Category Archives: Beach

Fall Fisherman

Today was a day for your favorite fall pursuit.

Westporters went apple picking, hiking and biking. We raked leaves, carved pumpkins, cheered on the soccer sidelines and played touch football.

One guy went fishing, at Sherwood Mill Pond. Nico Eisenberger was there, to capture one small but wonderful slice of autumn.

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

Surf’s Up!

The wind picked up today — and windsurfers kiteboarders headed to Compo.

Just another October 20 in Westport!






RTM Votes May Bring Changes To Town

Westport’s Representative Town Meeting made 2 important decisions last night.

In a 23-9 vote, the RTM denied a petition to overturn the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval of a 4-story, 94-unit rental building on Post Road East, opposite Crate & Barrel.

The decision brings the property one step closer to construction — and the town closer to a 4-year moratorium on building additional “affordable housing” units under state 8-30g regulations.

Thirty of the units would be “affordable,” as defined by Connecticut law.

The newest design looks “more residential” than an earlier version, developer Philip Craft says. It includes 54 studio apartments, and 40 1-bedroom units.

The redesigned 4-story 1177 Post Road East rental property.

The redesigned 4-story 1177 Post Road East rental property.

The RTM also authorized $70,000 for design and engineering plans, for a walkway and restrooms at Compo’s South Beach. That vote was 24-2, with 1 abstention.

Beach Bathrooms, Walkway Are Back

A few hours ago, RTM member Lyn Hogan posted this message on Facebook. Very quickly, Westporters responded — on all sides of the issue. She wrote:

I want to make you all aware of an important Compo Beach issue currently under debate: building bathrooms and an unobtrusive sidewalk at South Beach (the BBQ area).

Tomorrow night we on the RTM will vote on whether or not to approve funds for design and engineering services for restrooms and a walkway at South Beach. The RTM has been receiving dozens of emails against building bathrooms and a walkway at South Beach and against the proposed engineering plan, but none in favor.

The RTM will vote on funding design plans for a South Beach walkway. (Photo/Laurey Tussing)

The RTM will vote on funding design plans for a South Beach walkway. It would be built close to the parking area, on the right side of the photo. (Photo/Laurey Tussing)

I am surprised by the negative emails because so many residents I have talked to in the past have been in favor of bathrooms and a walkway along the beach. So I ask: Whether you are for the walkway and bathrooms or not, please let the RTM know your thoughts so we all have a fair representation of our constituents’ views. Email:

The current walkway along North Beach is unobtrusive and used only 7 feet of the asphalt parking lot to build (no beach). It is used heavily now, especially by parents with strollers and the elderly who find it difficult to walk in the sand.

More important, it keeps everyone from having to walk behind cars in the parking lot, allowing everyone to now stroll along the beach without worrying a car will back into them. The South Beach walkway would likely be similar.

The new walkway extends from the pavilion to the cannons.

The new walkway extends from the pavilion to the cannons.

Regarding building bathrooms at South Beach, the idea which the engineering plan would explore is to build 3 family-style bathrooms near the spot on which the port-a-potties now sit. I know when my children were young and I was BBQing with them, I would have loved family-style restrooms nearby as opposed to the port-a-potties currently in use. I also know when the port-a-potties were full, I could never have gotten my then 5- or 6-year-old to the North Beach bathrooms or Compo Boat Basin bathrooms in time!

Please let us know your thoughts:

Hanne Jeppesen And Westport’s “Big Chill”

We all come to Westport in different ways.

Some of us are born here. Others are brought here by parents, spouses or work. We come here wonderingly, wanderingly, willingly or by whimsy.

Hanne Jeppesen arrived as an au pair.

She grew up safe and secure, in a small town 30 miles south of Copenhagen. Wanderlust took her to a kibbutz in Israel, to Iceland, to a hitchhiking tour of England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland.

Then a chance glance at a newspaper ad changed Hanne’s life.

Instead of heading to a Danish teacher’s college, she decided to become an American au pair. She knew nothing about Westport — her destination — other than that it was near New York City.

That was enough. She arrived on December 28, 1966, ready for adventure.

Hanne Jeppesen in 1968, as a Westport au pair...

Hanne Jeppesen in 1968, as a Westport au pair…

Life in the suburbs was lonely at first. But she met a German au pair. Hanne took a night school English class at Staples, where she met a “real live wire” Dutch girl. Fifty years later, they’re still friends.

Hanne started going out. The Ship’s Lantern bar downtown was a popular destination. So was the beach.

Westporters were very friendly. Hanne dated a few men. She had a wonderful time. Life was good.

“We drove around in a Corvette, with the top down,” she recalls. “This is what I dreamed America would be like.”

In October of 1968 she returned to Denmark. But her parents encouraged her to live the life she wanted, and 2 months later Hanne was back in Westport. She and  her Dutch friend rented a house here.

Soon, though they moved to New York  City. New adventures beckoned.

...and in New York, a year later.

…and in New York, a year later.

From time to time, Hanne and her friend returned to Westport to visit. Once, at Compo, she met a married man. He invited her to a party that night. And he gave her the keys to his car, in case she wanted to drive around and have fun.

In New York she met a man. They got married, moved first to New Orleans and then San Francisco. They divorced. She had a daughter, and a career in insurance. Now — still living in the Bay Area — Hanne works at Macy’s.

She stayed in touch with a few friends. She always thought fondly of Westport. But except for a couple of visits — the last was in 1998 — Hanne has not spent any time here.

A few years ago though, she saw news online about Jeff Simon. That’s a common name, but it was the same guy she’d dated in Westport. She was intrigued to learn about his life as a photographer and video director.

Then she stumbled on a story about Tracy Sugarman. She’d known his son.

