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Category Archives: Beach
The Compo Beach pavilion — the brick structure next to the bathhouses and Joey’s by the Shore, popular with picnickers, people-watchers and photographers — is off-limits for a few days.
Westport’s Parks and Recreation Commission heeded the report of consultant Jim DeStefano that damage to the pavilion — from age and storms — made it unsafe.
It’s been blocked off with security tape. On Monday, work begins on a new roof. It’s expected to take 5 days — just in time for the surge of July 4th weekend beachgoers.
“We’re sensitive that the pavilion is in a historic district,” says Parks and Rec Commission chair Charlie Haberstroh.
He noted that there will be no changes to the structure itself. The roof was last replaced in 1988.
“We’re being very careful not to touch any walls,” Haberstroh says.
Parks and Rec may provide canopies or umbrellas for shade during the project.
Joey’s (and the lockers and restrooms) will remain open throughout.
It’s one of the longest-running, most enjoyable, most visible — and yet least remarked upon and little noticed — events in Westport.
For more than half a century in early summer, our town has welcomed guests from the United Nations. It’s called jUNe Day — clever, no? — and the 2017 version takes place this coming Saturday (June 24).
Over 300 folks — ambassador types, embassy and headquarters workers, and their families — arrive at the train station. (Whether they come from a 1st or 3rd world nation, they’ve probably never seen anything quite like Metro-North.)
Having overcome that initial hurdle, they’re shuttled to Saugatuck Elementary School for a 10:30 a.m. welcome.
The UN is known for speechifying, but these are short. Then comes the real fun: a tennis tournament and golf at Longshore, tours of Earthplace, a visit to Wakeman Town Farm — you get the idea.
There’s a soccer match between a UN team and the Westport Knights men’s side. It’s not the World Cup, but some years tensions are nearly as high.
Many guests head straight to Compo, or the Longshore pool. They shop. They enjoy Westport.
Sometimes we forget what a day in “the country” can do. Many UN folks and their families don’t get many chances to leave New York. jUNe Day is an opportunity for them to do just that — and for us to show off our town.
We may not be a “typical” American town. But this is our chance to offer typical American hospitality.
Volunteers are needed to serve breakfast and lunch, help out at Longshore, and clean up. “Tour guides” on buses are also needed. If interested, call 203-526-3275, or email email@example.com.
Or just give a big hello on Saturday to anyone wearing jUNe Day hats, and an orange bracelet.
If you’re a Westporter, you probably know Mike Calise.
The 1958 Staples High School graduate and Marine Corps veteran runs the longtime and very successful Settlers & Traders real estate firm. He’s a frequent attendee at town meetings, making sure nothing slips through our boards and commissions’ cracks.
You can find him almost any day — in any weather — at Compo Beach. That’s where he hangs out, by himself or with his extended family. He keeps a loving eye on it too.
Mike has a great back story. While still at Staples, he boxed in the New York Golden Gloves tournament.
While stationed at Camp Lejeune, he bought a 9-passenger Pontiac Safari station wagon. Each weekend he ran a North Carolina to New York transport service ($15 each way; 658 miles in 11 hours).
His mother Louise — of Calise’s market fame — packed a large bag of delicious meatball and eggplant sandwiches for every trip back.
As a Marine from 1958 to ’63, he was assigned to Force Recon — an elite group that was always first on shore. They trained with daily long distance runs and swims.
Mike started an Arnold bread truck route in 1963. He founded Settlers & Traders in 1967. In 2008, he received a Historic Preservation Award for the restoration of his office building at 215 Post Road West. This year, his real estate firm celebrates 50 years.
For all his life — going back to his family’s stores on Post Road West and East — he’s been an important part of life here. He’s a longtime member of the Republican Town Committee; a former delegate to the state Republican convention, and served on the RTM and Architectural Review Board.
Mike loves nature, gardening and canoeing. No morning at the beach is complete without his “Compo Gumbo.”
He loves Compo so much, he’s got it on his license plate:
Mike cherishes his family: his longtime sweetheart Sally; his 5 children (Catherine, Sandra, Maria, Bettina and Frank), and 7 grandkids (Francesca, Trent, CJ, Reed, Charlotte, Cameron and Caleigh).
They love him right back.
As does the rest of Westport — the town he’s loved for over 70 years.
The Weston High School Class of 2017 is now history.
After last night’s graduation came an all-night mystery trip.
The last stop — just after 5 a.m. — was breakfast at Compo Beach.
As a couple of hundred happy — and exhausted — Trojans piled out of their buses, photographer Ted Horowitz was there too. He was capturing the sunrise.
He offered to take a group shot. So Ted climbed on a lifeguard stand …
… and snapped the group’s final “class photo”: