Ask Me Another!

The Question Box — “06880”‘s newest feature — is a hit.

Where does the name Compo come from? Who tags Canada geese? When did Carvel open?

These are all legit questions. I — and our online community of avid Westporters — do our best to answer them.

But those are not the only questions I get.

Not by a long shot.

Readers seem to think I know everything. Or they think I am the reference desk at the Westport Library. Or that it’s easier to ask me than Google. Or Siri.

Sure, the “06880” tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.” Welcome to mine.

Enjoy this sampling of some of the emails I’ve gotten over the past couple of months. They are 100% real. You can’t make this stuff up. 

Well, you can. I can’t.

Which Westport restaurants have invested in HEP filters?

I’m having a hard time finding an NPR station. Any suggestions?

Is Phil & Tim’s Good Humor truck still in business?

I once ran a photo of Phil & Tom’s (not Tim’s) ice cream truck. I did not follow their career after that.

I saw your story about the Staples High School Class of 1977. Please send a list of students from that class.

Can you connect me with any British mystery writers living in the area?

I have an old Staples High megaphone. Do you know who would want it?

I need a tutor in public speaking for my daughter.

Someone takes down all the notices in the common area of my condo. What can I do?

Do you have the recipe for the seafood salad at Peter’s Weston Market?

There is a drone above my house. Is it the police?

Whose drone? How the !@#$%^& would I know?

Levitt Pavilion tickets are sold out. Will they release more?

Could you ask the appropriate state legislators to start fixing the Saugatuck bridge while the traffic is light during COVID?

Please let me know how to get in touch with Christopher Plummer.

I was in a Kings Highway production of “Twelfth Night” in 1970. Do any photos or articles exist regarding this event?

I can’t log on to the library website. Can you contact them, and ask them to get in touch with me?

Does the Farmer’s Market allow dogs?

There was an electronics repair service on Riverside Avenue in the early 1970s. I spent a lot of time there, and became an electrical engineer. His kindness altered my life, but I can’t remember his name, or the shop’s. Do you?

What cemetery is [name redacted — an artist] buried in? His granddaughter is visiting, and we want to find his gravesite.

All of a sudden I’m a cemetery expert? (Photo/Justin Cheng)

I wonder if you might have a picture from the start of the 1970 Thistle championship at Cedar Point Yacht Club.

Where can I drop off extra Halloween candy?

Traffic is much worse on the Post Road. Can you do something about it?

As I sit here making meals during COVID-19, I wonder how many more of us were taught to sew by Mrs. Narramor at Bedford Junior High. Are you able to find out?

I know you are always super busy, but I would consider it a great favor if you could find out what class my mother [name redacted] was in at Staples?

Do you know why the Minuteman statue does not have his Christmas hat on? Many of us look forward to it every year.

The Minute Man, in “hattier” days.

Why is the new South Beach bathroom closed during winter?

[From a realtor]: We are having a large event here at a new listing. It will be a very special broker open, and I would love to get a little buzz going about it. Can you give me a call and we can discuss details?

I want a high quality photo of the original Westport Pizzeria on Main Street. Where can I get one?

It’s very strange that my weather app shows Westport with an unhealthy air quality: 172. New York’s air quality index is 90. What’s that about?

How many electric vehicles were sold in Connecticut in 2016, 2017 and 2018?

In the 1970s I can’t remember which year exactly, but I took a belly dancing class with others. We performed at Longshore. I know there was an article about it in the Westport News. I was just wondering if there was a way you could find it. It’s just a fun memory for me.

How often has Westport had a Category 2 storm with winds over 90 mph?

I spotted this parrot in the tree behind my place [photo attached]. Lost pet? Indigenous? Any ideas?

I’ll be 75 this June, and been reminiscing about Westport. I lived there for only 3 years, but I enjoyed Staples, Class of 1963. Do you have any information about a lovely family for whom I babysat, mostly in the summers, until I left for college? Their surname was [redcacted], and their delightful kids names were [redacted]. I have a blank as to the address. In my old age I feel like touching base, as the parents and kids and I got along so well. If you can give me a lead as to their wheerabouts, I’d really appreciate it. There might be a good story in this too.

My father passed away [name redacted], and I need to write an obituary. We are fuzzy about his Staples football career. He played in [year redacted]. Any info you can find that would help such as his position, record for the years he played and what records he holds would be appreciated. The obit is due this Friday. Thank you.

This is not your father, the Staples football player.

42 responses to “Ask Me Another!

  1. I’ll answer one. Westport has never been hit with a Category 2 hurricane, not even the one in 1938 that everyone used to talk about. You can thank Long Island for that. I don’t even think Connecticut has ever had a direct hit from a hurricane. Again, you can thank Long Island.

