Life In The Westport Bubble

This weekend, my biggest worry is the cloudy forecast. It’s summertime. I love the beach. Will my cookout be canceled? If not, will I still be able to enjoy a lovely Compo sunset?

I do not worry about being shot at a barbecue grill.

Compo Beach: long a place of joy, peace and safety.

Compo Beach: long a place of joy, peace and safety.

I have an excellent relationship with the Westport police. I grew up with some officers. The chief is a great guy, and a good friend. I know our cops’ jobs are complex and sometimes dangerous. Of course, I do get the usual twinge of anxiety when I see a patrol car in the rear view mirror.

I do not worry about being shot by a policeman.

I own my own home, and a car. I have savings for retirement, and health insurance. I am on the low end of the Westport income scale, but that is the high end for virtually every other community in the country. I am not in the 1%, but — in a town filled with haves and have-mores — I have everything I could possibly need or want.

I do not worry about where my next meal comes from, whether the roof over my head will disappear, or if I am one doctor’s visit away from ruin.

Most Westporters feel safe and secure in our homes. (Photo/Wendy Crowther)

Most Westporters feel safe and secure in our homes. (Photo/Wendy Crowther)

I am a minority — a gay man — but I have never been treated differently because of it. On the contrary, I am surrounded by straight men and women who affirm their support for same-sex marriage, for my right to hold any job I want, for my dignity and worth as a human being.

I do not worry about being murdered in a nightclub. And I certainly do not have to worry about issues like which bathroom I use.

Walking around town, and especially at the beach, I enjoy hearing so many different languages being spoken. I drive across the Post Road bridge on jUNe Day just to see so many different flags flying proudly. I am proud to be an American, and proud to be a global citizen of the world.

I do not worry that some people do not want me here. I do not worry that because of the way I look or dress or talk, some people will make assumptions about me. And although I worry about the consequences of a wall being built on our border, that worry is for all of us. I do not worry that I will be on the other side.

On jUNe Day, the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge brims with flags from around the world. (Photo/Jeff Simon)

On jUNe Day, the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge brims with flags from around the world. (Photo/Jeff Simon)

In the comfort of my home, I watch the news on my flat-screen TV. If the images get too depressing, I can change the channel. I can order up a movie on demand, go for a walk in beautiful Winslow Park next door, or do anything else I please. If the political rhetoric gets too heated, the voices too shrill or the idiocy and hypocrisy too dismal, I can read a book on one of my many devices. Or even a real one.

But — because I am an American, and a global citizen of the world — I do not change the channel. I do not watch a movie, go for a walk or read a book. Instead — fascinated, horrified, frightened, angry, sad — I stay tuned to the latest episode of the reality show that is “America.” Every day, the plot line gets crazier and crazier.

And — in the bubble that is Westport — I worry. I worry for me. I worry for you. And I worry for all the people outside our bubble.

Because, after all, they really are all of us too.

72 responses to “Life In The Westport Bubble

  1. Phyllis Hirschfield

    This is how we all should feel, Dan. I woke up this morning feeling a sense of dread, putting off reading the news for fear of what horrific events may have occurred since last night’s newscast. Waking up and reading this thoughtful, sensitive piece is a wake up call. Our “first world problems” pale in comparison to those outside our bubble. We need to be reminded of our blessings, but also of our responsibility to share those blessings with those in need. Thanks for reminding us.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Charles Taylor

    Nailed it

  3. Ingi Soliman

    Beautifully written Dan!

  4. Chuck Colletti

    Nicely said dan.

  5. Carolanne Curry

    Dan, you have said it eloquently.
    I only add that I do not worry when I disagree with local governing procedures.
    I can voice my concern and engage in the forums that are in place for any concerned citizen of Westport. This is the treasure of democracy and the treasure of Westport for me.

  6. Jens Buettner

    Well spoken Dan!
    I moved here 4 years ago from France and I agree, people can’t often enough be reminded that whole Fairfield County is more or less like a gated community, a huge protected bubble and that a lot of people don’t see the reality, what is going on in the rest of this country.

  7. Laurie Vogel

    Very true and very moving.

