Traffic Tales: Back In The Day

The ongoing intense, important and interesting discussion about the future of the William F. Cribari Bridge — including effects on spillover traffic from I-95, particularly with tractor-trailers and other large vehicles — got me thinking.

The highway — then called the Connecticut Turnpike — sliced through Saugatuck in the 1950s, devastating that tight-knit, largely Italian neighborhood. Homes and businesses were demolished. Families were uprooted. Entire roads disappeared.

But for the rest of Westport, “the thruway” was a godsend. Post Road traffic had become almost unbearable. Trucks rumbled through day and night. Route 1 was the main — and really the only — direct route between New York and Boston.

Post Road, near the Riverside Avenue/Wilton Road intersection, a few years before I-95 was built. Fairfield Furniture is now National Hall.

I know this only because I have heard stories from people who lived here then. When my parents moved to Westport, the Turnpike was open. It was fresh, modern and new — a symbol of postwar modernity, heralding a very promising future.

What I do not know — and what many “06880” readers would like to hear — is what the Post Road was really like, in the years before I-95.

How bad was it? Did it affect parking, businesses, homes? How did people cope?

If you lived in Westport in the pre-thruway days, let us know. Click “Comments” below. Tell us what you remember. If you’ve got photos, send them along.

And if you’ve got any advice for the town and state, as we grapple once again with the future of Saugatuck, we’d love to hear it.

65 responses to “Traffic Tales: Back In The Day

  1. Jacques Voris

    I am too young to remember personally, but the description my mother always gives is as you said. The Post Road was clogged with traffic day and night.

  2. Jack Backiel

    I remember problems between the stretch of the Post Rd. between North Maple Ave. to where the golf range was, and Regents Park condominiums are now. Across from the golf range, there was a diner owned by Sam Greco, where you could have seven or more 18 wheelers parked on the side of the Post Rd. Their engines would remain running as they ate in the diner. To make it worse, across from where the bowling lanes were, the Post Road was crowned, so during ice storms, 18 wheeler trucks, and cars, would slide off the Post Road because it was crowned. It was swampy there, across from where the lanes were, and even the land the bowling lanes was built on, it was a little wet in the back. These are memories from around 1954-57-ish.

  3. The Westport Library had a very informative exhibit on the Parkway a few years back. It gave a good description of car and truck traffic through local towns and was notable in describing how bad CT looked to travellers because of its traffic and road signs, and how the Parkway was largely constructed to make CT more attractive to visitors with the hopes they’d visit more, and even move here. – Chris Woods

  4. Sally Kellogg

    All I remember is sitting in my 3rd grade classroom at Saugatuck Elementary and listening to the dynamite blasting outside our classroom window.

  5. Michael Calise

    There was traffic and yes their were Trucks, gas stations “on every corner” and an abundance of 24 hr diners but we did not have the traffic jams and angry drivers of today. It was a very different place essentially rural and bucolic. I remember riding my bike down the middle of the post road as if it was a country lane. buildings were fewer, smaller and much farther apart. Most of our shopping centers were open fields. We did not have asphalt everywhere, traffic lights were few and the idea of looking for a parking space was unheard of.

    • Peter Barlow

      This is a very nice description, Mike. I agree with it all. My memory of all the trucks is when they were crossing the Post Road Bridge headed west. If they were stopped at the traffic light they were then very slow going up the long gradual hill. I was also pretty slow going up that long hill on my bike so I would grab hold of a trailer truck and let it pull me up the hill. Drivers, if they saw me in their mirrors, would blow their horns and yell, but after a while I realized there’s nothing they can do. It was fun being a kid in Westport.

  6. Jack Backiel

    I remember my father saying that during events like Yale football games, they’d have to cross the Post Road very early in the morning to get the tractor(s) across the Post Road to be used on the land we farmed on the other side of the Post Road. If you waited too long, you couldn’t get the tractors across the Post Rd. due to the traffic. This would have had to have been mid 1930 or even into the 1940s. I’m guessing here because maybe it was even before the Merritt Parkway was built in the 1930s. I’m basically repeating the story I heard many times.

