Roundup: Salad Winners, Staples Fencers, SpongeBob …


Over 1,000 salad-eaters cast votes in the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s month-long Great Westport Salad Contest.

And the winners are …

  • Best Caesar Salad: Romanacci
  • Best Chef Salad: Joe’s Pizza
  • Best Cobb Salad: La Plage
  • Best Deli Salad: A&S Fine Foods
  • Best Greens Salad: The Porch
  • Best Make Your Own Salad: Parker Mansion
  • Best Mediterranean Salad: Manna Toast  
  • Best Unique Salad: Capuli.
  •  Honorable Mention (coming within 5 votes of the winner): Calise’s

Winners received plaques to hang. Each winner will also offer a free  salad to eight lucky voters who won the lottery in the category they voted for.


Ruth Steinkraus Cohen was a remarkable woman.

A Juilliard-trained pianist and teacher; a singer, editor, radio host and activist; secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt at the World Federation of the United Nations Association; founder of the International Hospitality Committee of Fairfield County, and Westport’s jUNe Day celebration; publisher of the worldwide “United Nations Calendar for Peace”; music chair of the Friends of Music for almost 40 years; co-founder and/or noard member of the New York Chamber Soloists, Performers of Connecticut, the Opera Company of Boston, Opera New England, Young Audiences of Connecticut, and Westport’s Art Advisory Committee — it’s no wonder our town’s downtown bridge is named for her.

The Steinkraus name is in the news again — at least, the real estate news.

A trust owned by the Steinkraus family (including Ruth’s late brother Bill, a 1968 Olympic equestrian gold medalist) has listed their amazing “Grand Great Island” property — off the Darien coast — for sale.

Located on a 60-acre island, it includes a stable, riding rings and grand house (called a “villa”), plus a whiskey and wine cellar with contents dating back to Prohibition.

Called “the largest private island ever to be offered for sale on the East Coast,” it can be yours for just $100 million. Click here for details. (Hat tip: Wendy Crowther)

Great Island, now up for sale by the Steinkraus estate.


Congratulations to the Staples High School fencing team — the state champion fencing team, that is.

What? You didn’t know Staples had a fencing team?!

That’s okay. This is their first year. Eight fencers, coached by Jim Roberts, competed against 9 schools in the state tournament last month, at North Haven High. The Wreckers edged Fairfield 5-4 for the title.

Congratulations to junior Gleb Syomichev, sophomores Max Piterbarg and PJ Loranger. Fencing club co-founder Anna Pan, a senior, helped out.

(From left): Gleb Syomichev, PJ Loranger, Anna Pan and Max Piterbarg,


There’s lots of recycling in “The SpongeBob Musical.” When the curtain rises this weekend on Coleytown Company’s spring show, the middle schoolers will have incorporated it into their sets.

Working with art teacher Linda Kangro, students took Jordan Janota’s designs and built them all out of garbage and recycling donated by the community.

Kangro let the youngsters into the recycling and trash, and told them to use their imaginations. The result will be something to see. No word, though, on whether they’ll recycle the set to use in the next show.

(“The SpongeBob Musical” will be produced Friday, April 8 (7 p.m.); Saturday, April 9 (7 p.m.) and Sunday, April 10 (1 p.m.). Click here for tickets.

Eli Abrams (as Perch Perkins) with recycled “coral” on the proscenium.


Play ball!

This year marks the 40th season for the Boss Boys’ Sunday morning softball game. They play at the field behind Town Hall, with stretching and batting practice from 9 to 9:30, and a game afterward.

They’re looking for new players. The cost is $30 for the season; it covers bats, balls, scoring books and “maybe a holiday barbecue.”

Interested? Email bryan.alix@gmail for details.

When this photo was taken in 1992, the Boss Boys’ softball game had already been going for 10 years. It’s lasted 30 more since.


Former Westporter Jack Grogins — known for his quick wit and passion for tennis, jazz music and rare books — died last week. He was 91.

The Norwalk native and University of Connecticut graduate (undergraduate and law school) enlisted in the Navy in 1956. He went on to practice in the field of insurance defense at the Hartford Insurance Company in 1958.

Jack started his own law practice in 1961. He also served for many years as a part-time prosecutor for the Bridgeport Circuit Court.

As a young man, Jack taught tennis and competed in tournaments around Connecticut. He continued into his 60s, ranking among the top tennis players in the Connecticut Senior Olympics.

He realized his life-long dream with his appointment as a Superior Court judge in 1994. He remained in that position until 2001, when he became a judge trial Referee. Jack remained a highly respected jurist until his retirement in 2018.

Jack was predeceased by his wife Marilyn. He is survived by his daughter, Judge Auden Grogins (Ian), sister-in-law Arlene Glotzer, niece Helen Glotzer, and cousin Molly Passero and her 4 children.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, April 5, 10 a.m., Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, Fairfield). The family will receive visitors prior to the service, at 9 a.m. Shiva will be observed tomorrow from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the family residence.

Jack Grogins


We can never get enough osprey photos. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image was taken yesterday. Carolyn Doan writes: “The Fresh Market osprey is bringing nesting material, while she sits in the sun. It’s all part of the mating phase.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)


And finally … on this date in 1964, the Beatles occupied the first 5 — five! — spots on Billboard’s Hot 100. They’re below, from #1 to #5.

But that’s not all. They Fab 4 had another 7 songs on the charts that week: “I Saw Her Standing There” (#31), “From Me to You” (#41), “Do You Want to Know a Secret” (#46), “All My Loving” (#58), “You Can’t Do That” (#65), “Roll Over Beethoven” #(68) and “Thank You Girl” (#79).

Yeah, Beatlemania was a thing.

PS: I don’t care how old — or young — you are. These songs put a smile on everyone’s face.

3 responses to “Roundup: Salad Winners, Staples Fencers, SpongeBob …

  1. Russell Gontar

    I highly recommend “Understanding Lennon & McCartney”, easily one of the best documentaries ever produced about the fabs, yet it is virtually unknown. Grab yourself some popcorn though, there’s 5-6 episodes, each 2-3 hours long. Enjoy, beatlepeople:

  2. Richard Johnson

    Not to be a pedant, but it’s Great Island, and I have seen it reported as being owned by the Ziegler family of Darien.