  8. Peter Flatow

    Dan, my wish is the Westport bubble were bigger. Having worked in Washington during the ’68 riots and the post riot reconstruction and witnessed the pandemonium of the Democratic Convention the same year, the similarities are most troubling. I know we have made progress but way too little. The symptoms of past unrest are all to prevalent. The media, social and otherwise, (and people with access to it) being so much more pervasive and incendiary cause me concern that the horror of the late ’60s will be played out yet again.

  9. Thank you, Dan, for providing my Sunday morning sermon. I will quote you in today’s blog post.

  10. Cherie Quain

    Beautiful

    Sent from my iPhone

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  11. Bless you for this, Dan. And, I’m pretty sure our Black and Brown neighbors, even here in Westport, don’t share that same feeling of security. Just ask a parent of a child in our town who isn’t white.

  12. Deborah King

    Lovely piece Dan. Indeed we are so lucky, some of us. It is important to be aware of this reality.

  13. Very well said, Dan.

  14. I see that lots of Unitarians chimed in on this one. Recommendation on netflix: ZEITGEIST, THE MOVIE (http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com)

  15. Janette Kinnally

    Beautifully written Dan. We used to be in a bubble, but racism is pervasive here too. This is a predominantly white area and friends of mine that are black, Indian and Hispanic in this area have had many injustices here in Westport too. I don’t feel that I am in a bubble here. As a parent, I worry about my kids when I drop them off at school (will there be a violent person who enters our school, or will there be another suicide – the second biggest killer of youth) or I need to watch them play at the Compo playground (our parents never worried about that when we were growing up).
    It is a different world, with the immediate access we have to news and information across the globe. Even though we live in an area with a lot of wealth surrounding us, we really are not in that bubble anymore.

  16. A.David Wunsch

    Well done, Dan.
    ADW Staples 1956

  17. Michael Johnson

    Well done Coach, well done!

  18. Great piece Dan, inspirational, for sure…

  19. Mary Lynn Halland

    Lovely. Thank you.

  20. You made me cry. Some of us are very lucky, including me, but it’s getting very ugly out there for so many people and I get afraid that no one can change it.

  21. Nice Dan! But it’s not a “bubble” as long as we remind ourselves of exactly what you have described. So yeah, thanks for bursting my “bubble”.

  22. Beautifully put, Dan. God bless us, Everyone.

  23. Susan Holden

    Lovely piece Dan! And if that is your home, it is beautiful;)
    You expressed the same feelings many of of (who take the time to acknowledge them) have.

    As a baby boomer, I remember a time of “Father Knows Best” and “I Remember Mama”, playing on our one TV in the Living Room and going out to play hopscotch, or handball in front of our building on West End Ave. No computers, or cell phones or
    multiplex movie theaters. There were no mass shootings either. (Other than gangster related)
    It was a wonderful time in history when children worried about what to wear to the school dance
    and not how to react to a school sniper attack.
    It is very sad that along with incredible technological advances, the world has become even smaller and now terrorism is a mere click away from us.
    I worry about what will happen to the world. The children, all children. African, Indian, Chinese, Middle East, ALL children are innocent and deserve
    love, food, shelter, education, and peace. Clean water is considered a luxury, in many parts of our “modern world”.
    Guns must be available to none other than the military and manufacturers must be held accountable for who they sell them to.
    Yes, some will get them illegally but eventually in time, that will diminish. Police should be armed with powerful stun guns. Those that would incapacitate people but NOT kill them.
    Gun shows should not be permitted to sell to anyone.
    As a matter of fact, they should not be allowed at all. Want to learn about guns? Visit the library or Hoogle it if you want to stay home! It is very sad that we have evolved from peaceful simplicity, to “chaotic complexity”.

    Donald Trump inches away from running our country, the Democratic option not ideal either. Shootings of innocent people are rampant because of their skin color. Nazi Germany cones to mind!
    Very sad. I pray my 22 year old son will someday know the kind of peace and freedom that I knew.
    I pray we all do.