    • I remember my grandfather saying the same thing when there were Yale football games. He also talked about all the people going up to the games in New Haven wearing raccoon coats.

  7. Jay Sherwood

    Back in the day, the Post Road was known as State Street. When I was young, i remember it as the only road for eat-west truck traffic. But, the traffic was never as bad as it is today. Perhaps it was not so bad as we had a lot more freight trains then? Living on Church Lane, I remember hearing truck traffic on Route 1 during the night. The worst day of the year for traffic seemed to be the day after Thanksgiving when traffic would stretch at least half way across the Saugatuck River bridge!
    I do not remember commercial Westport extending much further east than the Compo Shopping Center or further west than the Wilton Road. Sure, there were establishments like the Clam Box and gas stations that were dotted along Route 1 but no way as intense as it is today. As Mike said, before the shopping centers there were open fields.
    Your picture of the Post Road near the Riverside Ave/Wilton Road intersection appears to show trucks parked along the north side of Route 1. Now, parking is no longer allowed there due, I suppose, to traffic.
    Perhaps it was worst than I recall, yet somehow we managed.

  8. Arline P. Gertzoff

    There simply was a lot less traffic.When I was little my grandmother would take us on walks along the Post Rd .She loved Renzullis vegetable stand where Hawley Lane Shoes is now . My Dad’s business was on the Wilton Rd so she would call him at the store for a ride home Our favorite ride was on the Merritt Parkway and paying the toll at the logcabin near Darien on our way to Stamford or NYC.One got to rumble along the Post Rd with the smell of fuel from the trucks every day. Advent of the Turnpike changed all

  9. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    I hope Bonnie Bradley will post on this one. One of my strongest memories is the heart ache and tears of those who lost their homes and businesses when the Thruway was built. Bonnie’s Dad was a hero to many . As a lawyer he did his best to preserve the area. I have many memories similar to several posted here. I remember the intersection shown here because before 1948 we lived on Wilton Road. I attended Staples when it was on Riverside and before that Bedford Junior High when it was on the Post Road. From Bedford Jr. High we would walk down the Post Road to the center of town to catch a town bus out to Clinton Avenue. We would buy cokes from Colgans drug store, now a Tiffany’s! I remember a Diner near Bedford Jr. High but not much else along the Post Road in that stretch. I do remember the hill between south Compo Road and Morningside Drive being icy in the winter but there wasn’t a lot of commercial property with the exception of Compo shopping center. ( There was some but not to the extent that there is today. ) We rode our bikes everywhere. I shudder at the thought when I drive those same roads today, thinking, we were allowed to bike all the way out to Camp Asapetuck and back, just for the fun of it! ( A bus took us out to camp when camp was in session.) Westport was smaller. I tend to think that cars were smaller also. People did not seem as stressed, hurried and impolite back in the ’40’s and 50’s and 60’s as they seem today.
    My dad commuted to Sikorsky first in Bridgeport and then in Stratford on the Merritt Parkway. I don’t remember him complaining about traffic. I do remember traffic on the Merritt on weekends, New Yorkers coming out for the weekend and going back on Sunday night. We would ride our bikes, in my case, to the Clinton avenue bridge, and wave to the “New Yorkers” going back in Sunday evening or on big holiday weekends. I tend to think that more people carpooled. I’m not sure where to “stick” this so I’ll put it here and end. As I remember it, the first big development of new homes was in the early to mid 1950’s. Fillow Florist sold off a lot of their property and homes were built on cookie cutter lots. I feel pretty sure that happened about the same time in other parts of Westport also. Can’t wait to see other’s memories.

  10. Mary Ann Batsell

    I don’t remember traffic as bad as it is today, before I-95 the population of
    Westport was much smaller also most families only had one car, there
    weren’t any office buildings that I recall, most stores were in Compo
    Shopping Center, both sides, First National, Food Fair, McClellans,
    Franklin Simon. The rest of the stores were downtown Main St and
    around Westport Bank and Trust, now Patagonia and Town Hall, now
    Jessup Hall, Marvel’s bakery, Muriels diner, etc. There were a few small stores like Mary Backiels farmstand/grocery store on the corner of So. Maple and Post Rd., Borshettas deli, where the Lexus dealer is now, Rippe’s farm stand, now Harvest Common. I don’t remember traffic being difficult and
    often on a Sunday my dad would take us for a drive, we’d go nutting or to
    see the Christmas lights, There weren’t many traffic lights and I don’t remember ever hunting for a parking place. The best part of I-95 is the
    bicycle ride my family took on it before it opened we got on at 18 and rode to the bridge in Norwalk and back, that was beautiful!

