Roundup: Valentine’s Candy, Collective’s Art, Spirit Shop’s Whiskey Barrels …

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today’s sweet Westport connection comes from reader Deb Rosenfield. She writes:

“Did you ever wonder where all those heart boxes for candy came from?

“My grandfather, Louis Rosenfield, developed the manufacturing process for them. He first made them for Barracini and Loft’s.

“He, his brother and cousin started a paper box/container company called Miro Container in the 1920s in Brooklyn. They were known for their high-end set-up boxes (not folding), such as the outer ones that hold large portfolios of prints by artists like Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, candy boxes, etc.

“They also designed and made the boxes for Ideal Toys (I had the original prototype for the game Mouse Trap as a kid, and one of the original Betsy Wetsy dolls). They also made Dixie cups for the US military during World War II.”

“One more Westport connection: Miro Container made the boxes for Evyan — the perfume company owned by Walter Langer von Langendorff.” (He’s the “baron” who owned the property now named “Baron’s South.”)

Louis Rosenfield’s 1952 patent for a heart-shaped candy box.


The Westport Artists’ Collective has a collection of upcoming events.

A members’ exhibit reception at Gordon Fine Arts Gallery, 1701 Post Road East (this Saturday, February 18, 4 p.m.; show runs through March 19) will be followed by:

  • A pop-up show (Westport Playhouse barn, reception March 1, 6 to 8 p.m.; show runs through March 5, 2 to 6 p.m.)
  • A “Music to our Eyes” show at the Westport Library (March 8, 6 to 8 p.m.), with  a “Piece by Piece” reveal March 8 (6:30 p.m.).

Click here for more information.


Seen around Redcoat Road yesterday:

(Photo/D. Sweet)

Be careful out there! (Hat tip: Nancy Beard)


Greens Farms Spirit Shop is auctioning off 20 whiskey barrels.

Unfortunately, they’re empty. Fortunately, they’re great for indoor or outdoor decor — or for aging beer or other spirits.

Even more fortunately, all proceeds benefit Connecticut Greyhound Adoption. They’re a nonprofit organization that finds loving homes for retired racing greyhounds, while offering pre- and post-adoption support to facilitate the transition from track to home.

Click here for details, and to bid. The auction ends this Thursday, at 9 p.m.


The relatively warm, very snowless winter continues to draw swimmers to Compo Beach.

Six women waded into the water yesterday — joining a steady stream of fearless, cold-but-not-frozen folks over the past few weeks.

Today’s forecast calls for sun, a high of 52, and winds of 5-10 mph. Everyone down to the shore!

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Last September, “06880” reported on Mark Perlman.

The longtime Westporter had just published his first historical novel — in French.

No US publisher was interested in his story weaving together the Jazz Age, romance, murder, World Wars I and II and the rise of fascism.

Perlman persevered. He found a French company that bought the rights, translated it, and published “Le Soldat Involontaire” in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada.

The other day, “The Reluctant Soldier” was finally published in English.

Alert “06880” reader Tom Carey calls it “compelling. While there are a slew of novels about World War II, Mark’s book spans a longer time frame and is told from the point of view of an African American.”

Tom knew Mark from their previous service together, on Westport’s Conservation Commission. “In addition to his writing skills, he has a fantastic sense of humor,” Tom says.

But, he adds, he was halfway through the book before he realized he knew the author.

Click here to order, and for more information.


Thursday’s Jazz at the Post features pianist Janice Friedman.

She tours internationally, is in demand at the best New York venues, and is very popular around here too.

Friedman has played with Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” wall — founder of the weekly series, at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 — since the 1980s.

They will be joined by Boots Maleson and Tim Horner. The duo first played with Wall in the 1970s, in Boston.

This Thursday’s (February 16) sets begin at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Dinner service starts at 7. Reservations are highly recommended:


Victoria Cerra Vebell — an illustrator, author, art professor and former Westport resident — died peacefully on January 29 in Hamden, after a brief illness. She was 70.

The daughter of Edward and Elsa Vebell, the New York City native grew up in Westport. She lived in New York, Austin, Tucson, Washington, Connecticut and — for 22 years — New Haven, where she was very involved in the community. She helping save her local park from developers, while also organizing holiday art projects and games inside the park for neighborhood families.