    Thank you for your article Dan. I’m always aware of the inequities in our world. We are moving out of Westport soon. I will miss the wonderful friends I’ve made here and the ability to leave my door open while I walk my dogs. (I know the friendships will remain friends, but I’m not sure I will ever live in a place where I can leave my front door open again! Indeed, Westport has felt a little “bubbleish” for the 26 years we have lived here, (especially after growing up in Manhattan) but it’s been a very comfortable one!

  24. Pam Barkentin

    So true, Dan. It’s a very hard time for everyone, and we are so lucky to be in this safe place now. However, no matter how safe our sanctuary appears, it could change as rapidly as other affluent communities did in some other historical eras.

  25. Wendy Batteau

    Yes to all, Dan.
    And, repeating your words: And — in the bubble that is Westport — I worry. I worry for me. I worry for you. And I worry for all the people outside our bubble. Because, after all, they really are all of us too.
    And, we all need to do something beyond worry.

  26. I worry too. I am a gay woman and I know how lucky we are to live in Westport..but I worry that we have forgotten how to be good neighbors to the other countries in the world and that our greed for natural resources and our willingness to go to war, instead of using our intellectual capabilities to talk , to negotiate, to listen to what other countries need in good faith, are becoming our
    dominant characteristics . I know we have the power to do this warring, but do we have the wisdom to find another way?

  27. Peter Jennings Talbot

    A great, poignant, thoughtful piece, Dan. Well done.

  28. “Don’t sit this one out. Do Something. By chance of fate, you are alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” Carl Sagan

    Our window to act on social and environmental restoration is closing. We need the bubble, just as the bubble needs society to function.

    How can we address the ever widening rifts in society and economy? How can we stop environmental liquidation before it’s too late?

    Social restoration is often harder because it is difficult to undo the outcomes resulting from lack of education and nutrition, access to cultural diversity and purpose. We can start by agreeing that fixing the inputs available to underserved communities is a strategy for getting better outcomes. Better schools, not better prisons and more policing. Strong communities and a business model that keeps profits in those communities that need it most.

    Fixing our food and energy systems can be made to address both social and environmental systems. The solution are there but there is often resistance, not support, from places like the bubble. We can be optimistic that, to quote Wallace, “after the final no, there comes a yes, and on that yes, the future world depends.”

    Why is there no solar on the new YMCA? Why not on Staples or in the field south of Wakeman Farm? Don’t we want to showcase, to our children, the economy of the future? These are smart, proven solutions. Security, at a profit and $1T in global investment in the past three years should de-mystify this needed solution.

    The bubble could build a large indoor agriculture industry in Bridgeport, strengthen the local economy, and collect the profits. We could easily do a million plus square feet and provide hundreds of new skilled sustainability jobs.

    We could follow the lead of Kentucky and permit commercial industrial hemp. Partnering with our neighbors up north who, to quote one 1st selectman, “would support anything that gives out young people work.”, and again with Bridgeport, we could birth a domestic manufacturing industry for everything from building products to clothing to bags and containers. Not to mention the enormous benefit to the soil!

    The bubble could recognize that inequality is a math issue; having nothing to do with ideology but instead opportunity. If we don’t address inequality; the bubble will pop.

    The Teslas, the support for the local movement and organic products is great! We need those choices and they are moving the dial – but we’re in the final stages of the race here, and as Sagan says, at the absolutely most critical moment. We need more. We need everyone.

  29. Excellent, Dan.

  30. Susan Iseman

    Great sentiment Dan, we are blessed. Sadly, the reality of gun violence in this country scares me, Westport bubble or not. It can happen anywhere.

  31. If there is a bubble, it is a very large bubble. The state and federal governments are under the bubble. They are telling us what sort of housing stock we should have (8-30g). How we should treat historically significant structures (The Cribari Bridge). The state DOT is putting on display its monumental ineptitude as it struggles to repair one small bridge on North Avenue, and inconveniences local drivers. Under the bubble we suffer the consequences of the financial catastrophes originating in Hartford. Both the state and federal government have their hands in our pockets 24/7. I wish there were a smaller bubble.

  32. Nancy Austin

    We are so fortunate to have you in town with your very thoughtful, insightful and intelligent comments.

