“06880” Turns 9. Hmmm, What Kind Of Gift….

Good morning!

Today is no different from any other. Here in Westport you’ll crawl behind a school bus. Your dog will take you for a walk. You’ll click on “06880” to see — well, you never know what you’ll see.

If you’re not in Westport — but somewhere else on the planet — you’ll do your own thing. You too will click on “06880” to find out what’s happening in this wild, wonderful and only slightly weird place you’ve somehow come to know.

That’s the way it’s been since March 6, 2009. For 9 years, I’ve covered it all.

Our beautiful beaches — and their growing crowds. Our wonderful schools, the amazing kids there — and the enormous pressures on them. Entitled drivers, and unsung heroes. The renaissance of Saugatuck, the rise of Bedford Square, and the tumbleweeds on Main Street.

The only sure things in life are death and taxes. I write about them too.

This man is smiling because he loves writing “06880.” (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Here’s something you may not know: Since that very first post nearly a decade ago, I have not missed a day.

For over 3,200 days — and through nearly 7,800 stories — “06880” has been here. On your desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, iWatch, whatever.

The tagline “Where Westport meets the world” means 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 nearly 90,000 comments. Together, we’ve made “06880” — the blog — into a true, online community. Every day it lives, breathes and grows.

So does my commitment to it. And to you.

Once a year — on my anniversary — I put out my tin cup. I ask you to help sustain this blog. And me.

You see the stories I write. But you don’t see the research I do. The interviews I conduct. The comments I moderate — and the private emails I respond to. (I answer every one — even from the guy who asked me to 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 — or the photo editing that follows. (You think the latest feature — Pic of the Day — just falls from the sky?!)

Just another Pic of the Day.
(Photo/John Videler)

You don’t see the money I spend on “06880.” I pay to keep it ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for software upgrades.

And you don’t see that “06880” has become, basically, my full-time job. I’ve gone from a full-time freelance writer to an (almost) full-time freelance blogger.

So: 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 7,800 stories have been worth a penny apiece, that’s $78. If half them are worth a dime each, that’s $390. 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 you grew up)
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development
  • provided a forum for you to rant about an issue, rave about a place, or complain about my own personal politics
  • delivered news about a favorite person, place or thing
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • publicized your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • honored 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 — politics be damned. Sure, you know where I stand. But I’ve always given you a voice too.

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for 9 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

We’ll still have our summer “06880” party at the beach — and I’ll still cover both the beauty and the changes of Compo.

It’s all part of “06880.” It’s my honor and privilege to help share it with you.

You can donate by PayPal: click here. It’s easy, safe — and you don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, go to www.PayPal.com; then log in (or create an account), and send money from the dropdown menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880. You can also donate using Venmo!

Checks can 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.

59 responses to ““06880” Turns 9. Hmmm, What Kind Of Gift….

  1. Adam Vengrow

    Its the best, most American form of business. Imagine if every service that you love let you pay whatever you think its worth! I know that i read this daily over every “fee up front” service because this is the best place to learn and be informed about everything good and bad in Westport! Way to go Dan/06880. I am sending in a well deserved donation today! Keep it going, it would be a travesty to not have this daily! Great work.

    • Thanks, Adam. And one of the joys of “06880” is being able to tell stories like the ones on “Catch a Lift,” which you are such an important part of. We’re all in this together. Thank YOU for all you do, for all of us!

  2. Wow 9 years! Your voice has become such an intrinsic part of “06880” that a day without it sounds unthinkable. Thank you for all that you do to keep us connected and informed in your tounge-in-cheek style Dan.
    Keep blogging, keep enjoying the journey….

    Best
    Aarti

  3. Mike Elliot

    Dan…..As they say “the check is in the mail!” A day without 06880 is like a day without coffee, sunshine, a text from your kids, and all the other routines that sometimes we take for granted. On many a day the comments alone are worth the price of admission!

  4. Lori Church

    Hi Dan, what is your Venmo account name?

  5. Karen Abramson

    What would we do without you to keep us up to date at all times of the day? So glad I don’t live in another town where there is no 06880! Thanks for all you do!

    • Thanks, Karen. It’s my honor and privilege to be able to do what I do. And I’m so glad my path has crossed that of the great Abramson family!

  6. Kerstin Rao

    Dan – your blog is lively, upbeat, and unafraid to explore some of the challenging issues of the day. You’ve got a great work ethic, an engaging writing style, and a wicked sense of humor. I’ll be hopping on PayPal today – thank YOU for bringing our community together for conversation!

    • Thanks, Kerstin. And thank YOU for doing so much to help Westport’s great young people learn, think and act. They are our future – thanks to you and all your fellow educators!

  7. Frannie Southworth

    Sending a donation from our family today! We love 06880 Dan! All of the examples you gave of what we are getting out of your blog are so true and the Southworths thank you and appreciate your hard work, time commitment, and devotion to making our Westport community informed, passionate, inspired, and that much more fabulous!!!! Big thanks!

    • THANKS, Frannie! The Southworth family is a huge part of what makes Westport special. I love being able to tell so many wonderful stories, and am honored that you enjoying what I do. We’re all in this together, for sure.

  8. Tom Feeley Sr

    It would take me a week to put together one of your tales.

    Still
    “The Most Interesting Man in Westport.”👍🏼👍🏼🇺🇸

  9. John F. (J-period) Wandres

    So, Dan — What date will be the party, and where on Compo? My wife and I will be coming “Back East” from Portland, OR the first week of June.

