his town, his job, and everyone who enjoys his beach.

He’s concerned about cars that speed into the parking lot too quickly, without a clear view of anyone walking along the bushes in the corner.

So he went to Toys R Us, and with his own money purchased a plastic yellow flag-holding crossing guard. Whenever he’s on duty, he places it (with “Billy” written on the arm) in a prominent spot.

Billy makes Old Mill Beach safe, and welcoming.

Billy makes Old Mill Beach safe, and welcoming. (Photo/Google Street View)

During his shift, Billy also weeds the patch across from the guard shack, leading down to the sand.

There, he created a stone sculpture. He calls it “Share the Love.”

When alert reader Barbara Cross — who sent along this story — asked if she could take a picture, he said, “Sure! Share the love!”

His care and concern are infectious. An Old Mill resident is donating mulch to cover Billy’s beautified area.

Barbara had a great conversation with Billy the other day. She learned he comes from a family of Marines, and had a full ride to the University of Hawaii as a football player. She and Billy talked about sports concussions, and athletes who graduate without a functional education. Billy, she says, has made the most of his opportunities.

Old Mill Beach — no, all of Westport — are better for it.

5 responses to “Down By Billy’s Old Mill Beach

  1. KENDALL GARDINER

    Thanks, Dan for this great story about Billy.
    I walk to Old Mill Beach all year long with my (under age six) grandchildren.
    Because there are no sidewalks we have to walk back and forth in the road, and are unable to see cars approaching from the lot on one side, and on the other side cars turn in and actually seem to speed up to reach the guard shack.
    Walking with more than one child , or one that lets go of my hand is frightening.
    Billy is wonderful especially when children are walking in and out.
    He is friendly, talks to the children, and stops those cars ( many with orange plates) from racing by even when pedestrians are not in the road.
    Well done, Billy…..and many thanks for helping to keep Old Mill Beach safer for all of us.

    • Barbara Cross

      Kendall, thank you for adding your expressions of appreciation. Billy does “share the love.”

    • Thank you so much for your kind words.
      I treat old mill beach as if it was my home.
      Respect.
      Warm regards,
      Billy Senia

  2. David Squires

    Refreshing Story!
    Thanks & Enjoy…

  3. Tom Kashetta

    Bill is Bill Senia. He lives in town with his Wife Linda and three beautiful daughters. He is a GREAT guy. He is not one to sit still and just check stickers. He brought a bunch of his own tools to work and cleaned up the area. Westport needs more people like him. Way to go Bill……