One of my earliest childhood memories — I was just 3 or 4 — is from a grocery store on Main Street.
My mother leaned down, pointed to a woman standing nearby and said, “Danny, remember this. That’s Helen Keller.”
It’s an urban (suburban) myth that Helen Keller lived in Westport. Her house — “Arcan Ridge” — was actually on Redding Road in Easton, near the corner of Route 136.
But 136 is called also called Westport Road in Easton. And when the remarkable deaf-blind author, political activist and lecturer died in 1968, at 87, the New York Times datelined the story “Westport, Conn.” — and said she died “in her home here.” (Click here to see.)
That error was picked up by publications around the world. It persists today.
Helen Keller moved to Easton in 1936. But she had a Westport post office box. And — as my long-ago memory attests, and those of other longtime residents affirm — she and her companions did much of their shopping here.
Staples High School Class of 1965 member Jack Backiel has a special connection. His
aunt relative Agnes Pazdan took care of Helen Keller.
And in 1944, she signed her autobiography The World I Live In to her this way:
(Do you have a Helen Keller memory? Click “Comments” below.)