Category Archives: Looking back

Remembering 70 Compo Mill Cove

On the one hand, it was just another in Westport Journal’s continuing coverage of teardown homes. Last week, they reported that 70 Compo Mill Cove will soon be demolished.

The website noted the facts: “Built in 1922, the 2-story cape has 1,000-square-feet of living space, four bedrooms, one and a half baths, piers, a deck and a finished upper story.”

It’s just one more loss of an old house — though more visible than most, to anyone gazing across Old Mill Beach, while walking on Hillspoint Road.

70 Compo Mill Cove (Photo courtesy of Westport Journal)

But this is a particularly historic house. It belonged to longtime town historian — and beloved civic volunteer — Allen Raymond.

It also was the scene of one of my most memorable moments as publisher of “06880.” In the early spring of 2014 I was privileged to be with Allen, as he made his last visit to the home that had belonged to his family since 1922.

He was 91, and dying. But as we sat in a sun-filled room by the water, his eyes shone.

It was both a difficult piece to write, and an easy one. The words flowed, but I knew they had to be right.

Here’s how I began:

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Allen Raymond has lived on Compo Cove since 1922.

The unique, beautiful spit of land drew his parents to Westport nearly a century ago, and kept Allen here ever since. (He added a house on King’s Highway, which is perfectly fitting. It’s the most historic part of town, and no one knows Westport’s history better than Allen Raymond.)

Allen is 91 years old now, and his heart is failing. This afternoon — the first sparkling day of spring — he visited his beloved Old Mill home. It’s rented out, but he sat on the porch, gazed at the rippling high tide and spectacular views of Compo Hill, and reminisced.

Allen Raymond this afternoon, in the Compo Cove home he has loved for 91 years. (Photo/Scott Smith)

Allen Raymond this afternoon, in the Compo Cove home he has loved for 91 years. (Photo/Scott Smith)

Allen spoke about his childhood days on the water, his summers growing up, and the life he’s lived here — and loved — ever since.

What a remarkable 9 decades Allen has spent in town.

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You can click here to read the rest of the story, and learn more about the amazing Allen Raymond. (Spoiler alert: He’s one of the main reasons the town owns Longshore today.)

We should not forget people like him — the men and women who made Westport what it is.

And though it soon will be gone, we should not forget the small homes like his, which nurtured his lifelong love for the town — and contributed mightily to its beauty.

Allen Raymond, March 2014. (Photo/Scott Smith)

 

Question Box #4

Our Question Box is once again full.

Here are the latest answers — to the best of my ability, anyway. I’m stumped by many of these queries. So readers: Please chime in with any additional information. Click “Comments” below.

And if you’ve got a question for our box, just email dwoog@optonline.net.

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Is there a noise ordinance regarding parties in Westport? (Chris Grimm)

No. According to Police Chief Foti Koskinas, the only noise ordinance covers “reasonableness” and “time of day.”

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What is the history of the canal that runs under the Kings Highway Bridge, and empties into the Saugatuck River. Where does it begin? What is its purpose? (Nancy Beard) 

A very interesting question — and one I’ve never thought of.

It begins near Richmondville Avenue, not far upstream. It’s listed on maps as a branch of the Saugatuck River. It appears in its present form on an 1878 map of Westport, so perhaps it is natural.

Jeanne Reed grew up on Short Street, off Richmondville. She says they called it a “brook,” not a canal.

Wendy Crowther adds more. She writes:

“A few years ago, Morley Boyd and I did historical research on the mills that once existed along the Saugatuck River north of the Post Road.

“The most well known is Lees Manufacturing Company, located off Richmondville Avenue. Portions of this mill stand today (and are being converted into housing).

“Another mill, Phoenix Manufacturing, no longer exists. It was located on the land where the water company sits today, on Canal Street.

“Both mills used water power from the Saugatuck to manufacture their goods.  To do this, they dug canals off the Saugatuck to siphon water from the river and direct it toward their turbine blades. The canal that leads to the turbine is called the head race. The canal that leads water away from the turbine to return it to the river is called the tail race. Small signs of these original races still exist today (if you know where to look).

“During our research, Morley and I heard stories that the canal/tail race would often turn the colors of the rainbow during the day, when Lees Mfg. was dying their threads and yarns. According to a historic site plan of Lees mill, its dye house was located immediately beside the tail race. We theorize that the race was pressed into service as a convenient way to dispose of wastewater from the company’s dye operation.

“When the water company was established downriver from Lees Mfg. in the early 1900s, dyes were not a good thing to flow into the water supply from upriver.  Morley and I speculate that Lees’ original tail race was redirected and lengthened to parallel the Saugatuck River all the way down to the area just behind Coffee An’, where it was joined with Willow Brook. From there, the combined waters from the canal/tail race and Willow Brook emptied into the Saugatuck, downriver from the water company. This way, the dye bypassed the water company’s section of the Saugatuck.

