Roundup: 9/11, Daffodils, Rach’s Hope …

Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States.

In the days and weeks afterward, many Westporters offered help, in many ways. Among them: Westport Police officers Richard Failla, Phil Reisteri and Manny Sylvia.

Today, we remember their service, all those who lost their lives that day, and all those who continue to suffer, more than 2 decades later.

From left: Richard Failla, Phil Restieri and Manny Sylvia.

Manny Sylvia and Phil Restieri. (Photos courtesy of Andrew Colabella)


Debra Kandrak’s one-woman crusade to paint the town yellow has paid off handsomely.

Every autumn for 4 years, she has encouraged Westporters to plant daffodils.

Her message to friends, strangers, town organizations, committees and businesses is simple: “Paint the Town Yellow.”

Every spring, her work brightens our town. Tens of thousands of daffodils bloom, all over Westport.

Daffodils on the Sherwood Island Connector …

Well, it’s fall again.

Debra says: “All of this is possible because all of you made it happen. This little idea of mine has brought the community together in such a positive way. When you hear all the negative news, it’s so nice to see that if you have an idea and put it out to social media, you can make things happen. Getting others involved creates a real sense of  community. We can all use a little positivity.

“Get your family, friends and neighbors involved. Have a ‘Paint the Town Yellow’ party! Get your children involved too. In the spring, show them the beautiful daffodils that they planted.

“Plant more daffodils! You can never have too many daffodils!”

PS: They are very hardy. And deer resistant!

Questions? Email

… and Prospect Road.


Rach’s Hope — the non-profit honoring the memory of 2015 Staples High School graduate Rachel Doran, which provides nutritious food, lodging, transportation and encouragement to family members when a child is in intensive care — is as active as Rachel herself was.

On Sunday, October 22 (3 p.m., Compo Beach), everyone is invited to join the 3rd annual “Walk the Extra Mile … For Rach’s Hope” event.

It’s a fun, community-wide beach walk, with live music, a gourmet pizza truck, wine and beer from Greens Farms Spirit Shop, and special Rach’s Hope swag.

Click here to buy adult and student tickets.


Staples High School Class of 1975 graduate Doug Davidoff lived in Indianapolis from 1983 to 2006. He was a reporter for the Indianapolis News, a public relations consultant, and communications director for the Indiana Housing Finance Authority and the Indiana Democratic Party. He now lives in Bridgeport, where he is a public relations and editorial consultant.

Yesterday, his op-ed piece was printed in the Indianapolis Star. It’s a remembrance  of his work for Governor Frank L. O’Bannon, who died in office 20 years ago, age 73.

Davidoff was communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party in 2000. O’Bannon’s re-election that year marked the last time a Democrat governed the Hoosier State.

Davidoff’s piece explains why he thinks Americans need more people like Frank O’Bannon in office today. Click here to read. 

Doug Davidoff


Many “Westport … Naturally” photos are beautiful. Some are just pretty, or nice.

Occasionally, they show a side of nature that is stunning, though we’d prefer not to see it up close.

While walking his dog near Greens Farms Elementary School, Bob Weingarten spotted this enormous wasp nest.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

It’s a good thing most kids don’t walk to school these days.


And finally … as we honor today the nearly 3,000 people murdered on September 11, 2001, those of us who were alive recall the awful days and weeks that followed.

Music helped soothe our sorrow. These 2 songs will always remind me of that terrible time, and the many friends and strangers we lost.

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3 responses to “Roundup: 9/11, Daffodils, Rach’s Hope …

  1. When “Bridge over troubled waters”, came out it was not one of my favorites, even though I liked Simon and Garfunkel. Over the years it has become one of my all times favorites. I especially like the version from The Central Park concert, it never fails to soothe me. I have recently rediscovered another song that also reaches your soul “It makes no difference” from “The Last Waltz, The Band’s farewell concert, song by Rick Danko. I lived in NYC when the Towers were being built. 9/11 2001, I was at home in my condo north of San Francisco. I sat glued to the TV and radio all day. Will never forget that horrible day.

  2. I remember so clearly those days in the aftermath of the destruction. At a Staples assembly the choir sang “Bridge over Troubled Waters” …we held each other…trying to ease our minds.

  3. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    As always, great stories, here,Dan-Especially all these poignant images, today. Thanks-

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