Roundup: Pickleball, Trampolines, Duck Race …

The agenda for next Monday’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting (July 11, 7 p.m., Zoom) includes important discussions, such as converting the current Westport Rehabilitation Complex on Post Road West into a more modern eldercare facility, and redeveloping the 117-room Westport Inn into a smaller hotel with a restaurant, bar, event space, fitness center, pool and site improvements.

The existing Westport Inn (left), and the proposed new structure.

Two other interesting items are up for discussion too.

Birchwood Country Club wants to construct 4 pickleball courts, near their existing tennis courts. They’d fill a need — at least, for members of the private club — but they’re close to a few homes.

The ball will be in P&Z’s court.

The other intriguing item involves trampolines: Should they be regulated by zoning? And if so, how?

Most trampolines are above ground. But what about permanent, in-ground trampolines? A resident has asked for an interpretation.

Click here for the full P&Z agenda, including a Zoom link.

In-ground trampoliine.

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Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race returns this Saturday (July 9). There’s a new location — Jesup Green — but the same family fun.

The day begins with a 10 a.m. Fun Fair in the Westport Library parking lot. Activities include a Nerdy Derby, face painting and bubble machines.

At 1 p.m. on Jesup Green, 3,000 plastic ducks will slide down a 160-foot sluice course. Each wears a number, matching a $20 raffle ticket. The first 10 ducks down the course win money for their ticket holders. First place is $5,000. Second place wins $1,000. The next 8 finishers get $500 each.

The event is a major Sunrise Rotary fundraiser. Proceeds support charitable endeavors in this area, the state and around the world.

Click here for tickets. Click below for a sneak quack peek.

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The Great Duck Race is not the only water-related activity this weekend.

Sunday marks the 43rd annual Westport Weston Family YMCA’s Point-to-Point Compo Beach Swim. The mile-long event includes competitors from across New England and the tri-state region.

All proceeds go to the Y’s aquatics programs to improve aquatics safety in the community, including swim lessons for all ages.

There are 4 heats, based on ability. Advanced swimmers start at 8 a.m., followed by intermediate swimmers (8:05), beginners (8:10) and myTeamTriumph (8:15).

That last group is special. My Team Triumph is a national non-profit serving children, teens adults and veterans with disabilities who could otherwise not experience endurance events like open water swims, road races, or triathlons.

“Captains” (special needs athletes) are paired with able-bodied “angel” volunteers, who use specialized racing equipment such as rafts to pull their captains during the race. Special needs athletes who would like to participate must register in advance with My Team Triumph.

Eegistration can be done online at westporty.org/43rd and is $50. Walk-registrations costs $60, starting at 7 a.m. The top 3 men’s and women’s finishers win awards. Swimmers get Point-to-Point swim caps and t-shirts.

The start of the Point-to-Point swim.

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No small potatoes: 19 teenagers and 9 adults just returned from Saugatuck Congregational Church’s High School Youth Group mission trip to Maine,

They stayed in Old Orchard Beach, and worked on a Growing to Give farm in Brunswick. The organization raises organic vegetables using climate-friendly methods, and donates them to food banks and pantries.

The youth group also cleared trails for the Saco Land Trust.

Saugatuck Church youth group, in Maine.

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Whatever’s old is new again.

Back in the day, movies like “Casablanca” drew large audiences to drive-in theaters across America.

Most drive-ins are long gone. But Westport has one: The Remarkable Theater, in the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Last night’s screening was (of course) “Casablanca.” Here’s a classic photo, of a classic scene:

(Photo/Pippa Bell Ader)

Next up: “Caddyshack,” on Monday. Click here for tickets, and the full schedule.

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Westport Lifestyle Magazine’s July issue is out. Among the highlights: a deep dive into the Westport Library’s Verso studios. Click here to learn more about the professional-quality production facilities right under our noses (and open to the public).

One of the Verso studios. (Photo/Brendan Toller for Westport Lifestyle Magazine)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature is this visitor to Franco Fellah’s garden. Judging by its looks, I wonder if there is anything left for Franco to eat.

(Photo/Franco Fellah)

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And finally … on this date in 1928, sliced bread was sold for the first time (on the inventor’s 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of  Missouri.

There is no record of when the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread!” was coined.

(“06880” may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But we do rely “greatly” — okay, entirely — on reader support. Please click here to help.)

5 responses to “Roundup: Pickleball, Trampolines, Duck Race …

  1. How are things going with the Pickleball competitor that you wrote about a few months ago? Are they having a productive summer? Should there be a permanent court at Birchwood?

  2. Hi Dan –

    Karen and I were there for “Casablanca” last night at Westport’s remarkable Remarkable Drive-In. What a terrific idea and what a great cause (in support of local people overcoming their disabilities with their willpower and uplifting enthusiasm). It was our first time there and we were very impressed. The system worked beautifully. And with no cell phones, dogs, or “to do” lists to distract, we were able to focus fully on watching one of the best movies of all time and were transported to a moment of hope, valor and love in the midst of the frightening challenges of another troubled time.

    In fact I was so inspired that when I got home I thought I would try to find the soundtrack for the movie (which has a timeless and wonderful musical score) and the screenplay (to catch up on the few lines I missed). I found both:

    https://music.apple.com/us/album/casablanca-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/1455697813

    http://mckeestory.com/wp-content/uploads/Digital-CASABLANCA.pdf

    Best, Frank
    Frank Sisson

  3. Dan, as an “old” Westporter, I hope you remember that there were in-ground trampolines at a place that is now Lansdown condominiums, I think there was an ice skating rink there, too.

    • Absolutely. Ed Hall, phys. ed. teacher and coach at Bedford Junior High, ran “Ed Hall’s Jumpin’ Gyminy” (spelling is probably wrong), at the site of the miniature golf course/skating rink. The trampolines lasted only a couple of years. Great memory!

  4. The Bread video brought a tear to my eye. What a time! Brought up all of the memories. Thanks for that , Dan.

    I loved.the New Englander Motor Inn… if that is the name from the 60s and early 70s of the Westport Inn. Pink and white as I remember. I had an orthodontist at the end on ground ground floor next door or something as I remember.

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