Unsung Heroes #32

If they wave us through, we love ’em.

If they put up a gloved hand to stop us, we hate ’em. Especially if they stop us just as we get there.

Or if we’re in even more of a rush than usual.

A typical North Avenue scene.

But Westport’s traffic cops deserve our thanks. They’re this week’s Unsung Heroes.

In the words of alert — and grateful — “06880” reader Lauren Barnett, who nominated them:

“They assist with, and add calm and order to, the madness and mayhem of parents and teenage drivers outside Staples High and Bedford Middle School at dawn, and in the frigid cold, each day.”

Lauren gives a shout-out too to “those officers who stand out in the cold night by the bridge and Rizzuto’s to direct anxious commuters safely home from the evening trains in Saugatuck.

“I wish I knew their names. We all should.”

Interestingly, the William F. Cribari Bridge (noted above) is named for a much loved — and very theatrical — traffic cop. He owned that well-traveled corner for years. Each day, he brought order, grace — even humor — to it.

Bill Cribari, at work (and play). (Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

That’s the thing: We may love them, tolerate them, or curse them.

But when they’re not there, we sure miss them.

(Want to nominate an Unsung Hero? Email dwoog@optonline.net)


7 responses to “Unsung Heroes #32

  1. Far be it from me to suggest a small correction…

    However, if memory serves Bill was a “Special” officer, not a traffic cop. “Specials” are part time officers, but full fledged officers– gun, badge and arrest powers. They also may direct traffic…

    “Traffic cops” only jurisdiction is traffic…. If I’m not mistaken.

    I have lots of memories of Bill from childhood working on Main Street when my dad would bring me to lunch at Oscar’s.

    Apologies if my recollection or facts are incorrect.

  2. Arline Gertzoff

    Nobody better than the late crowbar Bill CribariRIP

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Arline Gertzoff

    Nobody better than Crowbar the late BillCribari. RIP

  4. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    Now, why am I smiling and tearing up at the same time? No one needs to answer. Thanks for this post. All our policemen are unsung heroes, especially those who work around the schools and Of course, Bill Cribari. You know, I think he would be surprised that we make such a fuss over him.

  5. Terry Anzalone

    Besides being a wonderful person, he knew how to keep that traffic moving!!!! Miss him!!!!!

  6. Bonnie Bradley

    The Fred Astaire of Westport traffic control, an icon of the town.
    Bill Cribari was loved and is remembered by all who ever passed his way.
    What a guy!

  7. I’m perhaps a day late on commenting, but wanted to give a shout out to someone with similar responsibilities, if not necessarily a Westport Traffic policeperson. The man who directs the parking at Gilberties’ during the hours of the Westport Farmer Market is a total delight. With cars coming and going in a rather confined space, he does it with complete professionalism and always with a smile and pleasant “Good morning!”, even when the weather is lousy and bitterly cold. While I always make a point to have a nice exchange with him, I realize I never got his name.