“This is the canal that remains today. We believe that it served as a very long tail race for Lee’s Mfg. Co.

“We suspect Canal Street got its name not only from this canal, but also due to the two supply/tail races (canals) used by the  Phoenix Mill (where the water company stands today).”

“This was just a theory.  We paused our research then to focus on other projects.”

Traffic nears the Kings Highway North Bridge, near Canal Street — and the “canal.” (Photo courtesy of Google Street View)

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Nicki and I were walking in Winslow Park. Deep in a woodsy area we came upon what appeared to be an outdoor forest church, complete with pews and a dismantled podium (see below). What’s that about? (David Pogue)

According to Bob Mitchell, this is the Woodland Chapel of nearby Saugatuck Congregational Church. It was constructed by Tobey Patton (son of the church’s minister, Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton) as his Eagle Scout project.

Interestingly, that part of Winslow Park is not town property. It’s owned by the church.

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What is the back story of these oars on the building just over the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge on Post Road East? (Jilda Manikas)

I am not very helpful today. Beats me!

Readers: If by a “stroke” of luck you know, click “Comments” below.

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Why is this deactivated (?) squad car seemingly permanently parked in the Petco/Michael’s/Home Goods/Panera plaza? I don’t think it ever moves. Does it deter crime? (Chris Grimm)

No clue! But for a long time there was also one parked behind what used to be Blockbuster (!) at the Post Road/North Maple corner, across from the Exxon gas station.

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Are there any open water year-round swim groups here? And are there any mushroom foraging organizations? (Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

Finally! A two-fer I can (sort of) answer.

Burying Hill Beach’s High Tide Club is still active, as far as I know. They don’t swim all year, but they did go through October. Click here and also here for a pair of “06880” stories.

As for the ‘shrooms: Try Earthplace.

The High Tide Club’s recent late-summer picnic at Burying Hill Beach.

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Have a question for the Question Box? Email dwoog@optonline.net.

Roundup: Pink Aid, Bagels, Pickleball …

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Like many charities, Pink Aid CT has pivoted this year to a virtual event.

They’re calling it “virtuous.” Hundreds of items –will be auctioned off starting Tuesday (October 5, 9 a.m.). Among them:

  • A flight on Marc Lasry’s private jet to sit courtside and watch the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks
  • Private safari for 2 in Tanzania
  • VIP seating at Christian Siriano’s fall 2022 show, with backstage passes.

All funds raised benefit women with breast cancer in underserved communities.

A video about the event features the auction’s host, Westporter and “A Million Little Things” star Stephanie Szostak.

For auction tickets and more, click here.

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Adam Goldberg’s pop-up bagel project at the Manna Hub kitchen has grown into a full-time operation. It’s packed on weekends, and a full-time store opens soon in Georgetown.

Now he’s going even bigger time. Adam was the only out-of-state vendor invited to compete at this weekend’s Brooklyn Bagelfest.

Can a little Westport bagel guy beat the big boys at their own game? Fingers crossed. Stay tuned!

Behind the scenes in the Don Memo kitchen. From left: Rachel Golan,.David Levinson
Jason Epstein, Adam Goldberg. (Photo/Ria Rueda)

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Leonard Everett Fisher is a Westport icon. He’s a World War II veteran, a civic volunteer — and, for over 70 years, a nationally enowned illustrator, painter and designer.

He’s being honored through the end of the year by the Westport Library. An exhibit of his work — “A Life of Art” — is open at the Sheffer and South Galleries.

Fisher has written and illustrated hundreds of children’s books, and created over 700 paintings and 6000 scratch boards. The Library show features many original illustrations and acrylic paintings. 

It’s an exhibit not to be missed. Before you go, click here (then scroll down) for a virtual studio tour of this remarkable man.

Leonard Everett Fisher at Westport’s 2016 Memorial Day ceremonies.

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The agenda for Wednesday’s Parks & Recreation Commission meeting (7:30 p.m., Zoom) includes a discussion of possible pickleball sites.

The meeting ID is 879 8059 1192. The passcode is 480909.

The Compo Beach pickleball courts get plenty of use.

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Two great Nash’s Corner businesses are offering 20% off deals for new customers. You can combine them, or just take advantage of one.

Felicia’s Salon Nash — run by the wonderful Felicia Catale — provides cuts for women, men, girls and boys. with blowouts and coloring too. Call 203-747-9753 and 203-349-5814.

For 20% off 3D synthetic mink eyelashes — usually $180, now $144 — at Nash’s Lashes by Judy, call 203- 557-8964,

Felicia Catale

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On October 1, 1961 — 60 years ago yesterday — Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s home run record.

