Roundup: Gilbertie’s 100th B’day Bash, Sports Rehab, High Honors …

Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center’s may be 100 years old. But they’re sure young at heart.

Tomorrow (Saturday, June 4, noon to 5 p.m.), the century-old Sylvan Road South shop/greenhouse hosts a town-wide party.

The highlight is a free concert with reggae artists Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads, plus Kalel Wale.

Surrounding the field will be family games and activities, food trucks, vendors and a petting zoo.

“It’s not every day a business turns 100,” says Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. “This is going to be quite the party.”

Bring lawn chairs for the show; park along Riverside Avenue, or at Kings Highway or Saugatuck Elementary School.


Staples High School’s High Honors Dinner is always one of the highlights of the year.

Held a couple of weeks before graduation, it’s a celebration of the diversity interests and achievements of the senior class.

Students with GPAs in the top 4% are invited. Each selects one teacher to introduce him or her. They speak for a minute; then the student gives thanks.

Educators last night came from the English, Social Studies, Science, World Language, Drama and Athletic Departments. They lauded their students’ intellectual curiosity, passion and drive, concern for classmates, and senses of humor.

Students, in turn, praised their teachers for their mentorship, accessibility at all hours of the day and night, passion and drive, unique styles, senses of humor, and friendship.

It was a warm, wonderful evening. It affirmed for many educators that “this is why I teach.” And for the parents and friends in the room, it was a fitting reminder that a Westport education takes place in many places, in many ways.

Students honored were Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Greg Beal, Zach Bishop, Michael Brody, Oliver Clachko, Sabrina Didner, Erin Durkin, Matt Genser, Sasha Maskoff, Aidan Mermagen, Gabriella Messenger, Tessa Moore, Luke Morelli, Chloe Nevas, Emma Nordberg, Talia Perkiins, Finn Popken, Ishan Prasad, Jessica Qi, Ally Schwartz and Julian Weng.

They selected educators Ann Neary, Dominick Messina, Robert Shamberg, Joe Barahona, Will Jones, Suzanne Kammerman, Meghan Scheck, Chi-Ann Lin, Noreen McGoldrick, Sam Goldberg, Chris Fray, Enia Noonan, David Roth, Bethann Camillo, Jack McFarland, David Scrofani andn Brendan Giolitto.

High Honors honoree Aidan Mermagen hears praise from chemistry teacher Will Jones.


Happy National Donut Day!

Donut Crazy is celebrating: Buy a drink, get a free donut.

If you’ve never been to the shop on the eastbound side of the Westport train station: go now!

And if you have been — you better hope your favorite “crazy” donut has not yet been gobbled up. (Hat tip: John Karrel)

Happy National Donut Day!


Westport’s newest sports rehab and physical therapy service opened this week in Westport.

HSS Sports Rehab — a collaboration between Stamford Health and the Hospital for Special Surgery — has taken over the old Boat Locker space, in the strip mall with Layla’s Falafel and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Therapists at HSS Sports Rehab – Westport treat patients of all ages and all levels of activity, “from weekend warriors to elite athletes.” They’re open weekdays by appointment only. Call 203-276-4763 for an appointment, or fax a physical therapy referral to 203-276-4764.

HSS Sports Rehab is at 1529 Post Road East.


Speaking of sports:

Two Staples High School teams are in the quarterfinals of their state tournaments. Both games are tomorrow (Saturday, June 4).

The baseball team — ranked #15 in LL (extra large schools) — upset #2 Amity-Woodbridge 8-2 Wednesday. Junior Hiro Wyatt’s grand slam was his third of the season — a school record. Next up: #10 Trumbull (2 p.m., away.)

The 14-2 Staples boys lacrosse team hosts Fairfield Ludlowe at 3 p.m.

Congratulations too to Jesse McCray. He’s just been named FCIAC Girls Outdoor Coach of the Year.

Staples boys lacrosse team.


Manna Toast recently introduced dinner service.

It’s so popular, they’re extending it to 4 evenings.

Dinner will be served Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 4 pm. Options include dine in, pickup or delivery.

A dinnertime welcome at Manna Toast.


Stuart Losen, a 57-year resident of Westport, psychologist, educator, ardent Democrat and passionate Giants football and Yankee baseball fan, died suddenly last week. He was 92.

He was raised in the Bronx, where he learned to run fast or box, “as the situation required,” his family says. He was a proud graduate of The Bronx High School of Science and City College, where he met his wife Joyce. They were married for nearly 70 years. 

