Roundup: Battle Of Compo Hill, Willy Wonka, Take Back Drugs …

Susan Iseman subscribes to the “Today in Connecticut History” news feed. Every day, a different event is highlighted.

Today is Westport’s turn. The site cites the 245th anniversary of 1,800 British troops’ march from Compo Beach to Danbury, where they burned a supply depot.

April 26: British Forces Attack, Burn Danbury

The event — including the subsequent retreat back to their ships off Compo Beach, and the Battle of Compo Hill on April 28, when the patriots made life miserable for the invaders — is memorialized by our iconic Minute Man monument.

Click here for the fascinating story of those historic 1777 days.

Remembering 1777.


Happy National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!

This Saturday (April 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Senior Center), the Westport Police Department partners with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to accept medications (pills or patches) that are no longer needed.

The Senior Center cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. Vape pens whose batteries can be removed are okay, those whose batteries cannot be removed are not.

The service is free and anonymous; no questions are asked.

Since its inception 22 years ago, the program has removed more than 15.2 million pounds of medication from circulation nationwide.

The WPD also has a year-round collection bin in the lobby of police headquarters. Prescription drugs can be disposed of any time there.

For more information about Take Back Day, click here.

Bedford Acting Group — the middle school theatre program — returned to the stage this year after a tough, 2-year hiatus due to COVID,

The fall production of “Annie” was a success, thanks to a cast of 7th and 8th graders (and professional actor dog Sandy).

This weekend the 6th graders debut on the Bedford stage. They perform “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” with the help of director Ryan Smith and nearly two dozen 7th and 8th grade student directors.

The youngsters shadow Smith, run scenes and lines, create blocking, make suggestions on character choices, and step in to read when students are absent.

This is Smith’s first year at the Bedford Acting Group helm. After performing with Staples Players before graduating in 1996, he acted professionally on national tours.

He returned to his hometown and served as associate director of Bedford Acting Group alongside Kevin Slater, then helped run the program with longtime director Karen McCormick.  Now in the head role, he works with assistant director Melisa Didio.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” features audiovisual and special effects, and surprises in the Wonka factory. Costumes reflect the 1970s, and the set is vibrantly colored.

Among the volunteers: theatrical designer Karen Root, whose daughter Helen acts in the show, and actor Colin Walker, whose daughter Brady is a student director.

Performances are Friday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.), Saturday, April 30 (2 and 7 p.m.), and Sunday, May 1 (2 p.m.). Click here for tickets and more information.

Harper Iglehart and Samantha Skopp are double cast as Willy Wonka


A few days ago, “06880” announced the release of Alan Fiore’s first song, “Take the Bait!”

The 2021 Staples High School graduate/current Berklee College of Music student produced, mixed and mastered it all himself.

It’s already registered over 5,000 Spotify streams, and 2,000 on Apple Music. It earned rave reviews in Darkus (which called Alan “one of 2022’s newest rising stars”) and Wolf in a Suit (“with this stunning showcase of feelings and emotions (Alan) gives life to a tale so raw and so true”).

Click here for links to all streaming platforms. Click here for Alan’s website, and more music.

Alan Fiore


The “06880” community has been heartbroken to learn of Charlie Capalbo’s death. The 23-year-old Fairfield hockey player — grandparents Ida Chadwick and Richard Epstein live in Westport, and whose mom Jennifer Wilde Capalbo graduated from Staples — battled cancer 4 times, before succumbing on Sunday.

The emotional toll on Charlie’s family over the past 5 years has been devastating. So is the financial toll.

A GoFundMe page is helping with medical expenses. Click here for more information, and to contribute.

Charlie and his mother, Jennifer Wilde Capalbo.


Destination Haus — the new gallery and home décor store at 56 Riverside Avenue — invites everyone for cocktails and light bites this Thursday (April 28, 4 to 7 p.m.)

Like the original store in Montauk, Destination Haus offers

Offering curated artwork, furniture, glassware, candles, pillows, pottery, home accessories and jewelry from around the globe. It’s a “destination” for anyone moving into, redesigning or redecorating their “haus.”


Designer/entrepreneur/humanitarian/Prince Charles’ goddaughter India Hicks comes to MoCA Westport on May 12 (5 to 7 p.m.).

After a cocktail hour, she’ll chat with Connecticut Cottages & Gardens editorial director DJ Carey about her recent book, “An Entertaining Story,” and more.

Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a copy of India’s book. Guests also get a peek at Hicks’ new collaboration with British luxury brand Tusting. Click here to purchase and for more information, or call 222-7070. Funds support visual arts, performing arts and educational offerings for the community.

India Hicks


There’s no better sign of spring … nor a better candidate for “Westport … Naturally” than this image. Jill Grayson captured it, in her yard.

(Photo/Jill Grayson)


And finally … in honor of Jill Grayson’s photo above:




13 responses to “Roundup: Battle Of Compo Hill, Willy Wonka, Take Back Drugs …

  1. David Abrams

    I have a distinct memory of the patriots lighting fires in the vicinity of Long Shore Beach as part of an effort to disorient the brittish ships as they sailed back up the Sound. The result was one or two of the ships running aground on the Cockenoe reef. I haven’t been able to find any mention of this, anywhere.

  2. Edward Bonaham

    Where’s our actual Westport Historical Society on this monumental event that took place 245 years ago? So disappointed!

    Their lack of revering history such as this is abhorrent!

    Obviously it does not fit their personal agenda, politics, funding abilities! after they kicked out all the actual great people in town who actually know the history and revered it. Ridiculous!

    Missed out on such a great opportunity to have a walking tour from the cannons to the historical society! But they have time to speak out at a Board of Education meeting…priorities??

  3. Hi what is the update on Joyride? I couldn’t find it in the article. Thank you.

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    The Westport Historical Society went Woke and is now the Museum of Culture and Art. (MOCA). How delightfully trendy!!!

    • Sorry, Eric – you’re conflating two organizations. The Westport Historical Society is now the Westport Museum of History and Culture. The Westport Arts Center is now MoCA.

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        My bad Dan. Still, I deplore the flatulent rebranding of the WHS.

  5. Richard.webb

    A significant event in Revolutionary history. Coupled with the raid on Fairfield 2 years later and the resistance that was faced the British never attempted to invade inland Connecticut again.

    Ukraine is doing a similar effort…

  6. Wow, how amazing you said exactly the same thing as Richard.webb!

  7. Devon F. Heffler

    I guess we can blame technology for the Historical Society’s lack of education about real Westport historical events and honoring the Minutemen who fought and died to preserve our way of life today.

    It is a real shame they kicked off so many great members of the board, and sold off rooms named after fantastic and giving Westporters for money.

  8. Jack Backiel

    I yanked my aunt’s 1932 Bedford Junior High Diploma when the Westport Historical Society changed hands. In my opinion, a real Westport Historical Society, owned by the town, should be established!

  9. Bill Stritttmatter

    Of course, there is a theory that the Revolution was fought to preserve slavery (not to mention facilitate Native American genocide). If one is sympathetic to that theory, I suppose it’s debatable whether one should celebrate Westport’s contribution to the revolutions success though I’m sure that’s not the “our way of life” you are referring to.