A young Westporter named Robert Mull was there. It was the first Major League game he ever saw. His father captured all of Maris’ at-bats that day — including the shot off Tracy Stallard, his hat tip and more.

Now Mull has posted the video online. Click here to see. (Speaking of hat tips: thanks, Fred Cantor!)

Screenshot from the Roger Maris video.

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The other day, Chris Grimm was scrolling through a site that sells t-shirts of defunct Connecticut businesses. (I didn’t ask for details.) He found this classic for Arnie’s Place, the video game arcade that is now Ulta:

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Next up for the Westport Astronomical Society: NASA astrophysicist Scott Guzewich discusses “Roving Mars with Curiosity and Perseverance.”

It’s a clever title, and is sure to be out of this world. Click on the October 19 (8 p.m.) links: Zoom and YouTube livestream.

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The National Charity League’s Westport chapter invites 6th grade girls to apply for the 2022-23 year. NCL With over 275 members, the local group provides volunteer service for over 30 community organizations. Members are women and their daughters in grades 7-12.

The 6-year core program includes leadership development and cultural activities. For more information click here, or email lisa22607@gmail.com.

The National Charity League gang takes a break from volunteer work.

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The good news: Rebecca Schussheim, Lucia Wang and Tom Zhang  will represent Staples High School at the 8th annual Normandy International Youth Leadership Summit next month.. They were chosen because of their academic performance and interest in world affairs.

The bad news: This year’s event is virtual, so they don’t get to go to France.

But congratulations anyway, on a great achievement!

(From left): Rebecca Schussheim,Lucia Wang, Tom Zhang.

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Samera Nasereddin describes today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

“Two baby raccoons visited our garden, and delighted my cat and me. They were very curious, unafraid and non-aggressive. We sent a photo to a local expert, who told us they were healthy 3-4-month-olds, learning how to fend for themselves. I’m so grateful for their sweet visit. I hope that they continue to be safe and healthy, wherever they are now.”

(Photo/Samera Nasereddin)

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And finally … It’s been a long time since I’ve thought of Roger Maris. But seeing his name — and the video of his 61st home run — made me think of other famous players.

And of course:

One Morning That Changed The World

No matter what else goes on this Saturday, the shadow of a Tuesday weekday 19 years ago — September 11, 2001 — hangs over us all. 

That horrible day changed our lives forever. We know it now — and we sensed it then.

Here’s what I wrote 3 days later — September 14, 2001 — in my Westport News “Woog’s World” column.

It was a bit past noon on Tuesday, the Tuesday that will change all of our lives forever.

Fifty miles from Westport smoke billowed from what, just hours before, was the World Trade Center.

A number of Westporters once worked there. The twin towers were never particularly beautiful, but in their own way they were majestic. Whether driving past them on the New Jersey Turnpike, flying near them coming in to the airport, or taking out-of-town friends or relatives to the top, we took a certain amount of pride in them.

We’re Westporters, but in a way we’re also New Yorkers. The World Trade Center symbolized that, though we live in suburban Connecticut, we all feel in some way connected to the most exciting, glamorous, powerful city in the world.

And now that same city was under attack. From the largest McMansion to the most modest Westport home, men and women frantically tried to make contact with spouses, relatives and friends who work in downtown Manhattan.

The iconic 9/11 photo was taken by Westport’s Spencer Platt. He lived near the Twin Towers on that awful morning.

At Staples High School, teenagers who grew up thinking the worst thing that can happen is wearing the wrong shirt or shoes, were engaged in a similar quest.

Many of their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers work in New York. Many others knew loved ones who were flying that morning, or in Washington, or somewhere else that might possibly become the next city under siege.

Meanwhile, on Whitney Street, a pretty young woman dressed in her best late-summer clothes rode a bicycle down the road.

It was, after all, a beautiful day. Along the East Coast there was not a cloud n the sky — not, that is, unless you count the clouds filled with flames, dust and debris erupting from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

It was a perfect day to ride a bicycle, unless of course you were terrified you had lost a loved one, were glued to a television set wherever you could find one, or were so overwhelmed by grief and rage and fright and confusion because you had no idea what was next for America that riding a bicycle was absolutely the furthest thing from your mind.

On the other hand, perhaps riding a bicycle was exactly the right reaction. Perhaps doing something so innocent, so routine, so life-affirming, was just was some of us should have been doing.

If tragedy teaches us anything, it is that human beings react to stress in a variety of ways. Who is to say that riding a bicycle is not the perfect way to tell Osama bin Laden, or whoever turns out to be responsible for these dastardly deeds, that America’s spirit will not be broken?

