Friday Flashback #53

In 1979 2009 — as her 30th Staples High School reunion neared — Peggy Lehn made this collage:

Now — 8 years later — she dug it out of her garage, and sent it along.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. If you were in Westport then: How many of these places and things do you remember? Westport Pizzeria and Liberty Army Navy seem to be the only 2 stores still around.

If you were not here: What are you most curious about? I’m guessing the Minnybuses — and the bizarrely named S&M Pizza. (Trust me, nothing crazy went on there.)

Click “Comments” below to share memories — or ask questions.

36 responses to “Friday Flashback #53

  1. I see so many special places from my childhood memories…THis is great! It would make a fun poster, I bet lots of folks would want one !

  2. The Minny buses are why my parents chose Westport! And the Peppermill is where I first remember waiters introducing themselves to customers (“Hi. My name is Dan and I’ll be your server tonight). My dad took great pleasure in introducing everyone at the table back to the server, much to the mortification of my sister and me…

  3. Jennifer Rankine

    This is great! Remember it all fondly – thanks for sharing it!

  4. Great poster! I especially remember Barkers “pay less for best!”, tagging along with my dad on Saturday mornings (hoping he’d buy me a chocolate bar at the checkout)

  5. Bill Boyd (Staples 1966)

    I knew them all except “Aspasia.”
    I never road a minny bus nor did I know anything about them or their routes.

    • Jennifer Rankine

      Great jewelry, and affordable even for teenagers. Purchases came in a red velvet pouch with silver wrap paper gathered by a silver string. Wish we still had it here, like so many others in the collage.

  6. Dan and I have lived in Westport for 43 years – we hail from Stamford and moved to Westport a year after we were married as Dan was then the Physical Director at the Y downtown – i miss EVERYTHING in Westport that has disappeared – all the boutique stores, Gristedes market, where you could catch a random glimpse of Mr. Newman shopping, and later, Atticus Book store and cafe, we even had a miniature golf course down on the Post Road and Dan, I almost died when you recently showcased the old Penguin Club with its’ rich past of yesteryear and mysteries of the “lady’s of the night’ stories. As a youngster growing up in Stamford my Dad would load us up in the car and drive us up to Westport to the Clam Box for dinner and the ‘old’ Westport Ice Cream Parlor then located in the Compo Shopping Center to the right where Cohen’s Eye Glass store is. As a teenager, we would drive up to Westport to shop at all the super boutique shops, my FAV being the Selective Eye, (heavy sigh) and go to Oscar’s for lunch and always, always finish the visit at ‘Remarkable’- that store remains in my children’s memories forever. Sadly the town planners or those in charge chased away all our charm and filled it in with mall stores – Not that some of what we have now isn’t great and progress is necessary but I still can see the old ghosts and hardly recognize Main Street when i sometimes go down there – thanks for sharing that wonderful collage!! A great trip down memory lane.

  7. Michael Nuzzo

    Peggy graduated in 1979, her 30th reunion was in 2009.

  8. S&M Pizza was the source of many laughs for a few of us in the class of 1992.

  9. Kathryn Coster

    I too remember most everything in that wonderful collage.Having moved to Westport in 1971 from Manhattan, I attended Staples HS and graduated in 1974…then off to Skidmore College. I spent my college summers driving those Minny buses as well as the Maxi Taxis…great people, great times…ironically I just did some major purging due to a move and tossed my Compo Beach parking sticker from the same era…mine was blue!

  10. Maria Parker Karlen

    I waitress in the summers at the Ckam Box to make money for college. Summer 1969 and 1970
    I remember all the stores and have so many fond memories growing up in Westport in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Before I moved to Westport I remember going to the Ice Cream Parlor and getting penny candy.

  11. We always had a joke about Barker’s that went like this..”What do the birds say when they fly over Barker’s”? Answer: “Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!”

  12. my youth passing before my eyes

  13. Patricia Blaufuss

    Westport Country Playhouse is still here – and has been for 86 years (founded in 1931). The building went through a major renovation in 2004; looks a bit different now but has all the modern amenities. When you visit, be sure to see the history gallery and vintage posters in the lobby—delightful memorabilia of the earlier days.