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

      I am so happy that you mentioned by name The Backiel’s and Rippe’s farm stands. I was racking my brain trying to remember the names and even seeing Jack’s post I still could picture that places but not the names. Thanks!

      • Jack Backiel

        Yup.. Backiel’s Roadside Stand on the corner of South Maple Ave. and the Post Road where the gas station is located.

  11. John L Krause

    I suspect most people old enough to personally remember pre-I95 days will be less tech conscious (older), and unlikely to respond here.

    I lived my first 7 years at 1 Lincoln Street. Maybe too young to remember traffic much, but I did walk to Kings Highway for 1st and 2nd grade. And down the hill to the Deli/General store at the corner of the Post Road and Wilton road with Gramps for his morning paper and some hard rolls (Kaisers). And don’t ask about the times we rolled down Lincoln sidewalk on a tricycle, with one of us standing on the back. We usually stopped before Riverside 😉

    (Used to be 2 square, stately homes standing on the corner there. Witnessed one of them get moved, up Burr, down the Post Road, Up Sylvan. I think it might be the main portion of the Pierrepont School, today. Unless it was since demolished, like its twin.)

    Then we moved across town, 5 minute walk to Bulkley Pond where we fished, swam and ice skated. (Just watch for those Snappers!) It wasn’t choked with algae, then.

    From Fairport road I routinely rode my banana seat bike to Blinns hobby shop in Fairfield, and to Sam Sloat Coins on Main Street.

    The Bridge Street Bridge (sorry, too old to change that name in my head) has been a source of conversation at least as long as I have been alive. Fire Engines not being able to use it being one of the larger issues.

    Who remembers the renovations performed on it long ago? When a temporary span was erected to the North? At first, the idea of that was met with Outrage. The gas station there at that time had to deal with the inconvenience of losing part of their parking area for the approach. And of course it was “ugly”. Within weeks (days?) talk started-up along the lines of “can we keep it?”. Seriously.

    There’s 3 options there.
    1) Renovate it and live with the history, and inconveniences of it.
    2) Replace it with a modern bridge. (Maybe move it someplace as a pedestrian/bike bridge out of the flow of auto traffic) (Ha! Know any altruistic Billionaires?)
    3) Build a parallel modern bridge for car traffic, and relegate the Swing bridge to pedestrian/bike use.

    Option 3 obviously also kills the designation of “oldest operating”…

    Thing is, outside of a town government decision by fiat, you’ll never get a consensus on any of these. So, option 1 will probably win by default as keeping the status quo.

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

      Uhh…I’m Staples ’58, pre I95 and I’m pretty tech. conscious. So is most of my class at Staples. We just celebrated our ’60th and it is all recorded on Facebook and even made 06880. Mike Calise is a fellow class mate and he regularly comments here. I think I’ll post this to Facebook and see if any of them pick up and respond. 🙂 Others, even older than I am regularly comment. Don’t count us out just yet.

      • Diane Silfen

        Thank you for defending the over 50 age group. Lol. We still know how to get things done

      • John Krause

        I’m class of 75, and yeah some of my parents generation and between use tech. Just suggesting the percentage will be lower for a particular blog site.

    • Michael Calise

      John,
      was this in the fifty’s? Carl Annuncio had Annuncio’s Delicatessen across the street next to Horosky Brothers Chevrolet might have been your Great Grandfather or Uncle. Remember his Store clearly you were waited on at the counter as was the custom in those days and the back wall of the counter had finely crafted slots and shelving for a variety of items. He was a very proud and self assured man.