But I could not have ridden a bicycle down the road on Tuesday. I sat, transfixed, devouring the television coverage of events that, in their own way, may turn out to be as transforming for this world as Pearl Harbor was nearly 60 years earlier.

I could not bear to watch what I was seeing, but neither could I tear myself away. Each time I saw the gaping holes in those two towers, every time I saw those enormous symbols of strength and power and (even in these economically shaky times) American prosperity crumble in upon themselves like a silly disaster movie, the scene was more surreal than the previous time.

Life will be equally surreal for all of us for a long time to come.

I wondered, as I watched the video shots of the jet planes slam into the World Trade Center over and over and over again, what must have been going through each passenger’s mind.

Like many Westporters, I fly often. Like most I grumble about the delays and crowded planes, but like them too I feel a secret, unspoken thrill every time the sky is clear, the air is blue and the scenery terrific. Tuesday was that kind of day.

For the rest of my life, I suspect, flying will never be the same. And the increased security we will face at every airport, on each plane, is only part of what I fear.

So much remains to be sorted out. We will hear, in the days to come, of Westporters who have lost family members and friends in the World Trade Center. We will hear too of those who have lost their jobs when their companies collapsed, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the terrorism.

Sherwood Island State Park is the site of Connecticut’s official 9/11 Memorial.(Photo/David Squires)

We will drive along the New Jersey Turnpike, or stand on a particular street in Manhattan, perhaps even take out-of-town guests to gaze at the landmark we will come to call “the place the twin towers used to be.”

Our casual grocery store and soccer sideline conversations will be filled with stories: who was where when the terror first hit, and what happened in the hours after.

Our newspapers and airwaves will be clogged with experts trying to explain — though that will never be possible — what it all means for us, in the short term and long term, as individuals and a society.

Our world has already changed, in ways that will take years, if not decades, to understand. We are nowhere close to comprehending the meaning of all this.

The world will go on, of course. Our planet will continue to spin; men and women will continue to commute to New York, and pretty women in Westport will continue to ride bicycles down Whitney Street.

At the same time, sadly, none of that will ever be the same.

Among the nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11, 161 were from Connecticut.

Two lived in Westport: Jonathan Uman and Bradley Vadas. Brothers Keith and Scott Coleman grew up here. All worked at the World Trade Center.

They were sons, fathers and brothers. They had much of their lives still ahead of them.

Today, we remember all those killed that day. Twenty years later, we still grieve.

Roundup: Wildfires, Ice Cream Parlor, Staples Sports …

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Westport Fire Department chief Robert Yost has returned from a 2-week national assignment, supporting wildland firefighters in Minnesota.

He calls this “an incredible training opportunity in large-scale incident management. Connecticut is not immune to a wildfire or large-scale natural disaster. We need to be just as prepared as our western counterparts. As the fires continue to burn, please keep all the firefighters out on assignment nationwide in your thoughts and prayers.”

When Yost arrived, the Greenwood Fire was 6,000 acres and 0% percent. During his deployment it grew to 26,000 acres, directly threatening the town of Isabella.

Yost was the medical unit leader trainee responsible for the entire incident, along with 7 fire line medics, 2 medical ATVs and 2 incident ambulances.

Chief Robert Yost at Greenwood Fire briefing.

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Yesterday’s “Unsung Hero” story highlighted a Saugatuck Elementary School custodian, hard at work cleaning drains after Hurricane Ida.

Now we can put a name to his dedication. He’s Al Orozco, head custodian at SES. As several readers — and staff members — noted, he is a gem. And well deserving of his Unsung honor.

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Butzi Moffitt — who as Butsy Beach owned the original ice cream parlor on Main Street in the 1950s — stopped in to Cold Fusion on Tuesday. The new gelato shop is just a few doors down from the first Ice Cream Parlor (where Brandy Melville is now).

Butzi — 93 years young — brought owners Eric and Kelly Emmert an original menu from 1954.

Bitzi Moffett shows Eric Emmert an original Ice Cream Parlor menu.

The menu.

Butzi — who also owned clothing stores on Main Street — was joined at Cold Fusion by her daughter Maggie Moffitt Rahe, a teacher at Coleytown Elementary School. Butzi also brought a photo of herself, outside the first shop.

From left: Amy Greene, and Bob and Butzi Beach, owners of the Ice Cream Parlor.

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The Staples football team’s home opener is tomorrow (7 p.m.). It should be a great game — the opponent is former coach Marce Petroccio’s Trumbull High — and getting tickets has never been easier.

Click here to purchase online; then have your phone ready to show at the gate. You can also click on the QR code below:

You can make Friday a Staples sports doubleheader, too. At 4 p.m., the boys soccer team hosts Ridgefield, in their 2021 season opener. Admission is free!

