The Westport Weston Family YMCA is 100 years old.
Last Friday, 300 members, supporters, friends and employees gathered under a huge tent at the Mahackeno Outdoor Center to celebrate the centennial.
They enjoyed dinner, dancing, an auction — and plenty of stories.
Bob Knoebel — former Water Rat swimmer and coach, then the Y’s first aquatics director — now lives in Idaho. But he came “home” for the occasion.
He has plenty of great memories. Among them: Charlie Moffat.
For 17 years Charlie was the face of the Y. He collected membership cards, handed out towels, and told absolutely everyone — with a wide smile — “Have a nice day.”
Charlie was so popular that when he retired, the Y’s most famous badminton player came to his party.
You might recognize him: a fellow named Paul Newman.
Paul Newman and Charlie Moffat (Photo courtesy of Bob Knoebel)
50 years ago this week:
First Selectman John J. Kemish, “to the accompaniment of fight songs played by the Staples band,” signed documents at a ceremony in which the federal government transferred the 6-acre Nike missile site to the town of Westport.
CBS News filmed the event. Paul Newman (a few years prior to meeting Charlie Moffat) stood behind Kemish. He remarked, “It’s a great day for Westport.”
Paul Newman (far left) at the Nike Site ceremony in October 1973. 1st Selectman John Kemish is at the far right. The 2 men in the middle are unidentified. (Photo courtesy of Jim Kemish)
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