For decades, no one thought about the Longshore lighthouse.
Yesterday, I published a photo of it as part of “06880’s” Friday Flashback series.
I had no idea that Westporters Dick Stein and Tracy Hinson had just offered an oil painting of that same scene to the town, as a gift.
Dick told official curator Kathie Motes Bennewitz that he found the painting behind an upstairs desk at last year’s Red Barn tag sale. Owner Tommy Nistico asked Dick if he knew where the lighthouse had been located. Dick remembered it instantly from his youth.
The painting — by artist Harriet Horowitz, who moved from Westport in 1972 — was dusty and dirty. But Dick bought it, hoping it would one day hang in the Parks and Recreation Department office — at Longshore.
He had it cleaned and lightly repaired. Now he’s given it to the town.
That’s a great story. But there’s one more part.
According to alert “06880” reader Peter Barlow — who sent the lighthouse photo along for the “Friday Flashback” — in the late 1960s a popular Parks and Recreation Commission official ordered the demolition of the lighthouse.
Years later, he admitted it had been a mistake.
The commission member’s name?
Lou Nistico —
father uncle of Red Barn owner Tom Nistico, who sold the lighthouse painting to Dick Stein.