Reese Watkins, for the Wreckers. (Photo/Brian Watkins)

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The Westport Artists Collective’s pop-up shows pop up regularly. They’re eclectic, inspiring — and fun.

The next one runs from Wednesday, September 15 through Sunday, September 19 (2 to 6 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse). There’s an artists’ talk that final Sunday, at 3 p.m.

Like any pop-up, it will pop down quickly. Be sure to get there before it goes!

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Westport-based Fairfield County Writers’ Studio’s fall classes will be held via Zoom — at least for now.

There are some intriguing ones. Topics include Writing for Children; LGBTQ+ Workshop; Writing Your Memoir; Creative Writing; Novel Writing, and Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror.

Click here for details, and registration information.

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Among all our woodland creatures, we tend to overlook squirrels. They’re the Muzak of our backyard lives.

But Jamie Walsh captured this intriguing shot, reminding us to not overlook every living thing in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)

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And finally … today is September 9 — 9/9. Which means, of course:

 

 

 

“The Graduate,” Starring … Miggs Burroughs?

For the second summer in a row, the Remarkable Theater has entertained Westporters by showing classic films, on the Imperial Avenue parking lot’s giant screen.

And films don’t get more classic than “The Graduate.”

Mike Nichols’ comedy is set for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 30. It’s a great chance to revisit — or see for the first time — the triangle involving  the older Mrs. Robinson, her daughter Elaine, and confused recent graduate Benjamin.

The movie famously stars Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman.

Although, except for a twist of fate — or a casting change — the movie that launched Hoffman’s career might have done the same for Miggs Burroughs.

In 1967 — 4 years after graduating from Staples High School — he was a senior at Carnegie Mellon University.* A drama major, he spotted an announcement for auditions on a bulletin board.

Miggs mailed a t-shirt, with his image. His roommate had fortuitously silk screened it, as a test of marketing “personality t-shirts” — a great idea, but one the roommate never capitalized on.

The t-shirt, with Miggs’ mug.

Soon, Miggs was asked to audition for the role of Benjamin:

Miggs showed up at the appointed time. He took the elevator, walked to the front studio, handed over his photos, and auditioned.

Miggs went back to school. He waited. A month later, this letter arrived:

Miggs went on with his life. He graduated. He left acting behind, and became an artist.

In the 50-plus years since, he’s earned fame as a Time cover illustrator, postage stamp designer, and — in Westport — everything from his lenticular images in the downtown and train station tunnels, to Westport’s 150th-anniversary flag, and just about every non-profit logo imaginable.

Miggs is a founding member of the Westport Artists’ Collective. He is one of our town’s true treasures. He’s a great artist, and an even better guy.

Take that, Mike Nichols!

And it’s funny how life turns out, isn’t it, Dustin Hoffman?

Miggs Burroughs. wearing a t-shirt with the Westport flag he designed. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

* In 1967, the school was called Carnegie Institute of Technology. At Miggs’ graduation, the Mellon family announced they had bought naming rights, for about $400 million.

 

 

Roundup: Real Estate, Trash, YMCA …

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July’s real estate numbers are in.

According to Brown Harris Stevens, while the total number of closed homes declined from 96 to 69 from last year’s frothy July numbers — still the 2nd-highest number of closings for  the month since 2001 — the average closing price rose 19%, from $1,627,253 to $1,929, 908. That’s the highest for July since 2008.

Houses sold, on average, for 101% of the list price. That’s the 5th straight month the figure has surpassed 100%.

As of July 31, there were also 103 pending sales. Another 178 were listed as “active inventory.”

As for condos: 31 closed in July 2021, up from 22 the previous July. The average closing price for condos in the first 7 months of 2021 was $628,002, a rise of 34$ since the comparable period a year ago.

The total volume of house house and condo closings since January 1 is $644,692,685. That’s up a whopping 45% since the first 7 months of 2020. (Hat tip: Chuck Greenlee)

This 4-acre property on Beachside Avenue — once part of the JC Penney estate — is listed for $6,495,000. One drawback: It is not actually on the water.

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Lou Weinberg is best known as the chair of Westport’s Community Gardens.

But the Westporter’s stewardship of the earth extends to the water. He writes:

“A recent walk along Burying Hill Beach yielded an astronomical amount of garbage. The bag on the right was what my wife and I picked up. The garbage on the left was left by a generous donor or donors.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

“As I’m sure you can guess, there were plenty of single-use plastic bottles, bottle caps, aluminum cans, balloons, fishing line, food wrappers, etc. On this walk, we even saw a used diaper and the leftovers from somebody’s lunches.

“What one can do: The Burying Hill lifeguards gave us the bag. Perhaps others who are taking a stroll along the beach and beyond could bring their own bags, or get one from the guards. Any effort to bag the garbage may result in one less piece of plastic ingested by wildlife, and a cleaner environment. Nature deserves better.”

