Roundup: Staples Hoops, Leaf Blowers, PJ Romano Field …

Today is the big day.

Staples High School’s boys basketball team plays in its first state tournament final in — are you sitting down? — 86 years.

Tipoff is 6:15 p.m. (Sunday), at the Mohegan Sun arena. The Wreckers — seeded 7th in Division II — face #1 St. Bernard’s-Uncasville.

The game can be heard on WWPT-FM (90.3) and The expert announcing team includes seniors Jack Ginsburg and Colin Menninger.

You can watch it on the proprietary Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) website, but must subscribe ($11.99 a month; cancel anytime); click here for details.

Staples got to the finals with an astonishing 18-point, 4th-quarter comeback in the semifinals against Fairfield Warde.

The winning basket came after sophomore Adam Udell stole an inbounds pass, then calmly finished a layup.

Here’s a remarkable photo. It shows Udell scoring; a Warde player on the ground, after falling trying for the pass — and the scoreboard showing both the tied score, and the time left: 13.5 seconds.

(Photo/Michelle Garrity)

Meanwhile, I could not find a photo of the state championship 1937 team. But here’s one from the next winter (1938).

Legendary coach Roland Wachob is in the middle. The squad included George “Nooky” Powers, considered one of the greatest Staples athletes of all time.

1938 Staples High School basketball team. (Photo courtesy of “Staples High School: 120 Years of A+ Education,” by Dan Woog)


Townwide restriction on gas-powered leaf blowers begin May 15, and run through October 15.

The devices can only be used weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,  Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3.m., and not at all on Sundays or holidays. (Longer hours are allowed for homeowners doing their own yard work.)

Wakeman Town Farm wants to make Westporters (and their landscapers) aware.

To make some noise, they’re raffling off a state-of-the-art EGO electric leaf blower.

Tickets are $20 each. Proceeds benefit WTF’s educational and sustainability programs. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

The winner will be announced on (of course) Earth Day: April 22.

EGO electric leaf blower.


A frustrated “06880” reader writes:

“I brought this topic a year and a half ago. I was told it would be an easy repair — and it had already been approved in the town budget.

“It never happened. So I’m asking again:

“Please repair PJ Romano Field.”

She sent along this message, from “a group of concerned moms”:

“The field — managed by Parks & Rec — should be a safe place for children. But it’s not. There are at least 19 cracks they can trip over.

One of the many large cracks at PJ Romano Field.

“Located between Kings Highway and Saugatuck Elementary Schools, it’s a great place for sports.

“Elementary school children love to ride scooters and bicycles. But they end up with scraped and bloody knees, hands and elbows, because of deep, big cracks. There’s a bigger accident waiting to happen.

“Spring is arriving. Kids will be coming out again. Please make it safe.”


Today’s “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Department of Human Services director Elaine Daignault.

She explains many important services provided to Westport residents. There’s a lot you may already know — but plenty more to learn.

The podcast is presented by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen:


Turnout was great at last night’s MoCA Westport opening reception. The new “Rainbow in the Dark”  exhibition features 20 works of German contemporary artist Anselm Reyle, including a neon exhibition.

His works also include foil and strip paintings, and sculptures. Remnants of consumer society, discarded materials, symbols of urbanity, and industrial change are key.

“Rainbow in the Dark” is on view through May 28. Docent-led tours are held Thursdays at 1 p.m. Drop-in docent-led tours are available every Saturday and Sunday, including a Sunday drop-in interactive tour for families.

To learn more about the exhibition, click here.

From left: L to R): Artist Anselm Reyle, MoCA executive director Ruth Mannes, curator Emann Odufu, MoCA director of exhibitions Liz Leggett,


Kids love Percy Jackson books.

And “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson” is wholesome family entertainment.

The Coleytown Company production opens March 31 (7 p.m., Coleytown Middle School). Additional shows are April 1 (1 and 7 p.m.), and April 2 (1 p.m.).  Click here for tickets.

Ellie Arber is Charon in Coleytown Company’s “Lightning Thief.”


The Circle of Friends’ 17th annual fundraising dinner will honor more than 150 local teen volunteers. All share friendships with people with special needs.

The event is April 23 (5:30 p.m., Westport Woman’s Club). There’s entertainment, and a special “Heart of Friendship” video.

The gala will take place Sunday, April 23 at 5:30 PM at the Westport Women’s Club, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT. Stephen Schwartz, [resident of Westport’s Promark Group, is the guest of honor.

High School seniors from Staples High, Weston, Wilton and Greenwich will receive Fellowship Awards for their combined 4,000 “friendship volunteer hours”.

Circle of Friends is an all-volunteer organization that involves children teens and adults with special needs in a wide range of social programs and weekly play dates. Over 300 families are involved.

For reservations, sponsorship opportunities, ads in the virtual journal or more information, click here, call 203-293-8837 or email


These Compo Beach ducks reminded Molly Alger of a conga line.

They reminded us all of the beauty we see every day. It’s “Westport … Naturally”!

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … I never heard of Jim Gordon. But his New York Times obituary is fascinating. It says:

Jim Gordon, a talented but troubled drummer who was ubiquitous in the recording studios of the 1960s and ’70s and who, as a member of Eric Clapton’s band Derek and the Dominos, helped write the romantic ballad “Layla” — but who suffered from schizophrenia and spent nearly 40 years in prison, convicted of murdering his mother — died on Monday in a prison medical facility in Vacaville, Calif. He was 77….