  12. Lesley Hodgkinson Anderson

    I moved to Westport in the early fifties and the building of 95 started shortly after, it seemed to go up rather quickly. I remember my dad saying it was probably poorly constructed because it was put up so fast! I went to Bedford Jr High and remember walking down the hill to town after school and going to Colgan’s Pharmacy with all my girlfriends and buying cherry cokes. Also around that time they were building Parker Harding Plaza. I guess they were dredging the river, all kinds of equipment was in the river. My friends and I walked or rode bikes everywhere even out to Weston, I don’t remember traffic being an issue but there weren’t that many strip malls at that time either. My younger brother used to ride his bike down to the Post Road to the corner of North Compo and watch the big huge trucks struggle up that hill making loud noises with downshifting. Sometimes during the day there could be a lot of them.
    It was a great time to grow up, we had a lot of freedom and never worried about safety.
    One other thing I remember is a lot of kids rode the bikes all over 95 before it opened! Fun times!!

  13. We moved to Westport in 1955, a couple years before the turnpike opened. I remember howGreens Farms Road went right up to the railroad tracks and an old house being moved from Greens Farms Road to Hills Point Road. Also in 3rd grade at Greens Farms School (1955-56) an Associated Transport tractor trailer slipped on ice ending up in the vacant lot across Morningside Drive from the school, killing the driver.

    The Merrit Parkway did not allow trucks nor busses–I later read Robert Moses deliberately built the bridges to low for busses on the New York parts to prevent minorities from spreading to the suburbs and I guess Connecticut followed. I don’t remember toll booths in Darien. Also Darien had a thruway, later incorporated into I-95, for thru traffic.

    The Penn Central diverted New England freight trains through Springfield to it’s Boston & Albany RR, eliminating freight car ferry service in New York City and with it through freight trains in 1969. I remember as a kid seeing frequent 100+ car freight trains passing through Westport.

    • Jacques Voris

      Frieght trains still pass through Westport every night. They start around 10:30 pm and have stopped by the morning commute. I have counted the cars though, it is dark.

  14. Sally Campbell Palmer.

    Concur with all memories of the pre I-95 town and traffic. We lived on bikes and shared the Post Rd with traffic that could be loud and busy, but nothing like today’s intensity. Or lack of courtesy.

  15. Laura Feder

    Dan, are there photos of the old Saugatuck neighborhood, pre 95? Were homes lining Riverside Ave where the overpass is?
    I hear stories of how it destroyed the old neighborhood but would love to see photos of what it used to look like.

  16. Caryl Beatus

    AS FOR WESTORT HISTORY WESTFAIR VILLAGE WAS DEVELOPED BY B.V.BROOKS SR SHORTLY AFTER WORLD WAR II SIMILAR TO LEVITTOWN IN LONG ISLAND TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR RETURNING GIs ONE OF ITS STREETS IS NAMED FOR HIS SON “DEXTER” (B.V.BROOKS JR).
    HE/THEY ALSO DEVELOPED THE WESTFAIR SHOPPING CENTER AND THE COMPO SHOPPING CENTER. SUBSEQUENTLY THEY FOUNDED THE WESTPORT NEWS, BUILT BROOKS CORNER, ACQUIRED SHERWOOD SQUARE (RENAMED SCONSET SQUARE) AND WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY OTHER ENTITIES. I DIDN’T MEAN TO RAMBLE ON , , BUT I DID

  17. Staples class of 1949. Been in Westport since moving here in 1936. Where Fairfield Furniture is shown was also Westport Bank and Trust and was robbed when at that location. Look carefully at the photo and note the trolley tracks….you could take the trolley all the way to New York City. The tracks were removed for the steel during WW2.
    In the 40’s there was often a dance in the “Y” with the old mirrored ball rotating and records for music. I’d play pool in the Y with Mr. Reynolds, our math teacher. We watched the building of the Merritt Pkwy in 1936-7 that cost a million dollars a mile.
    Henry Klein had his stationery store where the small Pizza store was at the top of Main St. We would walk down from Bedford Elementary, where the Town Hall is now, to buy airforce decals during WW2. The Sport Mart sold great wollen shirts. Shilepski’s (sp) sold dry goods and yes, Colgan’s had 1/2 cantaloupes with vanilla ice cream at the counter. The Fine Arts showed the latest movies.
    Westport was a real “home town” right out of a picture book. Great days and great memories. Main Street had all the essentials. Turning it into a chain store ‘mall’ was a mistake.