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Several years ago, the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club ordered a historical plaque, commemorating its Westport Historic District Commission Preservation Award of 2018 for the heritage of its building.

Delivery problems delayed the ceremony until this week. Westport Museum of History & Culture house historian Bob Weingarten — who made the presentation to former commodore Paul Rosenblatt — provides the backstory:

The SHYC clubhouse was originally a stable. It was built circa 1887 by Henry C. Eno, as part of his Queen Ann seaside summer estate.

The SHYC was established 1959 by J. Anthony Probst. He remodeled the stable into a clubhouse, with the help of landscape architect Evan Harding. During the 2018 presentation, the HDC noted that underwater marsh land was dredged to create a harbor. It was the first of its kind on the eastern seaboard to feature an underwater bubble system, allowing boats to remain moored year-round.

Former commodore Paul Rosenblatt, the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club plaque, and the historic clubhouse.

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As I walked out of the Y yesterday, a man approached.

“Is this the YMCA?” he asked.

Duh! I thought. What else would it be?

Then I looked around. There is virtually no signage anywhere.

There’s nothing on Wilton Road, or Merritt Parkway Exit 41 — the only 2 ways to enter the parking lot — that say “Welcome to the Westport Weston Family YMCA!”

The sign above the entrance reads “Bedford Family Center.” Who — including most members — knows that’s the name of the Y building.

High above the entrance — where no one looks, and besides, it’s very hard to make out — is the “Y” logo. But that’s it. It doesn’t even say “YMCA.”

I guess there really is no such thing as a dumb question.

Can you see the “Y” above the “Bedford Family Center” sign? (Photo/Dan Woog)

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No one likes to see a police cruiser in their rear view mirror.

But everyone should support the Westport Police Benevolent Association’s 3rd annual Car Cruise. It’s tomorrow (Saturday, August 21, 4 to 8 p.m., Saugatuck train station parking lot #1).

Cars of all years, makes and models are welcome. It’s a family-friendly event, with music, food trucks and a raffle.

The fee to enter and display a car is $20, with the funds earmarked for causes like the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Special Olympics, and Veterans & Families of Fallen Officers.

The first 100 cars receive a gift bag. Trophies will be awarded too.

A previous Westport PBA car rally

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In 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke a story about Westporter Harvey Weinstein in The New York Times. The smoldering #MeToo movement suddenly caught fire.

The 2 journalists will speak at the Westport Library’s inaugural fundraising event, “The Exchange: Conversations About The Issues of Our Time.” The October 5 (10 a.m.) event will be moderated by Westport corporate executive Joan Gillman,

Click here for more information, and tickets.

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

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The other day, “Westport … Naturally” featured a snowy egret enjoying a meal. Today, we show one in flight.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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To purchase tickets or a table for this special event go to

And finally … speaking of the YMCA (as we were above): Maybe we need these guys as greeters in front.

NFL Preseason Report: NY Giants At Fairfield U.

The New York Giants are deep into their training camp. They kick off their preseason on Sunday.

If you’re a hardcore fan, you know that.

But if you were even a casual NFL fan in the 1960s, you’d have been more aware of the team.

For one thing, they played at Yankee Stadium — far closer to Connecticut than New Jersey.

For another, they trained a couple of miles away — at Fairfield University.

And when they played — as in, went to restaurants and bars, not “played football” — it was often in Westport.

Bill Staby is a native Westporter. He remembers those days well. He sent a link to a 2015 Hour story by George Albano, to fill in the details.

From 1961 to ’69, Albano wrote, Fairfield U. was the Giants’ summer home. They knew Connecticut already, from playing an exhibition game every year at Yale Bowl.

When they looked to leave their traditional Catskills training camp, officials — including head coach Jim Lee Howell, line coach Harland Svare and owner Wellington Mara’s son nephew Tim — toured the Jesuit school. They liked what they saw.

College officials gave them the dorms for free. Then they worked out a plan to feed the football players — hungry eaters all — for $6 per player a day.

As in: $6 for all 3 meals. The Giants — astonished — offered to pay a bit more: $6.50.

The publicity for Fairfield University was worth the investment.

Workouts were closed to the public. But an intra-squad scrimmage on the last day of camp was open to fans. The place was packed.

Fans at a New York Giants intra-squad scrimmage.

Players like Frank Gifford and Y.A. Tittle trained at Fairfield. It was close to home for Stamford’s Andy Robustelli. Hungarian Pete Gogolak — pro football’s first soccer-style kicker — later made his home in Darien (and opened a soccer camp).

