Category Archives: Longshore

jUNe Day: When Westport Welcomes The World

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.)

On jUNe Day, the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge brims with flags from around the world. Cohen originated jUNe Day in 1965. (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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 andreasusa@yahoo.com.

Or just give a big hello on Saturday to anyone wearing jUNe Day hats, and an orange bracelet.

Friday Flashback #44

As Westporters get ready for another summer of golf, tennis, swimming, boating, sailing and dining at Longshore, it’s fascinating to look at how folks spent their days there, back in the day:

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

That day was, of course, when Longshore was a private club — not a town-owned facility.

Formally dressed couples ate under umbrellas. A band played; above them, others danced. A lily pond added to the country club atmosphere.

I’m guessing this photo is from the 1920s or ’30s. I’d love to know more.

If you remember those days — or (more likely) heard about them from others — click “Comments” below.

Joey’s Billy Needs Our Help

If you’ve ever been to Joey’s by the Shore in the summer — or winter, when he manages Joey’s at the Longshore ice rink — you know Billy Hess.

He’s worked there for 3 decades. Every July 4th he dresses up as Uncle Sam.

Billy Hess with his wife Gina and daughters.

Owner Joey Romeo says:

Billy has been the heart and soul of Joey’s for 30 years. Known for his selfless demeanor and permanent smile, he loves Westport and serving our customers.

In addition to an unparalleled work ethic, he’s the unofficial “Mr. Fix-It” of Compo and Longshore. Whether changing a flat tire, retrieving a kite from a tree or repairing a broken beach chair, he’s always there and eager to help — whether he knows you or not.  He’s the first to volunteer and the last to take credit.

Billy and his wife Gina have 3 daughters. He has countless friends: customers he has served with passion and dedication, and workers he has mentored with love and care.

A couple of months ago, Billy was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Since then, it’s spread. He’s endured surgeries and chemo with great strength.

There’s more treatment ahead. He also faces mounting medical bills.

Sara Colabella — who worked with Billy when she was in high school and college — has created a GoFundMe page. The goal is $50,000. Click here for the link.

He’s been humbled by the support and concern the community has shown.

But it’s the least we can do, after all Billy Hess has done for all of us.

Billy Hess and his family.

Mother’s Day Rainbow

Throughout Westport a few minutes ago, we were treated to a spectacular rainbow.

Here are a few shots, courtesy of alert — and impressed — “06880” readers.

End of Owenoke, taken from Longshore. (Photo/John Kantor)

Saugatuck River, by the William Cribari Bridge. (Photo/Timothy Lewis)

Levitt Pavilion (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

Whole Foods (Photo/Brooke Emery Scharfstein)

Railroad station (Photo/Diana Schuster)

Birchwood Lane (Photo/Sandra Long)

Nash’s Pond (Photo/Tricia Freeman)

The 2nd Osprey Family

The ospreys at Terrain/Fresh Market are Westport’s favorite raptors. Their nest is visible to everyone shopping or driving on that busy Post Road stretch.

The pair at Longshore is less visible — but just as majestic.

Alert (and patient) “06880” reader Alan Beasley snapped this shot near Gray’s Creek.

He says the male is hovering over the nest, while the female observes.

Fore!

(Photo/Alan Beasley)

Golfers Give Back

While many Westport students are on spring break, Staples High School athletes remain in town. They’re practicing and playing.

The Wrecker girls and boys golf team made the most of their week — and gorgeous weather — yesterday. They hosted young golfers from Bridgeport’s Sheehan and McGivney Centers.

The Stapleites introduced their guests at Longshore to the game of golf, with a fun clinic. They also gave them equipment, which had been donated through Golf to Give.

The organization is the brainchild of Sophie Carozza, a Staples junior on coach Patty Kondub’s team.

There were smiles all around yesterday, as Staples’ girls and boys golf teams hosted Bridgeport youngsters at Longshore.

Golf to Give plans more events — and they’re still collecting donations of clubs, balls, shoes, etc. They’ll even pick up at your house! Click here, or email sophiecarozza@gmail.com for more information.

Sophie Carozza, with some of her first donations.

Longshore Golf Course Opening Set

Today is not exactly golf weather.

But Parks & Rec announced moments ago that the Longshore golf course will open April 10 — weather permitting.

Golfers will see 2 new faces: head pro Jon Janik and course superintendent Todd Salamone.

Both have scrambled to get the greens, bunkers and pro shop ready. They were appointed less than a month ago.

Also new: the golf course website (www.longshoregolfcourse.com) and pro shop phone number (203-221-0900).

Other numbers remain the same: automated tee times (203-341-1833) and day-of-play tee times (203-226-9785).

Westport residents can purchase or renew a golf handpass by clicking here, or in person at the Parks & Rec Longshore office, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fore!

The Longshore golf course reopens soon.

 

It’s Never Too Early To Plan Ahead

Registration is now open for Longshore Sailing School!

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo copyright/Stefen Turner)

Parks & Rec Names New Golf Pro, Course Superintendent

With spring just a chip shot away, Westport Parks & Recreation Department has filled 2 big golf course holes.

Director Jen Fava announced today the appointment of Jon Janik as head professional, and Todd Salamone as Longshore golf course superintendent.

Janik played at Longshore as a member of the St. Joseph High School golf team.

Jon Janik

Born and raised in Bridgeport, he learned the game at Fairchild Wheeler. He won the 1997 junior club championship there, then 5 years later the men’s club title.

Janik began working in the golf industry while still at Fairfield University. He spent 3 summers at the Ivan Lendl Golf and Tennis Camp. After graduating, he became the assistant pro at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull. A year later, he was named head pro.

In 2007 Janik earned his professional golf management degree, and was elected to PGA membership.

He has won the Connecticut Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, and been recognized as a US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher.

Janik also served as Trumbull High’s boys golf team head coach. In 2014 he was named FCIAC Boys Golf Coach of the Year.

Todd Salamone

Salamone has been with BrightView Golf Maintenance for 4 years, as senior assistant superintendent at New York’s Village Club of Sands Point. In 2015, he oversaw a bunker renovation there.

The Queens native majored in turf science at Ohio State University. After graduation he worked at private clubs on Long Island, and volunteered at pro events including the US Open and US Amateur.

Fava said, “We are very excited to welcome our new team to Longshore. We look forward to a great season, and lots of good things to come.

“We hope all of our golfers welcome them when the golf season gets underway.”

Information on course openings will be announced soon.

It’s 62 Degrees. Get Ready For 10 Inches Of Snow. And Strong Winds!

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

(Photo/Tricia Freeman)

(Photo/Tricia Freeman)