  33. I’ve never commented before even though I read your blog every day. But God I loved that

  34. Mary Maynard

    Who can pop the bubble? Billions poured into clean classroon with teachers paid like hedge-funders might do it, but I despair of that ever happening. And so we go on

  35. Marcy Anson Fralick -- Staples Class of 1970

    Dan, you spoke very eloquently and honestly. I feel safe where I am, in a small suburb of Tucson, 99% white, somewhat older, but many families, a great police department, very low crime, and fairly affluent. It’s a bubble, too. But, it’s close enough to Tucson, and between two major corridors out of Mexico; I-10 and SH 77, so our town does lure the occasional Central American or Mexican (not so much anymore, mostly Guatemalans) drug runner to come through here. There are some stash houses, but very few and only the uninitiated, unaffiliated smugglers (drugs, humans, weapons) are stupid enough to consider living here, even short term. Our citizens are vigilant. Our police force is exceptional. But Tucson is only 10 miles south of us along that infamous Oracle Rd.; i.e. SH 77, and in parts of Tucson, it can be dicey. Like any large city of 500K or more, parts of it are extraordinarily affluent, and others are slums. There is a mix of people in Tucson, but in the not-so-nice areas, it’s mostly Hispanics or Latinos, with a few African-Americans. There is racial profiling to some extent.

    My son is 27. He was thrown in a Porta-John in Denver when he was just minutes old. He landed on his back and floated in excrement for about half an hour before he was found. He has some fairly significant learning disabilities due to oxygen deprivation and ingestion of toxic chemicals. He’s half Native American and half Hispanic. His skin is Native American dark. He grew up, as did our other birth children, in a remote, all-white town of 400 people in the Colorado Rockies where prejudice and racism didn’t exist. He doesn’t drive, walks everywhere, has lots of racially mixed friends, many LBGTQ friends, older, younger, professional and unemployed friends. He’s incapable of violence and is a gentle, loving soul. He has traveled all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Hawai’i without any issues, until he was at the Tucson International Airport. Sitting between his father and me in an outer waiting area, two Border Patrol bike officers assigned to the airport came up to him and began asking him questions such as, “Where were you born? What is your native language? What are your parents’ names? What is your birth date?”. This was done as he sat between us. My husband, an attorney, immediately told them this was his son, and that we (pointing to me and our son) were traveling back to Denver from visiting Tucson for three weeks of baseball Spring Training. One look at my husband and me, then at Andrew, and they rode off. No apology. Nothing. Andrew was 17 and because he’s young for his age, very shaken. We were beyond livid. We were talking lawsuits. That was the first time. It’s happened since when I wasn’t around. He now lives in Tucson, on his own, and has been “profiled” two other times. Both ended with phone calls to me to come down to the police station with his birth certificate and Social Security Card, although he’s obviously not bi-lingual, obviously “slow”, and obviously very young for his age. He was crying hysterically at being detained. There were quasi-legitimate reasons: One was a woman and her toddler daughter were bike riding along the Rillito River Walk bike path and my son supposedly exposed himself to them. Giant teddy bears don’t do that. And this one hadn’t. It took six hours of interrogation to clear that up. The second time, he was walking to work in chilly weather. He was wearing a black hoodie, droopy jeans and carrying a backpack with his work clothes, lunch, and personal grooming supplies. He had on his headphone and was listening to his iPod. He was stopped, questioned, and he and his backpack searched. Obviously they found nothing, but he was so upset and crying from fear, that the female officer immediately realized there was something “off” about him. The male officer was brusque and rough. The female officer used Andrew’s phone (with permission –she was a mom and was gentle with him) and called me. I confirmed her intuitions that he was learning disabled, naive and very young for his age. He was so shaken, I had to come pick him up. He is now listed in the Tucson Police Department’s records as a vulnerable adult rather than a potential illegal. Police officers now watch for him, know the route he walks to work, talk to him, and are his “safe” people once again.

    The point of this is, growing up in small, white, affluent towns is wonderful and you don’t fear much. But when you leave that bubble, and you’re not expecting the people you trust most to be hostile, it can be traumatic. I’ve been through it as a mom, my son as a victim.