  10. Jack Whittle

    Dan, I don’t know how you do it (never miss a day, not to mention the amazing content of your posts) but I am sure glad you have taken on this role (it defies definition); your love of Westport and your kind, inclusive nature make you perfect for it. Click on that DONATE button everyone!

    • Thanks, Jack – much appreciated! But I couldn’t do it without help from everyone. Your comments, story ideas, factoids, corrections and great support are all part of what makes “06880” — the online community, and the real one — so incredible. Thank YOU for all you do, for all of us!

  11. Thanks Dan, for your tireless efforts to keep we who have moved away informed of Westport events – my check will be in the mail (no, really)
    I’m the guy who asked for fewer emails but now happily get the weekly summary.

  12. Audrey Hertzel

    Thanks, Dan, for all you do–and that’s A LOT! Impressive and amazing that you haven’t missed a day in nine years–WOW! A true fan I am–heading over to Paypal.com now!

    • Thanks, Audrey — and thank YOU for all you do, with animals, kids’ glitter and everything else. Hope to see you (as always) at the July “06880” party!

  13. I’ve lived in Westport now for over thirty years and have sometimes found it to be a welcoming place, sometimes a little impersonal. As the 06880 article the other day reminded us, location scouts for The Stepford Wives years ago settled on our town for a reason. Your blog, however, gives us all a warm sense of community and your regular readers appreciate it. You seem to accommodate everybody. Like Ms. Hertzel, I’m heading over to Paypal.

  14. Marcy Sansolo

    Dan!
    Congratulations on 9 years and a heartfelt thank you for your informative, insightful and oft times hilarious articles. I like everything about your blog except for the WordPress login, I can never remember my password. But I shan’t blame anyone but myself. Continued success with 06880. Marcy

    • Thanks, Marcy, and right back at ya. Thanks for all YOU do with What’s Up Westport — and for sharing Jack and his marvelous music with all of us. You rock!

  15. Happy 9th Dan! I have loved every single morning reading your blog with the morning java. What memories, what photos and what cringe worthy moments!! Ha ha. I will try out Venmo this year vs paypal. Love your photo! Looks like a man who loves what he does! And today’s photo is outstanding of the new downtown. We have moved further away out to Portland, OR area to be near our kids but Westport stays close to the heart.

    • Thanks, BJ. I love Portland — what a great city. In another life, I’d live there in a heartbeat. I’m glad you still feel connected to Westport — and I look forward to another year telling interesting stories!

  16. Happy Anniversary Dan! I can’t imagine Westport without 06880, keep up the great work.

  17. Michael Calise

    Dan
    Over the past nine years I have grown to admire the breadth and color of your writings; you are truly an inspiration.
    You manage to delve into our towns past and present in a manner most of us readers would not have envisioned and you bring it to us in an experiential way weaving it into the fabric of our everyday Westport lives.
    Congratulations on your 06880 anniversary!

    • THANKS, Michael — I can’t imagine more meaningful praise. You are a Westport icon. You are one of the reasons this town is as special as it is. I am honored by your words, and grateful for our friendship. See you at the beach!

  18. Steven Halstead

    Dan
    There is a long list of things which make Westport a unique and special place. You and your 06880 surely belong on that list.
    Thanks.

  19. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Happy 9th Anniversary, Dan, for 06880. I cannot possibly imagine how much work goes into your blog. It is amazing that you have not missed one day in 9 years!!! 7,800 stories is mighty impressive. I mailed a check this afternoon. Thanks for all that you do.

    • Thanks, Barbara. And thank you too for being such a valued member of our online community. Your comments are always on-target and insightful — they add so much to our discussions. Keep ’em coming!

  20. Thanks Dan. Short, Sweet and to the Point in a busy day! Love it.

    Christine

  21. Happy Anniversary!!!
    I wake up every morning and click “06880” to see what’s up in Westport!
    You are a town gem!!!

  22. Your blog keeps all of Westport connected. Thank you Dan! You are the best!

  23. Michele Smolen

    Thank you Dan again and again for keeping me a Westporter from my far
    away home. Your wonderful 9 years of extraordinary writing has been vital
    to me as a ‘once was’ resident! My daily read even before turning on CNN!
    Best to you on your incredible journey and may it be for me and all your caring readers an ‘eternal’ column.
    Michele

    • Thanks, Michele! One of the things I love most about what I do is the chance to connect ex-pats with the Westport of today. It’s all about community – past and present. I’m glad you still feel connected to “home”!

  24. Nancy Hunter

    It’s been interesting, Dan. Thanks.
    You do know that a ninth anniversary present can also be pottery or copper… Peace.

    Nancy

  25. Katherine Bruan

    Thank you Dan for all you do for Westport. Your passion for the kids and our town is such a wonderful thing. We are lucky to have you.
    You are appreciated by all of us.

    • Thanks, Katherine — but the door swings both ways. Thank YOU for your gorgeous photos, your beautiful eye, your special insights into Westport, and for sharing your 2 great kids with all of us. You are at the heart of everything I do!

  26. Bart Shuldman

    Dan-thank you for 06880. It is a gift for all who want to be informed while also learning so much about the history of Westport. Thank you.

  27. Melenese Ford

    We moved here soo to be a year ago. Knowing no one and little about the town. This blog has been a valuable resource and interesting read. I appreciate it so and am happy to support. Thank you for all you do.

  28. Hanne Jeppesen

    I think you deserve a vacation.

  29. Randi Kessler

    Most appreciated, Dan! Will of course make a very well deserved donation. Thank you for all that you do!!