Roundup: Wynston Browne, Water Conservation, 9/11 Memorial …

Wynston Brown continues to inspire us all.

The non-speaking autistic teenager was once thought to be intellectually disabled. In July, “06880” described his astonishing progress, since he began using a special communication board a year ago.

Earlier this month he met customers at The Porch @ Christie’s. He showed them his spelling device, and answered questions.

Wynston Browne with his spelling board.

Wynston was there again Monday — the day before beginning his sophomore year at Staples High School. Owner Andrea Pecoriello hosted him.

His mother Lynda Kommel-Browne says: “Wynston had a nice conversation with 4 families, who were not familiar with non-speakers and spelling boards. Wynston beamed with pride and energy to show folks his communication skills. It was a great eye-opening experience for all.

Wynston Browne and his communication partner, Elisa Feinman, show his spelling board to customers at The Porch. His brother Harrison is standing (right).

“Wynston’s 16-year-old brother Harrison beamed with pride too, seeing customers take an interest in Wyn, and seeing Wyn respond to questions with high level answers.

“For example, he said, ‘In biology we are studying macro molecules …  carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Carbohydrates is your body’s main energy source.'”

He talked about “The Kite Runner” too — and asked some of his new friends questions like what they like to eat at The Porch.

Wynston’s world is opening up — and he is opening up ours. “06880” will continue to report on his progress, and on opportunities for Westporters to meet him.

Wynston Browne, with younger customers.


Following up on yesterday’s water conservation measures, a reader writes:

“We use the ‘speed load’ setting. Our washing machine runs for 25 minutes, instead of an hour and 10 minutes on the regular setting. Our clothes get just as clean — we have never had an issue with that.”

Any other water-saving ideas? Click “Comments” below.

Select “quick wash,” which you probably never noticed before.


Connecticut’s official 9/11 memorial is at Sherwood Island State Park for 2 reasons.

On that horrific day 21 years ago, people gathered on the shore saw smoke rise from the Twin Towers 50 miles away.

And the area was ready to be used as a staging area for rescue helicopters. Sadly, none were needed.

Two decades later, the simple memorial attracts a steady stream of visitors. It includes the names of state residents who died in the terrorist attacks.

Each year, there is a remembrance ceremony at the Sherwood Island Living Memorial. This year’s is set for Thursday, September 8 (5:30 p.m.). Family members of those killed will participate, and the names of the 161 victims with ties to Connecticut will be read aloud.

The ceremony will be livestreamed at An on-demand video will be made available there shortly after its conclusion.

The 9/11 Living Memorial at Sherwood Island State Park. (Photos/Ellen Bowen)


Tomorrow’s “Jazz at the Post” stars Rob Henke & the Cook County Stompers.

Greg Murphy, Tim Ferguson, Sipho Kunene and Greg Wall — the “Jazz Rabbi” — play 2 sets at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 (7 and 8:30 p.m.; dinner at 6:30; $10 cover).

The Thursday night series has earned an avid following. The jazz is great; the acoustics are superb; the food is excellent, and the view is superb.

What’s not to like?

Reservations are strongly suggested:

Cook County Stompers


If you haven’t been to an Artists Collective of Westport pop-up show: Pop in to the next one.

Held, as always, in the Westport Country Playhouse barn, it features works by homeless veterans. The art was created in classes run by the Collective, at Bridgeport’s Homes for the Brave shelter.

There’s a reception next Wednesday (September 7, 6 to 8 p.m.), and an artists’ talk Saturday, September 10 (4 p.m.). The works are on display to the public September 8 to 10, from 2 to 6 p.m. each day.

The Artists’ Collective does great work, very quietly. They don’t toot their own horns. So I’ll toot it for them.

See you at the show!


I hate to keep throwing barbs at Hook’d.

But really, the Compo Beach concession is just mailing it in.

Earlier this summer, after sharp comments on “06880,” they finally began posting their hours on the door.

That’s gone now.

With the doors locked yesterday, this was the scene:

(Photo/Yvonne Senturia)

That’s still better than a few days ago. The doors were locked then. The sandwich board sign was out.

But the arrow was pointing the wrong way.


School started yesterday. And — right on cue — there was this familiar sight at the Imperial Avenue parking lot:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Readers sometimes wonder what they’re doing there.

The answer makes sense: It’s a spot for drivers to gather between runs, without having to navigate the cramped, busy entrance and exit at the Dattco lot across from Playhouse Square.

Once in the morning there, and again in the afternoon, is plenty.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is X-rated.

Michael and Valerie Szeto write: “With Cole Porter’s permission. one might say, ‘Birds do it, bees do it, even Westport horseshoe crabs do it … let’s do it, let’s fall in love!'”

(Photo/Valerie Szeto)

This shot of mating horseshoe crabs was taken in the shallow water off Owenoke Park. Michael spotted it; Valerie snapped it.

