Roundup: Mothers Day, Choral Concert, LGBTQ History …

Today — Mothers Day — 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker mourns the loss of her mother, who died last week. Jen writes:

“Today we celebrated the life of Kathleen (Grandmom) Salmon.

“She was fiercely independent, but never wanted to be without the love of her life, Bob, who passed away 16 months ago.

“She was a trailblazer, balancing family and a full-time career when few were doing so.

“She retired at 70, having spent the previous 2 1/2 years in Qatar doing ground-breaking work for women in education.

“Mom loved and supported her daughters beyond words, ensuring they knew the world was their oyster and there was nothing they couldn’t accomplish.

“Grandmom was in awe of her 5 beautiful grandchildren, and loved them unconditionally. At the drop of a hat, she would arrive to run the household and spoil her grandkids.

“Kathy was a woman of deep faith. We know we have a guardian angel, who is singing “You are My Sunshine” for us every day. We miss her terribly, but feel so lucky she spent her last years here in Westport.”

Happy Mothers Day to all! Huge hugs.

From left: Jen Tooker, her mother Kathleen Salmon and sister Shawna Saussus.


Longtime “06880” reader Fred Cantor offers this tribute his mother — and all the others out there:

“My mom should perhaps be recognized as one of the first soccer moms. And I say that in a very positive way.

“About to turn 96, she is — and always has been — a big sports fan, despite growing up in an era when girls had far fewer opportunities to participate in sports.

“So when Marc started playing soccer at Staples, she and my dad (also a huge sports fan) came to watch virtually all of the games, and naturally brought me along. That sparked my interest in soccer and led me, as a 6th grader, to aspire to play Staples varsity soccer down the road.

“This happened at a time when very few parents watched those Staples soccer games on the Hill.

“My mom and dad were always very supportive of our athletic endeavors, but not in a way that pushed Marc and me in any particular direction. We both had the good fortune of playing soccer at the college level. My mom’s encouragement (and my dad’s) played a role in that.

“So as we celebrate Mothers Day (and also my mom’s 96th birthday), here’s a big thank you to her — and to all the soccer moms who have been supportive over the years.”

From left: Marc, Pearl and Fred Cantor. The “boys” are wearing their University of Massachusetts and Yale soccer hats, respectively.


Mothers Day, Part 2. Hunter Jones Hampton posted a 1948 Saturday Evening Post cover on Facebook:

He explained that the illustrator, noted Westporter Stevan Dohanos, sketched it using a US Camera magazine cover shot of Hunter’s mother, for his model.

The 2 sign painter models were also Westporters: Joshua Sidebottom and his son.

The Saturday Evening Post noted: “Dohanos is spending the winter in Connecticut, while luckier wights vacation in the palm-tree and bathing-beauty latitudes.”


Friday night’s choral concert — filled with contemporary music selected by Staples High School students — ended on an emotional note.

The 22 graduating seniors honored director and mentor Luke Rosenberg with a special song: “Underneath the Stars.” Sophia Betit organized her classmates, and conducted the piece. She and James Dobin-Smith soloed — and also received the National Choral School Award for their contributions to the Staples music program.


Westport salutes Pride Month in June with a celebration on Jesup Green rally, a drag show at MoCA, the presentation of a scholarship, and the newest initiative: an oral history project.

Westport Pride — the town-wide LGBTQ+ and allies group — has partnered with the Westport Museum for History & Culture. The museum’s mission is to “make history whole,” including a focus on marginalized groups.

Area residents can book a time slot for a video interview at the Westport Museum. Officials hope for a diverse range of ages and experiences.

Interviews will be housed in the museum’s digital archive. Each one will be accompanied by a transcript.

For more information or to sign up, email


At last! Westport’s long wait for another nail salon will soon be over.

The oddly named Nail Factory is set to move into the vacant space next to CVS.


(Photo/Molly Alger)


“Lux Freer” — Triple Threat Academy’s indie film shot last summer in Westport, directed by Staples High School graduate Cynthia Gibb, and featuring 20 Westporters in main roles and more as extras — will screen at the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival on Saturday (May 20). The “Provocative Shorts” program begins at 2:30 p.m. Click here for more information, and tickets.


There’s a new addition to the Westport Community Gardens.

Lou Weinberg sends this photo of a killdeer nesting in a raised bed.

“The largest of the ringed plovers, it performs the broken-wing display to distract intruders away from nests and chicks,” he explains. “So far, so good!”

Gardeners wait excitedly for the eggs to hatch.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … Fred Cantor wrote a great tribute to his mother (story above). BJ Thomas did it musically — and included, as Fred did, a mention of her support from the sports sidelines.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog — today and every day. We’re a non-profit, so contributions are tax-deductible. Please click here to help. Thank you!)

11 responses to “Roundup: Mothers Day, Choral Concert, LGBTQ History …

  1. Thanks for including my tribute to my mom. Also, my very wise mom offers the following perspective on aging: you’re not really old until you have a kid who turns 70.

  2. Hi Jen sorry about your mom the town is behind to support you with this from sal liccione rtm district 9 member

    • I mean for your mom died and and your dad the town of Westport and all of us on the rtm are here for You from sal liccione

  3. Joyce Barnhart

    I think I know most of “LGBTQIA” – but not all. Am I right that it stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Questioning? But what are “I” and “A”?

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      I’m going to take a SWAG and say Inclusive and Accepting. But I guess I have to plead guilty to “if you have to ask…..” Don’t worry, you pass (Staples grades on a curve

    • The “Q” can be either “questioning” or “queer.” The “I” is intersex. The “A” asexual, aromatic or agender. It can also stand for ally. That’s why it’s often abbreviated as “LGBTQ+”

  4. My mother died in October 1993. Hard to believe it’ll be 30 years this year.

  5. Bobbi Essagof

    Whew is right. I have been patiently waiting for Amber and Michelle to reopen the Nail Salon after losing their lease so their landlord could open, surprise, a nail salon. I loved the personal attention and peaceful feeling of the original Nail Salon and expect the same if not even more at the new salon. Congrats ladies. I knew, and prayed you could do it!

  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    It’s not in my wheelhouse (cliche alert) but if you’re going to be in the manicure business maybe try a more enlightened branding strategy: Possible candidates: “Get Nailed Right Here.” “Pull All Your Nails Out And Let’s Get Started.” And my personal favorite: “When We’re Done Your Nails Will Bite Back.” I waive all TM claims.

  7. I was intrigued by the Babe Ruth story. Babe was suffering from cancer and knew his life was coming to an end–he died 6 months later.

    When I was a teenager, I remember how I was puzzled why how magazines with large circulations fell; first the Saturday Evening Post, then Life, and finally Look. Later working in the industry, I found that advertisers want select audiences–people who are most likely to buy their products, and these magazines with their huge circulations had to broad of an audience, which meant advertisers would be paying to reach unlikely purchasers.

    And thanks to my late mother who spent inordinate amount of time chauffeuring my sister and I around town for various activities.

  8. Deirdre O'Farrelly, architect

    The Staples High School Concert was so beautiful, calming and inspiring on Friday evening. Each piece was amazing, thank you for sharing the seniors tribute to their talented teacher and mentor, Luke Rosenberg,
    Bravo all and thank you.

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