Roundup: Christmas Tree, Charlie Capalbo, Aspetuck Land Trust


For years, one of the highlights of the holiday season has been the beautiful fir tree at 58 North Avenue.

Just a few yards south of Staples High School, it was a lit lovingly every year by the homeowners, the Hardin family. In its high visibility location, it brought joy to everyone who drove by.

But the gorgeous tree was in bad shape. The owners had to remove it.

Jodi Christensen-Hardin carefully cut off branches. She collected more fallen branches at Winslow Park, along with large vines that were killing trees there.

She created a new structure — and hung lights all around. It looks intriguing by day …

Jodi Christensen-Hardin with her new creation. (Photo/Jane Green)

… and wonderful at night:

(Photo/Jodi Christensen-Hardin)

Thanks, Jodi and family, for finding a way to keep lighting up our lives!


All across Connecticut, people have been inspired by Charlie Capalbo’s fight against cancer.

The 23-year-old Fairfield resident — grandson of Westport writer Ina Chadwick — had 3 different diagnoses, over the past 4 years. With the help of his younger brother, who donated bone marrow and T and stem cells — plus other family members, friends, teammates and opponents and others in the hockey world, and complete strangers, the former Fairfield Ludlowe High School goalkeeper has beaten the odds 3 times.

On Friday, hundreds of people gathered in Fairfield to welcome Charlie home. He’d spent 322 in a Boston hospital.

The crowd was overwhelming. Charlie and his family were overwhelmed. It’s hard to imagine a greater Christmas gift for anyone.

(Click here for the full Connecticut Post story.)

Welcome home, Charlie! (Photo/John McCormick)


After 10 years of negotiations and fundraising, Aspetuck Land Trust has closed on the 10-acre Montanaro property in Wilton

It’s in an important spot. It fills a “donut hole” in the Weston Wilton Forest Reserve. If — as proposed — 2 large houses had been built there, cars and trucks would have driven right through one of ALT’s oldest preserves, 119-acre Honey Hill.

That’s the second property in a month acquired by Aspetuck Land Trust. The other is the 85-acre Fromson Strassler property in Weston.

To learn more about this important preservation organization, click here.


Lou Weinberg is one of our town’s best nature photographers. His shot of a mourning dove is his latest “Westport … Naturally” contribution.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … Ralph Tavares died last week, a few days before his 80th birthday.

With his 4 younger brothers, he was part of the group Tavares. They had several hits in the 1970s — including, of course, a classic “Saturday Night Fever” cut.

Click here for a full obituary.(Hat tip: Amy Schneider)


2 responses to “Roundup: Christmas Tree, Charlie Capalbo, Aspetuck Land Trust

  1. We’ve lived off North Avenue for many years, and I simply wanted to thank Jodi for the yearly highlight of seeing her beautiful tree in lights — and now, a new moment of beauty and cheer — ♥️

  2. Jodi christensen-hardin

    So glad you enjoyed the tree Susan … it was Christmas for us for over 30 years. We were very lucky. Jodi

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