The couple then left, giving this other couple some privacy.


And finally … it wasn’t hard to figure out today’s song, was it?

(Birds and bees don’t do it, but we hope you will: Support “06880.” Please click here to contribute.)

13 responses to “Roundup: Wynston Browne, Water Conservation, 9/11 Memorial …

  1. Gloria Gouveia

    Water conservation measures: Drink more wine & less water and shower with a friend.

  2. RE: Wynston Browne
    My 10yr old daughter Sabrina, in neighboring Weston, is an autistic, nonspeaking typer. She picked up this skill over Covid Distance learning with her mom. Turns out she is a bit of a genius (I know all parents say that, but for real)… We attended a conference in VA this summer for non-speakers, and connected with a whole community there. Wyn uses a letterboard, and Sabrina uses a QWERTY keyboard, but at the end of the day it’s all about giving them a mode of communication. Elizabeth Bonker went viral this year graduating from Rollins College as valedictorian as an autistic, nonspeaker who types on a keyboard with a communication partner! Amplifying these voices is essential! Sabrina has a FB page with all of her writing on it. Check it out, it’s bananas. Never mind that she is 10, her writing is way better than most adults I know. Wyn is not alone.

    Thanks for this!
    Gavin Guerra

    • Gavin, thanks so much for the link. Sabrina is astonishing. “Bananas” is an understatement. You must be very, very proud. Please keep me posted on what she’s doing. I’ll be honored to share it with our “06880” community.

      • Thanks Dan! Will do. Any amplification of these voices is incredibly valuable. I appreciate what you’re doing.

  3. Kristan Hamlin

    This is wonderful news for Wynston! I am so proud of, and happy for, the entire Browne family! And I cannot believe how tall Harrison has gotten!

  4. Some ideas for water conservation. Basic, I know, but not hard — they just require some mindfulness so they become second nature.

    1) Turn off water while brushing teeth.
    2) Turn off water while soaping up dishes, and put everything you can in the dishwasher. My mother-in-law always had a “soaking tub” in her sink, where baked-on stuff had a chance to loosen. <– I know that's not HGTV-worthy, but it does work/save water.
    3) Turn off water while soaping up in the shower (at least in the summer, when we don't need that glorious hot water warming us up).

  5. One more water conservation idea: my Bosch dishwasher has a 30 minute cycle which washes my dishes as well as the Regular 114 minute cycle. if you need a new one, find a brand that still offers that shorter cycle.

    I love the story about Wyn and learned a lot too! Thanks.

  6. Both stories and accomplishments are great. Parents should be proud!’
    As far as Bus parking in Imperial lot.. they do this overnight as well and pay the town nothing. They should not be using this lot or using Thomas Rd as a cut thru. That road is a windey, narrow and dangerous road. Buses have been observed speeding and traveling in oncoming lane many times. The town has notified Dattco not to use Thomas Rd, but some drivers either ignore or never got the message. Hope they get the message loud and clear this year, before some walker or car gets hit

  7. Does Longshore Golf Course use reclaimed water?

  8. Tracy A Flood

    I am so truly touched by Wyn and Sabrina’s stunning eloquence and patience and endurance. Many years ago, (20) I ran a support group for individuals who were not conventional speakers, but they could type with different types of supports. It was referred to as Facilitated Communication, or FC. Sadly the “scientists”, and physicians and psychologists and SLP’s went berserk. The set up all sorts of validity tests they they claim proved that it was not the individual doing the typing. Many instances of abuse were reported using this typing method, which threatened families and others. Doug Biklen, at Syracuse University, (with a Westport connection). Rosemary Crossley from Australia, and Anne Donnellan from Univ. of Wisconsin .- made up a trio of advocates to spread the word about FC, and to fight, sometimes in court, for people’s right to speak. Sadly this movement very gradually faded away. There was a ton of very unfair press, and it never got the full momentum it needed. I am beyond thrilled to see more and more students and adults who are getting their chance to show us how gifted they are. This is tremendously inspiring. I am now going to follow Sabrina on FB, and hope to catch Wyn at the Porch, or somewhere else. This is a wonderful way to spread the word. Thank you Dan!!!!

    • Thanks Tracy… We are getting some pushback from that same Anti-FC crowd. It’s remarkable that some are more willing to believe that we are puppeteering our child and are somehow scamming people (for what, exactly?) than it is to entertain the thought that this child who does not speak and presents outwardly as a disabled child with motor planning issues, can have a full suite of thought and emotion inside her head. Sabrina has already resigned herself to the fact that fighting ableism is her calling and will likely last a lifetime.

  9. Jalna Jaeger

    regarding water conservation, I now have a basin in my sink. All wash and rinse water gets poured into a bucket, and used outside to water my parched garden! I also take cold showers, until the water warms up, and in this hot weather, it feels good!
    Pray for rain!