Roundup: Stop & Shop, Staples Wrestlers, Wrecker Bob …


It’s one thing for Stop & Shop to crow about their recent completely unnecessary, busiest-time-of-the-year, confuse-every-shopper shuffle, in which they randomly decided that just about every product should go elsewhere. They even switched the ice cream from one side of the aisle to the other, presumably because they could.

It’s another thing for them to insert a flyer in this week’s Westport News, celebrating their “Grand Reopening,” even though they never closed.

But to say they’re located in East Westport?!

Sorry, guys. You can change your supermarket around all you want. But you can’t simply make up a place that doesn’t exist.

(Photo/Beth Keane)


Gavin Zahler won only the 2nd wrestling match of his career yesterday.

But it was a huge one. The Staples High School sophomore — who joined the team only this winter — gutted out a 6-2 decision in the final match of the John Chacho Dual Meet Tournament.

That gave the host Wreckers a 36-33 win over Foran-Milford, and the championship of the 8-team event. It’s named for the legendary former Staples and Westport PAL wrestling coach.

And he was there throughout the day, cheering another generation of grapplers on.

The wrestling team hoists Gavin Zahler — and the team trophy — after the sophomore’s tournament-clinching win. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The John Chacho Tournament also saw the first-ever appearance of the Staples mascot at a wrestling event.

“Wrecker Bob” — created out of foam by Alicia D’Anna and her daughter Sami  — usually hangs out at football games. Now that he’s branching out, perhaps he’ll also appear at hockey games, gymnastics meets and golf matches.

Usually, the identity of the person behind the costume is a secret. On Saturday, it was Seamus Brannigan — the 8th grade brother of varsity wrestler Eamon.

The sky is the limit for this handsome dude.

(Photo/Dan Woog)


It’s been a freezing weekend in Westport. But the waves still lap against the Compo Beach shore. And these “Westport … Naturally” geese don’t mind a bit.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … in honor of the Staples wrestling team’s great victory yesterday:

18 responses to “Roundup: Stop & Shop, Staples Wrestlers, Wrecker Bob …

  1. Stop & Shop is still out of cat food.

  2. My wife is from the Detroit area and she cringes every time she hears Journey sing “Born and raised in South Detroit” for the same reason – no such place. Locals call it “Down River”.

  3. Tammy Leichter

    Sorry, but the negativity piece about Stop & Shop was just, um-unnecessary!
    As a S&S shopper and someone who has shopped in other states, it was due time for a bit of a refresh. And truthfully, what better time than during the pandemic when hopefully everyone is operating a little bit slower, kinder and gentler!

  4. John D McCarthy

    Great to see a tournament named for Coach Chacho. Well deserved.

  5. J. Scott Broder

    No truer words of ridiculousness ever reported
    Stop & Shop couldn’t make it any more difficult unless they actually closed and reopened to this unnecessary planned confusion !

  6. I was amazed yesterday to see huge lettering on the wall to the left of the checkout area proclaiming “Serving Westport Since 1950” I don’t think so! S&S is rewriting history. Food Fair, Finast, A&P, Gristedes, etc — but not S&S!

    • Bill Strittmatter

      Finast was owned by Ahold which, at some point, got rid of the Finast brand and rebranded the store to its Stop & Shop brand.

      • I thought that might be the case. “They’re always changing corporation names”

        Someone else pointed out that “East” is part of the street address, and that was likely a mistake by someone not familiar with the local geography. What they need is a good sign editor.

  7. Stop and Shop simply needs a local sign maker! East should be adjacent to the street address and not on the city line.

  8. Joyce Barnhart

    The Stop & Shop mess-up, from the timing of the “renovation” to the dumb “East Westport” is just one more example of people not doing their job right. In the 70’s high school students sat on the floor in circles and called their teachers by their first names. They’re ready for retirement now. Assuming these current decision-makers are in their 30’s and 40’s, what was going on in our schools in the country 12+ years ago when they were in high school?

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      This might be taking Hanlon’s razor to the extreme. It’s likely that corporate marketing staff, unfamiliar with the area and not seeking input of local management, made a bad sign. Their US HQ is in Quincy, Mass, south of Boston, and someone based there is just unfamiliar with the area, not being malicious, poorly educated or even stupid. Careless, but probably being asked to do the job of 2+ people by corporate bosses. The proofing editor was prob laid off in a corporate restructure years ago. This was a conscious trade off by a corporate bean counter.
      It’s a stupid sign, it’s been a stupid remodel, but it’s probably not the result of stupid people

      • Joyce Barnhart

        You are very willing to overlook carelessness, Elizabeth. It’s very unlikely that the outlet in this town appears on any list in the corporate offices (at least until now) as East Westport. Just a moment’s consideration by a thinking individual should have sent the sign’s creator back to the drawing board.

        • It has been pointed out that if you put “East” in front of Post Road, then everything is just fine. It was a mistake, and a careless one that someone should have to answer for at some level, but there are many worse things happening right now worth greater indignation.

          People of course can shop elsewhere. If I lived in the area I would much prefer shopping at Stew Leonard’s. I understand it is probably more expensive, but if I lived in that area, I must be “getting it done.” (Right?) I expect most people griping about the situation now will keep shopping there.

  9. Eric E. Bosch

    The pictured Compo beach geese are “Brants”. They’re longest distance migrators. Some fly 3,000 miles from their nesting grounds on the coast of Arctic Ocean to the coast of Mexico. Other groups migrate from the Arctic down the Hudson Bay to the Atlantic Coast. (A nice addition to Westport’s waterfowl community).

    Brants don’t migrate in V’s like Canada geese or straight lines like snow geese. They fly in unorganized groups. They are very vocal when they migrate and make a loud “cronk” sound.

  10. Helen Ranholm

    So Stop and Shop moved everything in the store and now it seems the store itself to East Westport. Don’t forget there was a First National Grocery Store. We shopped there every Friday. That was when one shopped once for the whole week. Long ago.

  11. Melissa Augeri

    Sorry to read there was more interest and engagement in Stop + Shop than our local high school athletes who have been dealing with the stops and starts during Covid and have anything but a smooth high school experience. And kudos to the creative team who brought Wrecker Bob to life!
    More celebrating, less complaining!
    Thanks to Dan for celebrating the youth of Westport.