Last Wednesday’s “Unsung Hero” feature highlighted the work of an older, unnamed man.
Quietly, consistently and anonymously, he’s been cleaning up Winslow Park for years. He picks up branches and trash. He removes invasive vines. He follows the mantra: “Leave this place better than you find it.”
Readers quickly identified Winslow’s savior as Lowrie Gibb. A longtime Westporter — and the father of actress/singer/dancer Cynthia Gibb, a Staples graduate and founder of Triple Threat Academy — he was known to many for his long stewardship of town properties.
Wendy Crowther wrote:
He has been a park advocate since at least the late1990s when I first met him. He has quietly worked behind the scenes in all seasons at Winslow Park to tidy up the overgrowth that encroaches upon the pathways and chokes the trees. He is a good and humble man who does this just because he cares.
He’s also in amazing shape, despite his advancing age, because he works so hard not only in Winslow but also because he’s a runner, swimmer and skater – all using the Westport amenities he loves so much at Longshore and Compo Beach.
After the story ran, Jo Shields Sherman was at the dog park. Turns out, he knew nothing about the accolades.
Wendy’s description was spot-on wonderful of this very special man.
I read all the comments to him. He was totally humbled, in amazed and appreciative disbelief. He was so touched to hear what “06880” readers had to say. “No, no! Really?” he repeated.
He then mentioned that he has new thoughts and plans to discuss for improvements around town. Given his thoughtful take and naturalist’s eye for our special corner of the world and all he has done for it so far (far beyond the piling of twigs!), we could all benefit to listen, and listen well, to our own Lowrie Gibb.
In addition, Jo says, Lowrie created many of the trails in Winslow Park. He’s planted elm trees around town too.
Westport is a wonderful place, for many reasons. Lowrie Gibb is just one of them.
But why should he have to clean up alone? We all share in the beauty and wonder of our town.
Let’s all be a little like Lowrie Gibb. If you see something that needs cleaning, fixing or straightening: Do it yourself.
Lawrie Gibb is an inspiration. Now it’s up to us to follow his lead.