    • The 38 hurricane was a 3 in New Haven. Carol was 2 in Groton

      • Ernie, I’ll tell you where I got that information from. During the last storm a few weeks ago I was listening to the weather channel and they were commenting that Connecticut never got a direct hit from a hurricane and the announcers were commenting that this could be the first time! It ended up that Connecticut didn’t get a direct hit.

        • Bill Strittmatter

          If the weather channel said it, it was probably talking heads fed by interns that didn’t bother to check with the National Weather Service.

          • Bill, The link you sent me said the following about the 1938 hurricane,”Making landfall over Long Island and Connecticut that afternoon as a category 3 hurricane” Perhaps the term “direct hit” is a term that actually means something. Long Island took a direct hit in 1938. The only “ direct hit” Connecticut could take without going over Long Island, which does take direct hits, is in western Connecticut. A Category 5 directly hitting Texas could then pass over other states as a Category 1, but is that considered a direct hit?

        • Bill Strittmatter

          A more succinct link:

          • Direct hit- Landfall is the event of a storm moving over land after being over water. More broadly, and in relation to human travel, it refers to ‘the first land that is reached or seen at the end of a journey across the sea or through the air, or the fact of arriving there.[1] Ergo, Connecticut has never had a direct hit by a hurricane.

            • Bill Strittmatter

              Doesn’t really matter since the question originally posed to Dan did not mention “direct hit”.

              In any event, it is an irrelevant distinction IMHO. Getting hit by a hurricane at Cat 3 strength, whether “directly” or after it has passed over Long Island or Block Island, or the Bahamas for that matter, still means you got hit by a Cat 3 hurricane. It won’t feel particularly different.

              Further, if you look at the geography of CT, it is exceedingly unlikely that a hurricane could be small enough to weave it’s way through Block Island Sound then miss Fisher’s Island to “directly hit” Connecticut (or, I suppose, come up the East River) That we can’t be “directly hit”, as you define it, should provide zero comfort that we can’t (or haven’t) been hit by a hurricane.

              By the way, if the weather channel said Henri had the possibility of being the first “direct hit” on Connecticut, they were clearly confused since the track was across Long Island so, by your view of their definition, it couldn’t have been a “direct hit”.

              I suspect the weather channel didn’t have their facts or misspoke. Doesn’t matter.

              • Actually the original question was as follows: How often has Westport had a Category 2 storm with winds over 90 mph? So I guess the rest of the state is not relevant to any answer. And I believe there is a difference with direct hits because of storm surge with a hurricane coming onto land off the gulf or Atlantic. You get the potential of huge waves causing destruction.

  2. Fascinating (and some pretty hilarious) array of queries!

  3. Haha Dan thanks for sharing, you could have alot of fun providing red herring leads to these queries. But seriously, Facebook has a number of excellent pages with thousands of members who are more than willing to provide real info, to wit: Exit 17, Exit 18 (current and former Westporters,) Westport CT – Photos from Our Youth, Westport Front Porch and Back Porch. These pages are fun, entertaining and most of all really informative, as the members go out of their way to connect neighbors with neighbors. And can you tell me why there is a King’s Highway but no Queen’s Highway in Westport?

  4. Hahahahaha Dan one of your funniest posts. Its because you are DAN THE MAN you get these!
    PS if that kid still needs public speaking tutoring email me!
    I’m happy to see so many of these questions- shows how many people are invested in our town…

  5. You are a saint. Thanks for being so awesome that folks really believe you are the helpdesk.

  6. Ah, so I am not the only person who expects you to be all knowing!
    Thanks for not printing some of my queries!!

  7. June Vreeland from CA

    The writer of the question about Bedford Jr High School”s “Home Ec” sewing teacher, Mrs. Naramore, was preparing meals, another subject taught by that teacher. I was a student of both, but the introduction to Simplicity patterns was a game changer for me. It led to a hidden skill that stayed with me for decades and innumerable creative projects for family, friends and even my own students as an elementary school teacher.

  8. Beth Berkowitz

    OMG 😱 I guess you are the go to source for all things Westport!!! Im surprised no one asked you if you could fix something at their house or if you could somehow put a full list together about the town residents and how to buy a house here or open a new business. Thank you for the laugh!!!😂

  9. Better than Wikipedia, 06880Pedia.. You are a saint indeed.

  10. I’ve got it – Dan Woogipedia!

  11. Bill Strittmatter

    It does seem like Google or picking up the phone would be a better way to get an answer to some of these questions rather than asking you. However, to be fair to the questioners, you did invite a wide range of questions noting, among other things:

    “Readers’ questions can be current or historical, concrete or abstract, deep or shallow.

