Photo Challenge #126

When Ed Simek sent in a photo for last week’s challenge, I had to admit: I’d never noticed it.

But there the statue sits, hidden in plain site, on the Canal Street/Kings Highway North corner, near Canal Park. Click here to see the image, and the (mostly wrong) guesses.

It honors the Izzo family, longtime residents of the area. Think Izzo Lane, off Richmondville — and Crossroads Hardware, right around the corner.

Complimenti to Kathi Sherman, Lee Fleming, Wendy Cusick and Alec Head. And special congrats go to Kitty Graves, who supplied this info:

The sculpture was created by Chris Ray, son of noted landscape architect Eloise Ray. She designed Canal Park — and many others around Westport. This is a copy of the original, which was stolen.

This week’s photo challenge is special. Click “Comments” to tell us where in Westport you’d find this; how it got there, and why we’re posting this today.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

18 responses to “Photo Challenge #126

  1. Sandra G. Jones Staples'64

    This week’s photo challenge is the placque that the class of 1964 donated to Staples and it hangs in the courtyard of the school…Those of us who attended our 50th reunion saw it for the first time hung in it’s new location.

  2. Michael Calise

    Plaque honoring President Kennedy installed at Staples High School

  3. Adam Stolpen

    It’s the wall plaque at Staples to honor President Kennedy,bought by the class 50 years ago to go outside the building in the courtyard… It’s been moved

  4. Staples High School?

  5. Sandra G. Jones Staples'64

    Yes, Staples High School

  6. The Staples High School Class of 1964 (and others were all over this). It is indeed the JFK plaque — donated by that class, whose members were senior when he was killed. It was unveiled with great ceremony, and hung for years on the front of the school.

    In the 1979-81 renovation (which turned 9 separate buildings into one school), the plaque was removed and lost. About 15 years later, arts advocate Mollie Donovan found it, dusty and abandoned, in a storage space beneath the school. She had it cleaned up, and I worked with her to get it placed once again on the front of the school.

    When the new, 3-story Staples building was built in 2003-05, not much of the old school remained. But there is one wall in a courtyard — where the front of the old building was — and that’s where the plaque is now. The courtyard is only lightly used, and the only time most people see the plaque is when they’re taking photos after graduation. But it looks great.

    Why did I post this today? Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth. To those who were alive when he was murdered, he will always be 46.

    • True — he will never grow old.

    • Sharon Paulsen

      Wow, that is so interesting!

      Thanks Dan!

    • Nancy Hunter

      “dusty and abandoned “… like the nine buildings, with grass and open courtyards that enveloped us.

      JFK memory? Kindergarten in Houston, Texas, when the commotion at lunchtime became so quiet. Too young to understand then.

      Good that the plaque was found, as a bit of history.

  7. Fred Cantor

    That figures: it’s a rare occasion where I definitively recognize the photo–and I was out having brunch with friends and too late to answer. (It was a lovely day to have brunch outdoors though on the Saugatuck at Rive Bistro, which I highly recommend.)

  8. Sandra G. Jones Staples'64

    I am jealous of all those who still live in Westport or the surrounding areas that can enjoy seeing this plaque along with all the other wonderful sites that Dan posts in his blog…I now live in Florida and miss those Westport scenes very much…I immediately recognized this photo as I was fortunate enough to attend my 50th reunion and saw the plaque for the very first time…I have photos of it myself…So, to all you locals, enjoy the wonderful scenes where you live….

  9. adam stolpen

    Got 2 questions about the JFK plaque

    1) Is this the original plaque? As we all know the original quote from JFK’s Inauguration was “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I can not recall how that 1964 plaque read but this appears different, and

    2) I was at the unveiling of the 1964 plaque in courtyard and it was either brass or bronze, not blue and yellow. When and how did it change? That’s probably an interesting story in itself.

    Either way Dan, thanks for being part of replacing it. It’s an inspiration to all and for some of us it brings back interesting memories.

    Staples 1965

    • It is the original plaque, I believe — when it was restored it was spiffed up with Staples blue.

      And yes, the full quote is there. I just cropped it, to make it slightly less obvious.

      • John F. Suggs

        I just saw your response only after posting my question about the edited quote. Thanks for “owning up to being the editor.”

    • John F. Suggs

      Thank you Adam for asking your question about the wording of the quote because it is the same question that I have. Why in the world would that famous quote be altered in this fashion by the Class of 64 for their gift to Staples? “Ask not” and “ask” are the key points that President Kennedy was making in that part of his Inaugural Address. So why the edit?

      Know also that the quote has a strong CT connection because it was first heard by President Kennedy when he was a young schoolboy at Choate in Wallingford. The then Choate Headmaster, George St. John, kept a notebook of quotes for his sermons to the students which included a quote from a Harvard University dean who wrote: “The youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask, not `What can she do for me?’ but `What can I do for her?”‘

  10. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    I came late to the conversation today but knew immediately who was quoted and that this is the 100th anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth. I am so pleased to know that the quote is at Staples to continue top inspire youth as it did for the 20 something’s of my day. I don’t believe that there as been a quote from a presidential address since his that has inspired as Kennedy’s did. Thank You John for the Connecticut background. There was a St. John family in Westport years ago. I wonder if there is a connection to George St. John?

  11. Barbara Sherburne '67

    I found this especially interesting as I live in Wallingford. I wonder if any other former students from Staples live here. I posted John F. Suggs’ link on the CBS news article to my Facebook page.

  12. Susan Huppi

    We would see this every day walking to and from the parking lot at the beginning and ending of each school day. I am glad it’s been restored to it’s proper place!