Eight years ago today, the Y anchored downtown. Mario’s and Mansion Clam House were popular restaurants; Westport Pizzeria was on Main Street, a few doors down from Oscar’s. Barack Obama was barely a month into his 1st term as president.
How times have changed.
Yet one thing remains the same. Every day — often 2, 3 or more times — I post a story on “06880.”
Each day since March 6, 2009, I’ve written about Westport. From Compo to Coleytown, education to entitled drivers, Friday flashbacks to photo challenges, real life and random crap, I’ve covered it all.
The only sure things in life are death and taxes. I write about them too.
For over 2,900 straight days, “06880” has been right here, on your desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, iWatch, whatever. In all that time, I haven’t missed a day.
I’ve posted over 6,400 stories. The tagline “Where Westport meets the world” means that I write about organizations, events, politics, real estate, recreation, people who live here, people who once lived here, people who want to live here, even TV shows about people who live here.
You’ve made more than 73,300 comments. I’m proud of our Westport community — and particularly proud of the “06880” community we’ve created together.
“06880” is a living, breathing, organic community. Once a year — on my anniversary — I put out my tin cup, and ask you to help sustain it.
Because — as “06880” has grown — so has my time commitment to it.
You see the stories I write. What you don’t see is the research I do. The interviews I conduct. The comments I moderate — and the private emails I respond to. (I get 40 to 50 a day. People ask me questions about long-ago restaurants, how I pronounce my name*, and can I please fix typos in their comments. I reply to every one. Even the guy who asked me to please post fewer stories, because his inbox was getting full.)
You don’t see the hours I spend scouring the interwebs for photos, the time I spend taking my own — and the sizing and framing that follows.
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 6,400 stories are worth a penny each, that’s $64. If half of them are worth a dime each, that’s $360. 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
- helped you meet a neighbor, or connect with an old friend
- kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
- made you feel connected to your new town (or the place where you grew up)
- alerted you to a new housing or zoning development in town
- provided a forum in the “Comments” section for you to rant about an issue, rave about a place, or complain that I’m a ****ing liberal (you know who you are)
- 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
- inspired you
- made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “holy f—!”)
— you will consider tossing something my way.
Everyone can contribute: Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians, Socialists. Sure, you know where I stand politically. But I’ve always given you a voice, too.
Thanks for 8 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 photos of drivers who park wherever they damn well feel like it.
And if you’re one of those readers who hates that feature, no problem. Wait a few minutes, and I’ll have another story.
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 (or create an account), and send money from the drop-down menu by entering this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
*My last name rhymes with “vogue” — not “Boog” or “bog.” But don’t worry — I often mispronounce it myself!