    I won’t know all the answers. But one of our readers probably will.”


    “there’s no such thing as a dumb question.”

    Not to mention, some of the questions you have responded to (e.g. Who is Bob?) fall into the same bucket as some of those noted above.

    So, joining the fray, what I am curious about (and have been meaning to ask) is a follow-up to something mentioned in a response in Question Box #1. Any idea why the Bedford name was dropped when the junior high school named after him turned into King’s Highway Elementary School? An early example of cancel culture on the part of the BoE? You may not know the answer but an old timer might.

    Happy Monday!

    • Thanks (I think) Bill. As for your question, you’re only half right. Bedford Junior High did not “turn into” Kings Highway Elementary School; BJHS moved from what is now the KHS building across the field, into what had been the original Staples High (and is now Saugatuck Elementary) on Riverside Avenue, when SHS moved to the North Avenue campus in 1958. It continued to be called Bedford Junior High; only the building changed. It changed names again when it became a middle school in 1983, and retained the name when it moved to the present North Avenue site a decade or so later.Got that?! It’s confusing, I know.

      Meanwhile, there was a Bedford Elementary School, on Myrtle Avenue. It closed due to declining enrollment in the 1980s. Today it’s Town Hall.

      Hope that helps.

      • Maybe it’s a typo or maybe I’m wrong, but didn’t Bedford El close in the 70’s, not the 80’s?

        • Yes, it was the 70’s. Pretty sure 1974-75 was the last school year. We had moved to town, just two blocks from the school in late 1973, and were disappointed our young pre school daughters would miss out on walking to school. I recall our babysitters, Becky and Cindy Gibb, wearing “Bedford El Forever” tee shirts as there was a big neighborhood campaign to try to keep the school open.

          • Joyce Barnhart

            Thanks, Bill. I thought so. Greens Farms El had at least one wonderful former Bedford El teacher, Pat Beasley, come over. There may have been others, too. My kids both had wonderful experiences with Pat. My kids were “walkers” until Greens Farms closed. It was a great way to to go to school, especially if you got carsick as one of mine did. Too bad your girls missed out.

      • Bill Strittmatter

        See? That’s the problem, Dan. You, or your readers, have the answers to a whole lot of questions. So you get asked.

        That’s the downside of being too good at what you do.

      • David J. Loffredo

        I think Bedford Elementary School closed after the 73-74 school year. I only go to go to 1st grade there before being re-districted to KHS. Somewhere I’m sure I have my “Bedford El Forever” shirt!

  12. Another brilliant ‘Dan’ post,,,The Onion needs a new columnist, please apply. BTW: if anyone needs to contact Christopher Plummer, I have his unlisted phone number in my Rolodex.

  13. Content for a book perhaps, or material for stand-up? ‘Guess it’s a compliment of some sort, your highness!

  14. Tom Duquette, SHS '75

    Regarding the person trying to contact Christopher Plummer, try holding a seance. He passed away on 5 Feb of this year in Weston. I admire your patience Dan.

  15. Phil and Tom’s Good Humour Truck is still in the family.
    The parents run it for special occasions.
    Phil is married with 2 kids and a US Marine stationed in Japan. Tom is married , lives in Shelton and works at Bridgeport Hospital.
    I have no inside information.
    I looked them up online and found their website and Dan did run some articles

  16. Dan, if anyone calls asking for me tell them…….

  17. Of all your recent posts, Dan, this one takes the cake! Thanks for the laughs as I was making my day down the list. Thanks for a funny start of the week. You are the best. Anna

  18. Laughed out loud with some of these questions! Your incredible patience exceeds the bounds of journalism. Folks think you are an historian, an archivist, a town official in charge of traffic, a chef…etc. etc.! You are merely Westport’s Superman for all things notable..past, present. and future.

  19. Roseann Spengler

    This was most entertaining!!!!!
    Thank you Dan for sharing.

  20. I remember reading that Fairfield County has bad air quality as the wind patterns not only blow NYCs air to the area, but also that of New Jersey. I now live in San Francisco, where we had good air quality with the westward winds taking it all away, but now we have fire season in the late summer which makes the air quality tamong bhe worst in the nation.

  21. You might need a Ouija board to contact Christopher Plummer now…

  22. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Thanks for all you do, Dan!

  23. The last name of the football player I know. I’m 100% certain! Also, Texas got a direct hit by the hurricane causing flooding.

    • Ok.. I’m 100% sure about the hurricane landing in Texas, however, I’m shaky about the photo of the football player.

  24. Christine Barth

    Dan, can you please help me find my glasses?