    • Adam Schwartz '75

      Marcy, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. My brother is handicapped and considered a “slow learner”. He lived with my mother his entire life until her death a few years ago but thankfully he’s living very successfully on his own in Tucson, not far from you near Oracle and Ina, and holds a full time job at Jim Click Dodge. I am also from Westport, have lived in Southern California for over 35 years and also lived in Tucson. I was stationed at Davis-Monthan for the last 8 months of my military obligation. I know Tucson and Arizona very well as I’ve done business there off and on over the past 40 years. Unfortunately, in my opinion, your son picked the worst state to live in. Arizona is easily the most bigoted and racist state I’ve even lived in or visited. Just look at MLK Day. Not only did the incoming Republican Governor kill the holiday in the late 80’s but when the citizens had the chance to vote on one or both of two bills that would have made MLK Day a reality, “both” bills were voted down at the same time! If that doesn’t cry racism, I don’t know what does. I could go on and on for hours telling you all sorts of stories based on friendships and stories I’ve heard from within the TPD and the Arizona DPS (Highway Patrol) but it doesn’t matter. Just look up Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, the state’s largest county, by population, threefold over the next largest Pima County (Tucson). This guy has been Sheriff since the early 90’s and re-elected without opposition ever since. All you need to do is go online read all of the controversy and horrible decisions he’s made over his term in office and that should give everyone a pretty good snapshot of where the State of Arizona stands in regard to race relations. How he is still a Sheriff and not in prison is amazing!

      I know exactly where you live and yes, you are pretty much in a bubble like Westport, with nothing whatsoever to do with Tucson’s crime (one of the Top 10 cities in the nation according to the FBI). I wish your son didn’t have to live there and could live in your community where he wouldn’t be singled out and harassed by the people paid and sworn to protect him. How sad is it that he had to go through what he did just to get placed on a list for the TPD to watch out for him? What about Pima County or DPS? Does he have to go through all this to get on their list also? How sad…

      BTW… The absolute best restaurant for steak in the world, tied with Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn, is about 5-7 miles Southwest of you on the other side of the I-10 on Silverbell Road. All steaks are cooked outside over a Mesquite wood pit and there’s no menu. Just say Small, Medium, or Large and everything else comes with it! You know where I’m talking about.

      • Marcy Anson Fralick, Staples Class of 1970

        Hi Adam…I support my son financially 100%. He works at a chain BBQ place as a host/server. He lives a couple of blocks from the Tucson Mall. I chose that area for him as it’s a straight shot down Oracle from me (I’m about 1/2 mile east of Oracle up against the foothills — Oracle & 1st Ave) because of the walking proximity to about 250 places of employment. He has a driver’s license, but is scared to drive. Fortunately, he has a wonderful group of friends in his apartment complex, through his community work and at his place of employment. The area he lives in is relatively low crime, but there are several area cops who routinely patrol and keep an eye on him as a “vulnerable adult”. I don’t think Pima County Sheriff would come in contact with him unless he were out west in the desert. Oro Valley has annexed south down to River Rd, west to Shannon Blvd and the Marana town line, north to Pinal county and east to the Foothills.

        Jim Click is known throughout Tucson as one of the most giving, generous men/employers. He’s incredible and sponsors so many charitable organizations and promotes many fundraisers for those organizations. Not to mention he’s really humble and a genuinely nice guy.

        My bank is in the Safeway at Oracle and Ina…and I go to the Whole Foods across the street fairly often. That Safeway is the one where Gabby Giffords was shot. I know that area by heart.

        Joe Arpaio is the laughing stock of Southern Arizona (and probably the nation for the most part), and our Governor, Doug Ducey of Cold Stone Creamery, is despised down here, especially for his massive budget cuts to education and his support of private prisons. Tucson Unified School District is one of the worst in the nation and the cuts were devastating. We tend to be a little more liberal than Phoenix, which is a really bigoted, racist, conservative city. But, as goes Phoenix, so goes Arizona for the most part. Tucson supported Bernie Sanders probably more than the other candidates. I suspect it will be neck and neck between Trump and Clinton with Clinton winning Tucson, (and Pima County). It’s different being in a fairly liberal area as we lived in tiny Divide, CO for 35 years, probably the most conservative place in Colorado…..redneck, gun rack on pick-up truck, dead deer on roof kind of place. But also one of the most beautiful places in Colorado…. If I could, I’d go back is a fraction of a heartbeat.

