Photo Challenge #279

Last week’s Photo Challenge seemed straightforward: Where would you see a plaque honoring Carl Francis DePalma? Intriguingly, it also included the name “Popeye.”

I expected a few people to know the answer: the golf practice area at Longshore, behind the pro shop.

I did not expect to hear the tragic, poignant back story behind it.

“Popeye” was DePalma’s nickname. He was a bulldozer operator for the town — always friendly and waving. He worked several places, including the town dump and landfill at the site of what’s now the library and Levitt Pavilion, as well as Longshore where the plaque is.

On May 5, 1965 — almost 55 years ago this day — “Popeye” died, when his machine tipped over.

DePalma’s son Billy and his wife Marie now live in Weston. Marie added this: Billy helped the Westport Rotary Club build the bus stop on Canal Street.

When club officials asked how they could thank him, he suggested a plaque at the site of the accident.

Diane Bosch, Michael Calise, Dave Eason, Ann Urciuoli Allard and Andrew Collabella all knew where that important plaque is, and filled in many of those details.

This week’s Photo Challenge is a wistful reminder of days gone by — before social distancing. If you know where in Westport you would have seen this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Leigh Gage)

12 responses to “Photo Challenge #279

  1. Will Luedke

    Westport Women’s Club.

  2. Longshore?

  3. Stephen Pratt

    One of the most beautiful locations for a wedding reception! Or any other major event for that matter. It’s the outdoor patio and bar at the Inn at Longshore. Hoping it returns soon. Be safe, Everyone.

  4. Bill Kutik

    Not really the patio, but the grassy area just below the Longshore dining terrace facing the Sound. Land that was the center of a dispute over the lease with the town some years ago. Big apres-beach spot in the summer. A singles scene, I’m told, but being married I couldn’t possibly know for sure.

  5. Michael Calise


  6. Cindy Zuckerbrod

    Patio at Pearl

  7. Patti Brill

    Inn at Longshore. Behind the Pearl.

  8. Antony Lantier

    Outdoor bar at Inn @ Longshore back lawn

  9. Cheryl Kritzer

    Patio at Pearl on lower level facing the sound .. a beautiful spot any day and weather

  10. Lynn Untermeyer Miller

    Longshore. Lovely Longshore.đź’—

  11. Correct – it is the lower level behind Longshore, where so many weddings and other functions have been held. A beautiful spot. Let’s hope it can be crowded and lively again sometime soon.

  12. Seth Braunstein

    Behind the Pearl at Longshore

    Sent from my iPhone