Finding “06880” — including a story about her old friends Alan Sterling and Steve Emmett — helped her reconnect with Westport. She doesn’t know many of the people I write about, but photos and references to the past bring smiles to her face.

Hanne Jeppesen with Jeff Simon, at Compo Beach.

Hanne Jeppesen with Jeff Simon, at Compo Beach.

Living here during a very lively time in Westport and America’s history was wonderful, Hanne says. And she was exactly the right age to enjoy it.

“We did what we were supposed to do in our early 20s,” she explains. “We partied, at people’s houses and the beach. We went to Port Chester, because the bars stayed open later. We had a great group.”

While she lived here, Hanne kept a journal. It was stashed away for years. But after seeing the movie “The Big Chill,” she looked at it. Reading about her time here, and her close-knit friends, she felt a surge of familiarity.

Of course, a movie is not real life.

But Hanna Jeppesen loves the story line that Westport provided to hers.

Hanne Jeppesen, Christmas 2014.

Hanne Jeppesen, Christmas 2014.

Who You Gonna Call?

I’m pretty sure these kids have never been to a drive-in movie:

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

They probably didn’t even know what one was, before today.

But they — and many other Westporters, of all ages — were pumped for our town’s 1st-ever drive-in movie, tonight at Compo Beach.

Homes With Hope and the Westport Cinema Initiative partnered to present “Ghostbusters.”

It’s a fundraiser — and fun.

Something for the boys in the photo to tell their grandchildren about.

A Compo Collection

It’s the end of September. Fall is finally here. With work, school, the kids, shorter days, what have you, it’s not as easy to get to the beach as just a few weeks ago.

So Dana McCorvie brings Compo Beach to you.

She now lives in New Canaan. But she grew up here, and never lost her love for the shore.

She’s as busy as the rest of us — she’s written a children’s book, is finishing a screenplay, and has another business that helps clients find answers and solutions by listening.

She’s also a very talented photographer.

Here are 3 great shots she took on a recent early autumn day.

Actually, they’re timeless.



Hover over or click on to enlarge. (Photos/Dana McCorvie)

Hover over or click on to enlarge. (Photos/Dana McCorvie)


Next Attraction: A Drive-In Theater!

Today’s teenagers have out on a lot of things:

Dial phones. Dial-up modems. Drive-in movies.

Stephen Rowland is a very involved Staples High School senior. Among other activities he’s a varsity soccer player, serves meals at the Gillespie Center, and is a Homes With Hope youth board member.

A year ago, his father casually mentioned drive-in movies. Intrigued by the concept, Stephen searched online for more.

Kids: This was how America used to roll.

Kids: This was how America used to roll.

Not long after, the Homes With Hope youth board was casting about for a new, exciting fundraiser.


Producing a pop-up drive-in movie in Westport is not easy. But Stephen and the rest of the youth board found a company with a 40-foot screen, projector and sound system.

Compo Beach — near the kayak launch — seemed like the perfect spot.

Permits were needed, from town commissions. But Stephen and his peers pushed hard.

“The idea of driving up to a movie, not getting out of your car, being comfortable and having fun, is pretty cool,” Stephen says.

So this Saturday (October 1, 7 p.m.), “Ghostbusters” — a 1984 classic chosen for its broad appeal to kids, teenagers and parents — will be shown on what is believed to be Westport’s 1st-ever drive-in movie screen.

The only other better choice would be “Back to the Future.”

(The Westport Cinema Initiative is a partner with this project. The cost is $30 per car — cheap enough so that no one has to hide in the trunk. Besides, proceeds benefit Homes With Hope. Beach stickers are not required. Joey’s by the Shore will be open for food. For more information, click here.)

Andrew Colabella’s Summer

When this story was posted — at 10:20 a.m. — there was 1 minute of summer left. Autumn arrives at 10:21.

In honor of one of Westport’s 4 favorite seasons, “06880” photographer Andrew Colabella sent along these images. All were taken here, late in the day, throughout the summer.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. Enjoy! And don’t forget to mark your calendar.

Summer arrives on June 21, 2017. At 12:24 a.m.










Owenoke Beauty Bites The Dust

For residents of Owenoke Park, the week starts off with a bang.

This morning, the gracious home at #17 will be bulldozed into oblivion.

For nearly 100 years it’s been a fixture on the private road that juts between the Compo Beach marina, Gray’s Creek and Longshore. It’s an important part of the Compo Owenoke Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its early 20th century resort and beachfront architecture.

Neighbors love the understated elegance of #17. Boaters on the water, and everyone enjoying Compo’s South Beach, have also appreciated its handsome Georgian Revival lines.

17 Owenoke Park. (Photo/Ian Warburg)

17 Owenoke Park. (Photo/Ian Warburg)

According to local legend, a woman knocked on the door in 2010. She said she loved the house, and had to have it. It was not for sale. But she offered $12 million — double the home’s market value — and that was that.

The woman — who reportedly worked for Enron until its demise — later joined a former colleague in setting up Centaurus Advisors. The energy-focused, Texas-based hedge fund allegedly provided a loan of $8 million, which the woman used to purchase the house.

In 2014 or ’15 Centaurus apparently foreclosed on the loan, and took possession of the property. It’s been on the market at decreasing prices.

Some buyers were interested in preserving the magnificent structure, and restore it to its past glory. Others wanted it to build their own dream house. None, however, would pay more than $5 million.

Given the declining condition of the property, and the expense of bringing it to FEMA compliance, the owners — listed as Centaurus Energy Market, which seems to be a subsidiary or related company of Centaurus Advisors, LLC — decided that the real remaining value is in the land.

Demolition begins at 8 a.m. today.