His obituary reads: “Warm and loving, with an endearing and extremely humorous side, Stu loved to make his children and grandchildren laugh with his silly antics, embellished or made-up recollections (“Stu facts”) and unique expressions. However, he also displayed shark-like qualities when it came to shooting pool.

“Throughout his life Stu was passionate about drumming and singing.  As a young man he led the Mel Stuart Band as a Crosby-esque crooner. An avid storyteller, he told many tales about playing the Catskills, and Lake George. He was known for showing off his Gene Krupa paradiddles, recounting his lessons from Babatunde Olatunji and pulling out his Local 802 Musicians’ union card. He would sit in with bands at every opportunity, from calypso groups in the Caribbean to busking on the streets of Cambridge.”

He served in the army during and after the Korean War as a psychologist at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, where he worked with returning American servicemen who had undergone “brainwashing” as prisoners of war. He later earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Buffalo in 1959.

Among the earliest to bring psychological services to Connecticut public schools, beginning in 1960, he initiated and developed programs first as a clinical psychologist in North Haven and for the bulk of his public-school career as director of special services for the New Canaan schools.

Stu published numerous articles, co-authored 2 professional books and 2 memoirs, and frequently appeared as an expert witness. served as the president of the Connecticut Psychological Association. He was an adjunct professor at Yale University, Southern Connecticut State College and Fairfield University.

In his private practice in Westport Stu has helped countless individuals, couples and families. Many maintained contact for years, writing to him of their life successes.

Following his professional retirement, Stu taught courses on comparative religion at the Lifetime Learning Institute at Norwalk Community College and participated in the writer’s workshop at the Westport Senior Center. An activist at heart, Stu supported many liberal causes.

Stu is survived by his wife Joyce; daughter Laurie (Joseph) Hutcheson; son Daniel (Sarah Novogrodsky) Losen; grandchildren Anna and Molly Burgess. Ave and Meredith Hutcheson, Samuel and Leonard Losen; brother-in-law Mel Garskof; nieces Hillary Garskof Strome and Allison Garskof and grandniece, Jessica Strome.

A celebration of Stu’s life will be held in person and livestreamed at the Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home in Fairfield today (Friday, june 3, 2 p.m.).

Contributions can be made to the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance, PO Box 200, White Horse Beach, MA 02381  or the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA, “UC Regents” to: UCLA Civil Rights Project, 8370 Math Sciences, Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90095.


You’re never too young — or old — to learn how to tie-dye.

For the 2nd summer in a row, 3 Staples students — soon-to-graduate seniors Theo Vergakis, Nick Prior and Jack Foster — offer interactive tie-dyeing sessions.

They supply 100% cotton t-shirts, a large selection of dyes, and all the tools.

You supply the group of 3 to 15 kids (or adults). The cost of $25 per person includes all materials.

Click here for more information. To book a session, email,

Leo and Stella Newman, in their own creations.


Westport is naturally green this time of year. But Mark Yurkiw captured an exceptionally verdant scene for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

He did not have to look far. It’s his Cross Highway home.

This is also one of the greenest (and coolest) home scenes we’ve ever seen!

(Photo/Mark Yurkiw)


And finally … Alan White, a drummer who worked with John Lennon and George Harrison before he was 21, then gained more fame for his long work with the band Yes, died last week near Seattle, after a brief illness. He was 72.

Click here for a full obituary.

4 responses to “Roundup: Gilbertie’s 100th B’day Bash, Sports Rehab, High Honors …

  1. Chris Squire and Alan White, 2 of the 5 who played on “Relayer” the best Yes album, have now passed.

    Bill Bruford was a better drummer but White was certainly good. However, White was not the drummer on “I’ve seen all Good People.” Dan, you might want to link to something he played on instead. May I suggest “To Be Over”?

  2. Dave Wilson

    After college graduation in1979, I traveled to Europe for the summer. My only must do visit was to The Montreux Jazz Festival where fortuitously I met the founder of the event, Claude Nobs. He hired me to help with logistics and I had the pleasure of picking up the members of “Yes”at the Geneva airport. They were quite the crew.

    • Damn I’m jealous. I did get to drive Dan Hartman and Dave Brubeck when I was working for the Drive Your Car Service, but I would have taken the members of Yes over them. Brubeck was a lousy tipper!