Roundup: Parade Photos And Floats, Playhouse Plaque …

The Memorial Day parade is one of Westport’s greatest town events.

Everyone has a favorite spot to watch from. Everyone has a favorite band, float or marcher to photograph.

But why share them only with a few hundred dear pals, casual acquaintances and random how’d-they-get-on-my-list Facebook “friends”?

Tomorrow, let all of Westport see “your” Memorial Day parade. Send a few (not all!) of your photos to “06880” (email: Deadline: 1 p.m. Please include brief identification, if needed, and of course your own name.

I’ll post some (not all!) in the afternoon.

And be creative! We want special photos, for our special parade.

Seen along the Memorial Day parade route.


Speaking of the Memorial Day parade:

When it comes to float-making, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston don’t mess around.

Every year, they spend hours designing, building and enhancing their creation. Every year, the crowd along the route is awed.

And every year, the Y’s Men win the “Best Float” award.

They also always hand out fliers, describing what they’ve built. This year it says:

The Y’s Men honor the military doctors, nurses, corpsmen and medics who have served on the front line saving lives. The float depicts a field hospital at the battle front. It represents the concept of forward surgical hospitals – bringing medical support to the frontlines. That idea can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars, and translated to the mobile units used from World War I through the Iraq War.

Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) were defined in the popular mind as a part of the Korean War (1950-1953) because of the book, movie and television series of the same name. Numbering at times about 8 percent of total active-duty strength, men and women in the medical corps are dedicated to saving lives.

But they too can become casualties. In World War II, for example, 5,000 physicians, 9,000 medical workers, and 48,000 aid and stretcher men were killed or lost in action.

We give our thanks to these lifesaving professionals who made the ultimate sacrifice and to those who returned to civilian life to provide their medical expertise to serve the Westport community. We honor them and every member of the armed forces dedicated to protecting freedom and liberty for all.

Y’s Men master builder and designer Roy McKay directs the assembly of this year’s Memorial Day float. (Photo/Larry Lich)


Speaking of the Y’s Men: They’ve got a new president.

Baxter Urist handed the reins recently to Dewey Loselle. The longtime member has served Westport in many capacities, including town operations director.

Baxter Urist (left) and Dewey Loselle. (Photo/Tom Lowrie)


The Westport Country Playhouse Sheffer Studio was filled yesterday, for the town’s first-ever Literary Landmark dedication.

A plaque honoring Lawrence Langner — founder, with his wife Armina Marshall — of the Westport Country Playhouse in 1931 — was unveiled at the gazebo.

Literary Landmarks is a program of the American Library Association’s Friends’ arm. The Langner honor was sponsored by the Westport Library.

Langner and Marshall’s son, granddaughter and great-granddaughters attended the ceremony, along with many town and theater luminaries.

A panel discussed the importance of the Playhouse in American theater history. All agreed: It was profound.

This is only the 6th Literary Landmark in Connecticut. Among the other honorees: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain.

The Lawrence Langner plaque was unveiled, after the covering — a piece of the original curtain — was removed. At the ceremony were Langner’s son Philip (front) and, standing from left: Westport Library director Bill Harmer; Philip Langner’s daughter Eve and granddaughters Brielle and Lauren; Playhouse honorary trustee Ann Sheffer; 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Was it a huge bust yesterday on Compo Road South? The end of a wild traffic chase?


Just a few police cars, lined up to buy lemonade at a stand set up by a couple of Westport kids.

Alex and Ava O’Brien were raising money for the Connecticut Humane Society. The men in blue were happy to oblige.

The Westport Fire Department also stopped by.

Alex and Ava made the lemonade by hand-squeezing 82 lemons. It took 3 hours yesterday morning.

All told, they made $467 for the Human Society — more than double their first effort last year. Congratulations, Alex and Ava. And thanks to all who stopped by! (Hat tip: Heidi McGee)



Back in the day, Carl Swanson and Jo Ann Miller had a hot tub outside.

It cracked every winter. Jo Ann decided to make a “Jackson Pollack abstract” out of the concrete slab.

Now, any kid who comes over is invited to throw paint on the surface.

The sculpture in the middle is by Westport artist Kelly Spearen. Both it and the abstract art are quite valuable.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday without a photo of Jolantha, Weston’s favorite pig:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)


Andrew Colabella’s vivid photo of a bumblebee in mid-pollinating flight, at his Greens Farms garden, shimmers as today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


And finally … you may not have heard of Pete Brown, who died last week in England at 82, of cancer. (Click here for a full obituary.)

But he wrote some songs you may know, primarily for Cream. Among them:

(Having a great Memorial Day weekend? “06880” brings you all the Westport news — even on holidays. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

7 responses to “Roundup: Parade Photos And Floats, Playhouse Plaque …

  1. Sorry Dan, but Andrew Colabella’s honey bee photo has been misidentified, that’s a bumblebee not a honey bee. Honey bees are much smaller and have “honey colored “ body.
    Happy Memorial Day
    Alec Head

  2. Hi. Let’s not forget Cream and their Westport connection. They played at Staples High School 1968ish?….

  3. Carl Addison Swanson, Wrecker, '66.

    Yeah about as valuable as the nearest taking a dump on the mural. Yet, Jackson might have welcomed the addition.

  4. Hanne Jeppesen

    I was at that concert. Was living in Westport I’m 67 and 68 a Danish au pair. I was invited by a date, wasn’t until later l realized how famous Cream we’re, and how famous Eric Clapton became. Glad l got to see them.

  5. Sam Febbraio

    As a 10 year-old in ‘68, I was at Staples with a friend to see a game or for some reason. I heard a band tuning-up in the old auditorium. The doors were locked so I couldn’t get in or hear clearly, but I thought it might be Blue Cheer – another, though much lesser, psychedelic rock band of the time (of Summertime Blues fame for the seniors here). Having already spent half a life at a drum set, and having already played my older brother’s copy of the now legendary Disraeli Gears about one or two million times, I would have ripped the doors down had I known Ginger Baker was in that auditorium. Born too late for the show, but still amazed they were even there. The early Boomer-Westporters had all the fun!