Category Archives: Longshore

Fore!

Alert — and safety conscious golfer — Philip Corbo writes:

I am an avid golfer. My handicap is around 4. I hit the ball in excess of 100 mph.

At Longshore, the entrance road runs between the 6th and 7th holes. Although I generally keep the ball in play, that was not the case on my 7th hole tee shot the other day.

My shot headed directly for a car. Our group heard a loud bang. We thought the worst.

Fortunately, it hit a speed limit sign. There was no damage to the car, or anyone.

Not 30 seconds after my errant shot though, a person came into view pushing a stroller — at the exact spot where the sign was.

The sign on the Longshore entrance road is clear. (Photo/Philip Corbo)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve warned people of the dangers, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Ten or so years ago, someone was pushing a stroller down the same road. The toddler was not so lucky. The ball took one bounce off the road, and struck the baby in the head. The infant spent the next several months in the hospital — and was lucky to live.

Longshore is a beautiful place for a stroll — but it is not the place for babies in strollers.

I hope this message garners attention. It is an accident waiting to happen — again.

Protect Longshore’s Plover

Alert — and environmentally conscious — “06880” reader Maureen Choe and her 7-year-old daughter had a magical morning walk with their dog Cookie this morning.

Around 8:15 a.m., Mirabelle discovered a perfect intact nest with a nervous squeaking mother bird nearby.

Maureen and Mirabelle think is a piping plover’s nest. They spotted beautiful eggs out in the open, at risk for dogs, other animals or curious people.

They went home, made a sign and put it up, warning folks to stay away.

They made calls to several local organizations. They finally reached Becky Newman, naturalist at Earthplace. She agreed that the public should remain far from the nest.

Becky also provided contacts at the Audubon Society in Milford, which holds special training programs on piping plovers.

It may not be a piping plover, Maureen notes. She’s unsure if it’s protected by the state or not.

Still, she says, it’s a vulnerable bird’s nest, out in the open near the Longshore pool. She hopes people give the bird — shown here sitting on her nest — and her eggs their space.

(Photos/Maureen Choe)

Finally, Town Honors F. Scott Fitzgerald

On May 14, 1920, a young couple signed a 5-month lease for a modest gray cottage on Compo Road South.

It was not big news. In fact, it took the Westporter-Herald — the local newspaper that chronicled every visitor, gathering and event in town — until the next month to run this small item:

“F. Scott Fitzgerald, a writer, has leased the Wakeman Cottage near Compo Beach.”

The iconic shot of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, in front of their Westport home.

But the honeymoon home of Fitzgerald and his new bride Zelda — they’d gotten married on April 3 –had a profound impact on both. It appears in more of their collective works than any other place they lived.

With good reason. The couple drank and partied all summer long.

On May 14, 2019 — 99 years to the day after that now-legendary lease-signing — Westport will officially recognize that event.

The cottage that once abutted larger-than-life multimillionaire Frederick E. Lewis’ property (now Longshore Club Park) still stands. Today it’s a handsome home. First Selectman Jim Marpe will stand there, and declare “Great Gatsby Day” in town.

The official proclamation — a combination of legalese and whimsy — begins:

“Whereas, it was an age of miracles. It was an age of art. It was an age of excess and it was an age of satire….”

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald slept — and partied — here, on South Compo Road.

But that’s not the only Fitzgerald-Westport connection this month.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, the Westport Community Theater presents a costumed stage reading of The Vegetable.

If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry.

Richard “Deej” Webb — the Westport historian who collaborated with Robert Steven Williams on a film and book that describe the Fitzgeralds’ Westport sojourn, and make the strong case that it heavily influenced The Great Gatsby — calls it “his worst work.”

The Vegetable is Fitzgerald’s only full-length play. It was his lone attempt to establish himself as a successful playwright, and his sole foray into political satire.

The plot involves an accidental president who undergoes impeachment. Coming during the corrupt administration of Warren Harding — who died the year it was published — it was “ahead of its time,” Webb says.