    • Fred, do you know exactly where the trolley tracks ran in Westport back then? There was a trolley down to the beach, right? But where else did the tracks go (if you have any memories of that)? Thanks.

      • John Kelley

        The Branford Electric Railroad Museum site says that streetcar service was discontinued on the Post Road in 1935. Aside fro m the Post Road, I remember a map showing streetcar service from “Fountain Square both to the Saugatuck RR station and Compo Beach (with open sided cars) and one line extending northward a bit (on Main St.?).

  18. I love this post for the comments and memories alone! Westport in 50’s and 60’s brings such strong connection – best childhood any American town back then could provide. We moved there in 1960. I was almost 3. And the picture of Fairfield Furniture — what a photo! Loved going in there with my parents and hiding among the sofas and imagining many homes.

  19. Bonnie Bradley

    The comments above are terrific, fascinating and seemingly all-inclusive.
    I think that maybe everyone might be mostly tired of my references to the Westport Bradleys of yore, but that’s much of all I know that most others will not, except for my brother, who isn’t much interested.

    Since the Parkway has crept into the conversation, I will mention that there is a fascinating book “The Merritt Parkway” written by Bruce Radde, copyright 1993, Yale University, which tells the entire story of how and why the Parkway came to be… and almost didn’t…

    The story told relates, among other issues, the difficulties over financing the road, which was in the hands of the Legislature and the Governor, Wilbur Cross. My father, J.Kenneth Bradley, at that time first Assemblyman, later State Senator, was determined to see the project succeed and worked tirelessly to have that happen, and it did. Governor Cross signed the bill and gave the pen he used to my father. I have that pen in my safe deposit box.
    Just interesting trivia, I guess.

    • Fred Hyman , Staples 1949

      As I recal they went to Norwalk, S. Norwalk and beyond. By changing you could, after many hours., get all the way to NY.
      I was teen during the war and don’t remember exactly when the tracks were removed.

    • Jack Backiel

      Bonnie, All these years I thought the parkway was built by the CCC to help create jobs.

    • Bonnie
      Anyone wanting a copy of THE MERRITT PARKWAY by Bruce Radde can fin both paperback and hard cover copies on ALIBRIS.COM

  20. Bonnie Bradley

    Jack, I’m not sure how to comply with copyright issues; hope I dealt with it correctly in my first comment. Try to get hold of a copy of this fascinating book – library, maybe? Much of this info I know @ my family, which is confirmed in the book.

    Anyway, here’s what happened, very briefly: these were complicated political matters. CT legislative session was almost over for 1935, the bill was about to die and the issue up for vote was Bradley’s bill to approve the sale of $20 million in state bonds to fund the Parkway. He was by then “State Senator Bradley.” The Republican majority flatly rejected the bill. At the eleventh hour Bradley announced that funds in a close to matching amount, with a favorable interest rate of 3%, would be made available by the federal gov’t, and he further said that the federal portion would “insure construction jobs for two thousand workers on relief.”… Ppg 20-21 “The Merritt Parkway” by Bruce Radde, copyright 1993 Yale University.
    The bill passed, the money was assured and the Merritt Pkwy was built.

    • Jack Backiel

      The words “insure construction jobs for two thousand workers on relief” probably is what I’m talking about. What’s interesting too is that the Merritt Parkway was built, for the most part, without altering the topography, or landscape. Another “quirk” is that long stretch of highway, with no exit, from Westport to Black Rick Turnpike. The fact remains that since the parkway didn’t allow trucks, the big rigs traveled the Post Road!

      • Jack, I believe the “long stretch of highway” was the result of a petition by residents of the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield not to have traffic in their neighborhood. It probably would have been at Redding Road and might be shown in the history book referred to. (?) I had read that it was definitely in the original plans.