Dozens of other players trained at Fairfield too. When they wanted a break, they’d jump on the “Connecticut Turnpike” (now I-95) to places like the Arrow restaurant in Saugatuck (now Mystic Market). Owner Lou Nistico always treated them well.

(From left) New York Giants head coach Allie Sherman, with Earl Morrall and Fran Tarkenton, at Fairfield University in 1967.

They hit the bars up and down the Post Road too.

But those are stories for another day.

OVERTIME: Bill Staby has other Giants memories too.

When home game television broadcasts were “blacked out” — to encourage fans to buy tickets — his father took him to Birchwood Country Club. A high-tech aerial rotated via electric motor to pick up a Hartford station.

“I’m sure Birchwood’s investment in that equipment was more than made up for by increased sales of drinks and food,” Staby says.

He adds, “Even though I live smack in the middle of Patriots territory now, I grew up to become a rabid Jets fan.”

Roundup: Homeless, Speed, The Brook …

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A Westporter who asked for anonymity writes:

“Yesterday I saw 2 people that I believe are homeless.

“One was asking for money in front of Fresh Market. After I gave him some, he showed me his injuries from overseas military assignments. I then stayed in my car watching, as many Westporters passed him by.

“The second individual I saw yesterday morning walking in Southport towards Westport (see photo).

“I wonder: What is Westport doing to help these people?”

Walking toward Westport.

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“06880” readers know Caryl Beatus for her insightful comments, on a broad range of subjects.

The Longshore Ladies Golf Association know her as a friend.

On August 31, they’ll celebrate 60 years of existence with a luncheon. (A year late, because of COVID. Good things come to those who wait.)

Caryl — an original member, when the organization was formed in 1960 — is an important part of those 60 years.

In 2017, the LWGA recognized her service by naming its annual member/member tournament after her.

Caryl has served the LWGA in many capacities. She oversaw the creation and revision of its by-laws, was tournament chair, and for many years organized biannual luncheons.

She has put in countless hours, and always made herself available to help move the organization forward.

Patty Kondub, a past president and coach of the Staples girls golf team, says that a decade ago, when she and Caryl were both injured, Caryl convinced her to serve with her as a “co-hostess.” Every week early in the morning they greeted members, explained the tournament, and introduced players to each other to build camaraderie.

Patty notes that Caryl is a “good luck charm.” Many LWGA members have shot their best rounds while playing with Caryl in their Tuesday tournaments.

Congrats to the LWGA for 60 (61) years — and to Caryl Beatus for all she has one, during those 6 decades.

Caryl Beatus (right) and Anne Krygier, enjoying another day on the links.

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Longtime Westporter — and North Avenue-area resident — Carl Addison Swanson shares an email he sent to 1st Selectman Jim Marpe:

“Last year, over 100 children died and another 25,000 were injured on their way to school.

“In Westport, where I grew up and have been associated with this town since 1952, North Avenue is used as a commuter route for those living in Easton, Weston, Wilton, Fairfield and Southport. Drivers drive too fast. A recent study, using a radar gun, clocked 72% of drivers exceeding 45 m.p.h. on the road.

“What makes this issue more critical is that 4 schools are situated on North Avenue: Coleytown Middle, Coleytown Elementary, Bedford Middle and Staples High School. And while a traffic guard is used to direct traffic, they are not there when, many times, children cross before and/or after school hours due to sports or extracurricular activities. Further, many adults use these crossways to take a walk or bike ride at odd hours.

“I have written to the Westport Police Chief with return comments such as we do not use traffic lights to control traffic,’ and the placement of little green men cones (as seen on Riverside and downtown) are too expensive. Really?

“In every other jurisdiction I have lived in, from Texas to Vermont, the state and town protects their children by blinking lights, a speed limit of 5 mph during peak times, and strict enforcement by the local police on each and every school.

“For a town that bases its importance on the education of their youth, you seem to yield to the flow of traffic rather than the safety of our residents?  A grassroots effort by concerned Westporters to change this is now being organized.”

Carl Addison Swanson would like to see — at the minimum — signs like these near our schools.

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Speaking of school:

Tracy Porosoff spotted this near Shake Shack.

“Am I the only one confused?” she asks.

No.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for first responders, frontline workers, teachers, and community groups to attend “Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse.”

The 3 nights of concerts by Broadway artists Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress), Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon) and Brandon Victor Dixon (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Hamilton) will be taped August 31 through September 2, for a future national television broadcast. There are 2 shows each night: 7 and 9 p.m.

For complimentary tickets, Jennifer Carroll: jcarroll@westportplayhouse.org.

The public can buy tickets, starting at $20. Click here for more information.

Gavin Creel

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A former Westporter used to frequent the Brook Café with a friend. For his birthday, she wants to give him some memorabilia — perhaps a box of matches, glass or napkin with the bar’s name on it.