To call it forgotten today is an understatement. According to Webb, it was last performed in the 1990s.

The WCT has modified it a bit. What Webb calls “a racist scene” has been edited out.

That may have been a product of its time. But nearly a century later, impeachment is back in the news.

And — at least in Westport — F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are too.

(The staged reading of The Vegetable is Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. For tickets, call 203-226-1983.)

Pics Of The Day #740

Golf balls at Hendricks Point, by the Longshore driving range (Photos/JP Vellotti)

Mimi Levitt: As Season Begins, Remembering A Golf Legend

Alert “06880” reader and avid golfer Dee Andrian writes:

The other day, I was among the throng of people at the University Club in New York to celebrate the life of Mimi Levitt. [The longtime Westporter — an arts and historic preservation benefactor, and namesake with her husband of the pavilion that has provided free summer entertainment here for over 40 years — — died in January. She was 97.]

What a celebration it was!

The main dining room was filled with love, laughter and tears as we listened to Mimi’s family and friends recall their memories of this remarkable woman. The sound of music in the room was a special part of the scene.

We heard tributes to Mimi’s love of family, art, love music and people as well.

But one love was not mentioned: her love for the game of golf.

I met Mimi when I joined the Longshore Women’s Golf Association in 1980.  When my husband dear husband Jim retired, he suggested I learn to play golf, because he didn’t want to play only with the guys.

At the age of 50, I was introduced to golf. I loved it.

The LWGA holds tournaments every Tuesday, April through October. One fateful Tuesday I was in a foursome with Mimi Levitt — a former LWGA club champion.  It was a team effort, and I had fun.

When she called and asked me to join her foursome, I was surprised. I was just learning to play.

But I recall vividly that after I teed off on the 3rd hole, Mimi said in her Viennese accent, “Dee darling, we have decided: You have potential. As long as you don’t slow us up, you can play with anybody.”

And play we did. Mimi was my first of several special mentors. She taught me the art of golf, the rules, the etiquette.

This Westport News photo from July 1985 shows Mimi Levitt (4th from left) and Dee Andrian (7th from left). The caption says the knee socks were an LWGA tradition.

She was a keen competitor as well, so our rounds were fun but seriously played. My beginner’s handicap was 44. But it quickly dropped way down.

The LWGA was founded in 1960, and Mimi was one of the pioneers. Her love of the game was contagious, and she passed it on to others. Our days on the golf course will remain with me always.

I especially remember after a round of 18 holes on a hot summer day, walking into the Inn for lunch. I kept my visor on over my sweaty hair, and my golf togs were wrinkled.

Then Mimi walked in, looking like she just arrived from the beauty salon.

She was so cool, so elegant — just like her golf swing.

Elegant is the way I will remember Mimi “fore-ever.”

Our LWGA tournaments began this month. As I teed off for my first drive, I thought of her.

Photo Challenge #221

This past Monday, beach stickers went on sale.

For decades, that meant standing in line at the Parks & Rec office. Same for registration for tennis and golf handpasses, program registration — basically, if you wanted to do anything fun in Westport, you had to head down to Longshore, then stand in a long line in a tired old Mediterranean-style building opposite the much more handsome Inn.

These days, it’s all online. As a result, many new residents have no idea where Parks & Rec headquarters is.

The building was spruced up a few years ago. It’s much more user-friendly — and now it shows its age well, not poorly.

The roof of the Parks & Rec office was barely visible in last week’s Photo Challenge. Mostly, Chip Stephens’ shot showed trees and brush. (Click here to see.)

But Andrew Colabella, Fred Cantor, Clark Thiemann and John D. McCarthy have been to Longshore enough to pick that building out of the thicket.

Can you pick out where in Westport you’d see this week’s Photo Challenge? If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

Pics Of The Day #653

The Inn at Longshore, after today’s snow squall…. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and the Longshore exit road. (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

Pic Of The Day #643

Longshore skating rink changing area (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pic Of The Day #642

Leaving Longshore (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pic Of The Day #640

Gray’s Creek cemetery (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)