Unsung Heroes #100

Little things mean a lot.

A you-go-first wave from another driver at the intersection. The guy in the supermarket parking lot who offers to take your cart back to the store. The out-of-the-blue call from a teacher to say how proud she is of your kid.

Those are the random human encounters that make us smile, and lighten our step. They make our day.

Then there are the little things that make every day.

Like the front desk folks at the Westport Weston Family Y. They’re there at 5:30 a.m., when the first commuters race past. They’re there at 10 p.m., when the last laggards leave.

A constant parade passes by. Women rush in, late for their spin class. Kids forget their passes. Men call from the locker room, needing help opening their locker because the idiotic lock jammed again.

They answer phones. They remind people — gently — that their membership has lapsed. And over and over and over again, they check people in.

A typical scene at the Westport Weston Family YMCA front desk.

They do it all with smiles, courtesy, and uncommon grace. Often, they go the extra mile.

They dig into their own pockets to refund money if the vending machine failed. They lend umbrellas to folks who forgot theirs. They call people at home, telling them their credit card was found, and turned in.

They greet us when we arrive. They thank us when we leave. They seem genuinely pleased to see us.

I’m not always in a good mood when I walk into the Y. I may have had a bad day. Someone may have shot into the parking space I was waiting for. I may not look forward to swimming for 45 minutes, back and forth in the pool.

But I’m certainly in a better mood after checking in at their desk. And I’m in a great mood when I leave.

So thanks, all you front desk folks at the Westport Y. I won’t list names, because I’d miss someone.

But you know all our names. That’s one more reason you’re our Unsung Heroes this week.

11 responses to “Unsung Heroes #100

  1. Arleen Block

    My thoughts as well. Kudos to the Y staff for their hard work and commitment to members.

  2. Midge Deverin

    How nice this is!!! As one of the Membership Staff, I am very flattered! Thanks, Dan! Midge

  3. John Kelley

    When I was a boy in Westport, there was a guy named Matt who ran the gym and swim program for us young’uns. I’m sure he long ago passed, but I would like to give a shoutout to him.

    • Scott Smith

      John, you’re probably thinking of Matt Johnson, and can read more about him via this link: https://blog.ctnews.com/westporty/2014/03/21/matt-johnson-a-builder-of-the-y-and-the-communities-we-serve/
      Hope he’s still with us…

      • John Kelley

        You’re right Dan. Your article reminded me of the dance classes we had with Miss Comar?, who taught us dancing as though we were still in the 1940s. The name Gault reminded me of the baseball stands at Gault Park. It was as close to a major league facility as Westport had and only the best little leagues played there–my division played at Bedford Elementary where there were no stands.

        • Thanks, John. Here’s a story I did on Miss Comer, from 2010: https://06880danwoog.com/2010/11/26/thanks-for-the-memories-2/

          • John Kelley

            Thanks Dan. I noticed the picture of the old Staples High School ∫building. When it was Bedford Jr. High and I was in Long Lots, we met in the second floor for joint orchestra practice. I remember cello teachers–Mr. Heard who left for a more lucrative job outside of education, Mr. Travino who unfortunately died from brain cancer, and Mr. Genualdi, who moved on to Staples after my time there. I also remember a Mrs. Reynolds who taught music at Greens zFarms (and her husband Kendall Reynolds also worked in the school system. Mrs. reynolds played us 78 RPM records acoustically recorded where she had to change records several times to get through a piece. Mrs. Gan dley, my 3rd grade teacher, would bring her Bing Crosby rec words in to en certain us when it rained during recess period. In 4th grade at the newly opened Burr Farms School, Miss Shubert was my teacher and Mr. Hanulick taught us music–he later moved up to Long Lots
            where I had him in the two years I was there. At the end of 4th grade, Miss Shubert became Mrs. Hanulick.

  4. Jalna Jaeger

    Thank you Dan, I love the front desk people at the Y. they are the best!

  5. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    Interesting, the people at the Y at my town in upstate New York are exactly the same. And thanks for the reference in the comments to Miss Comer’s Dance classes. I definitely remember that, I might even still have a old tattered dance card.

  6. Kathy Fagan

    They really are wonderful people and I miss them!