Category Archives: Totally random

Dumping On Winslow Park

No, the headline does not refer to owners who refuse to clean up their pet’s poop at Westport’s wonderful dog park.

It’s a reference to some bizarre sightings recently:

winslow-park-collage

Yes, someone has been hauling furniture to Winslow Park, and dumping it there.

This raises a few questions:

  • Why would someone bring old furniture to a dog run?
  • How did they get it there?
  • When did they do it, without anyone seeing them?
  • What did they expect would happen to it?

If you know the answers, click “Comments” below.

Meanwhile, if you want some old furniture, it seems to be yours for the taking.

(Hat tip: Michelle Lieberson)

Westports Of The World, Unite!

The “06880” tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.”

The theme of this story is “Where the Westports of the world meet.”

Every few year from 1985 to 2010, an organization called Westports of the World sponsored gatherings of representatives from towns called Westport. There are at least 25 spread around the planet, as close as Massachusetts and as far as New Zealand.

Now, the Westport in County Mayo, Ireland is reviving the idea.

Westport, Ireland's version of the William Cribari/Bridge Street Bridge.

Westport, Ireland’s version of the William Cribari/Bridge Street Bridge.

The timing is perfect. Next September, the Irish Westport celebrates its 250th birthday.

(By comparison, 250 years ago our Westport was not even a concept. Saugatuck was part of Norwalk. Greens Farms was part of Fairfield. Of course, we were still a decade away from forming our own country.)

County Mayo has planned 4 days of Westports of the World fun. There’s a tour of the town followed by “a cuppa in one of the many cafes,” formal meetings, banquets, a traditional Irish music show, live theater, tours of the area, religious services — and of course a pub crawl.

All Westporters — in the 25-plus Westports, all over the world — are invited.

(“Westports of the World” will be held September 14-17, 2017. For more information, email dlangan@mayococo.ie. To learn more about Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, click here.) 

A scene from Westport, County Cork. In Westport, Connecticut this would be a Teardown of the Day.

A scene from Westport, County Mayo. In Westport, Connecticut this would be a Teardown of the Day.

This Place Has Good Bones

Sure, cemeteries are called “boneyards.”

And yeah, last week was Halloween.

Still, it was kind of creepy to see this sight last week at the “Lower Greens Farms Colonial Burying Ground,” on the corner of Greens Farms Road and the Sherwood Island Connector.

bone-in-cemetery-2016

Alert “06880” reader Heidi McGee and her son spotted it. She took the photo.

If you know what’s going on, click “Comments” below.

And if you’re in the medical field, please let us know exactly what kind of bone this is.

Great News From World’s Greatest Scavenger Hunt

In August, “06880” reported on Tia Pogue’s summer. The Staples High School senior was competing in The Greatest Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen. Suffice it to say, she was not searching for restaurant menus.

Earlier this month, we added details about one of her quests. She and her team had to get a child to write a letter to the universe. Then launch the letter into space. And provide video proof too.

Yesterday, Tia and her diverse, around-the-world group — they call themselves Team Raised From Perdition — got the news they’d been waiting for:

They won!

Perdition beat out more than 2,000 teams — that’s over 30,000 people — to take 1st prize.

Which is: an all-expenses-paid trip to Iceland.

That makes sense. Tia’s already taken care of outer space.

Tia and David Pogue, in their Yahoo video of their outer space adventure.

Tia and David Pogue, in their Yahoo video of their outer space adventure.

Below: Tia Pogue plays a human piano:

(To see Tia’s complete team page, click here. For their spreadsheet, click here. For more information on the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, click here.)


Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

On Your Honor

The Wakeman Town Farm stand is open Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There’s fresh, wonderful seasonal produce — zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, flowers and more.

WTF depends entirely on volunteers. There’s always a lot going on. Sometimes, you’ve got to help yourself.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Go ahead. Take what you need. Leave what you owe.

Who says Westport is no longer a small, friendly town?

Bob: The Tree

Not long ago, a big tree on the corner of Maple Lane and New Creek Road in Greens Farms was chopped down.

The other day, alert “06880” readers Mariken Wolffenbuttel and Oliva Morehouse Schoen noticed this sign on the stump:

bob-the-tree

So, “06880” readers:

Who — or what — is Bob?

And — more importantly — is that his nose or his mouth that’s blue?

Proving Without A Doubt That Donald Trump Is Proud To Have Support From The Uneducated

Seen cruising slowly up and down the Whole Foods parking lot recently:

hillary-clinton-sign

(Photo/Jane Sherman)

Whether you’re with her or him — and whether you agree with or oppose everything this driver believes — you have to admit:

That last line is a classic.