        I’m glad your brother is doing so well after living with your mom. That’s why I wanted my son out on his own, even if I’m supporting him. It gives him some independent living skills, some street smarts and a taste of responsibility. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I appreciate it.

        • Adam Schwartz '75

          Thanks Marcy. You say your son lives in an apartment complex near Tucson Mall? I’m wondering if he lives in the same complex as my brother? Wouldn’t that be an amazing coincidence. I have a connection (not my brother) at Jim Click and you are right on about Mr. Click and his generosity. He’s an amazing man. I can tell you stories that would blow you away. If your son needs assistance, look me up.

          • Marcy Anson Fralick -- Staples Class of '70

            Thanks, Adam for reaching out. That’s really nice. My son’s complex in on the westside of First Avenue between Limberlost and Wetmore.

  36. Jonathan Gailmor

    Eloquent and beautiful, Dan. I look forward to being with you in less than a week, within and without the bubble.

  37. Great article, Dan. We take our lives and lovely town for granted. Guilty of that myself for sure. Thanks for the reminder to not do that…

  38. Well written Dan , as usual …I give gratitude for every day I wake up and have a roof over my head and enough money to pay my bills and eat.I may not live in a Westport home, but my little house in the Mojave desert works fine for us 🙂 I do worry about the future of our country when we have the kind of choices we have for President…

  39. David Grant

    Very well written Dan. Here in Danville, CA we live in a bubble community as well. Last night at a public concert I asked my grandson who is mixed race if he feels nervous because of the color of his skin. His initial response was ‘no’ but he did mention that one night, coming home late from work, he was stopped for no reason other than he ‘fit the description’ of someone presumably being sought. My point is that even in a lovely bubble community, one’s never too far from the bubble being burst.

  40. Nicely done, Dan. Proud to say that you are my friend.

  41. ARLINE GERTZOFF

    Thanks for the reference to jUNe DayWe are now 51 years strong of providing hospitality to UN employees.Our visitors have a great time and we all get along.No policy debates just good fun and camaraderie.Certainly a positive contribution to our bubble. In reality the bubble provides the wonderful group of volunteers who make this event happen these last 51 Years Just one example of the many people and groups that show the best of Westport

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  42. Thanks to all, for your varied, insightful, informative and important comments. Keep ’em coming. This is one conversation that deserves to continue.

    • Your article was beautifully written, Dan, and the comments were, as you indicate, truly amazing. I can’t think of another board even remotely like 06880.

      In its commenters’ intelligence, heart and their willingness to be challenged and engaged, this message board is, I’m afraid unfortunately, another bubble itself. One proud to be able to read.

      Good job!

  43. William Adler

    Terrific column Dan – thanks for posting it! I think we can enjoy the pleasures of the Westport bubble but also be part of (and have an impact on) the larger world. We can stay informed, and that means being information omnivores, not just watching or reading that which reaffirms our prejudices; and we can volunteer to help others less fortunate – there are myriad causes in Westport that deserve our help and attention (social services, child welfare, health, animal, environment etc.) and there are agencies who urgently need our volunteering and donations in Bridgeport, Norwalk and elsewhere (and, again, right here in town).

  44. You Beautifully captured the sentiment Dan! However it’s time for all of us to take it a step further from just intellectual discussion to doing somthing about preserving the bubble, otherwise the consequence are scary

  45. Chip Stephens - Staples 73

    Well written Dan but we must remind the young that this is not a new and unique burst of bad, albeit, horrible and terrible news and events lately. Those of a certain age remember Simon and Garfunkel’s haunting Silent Night/ 5 O’clock news song… It was our time in the 60’s with other horrors and events, there was 911 and wondering if this was the end of our bubbles, and every generation back had their dark times. Luckily we survived and hopefully learned that life goes on, that love and peace are the mantra that helps us survive and thrive, that its always darkest before the dawns light…. all ways to say we need to strive for good and justice for all and not let times like these define our existence. Pray to whom ever you wish, but pray for a better tomorrow Namaste

  46. Excellent, Dan. Excellent. Now, suggested reading for everyone, however, is Nancy Isenberg’s “White Trash.” (See page 26 of today’s NYT Review of Books.) Her book explores the history and sociology of the of the poor since the Pilgrims landed… Best wishes to all, Karl.