If anyone has any souvenirs from “the Brook,” please email me directly: dwoog@optonline.net. I’ll connect you with our reader.

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The transfer station will be closed to residents next Wednesday (August 25) for repairs. It will be open though for private residential and commercial haulers.

Transfer station will be closed Wednesday. (Photos/Ernie Lorimer)

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Upcoming Westport Library events  of note:

Food and travel writer Alexander Lobrano — a Weston High graduate, and former Westporter — sits for a conversation with Kelle Ruden on August 31 (7 p.m.),

Lobrano’s memoir, My Place At the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris is a moving coming-of-age story. Through a series of encounters with culinary figures like Paul Bocuse, Julia Child and Ruth Reichl, Lobrano hones his palate and finds his voice.

Click here to join via livestream or in person. Copies of My Place At the Table are available for ordering and pickup at the Library, or shipping if further away.

Author/essayinst/memoir writer Mary-Lou Weisman hosts :Introductory Memoir Writing Workshops” this fall. They are on Mondays, from September 20 through October 25 (12:30 to 2:30 pm). Click here for more information, and to register.

Alexander Lobrano (Photo/Steven Rothfeld)

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Ken Yormark boasts, “I got 2 eagles at Longshore.”

Congratulations! But he’s not referring to his golf game. He means — with a smile — this “Westport … Naturally” at the town club.

At any rate, it’s a nice “shot” of a couple of “birdies.”

(Photo/Ken Yormark)

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And finally … following up on the eagles above, and the feeling it evokes:

Phillip Addario: Legendary Hairdresser Hangs Up His Comb

Paul Newman. Joanne Woodward. Bette Davis. Christopher Plummer. Martha Stewart. Phillip Addario.

Which name does not belong on that list?

None! All are current or former Westporters. All share the spotlight.

If you don’t recognize the last name, you must not be a real resident. As countless devoted clients and friends can tell you, Phillip — he goes by only one name, like Madonna or Pele — is the real deal.

Phillip Addario (Photo/Lynsey Addario)

For nearly 60 years Phillip’s Coiffure, Phillip’s of Westport and — since 1988, Phillip Bruce Salon — have been the go-to studios for Westporters as famous as movie stars, and as normal as my mother.

Phillip treated them all the same. He made them all look beautiful (or handsome).

On August 28, Phillip hangs up his scissors. He’ll turn off his blow dryer.

His birthday is the next day. Phillip turns 80. He’s ready to not stand for 8 hours a day.

It’s time to be with his family, travel, and tend to his beloved orchid collection and epic gardens.

His dedicated and fiercely loyal clients are as devastated to see him go as his husband Bruce, daughters Lauren, Lisa, Lesley and Lynsey, and 6 grandchildren are to have him for the next chapter in their lives.

Hairdressing has been Phillip’s life since his teenage years. At 17 — immediately after graduating from Hamden High School — he headed to Elm City Beauty Academy in New Haven.

In 1958 he was hired by Charles of the Ritz on Westport’s Main Street.

Five years later he partnered with his then-wife (and fellow beauty school graduate) Camille to open Phillip’s Coiffure.

Phillip and Camille Addario in 1973, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their salon.

The Post Road spot, across from Playhouse Square, was ahead of its time. It was among the first high-end salons to feature a “star hairdresser” — Phillip — who charged top dollar for styles that were customized “works of art,” rather than traditional cuts. He was often booked 6 months in advance, with customers from all over the area.

With a staff of 40, he spent 20 years tending to the locks of many A-list names. Christopher Atkins’ famously permed blond look was born at Phillip’s.

Generations of movie-goers remember Christopher Atkins in “Blue Lagoon.” Few know that Phillip Addario created his look.

In 1988 Phillip opened Phillip Bruce Salon near the old Pier 1, with Bruce Chapman, his longtime partner (they are now married). Today, the salon is located behind the Fire Department headquarters.

Bruce is not retiring. He will continue to work as a colorist.

Bruce Chapman and Phillip Addario.

As for Phillip: His many clients will lose a gifted hairdresser.

“He approaches his work the same way a fashion designer might create a new piece of clothing — matching fabric shape with body type,” his website says. “In Phillip’s case though, body type is replaced by face shape.

“The basis for his success is his ability to look at each client, and get an intuitive sense of who the person is — what defines him or her — and capture that essence with a distinctive style.

“He won’t stop until he’s achieved absolute perfection. In Phillip’s eyes, every head is a potential canvas for not only a work of art, but an accentuation of life.”

Life continues for Phillip Addario. But, untold numbers of Westporters know, it won’t be the same without him standing behind them, creating art one head at a time.

Phillip Addario and his employees, rocking the early ’80s look.