        • There were two reasons for this. The first is that there wasn’t a state highway that could be used as an exit, such as 33, 57, 58, etc., although I suppose they could have given Redding Road such a designation. The second is that the area is all wetlands. I live very close to it, on Merwins Lane, which gets flooded every time there’s a heavy rain. There were stories that Jacky Durrell, the former First Selectwoman lived nearby and used her influence to prevent Exit 43 from being built, but she came much later.

  21. Jo Ann Davidson

    I moved to Westport in 1956. Our Sue Terrace house ($16,700) had no A/C so we kept windows open at night. We could hear the trucks shifting gears all night as they climbed the Post Rd hill by the A&P (now Fire HQ). I walked and pushed a stroller everywhere on back roads and don’t remember much traffic. We loved the new Thruway and used some of the blasted flat rocks to build a patio.

    • Jack Backiel

      Jo Ann, I had an uncle, John Holda, who was a builder. I remember him telling me one could buy a house on Bauer Place, in the 1940s, for $3,000 dollars! And that the $3,000 included the land.

  22. Hearing the names of stores from the “old days” brings back so many memories. I was seven when I-95 (then known as the Connecticut Turnpike) was opened. When it was incorporated into I-95, I remember the confusion caused by the fact that the turnpike ran east and west while I-95 ran north and south so signs at entrances would say I-95 North and CT Turnpike East.

    On a separate note, does anyone remember the name of the car dealer in the 50’s where New Country Toyota is now? I think it was a Pontiac dealer.

    • Dennis Stahursky

      Bill:
      The only Pontiac dealer I remember was owned by Mark Suda’s (classmate Staples class of ’69) father.
      My dad took me for a ride on the new turnpike when it opened. Got on Exit 19 in Southport eastbound, off at Mill Plain Rd in Fairfield and back to town on the Post Rd. Short ride, but I recall it well.

  23. Bonnie Bradley

    Jack, yes, exactly what I was pointing out: By inclusion of federal funds in the financing of the Parkway, the CCC was enabled to make some 2,000 new jobs available for construction during the Great Depression.
    That was, of course, a political decision, albeit a positive one.

    Really! Try to find the book – it’s full of fascinating detail, including about the desire to preserve the surrounding landscape and make the Parkway vistas “scenic.”

  24. Bonnie Bradley

    Thanks for the link to the book, Fred. Obviously, I don’t scroll back often enough! 🙄

  25. I remember my dad telling stories about how, in the 1930’s he and his brother would travel Rt.136, (sometimes referred to as the “shore road” ) up through Westchester County into Connecticut and Westport. It took 2-1/2 to 3 hours from Manhattan. Around 1955, when a student at Saugatuck Elementary, we constantly heard construction noise and explosions , Construction people and firemen would visit our class cautioning students about blasting caps we might find and how dangerous they were. I remember Montgomery’s store and other homes that were torn down or moved near the corner of Bridge St. and Compo road. Years after the street cars were gone we rode the C.R & L buses to the beach and around town.

  26. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    This is all wonderful. People, places, names, stores we visited and purchased from. Does anyone remember Gristedes? I may have mangled the spelling. It was on main street. They gave the kids a cookie to eat while Mom picked out her meat. It was always a vanilla wafer lightly browned at the edges. Others have mentioned Kline’s and of course The Remarkable Bookstore. I do hope some of the young commentators come back and notice Fred Hyman, Staples 1949!

  27. Lesley Cullen Anderson

    I think the Pontiac dealership was called Turpike Pontiac. My dad purchased several cars from there. The man was Frank Suda who sold them to us.

    • Jack Backiel

      I remember a Carol Suda. She’d be 71 this year, and at one point, I think she was a travel agent in town.

  28. John Kelley

    I discovered a trove of historic Westport maps at the library of congress website. Google “Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Westport” to see or download them.

  29. John Kelley

    ttps://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01195_002/
    The above link has a map from 1895. Hopefully there is a way to get the others. Maybe the Westport library or historical society could get the LOC to make the others available if they can’t currently be accessed.

  30. John Kelley

    https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01195_002/
    The h got lopped off of the previous link.

