Friday Flashback #68

The other day — while cleaning his garage — alert “06880” reader David Squires found this thin aluminum sign:

He remembers exactly when and how he got it: While house-sitting for his distant relatives, the Baldwins, on Bayberry Lane. Herb Baldwin was Westport’s 1st selectman from 1957-67. He was best known for masterminding the town’s purchase of Longshore — from conception to approval — in just 17 days.

Baldwin was in his 1st term in 1958, when Westport was named an all-America city.

The National Civic League has presented 10 awards each year, since 1949. They go to places where citizens “work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.” All-America winners can be neighborhoods, villages, towns, counties or regions, as well as “cities.”

If you were around in 1958 — and remember any hoopla associated with the honor — click “Comments” below.

10 responses to “Friday Flashback #68

  1. Wow, what a great piece of Westport history. If you don’t have a need/want for this sign, David, I’d suggest maybe donating it to the Town of Westport. It would look great at Town Hall.

  2. I sure remember this. I was good friends with Kathy Robbins (Staples ’68) at the time, and her father, Dr. Guy Robbins was a key figure in the effort to achieve this recognition. They had a bunch of this swag at their house on Mayflower Parkway.

  3. Wasn’t Look Magazine involved in this award somehow? Or did it just report on the award in one of its issues?

  4. Peter Grieves

    I was, and I remember those wonderful days!!!
    Graduated from Staples in 1961.
    Great site.
    Peter Grieves

  5. Wonderful sign to hang in town hall, though Westport is, by no possible interpretation, a city.

  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    I was six and remember these signs popping up. My mother made a big deal out of it but I don’t remember any hoopla or self-promotion by the town’s leadership that others on this blog do.
    What I remember fondly was that in n1958 a six year old could disappear with his buddies on a Saturday and no one thought it unusual or worried about it because the worries we have today didn’t exist back then. There was no end of free things for a kid to do. When we weren’t hiking the woods we’d be wandering around downtown going in and out of Kleins and shooting the bull with Henry and/or Stanley Klein. There was always the “Y”. All of the proprietors were on a 1st name basis with us even though we had little pocket money to spend. They didn’t care about that. They’d ask about our parents and when we got home our parents asked about them. “I went to school with him/her” my mother always said. Same thing with the policemen and firemen. We didn’t call the police “cops” because that was considered disrespectful and I knew they would hear about it because they always knew what was going on. Never was there a scandal and out of town candidates didn’t exist. Most police and firemen were sons and grandsons of police and firemen and all of them lived and grew up in Westport.

  7. Dennis Jackson

    I recall the Saturday morning ceremony behind the old library (by Starbucks) in what must have been the new Harder-Parking Plaza. There were speeches, and these cardboard pins were given out. A string was attached, and when you pulled it, it lifted a flap, revealing the exhortation, “Let’s All Pull For Westport – An All-America City!” I think I still have it in a shoebox somewhere….

  8. Alexander See

    About Longshore. He would be upset about me tooting his horn, but Longshore would not have happened without Ed See at the tiller as Town Counsel. I know Herb Baldwin would agree.