Vicki was a widely admired illustrator who worked in publishing, editorial and advertising art for 38 years. She worked in a variety of formats but specialized in paperback book covers. Her work won awards from the Society of Illustrators.

Vicki was also an assistant professor of art at Pratt Institute for 22 years, and taught online for the Academy Art Institute University in California. She had a vibrant, passionate personality and was loved and respected by her students. She was known and appreciated for her teaching skills that enabled students to “learn to see,” and create quality art.

Vicki was classically trained in both drawing and painting, earning a B.F.A. from Philadelphia College of Art, and M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

Vicki wrote illustrated the best-selling textbook “Exploring the Basics of Drawing” (2004).

Vicki was an accomplished fencer; a lover of classical music, good wine, food, and her cats Stella and Freddie.

She  is survived by her sisters Renee Vebell (Jeff Cohen) of New Hampshire, Andra Vebell (Larry Hoy) of Westport, cousin Elsa Calderon Thomas, and nephews Jason Cohen, Dylan Hoy and Colin Hoy.

Vicki Vebell


Compo Beach’s Ned Dimes Marina gets a lot of “06880” photographic love.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature takes a different perspective: the one at Owenoke Park.

(Photo/Laurie Sorensen)


And finally … I could only find 4,285,996,018 songs about love, to celebrate Valentine’s Day today.

Here are 3 of my favorites. What are yours? Click “Comments” below.

15 responses to “Roundup: Valentine’s Candy, Collective’s Art, Spirit Shop’s Whiskey Barrels …

  1. And now, Valentine’s Day wishes from the actual best band of all time. Sorry stones fans.

  2. Marvin & Tammy for sure!

  3. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Stones fans are never sorry Russ.

    • They may never be sorry, but as long as they assert that band was better than the Fab Four, they’ll never be correct either. Good thing Lennon and McCartney wrote the stones first hit, so they could, you know, see how it’s done.

  4. The fabs were better musicians all around, had three master composers and singers at their disposal, wrote the best songs, made the best albums and gave the most electrifying performances. Like Sir Paul said, the stones were a pretty good blues cover band.

  5. I loved them both. Still do.

  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Keep sniffin those bathtub bubbles!!!!
    Claudine’s back in jail agin!!!
    Claudine’s back in jail agin!!!

  7. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    “The Fabs”???? OMG!!! It’s Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie!!!!
    Tiptoe through the tulips with meeeee!!!!
    Fast forwarded past all that stuff in ‘68.

  8. For Valentine’s — the late, great Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole and “What a Wonderful World “. Sometimes we need reminding.

  9. PS. Thanks, Dan, for “Perhaps Love”. Trying to play it on my dear old Dad’s piano now.

  10. Hmmmm; what’s missing from that whiskey barrel post? Let’s see: not even a photo of the barrel and you gotta’ go to NORTH HAVEN to pick the damned thing up…though my wife and I contribute to dozens of animal rescue outfits, this is not gonna’ be on of them. We’ll just call it a dysfunctional post.

  11. When you post a story like this (Vicki Vebell’s obit) but give no links yet note her Dad being “A Westport Artist,” I have to use Google to learn more. Of course, your previous posts on Ed V. pop up immediately, then by clicking on see all images up comes the art. Wonderful morning coffee digression. Here’s a link to an Ed Vebell piece; I’m supposing the little girl was modeled by Vicki:

    If Vickie got her artistic talent from her friend, it would seem that she got her fencing skills from her mother (American Fencing, June 1950, p.9, “Women Qualifiers … epee … Metropolitan NY … E. Vebell.)

    I have never been on Quentin street! Biked to the beach a lot but did not go side-street exploring much down there. A JrHigh destination was Murvon court where the Vickie I was trying to date lived.

    No one online site has much of Ms Vebell’s art but is at ISFDB. A life well-lived. Condolences to the family.

    • Thanks. In posting obituaries, I follow the family’s lead. They did not include information about Ed’s many accomplishments, so I did not add it in. The focus remains on Vicki’s life.

  12. Memories of Ed Vebell also bring to mind that he had the first Mercedes Gull Wing Coup in town (license plate: VEBELL) and a large, wonderful collection of early west memorabilia; guns, saddles, outfits, that he rented out to Hollywood for movies….most of it was destroyed in a flood caused by a storm back in the 80’s.

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