  31. John F. (J-period) Wandres

    First, to Fred Hyman — Class of ’49 ! Here, I thought I was the “Old Man” from the Class of ’53. Second, to Mary Cookman: Ah…Gristede’s! Our family moved to Weston in December 1942, long before the Weston Shopping Center. So, we schlepped into Westport every Saturday to grocery shop at Gristede’s. I was fascinated by the catcher’s counter, and to watch them take a hunk of beef, stuff it with veggies and tie it for a roast. Their produce also was the best. So, while my mom shopped I got a buck to go to the Fine Arts. The movie house showed two features, a continuing series like the Lone Ranger, or “Don Winslow of the Navy, ” the Movietone newsreel, and cartoons. After I bought my ticket I still I had enough money left over to get a candy bar at the candy store next to the theater. (Sorry: Effing auto-correct made it “catcher.” Should be butcher.)
    Now, about the Post Road. Two recollections: Most of the truck traffic picked up in the evening when the auto traffic died down. Growing up in Weston, I was a member of Scout Troop 72 (Eugene B. Lequinn was the scoutmaster). On Memorial Day 1945 (Then called “Decoration Day)” Troop 72 joined with the Westport scout troops and several uniformed groups, and we marched in a memorial parade through downtown Westport and along the Post Road — All traffic had been stopped and diverted.
    Now, I have a question for the crew: Does anyone recall a production of “HMS Pinafore” put on by those who attended Christ & Holy Trinity Church. It was probably around 1945 or 1946. A well-to-do resident of Westport donated the use of his estate (Can’t recall the street — Evergreen ave.?). The ground sloped down to a small pond, which had an island in the middle. The players built a platform and a set on the island. This represented the main deck of the HMS Pinafore. My father was one of the “able bodied seamen.” I may have had a small role as “cabin boy.” I have queried the church but no one there today has any recollection, or documentation.

    • Hey John, yes, I am old and have been hoping one of my classmates would have chipped in here. I hope I am not the only survivor.
      I actually went to the performance of HMS Pniafore you refer to. The home was on Easton Road, now Rt 136. It was on the West side of the road not too up 136 from the the school at the intersection of North Ave and 136. I can almost (?) remember the family’s name. It was great fun to see. The owners of that property also had one of the earliest TVs that I ever saw. It was a huge piece of furniture and the screen faced up with a mirror for a cover that when opened at 45 degrees reflected the picture for viewing. For some reason I think it was 1941 (but I can be wrong), the same year Mickey Owen had a passed ball on the third strike allowing Tommy Henrich to reach 1st base and the Yankees went on to win the World Series. I listened to the game on the radio with the ticker tape and recreation by the very creative announcers of the day.
      This thread is taxing my memory big time!!!

      • Fantastic info, Fred. Keep it coming!

      • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

        I well remember marching in the Memorial Day parades with the Girl Scouts. Love all these memories even if they are not all technically Post Road information. I don’t remember the HMS pinafore production but do remember some of the properties mentioned on Easton Road. I wish Buell was still with us. I’ll bet he might remember the HMS Pinafore production.
        Fred, keep the memories coming. they are good for all of us, encourages us and brings smiles to our faces and exercises our brains..
        I read recently that telling your family history actually helps to develop the self esteem of the younger family members. Since we are part of the Westport Family and of an older generation let’s keep up the positive posts to help current Westporters understand the rich heritage they have and what went into making Westport the unique and wonderful place it is to live.

  32. Fred, Could it have been the Lodges’ home on Easton?

  33. Actually, unless their estate stretched a good distance up Easton Road, I realize that probably isn’t the location, The Gershwin Godowsky house at 157 Easton RD backed up to a sizable body of water that seems to fit the bill (although that estate apparently wasn’t built til 1950). But perhaps there was another home right by that body of water.

  34. Rosemary Bentley Milligan

    who could forget Gristedes – up on Main st. between the Dress Box and then it moved further down Main sort of across from Kleins. Lou Rey was the manager, great guy!

  35. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    There was also a clothing store, that sold fabric and patterns also, was that Greenburg’s? And a Five & Dime, Ben Franklin’s? Of course we are off the Post Road and on Main Street but….