    • Nancy Hunter

      Rather than “electoral politics has always encouraged con artists”, “distrust of Washington has always encouraged con artists” makes more sense.

  47. I am sure our neighbors in Newtown thought they lived in even more of a bubble until 3-1/2 years ago. It’s only a bubble until it’s burst, and then it never feels like the same place again. I am thankful that our state and local governments have enacted laws that make it less likely that our Westport police would ever have to be put at the disadvantage of confronting some sniper’s assault weapon with a mere .38 Glock. By banning assault weapon sales to civilians, we protect our police, our kids, our citizens. ~Kristan Hamlin

  48. Beautiful, Dan and miss Compo to this day — and that’s my old babysitter’s house on Bridge Street if I’m not mistaken , lol. We live closer to the tough stuff in our city. We are weathering these latest events and it’s very hard – lots of thoughtful and difficult conversations – this has become a multi-cultural city here. There are lots of bubbles here as well but this was in our back pocket and we’re all thinking, talking, praying as to how to deal with this and not react. Think before speaking out of fear. Lots going on. My heart has just been broken the last few days.

  49. Bobbie Herman

    So beautifully written and moving. It saddens me so, that as I near the end of my life (hopefully, not too soon), there is still so much hatred in the world. It only seems to be getting worse. Or, perhaps, it’s more apparent, thanks to the Internet and people like Donald Trump.

  50. Fred Cantor

    Very powerful, and spot on. I guess the one thing I question is whether “every day, the plot line gets crazier and crazier.” As some others have pointed out, there have always been times of terrible and/or unsettling news events–and certainly there was plenty of that when we were growing up.

    Even with the problems that remain in our society, I think we can be grateful for the progress that has been made on a variety of fronts since our childhood–with you being one prime example of that. I’m sure we’d both agree that the chances of there being an openly gay high school soccer coach during our childhood were not slim and none, but none, period. (And obviously there were so many young men and women who were fearful of coming out back then. Thankfully, that has changed so dramatically for the better.)

    Chip brought up the poignant Simon & Garfunkel song, which I remember as being so powerful when I first heard it. And, yes, I still have my 45 of “Eve of Destruction.” The bottom line: there have always been bleak and crazy times but, in certain respects, we unquestionably live in a better society today thanks to such actions as the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Title IX, etc. and to the people who even went so far as to put their lives on the line to help bring about those changes.

  51. Scott & Julia Broder

    Very true comments, beautifully written, you’re a very good man Dan!
    Thank you for being you and adding so much to our wonderful community here in the bubble of Westport❗️❗️❗️❗️😉

  52. Dottie Burkhart

    what a great place to live, and yes, we should show our concern for those on the outside. A talent for writing runs in your family.

  53. Katherine Bruan

    you’re a class class act Dan.

  54. Matt Murray

    ^^^ This is why Dan’s blog is so great. Both his comments and the follow ups (even though the thread wanders a lot) are what make it great. ~Matt

  55. Sharon Paulsen

    I’m late to this party, but I loved this post, and all the comments are perfectly stated as well … and some very informative.

    Good stuff here … Priceless!!!

    Thanks Dan and 06880 commenters.

  56. Dan..I may be too late for the posting,but no matter…I just wanted to tell you how wonderful and far-reaching your article is.i got up early this a.m and gave myself the pleasure of rereading the “bubble”column and ALL the comments…the little side story of Marcy and Adam was a tale of its own…you are an outstanding columnist, writer,soccer coach and most of all a kind and sensible voice to Westport and beyond…I forward many posts to many,some pro and some con…you make me proud to be friend and a fan. Bravo Dan Woog!