Compo Beach is beautiful this time of year.
So is Long Island Sound.
Alert “06880” reader June Eichbaum took this stunning iPhone photo, a few minutes after launching from Compo. The view is toward Norwalk.
There’s beauty all around us, for sure. We just have to know where to look.
You might not get to Compo Beach much these days — particularly on a chilly December weekday.
But 2 of Westport’s most talented photographers headed there this morning. Here’s what they found:
Click on or hover over the images to enlarge.
…the Minute Man Monument, decked out in a Santa cap …
(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)
… and the William Cribari/Bridge Street bridge, decked out in Al’s Angels lights:
(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)
Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Robert Augustyn)
Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Luisa Francoeur)
“06880” has chronicled the history of 17 Soundview Drive.
One of the most recognizable homes on the beach exit road, it played an important role in Westport’s musical history.
Today, the nearly 100-year-old house played its final chord. Paul Ehrismann was there. He took this photo, and posted it on Facebook:
(Photo/Copyright Paul Ehrismann)
I knew the old owners. They are good friends.
I know the new ones too. They are also friends. They respected the property — and its history. But they could not find a way to save it.
They’ll do right by the home that replaces it. It will fit in well with its neighbors, and the neighborhood.
In the 1920s the voices of Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, Robert Merrill and others soared from the living room radio and onto the beach, thrilling neighbors and passersby.
Decades later, Meat Loaf played his next single on the roof deck. No one on the beach could see him there — but they heard him. At the end, everyone applauded.
The house is gone. But those musical memories — and countless others — will remain, long after the final notes have been played.
Yesterday’s post on Sherwood Island reminded Westporters to think about the gem of a state park that sits squarely in our town.
It spurred alert “06880” readers Jim Goodrich and Luisa Francouer to wander over and visit. (There’s no entry fee this time of year!)
They admired the broad beach, the vistas across the Sherwood Mill Pond and Long Island Sound, and the woods and walking paths.
But they were surprised to see these sights:
I guess no part of Westport is immune from bad parking.
As a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Steve Axthelm helps oversee our beaches, marinas, athletic facilities, pocket parks — and of course, Longshore. He’s justly proud of the many active and passive recreational opportunities Westport offers.
Yesterday he wandered over to a different facility. Sherwood Island is owned by the state — in fact, it’s Connecticut’s 1st state park — but it encompasses 232 acres of prime Westport beachfront, grasses, hills and trees.
It’s a gem many Westporters never think about. Yet it’s a wondrous spot, every day of the year.
And right now, it’s free!
Alert “06880” reader — and longtime Westport observer — Chip Stephens writes:
Those of us who have been around a while remember that not so long ago, Sherwood Mill Pond neighbors had the sand in front of their houses replenished once a year. A barge would recover sand washed into Compo Cove from their beaches by storms and high tides. Big Kowalsky front-end loaders spread it out, recovering private beaches up and down the cove.
In recent years, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has restricted that activity. You can see what’s happened by not replenishing the beaches from Hillspoint Road. Landowners see it more painfully from their windows.
Old Mill “Beach.” (Photo/Chip Stephens)
We’ve long been told that the reason the sand washes away is that the Army Corps of Engineers made errors when they replaced reefs and stones on Sherwood Island and Compo Beach. That caused misdirection of natural currents, sweeping away sand on those local beaches into the Mill Cove flats.
Now the landowners face difficulties with DEEP and local boards in placing erosion controls, walls or reefs to save their beach, their land and their houses.
DEEP’s answer is to plant the beach with grasses and plantings. Unfortuantely, even modest storms wash them away.
What will happen? Well, time and tide wait for no man…
All summer long, kids swarm on the Compo cannons.
On a crisp fall day, there’s no one in sight.
Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Pat Gold)
But there they stand, reminding us all of the ideals our forefathers fought for, nearly 250 years ago.
Today, let’s think of them — and all the values we as Americans hold dear.
As America — and Westport — vote, what better way to celebrate than with Pat Gold’s red-white-and-blue photo of a favorite subject.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a new president.
But Compo Beach will still be there.