Two True Tales

An alert “06880” reader writes:

A man at the Westport railroad station told me: “I left my wallet in my son’s apartment in New York. I just got off here to go back to the city to get it. I hope the conductor lets me on.”

He said he was on his way to New Haven, to help his daughter move into a new apartment. He used to work for an ad agency. He looked like an aging hippie — with shoulder-length hair, a backpack and shorts — but he seemed credible.

I gave him $20. We all depend on the kindness of others, I thought. He asked for my name and address, so he could send me the money. He bought a ticket, and boarded the train.

Train station drop shadow

Of course, I never received the money. It made me a little uncomfortable, as I’d given him my name and address. But I soon forgot about it.

Until yesterday. I saw the same man, again at the station.

He also saw me. He headed to the other end of the platform, and quickly put on sunglasses (though he wore the same distinctive clothes).

A young man give him money, as he got on the train. When I asked, the young man said he’d only given him $6, and “it probably means more to him than to me.”

I hope “06880” is a good venue to let naive people like me know they should be careful — and that some local con artists are pretty convincing.


On the other hand, Molly Alger writes:

I’m recovering from significant shoulder surgery. This afternoon, to regain my strength, I went for a walk. My right arm and shoulder were encased in a sling and wide brace.

As I headed down Roseville Road to the Post Road, a bright candy apple-red convertible, top down — driven by a handsome young man — pulled over.

I figured he wanted directions.

Instead, he asked if I needed a ride.

It’s been many years since a good-looking young man has tried to pick me up. How way beyond nice is that?!

GiGi New’s Caboose Muse

Every writer needs a favorite place.

For some it’s a home office — a converted bedroom perhaps, or the attic. For others it’s Starbucks.

For GiGi New, it’s a caboose.

Since the early 1970s, the red, real train car has sat in the woods off Newtown Turnpike, between the Country Store and Bette Davis’ old house. For anyone driving, biking or walking by, it’s an object of wonder and awe.

GiGi New's caboose.

GiGi New’s caboose.

For GiGi, it’s a special, creative sanctuary.

She and her husband — actor/director Nicholas Sadler (“Scent of a Woman,” “Disclosure,” “Twister”) — moved to Westport in April, with their young son Cooper. They fell in love with the house and caboose, and sent a heartfelt letter to the owner promising to honor and take care of both.

GiGi New

GiGi New

GiGi was already a well-established TV and film writer. In Minneapolis, where she lived during the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike, she began teaching her craft. Garrison Keillor became an avid pupil.

She continued to teach after arriving here — first with the Westport Writers’ Workshop and through area libraries, now on her own.

Which  brings us to the funky, not-quite-level caboose, where Gigi works with individuals and groups, and continues writing for TV and movies. (Her current project is in development with Killer Films.)

The caboose is said to have been some sort of “payment” to Alan Abel, a well-known prankster who 40 years ago owned GiGi’s 1847 house. (One hoax: Following the Watergate scandal, he hired an actor to pose as Deep Throat. The press conference drew 150 reporters.)

The caboose was delivered via 3 flatbed trucks, and a crane. It sits on actual tracks, though those were brought in too. Someone had a permit for it — and it’s been grandfathered in ever since.

The interior, from the back of the caboose.

The interior, from the back of the caboose.

GiGi says the caboose belonged to the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. One wall is filled with actual P&LE tickets. (They were placed there by HGTV, which gutted the interior, and re-decorated it for one of their shows — click here for the fascinating video.)

However, “DWP” is emblazoned on the side. The letters stand for the Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway.

That’s just one of the many mysteries surrounding the caboose.

What’s not in dispute is what GiGi has done with it, and what it means to her.

She’s brought in a conference table and desks — including the one she writes at. It faces woods, and a pond. She watches her son at play, along with ducks and deer.

GiGi's view, out the caboose window.

GiGi’s view, out the caboose window.

“If I can’t create here, I can’t do it anywhere,” she says. “This my safe, nurturing little haven. When I sit here, I tap into a quiet place. That’s essential for my writing.”

Like a child’s treehouse, the caboose allows her imagination to run wild.

Her students find the caboose to be a “healing, inspiring, creative” place too.

GiGi New’s writing and teaching careers are going place.

Fortunately, her little red caboose is not.

GiGii New, peacefully at work.

GiGii New, peacefully at work. Railroad memorabilia are on the rear walls.


Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

Take The Boat To The Train…

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)