When people say that Jim Gordon is the greatest rock ’n’ roll drummer who ever lived,” Mr. Clapton wrote in “Clapton: The Autobiography” (2007), “I think it’s true, beyond anybody.

As a member of the talented “Wrecking Crew” group of Los Angeles studio musicians, he worked on recordings like John Lennon’s “Imagine,” George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass,” and the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds.” Click here for his full obituary.

(Good luck to the Staples boys basketball team. They’ve already proven themselves champions. You can be a champ too — just click here to contribute to “06880.” Thank you! PS: Go Wreckers!

26 responses to “Roundup: Staples Hoops, Leaf Blowers, PJ Romano Field …

  1. So, we KNOW you weren’t there for the last state championship basketball game, Dan, but was there anyone still in town who was?

  2. This is hilarious… What’s smaller than baby steps? Infant steps?

    Townwide restriction on gas-powered leaf blowers begin May 15, and run through October 15.

    The devices can only be used weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3.m., and not at all on Sundays or holidays. (Longer hours are allowed for homeowners doing their own yard work.)

    • Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

      Really? That is good news, Tommy. Perhaps this town will sound more like a serene suburb instead of war zone? Do it for the kids? LOL. I grew up here. When they tore down the bowling alley, driving range, hockey rink, movie theaters to build condos, we sort of got the hint, this town is all about money.

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        I put a mulching blade on my good ‘Ol Briggs & Stratton and haven’t raked/blown a leaf in 18 years.

        • Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

          2004 is when you stopped? Were you celebrating the Red Sox title run?

          • Eric William Buchroeder SHS’70

            My carbon footprint is virtually untraceable.

          • Russell Gontar

            Title “run”? Four titles in 120 years. I guess good times never looked so good.

            • Janice Stewart

              Ahhh, 2004. After witnessing the greatest choke job in the history of professional sports, the WS was simply an after thought.

              I heard Mo keeps the Key to the City Boston gifted him above his mantle. 😉

              • Russell Gontar

                Ahhh, yes, 2004. And as long as we’re keeping score, let’s not forget the five last place finishes since that date. I’ll take one freak occurrence choke job over repetitive trips to the basement any day.

                • Janice Stewart

                  It will sting forever Russell. With Curt living in Medfield at the time, did you try to get him to sign a bloody sock for you? 😀

      • Carl: I think Tommy was tongue in cheek here…meaning that the “restrictions” are ridiculously lax…no diminution in the racket will even be noticed with the minimus, legislated cut back in allowed usage. AND, home owners are exempt from even the ridiculous restrictions.
        Oh yeah, and then there’s that enforcement thingy…not.

  3. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Roland Wachob. Legendary Staples Coach. Husband of Sarah Wachob. Legendary Bedford El PE Teacher/Single Mom. Parents of Mike Wachob. Legendary Staples athlete (mostly basketball) Holy Trinity Batman!!!

    • Robert M Gerrity

      Thanks for answering my question, re Mrs. Wachob, before I could post it.

    • Who knew? I am looking at my Bedford Elementary class photo, and see Sarah Wachob’s autograph on the back, along with Charles Lomnitzer (who I remember well), Doris Lyons … glad to still have this stuff.

  4. Spoiler alert, there’s no enforcement at all. So when your neighbor is blowing their leaves, and you call to complain, there is nothing you can do. But the sponsors do not care, because optics are they passed something and the nose is up.

    Parks & Recreation are a little behind on crack sealing as I see from that photo. If they can hire a private company at ten times to cost for one athletic field to not be playable on, they can hire a private company to fill the asphalt cracks.

    I did contracting asphalt/paving masonry for 45 years, I am sure there are plenty of other people willing to help get paid or volunteer their time.

  5. The restrictions on using leaf blowers on Sundays would mean Observent Jews sho work on weekdays and can’t use their blowers on Saturday would not be ablate use their blowers. While I’m sure the n umber of people is minimal, Westport does have an Orthodox synagogue and such religious observance should be accounted for.

  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    I tripped and fell running a race in ‘66 in shorts when it was a cinder track. Still have the fragments in my knees.

  7. Some would say that no enforcement of rules are the best rules!

    Seriously, by the time the bylaws officer eventually shows up, the leaf blower has stopped blowing, the dog has stopped barking.

  8. Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

    With all due respect, no rules are the best? I have lived here since 1952 and for decades, you did YOUR own lawn. But now landscapers can do it faster, cheaper and probably better. That said, our neighbor’s landscaper has five (5) leaf blowers going at once and it is like a jet taking off from JFK. Westport is going through some issues presently, of which, if not addressed, will send would-be house buyers elsewhere.

    • While it is doubtful that a would-be house buyer would canvass the neighborhood about leaf blowers, let’s hope the would-be house buyers don’t hear what they consider “bad music” from the house next door, too.

      • Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

        Since my wife is a realtor, you would be surprised what would-be buyers want to know and ask. But I do know that with more residents working out of their house, they do not want to hear the maddening and constant blast of contractors while they try to work.

  9. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Two words: Mulching Mower

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