  14. For all of those that have fond memories of Maneros there is one remaining in Palm City, FL (about 30 miles north of PBI). Much the same as the original in Westport (and the other in mid-CT).
    Does anyone have a photo of the original Bill’s Smoke Shop on the corner of Elm and Main? It was about the size of a SUV and contained newspapers, smokes, penny candies and everything else. It was the meeting place for people needing rides to Weston.

    • The other Manero’s was on Steamboat Road in Greenwich. There was also another Clam Box in Cos Cob.

      • There was also a Clam Box in Wethersfield (south of Hartford). I believe it opened in the mid-60’s.

  15. John F. (J-period) Wandres

    How wonderful it is that all of you “Woog-ers” have contributed to the creation of this collective “poster” of the Westport that you grew up in and which nurtured you. I lived in Weston from 1942 until 1954, entered Staples (Now Saugatuck El) in 1949, to graduate with the class of 1953. We all are in our 80s now, and I wonder: where are some of us today? ( I am in Portland, OR and somehow have managed to not become too weird (no tattoos). It would be interesting for Dan & Company to reach out, and reach back into those more-or-less halcyon days of yesteryear (B.E.: Before Elvis) to get a sense of OUR Westport was like. Ya think?

    • Hi John
      I often think about the real Westport (prior to the 60’s). My sister, Justine Herman, was in the class of ’52. My wife and I were in the class of ’62. We now live in Florida but are in Westport this week for a visit. It’s not the same. Too many people and not enough roads! Are there ever fewer than 100,000 cars on the Merritt at the same time?

      • Dan Herman: Everyone thinks their era was the “real Westport.” Today is the “real Westport” to those who will be your age in 2080!

    • “06880” is a big tent. We celebrate all eras — and honor all who came before us, whenever that was. Send along whatever you’ve got — I’m happy to post plenty from your day, John!

  16. Deborah Johnson

    Thank for the memories . I’ve lived here in this wonderful town 60 years.

  17. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned “Big Top” (which my mother always called “Tip Top”). The burgers and shakes (coffee please!) were to die for. Almost as good as the cheeseburgers and Cherry Cokes at Crest. At Big Top a very (square) parent once said to us teens; “Stay away from Big Top…they’re selling boxes of marijuana in the parking lot.” Ha Ha!

  18. Patty Graves

    “Want some popcorn Hon ? Butter on it too?” Said repeatedly in a sweet, nearly, southern accent, by the woman selling popcorn just as you stepped into Fine Arts Movie Theater . I also have vivid image of the upstairs Lounge area with the Men’s and Ladies rooms,red carpeting i think.

  19. Suzanne Tager Obsitnik

    This is so fun! Thanks for sharing and posting. All fun memories.

  20. Lori Winthrop Dockser

    Thank you for sharing. Wonderful westport memories😀

  21. Joyce Barnhart

    Is there Minnybus service for commuters? Is that why there is still a dedicated traffic lane at Jesup Green for busses only?

  22. Great, great memories! I’m Staples class of ’66, and the two most evocative of those memories for me are the Remarkable Bookshop, which was remarkable … and the Big Top ice cream cones, which I still mourn today. For 25 cents, a single generous scoop of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry in a sugar cone, with the ice cream forming a “collar” at the top of the cone, reminiscent of the old Howard Johnson billboards. I can’t seem to find that today at ANY price! Great post, Dan!

  23. John F. (J-period) Wandres

    Hello, Dan —

    I remember Justine. She was great at . . . Softball, I think. Cheers, J.

  24. It made me happy to read the nice memories of The Selective Eye 🙂 I worked there as a manager and buyer, both upstairs and downstairs…It was a fun place to work most of the time…I am so glad I got to live there way back when 🙂 I do not even recognize it anymore…

    • And there are no stores down there since to compare to it!! If memory serves the gals who owned the store were mother and daughter who both wore short spikey very funky platinum blonde haircuts. Sooo much fun. Even my funky mom loved to shop there.