Tag Archives: “06880” blog

Mersene’s “06880” Merchandise

If I were smart, I’d sell “06880”-themed stuff on “06880.”

But I’m not. So whenever anyone asks where they can buy something that screams “Westport,” I send ’em to the Westport Historical Society (books, tote bags, note cards).

Or Joey’s by the Shore (hoodies, towels, beach stuff).

Now there’s another option. Mersene — the spectacularly creative, super-friendly and amazingly wonderful owner of Indulge by Mersene, on Railroad Place across from the train station — has added a number of local items to her eclectic, intriguing and ever-changing stock of unique finds.

A Westport t-shirt.

A Westport t-shirt.

Some of them say “Westport.” Others (even better!) actually show “06880.”

An "06880" pillow.

An “06880” pillow.

Mersene has a wonderful eye, not only for what looks good but how to present it. (Check out her gift baskets!) Her Westport merchandise is fun and funky. No kitsch or schlock at all.

This silver tray is engraved "06880."

This silver tray is engraved “06880.”

She’ll ship anywhere. But if you live nearby — or are just traveling through — Mersene and her store really should be seen in person.

She puts the “oh!” in “06880.”

This pendant features a Westport navigation chart.

This pendant features a Westport map…

...while this blanket shows Westport's latitude and longitude.

…while this blanket shows Westport’s latitude and longitude.

Introducing “06880+”: One More Community Resource

“06880” is all about stories.

There are stories of Westporters doing amazing things. Stories of Westport’s past history, present challenges and future trends. Stories of Westport drivers and parking lots, both of which have serious issues.

Unfortunately, “06880” cannot cover everything.

One of the toughest parts of my job is saying no.

I say no to people — wonderful people — who want me to publicize their Girl Scout cookie sale. Their upcoming book signing/book reading/estate sale.

I say no to people who want help finding a missing dog, missing ring, missing classmate.

I say no to publicity about reunions, fundraisers, GoFundMe campaigns and political fundraisers.

I say no a lot more than I say yes. I hate doing it, and I hate that some people hate me for it.

But every problem* has a solution. Here’s mine:

06880+

That’s the newest addition to the “06880” community. It’s a community bulletin board.

06880+

Designed by Dylan Diamond — the very talented Staples High School rising senior whose MyHAC grade/class assignment/transcript app has been downloaded tens of thousands of times, across the country — “06880+” is the new go-to spot for posting all the stuff I say “no” to.

And adding your event to the handy calendar on the page too.

“06880+” — pronounced “06880 Plus” — is accessible here. And from the home page of “06880” (there’s a link at the top, and on the side). You can bookmark it as a Favorite too.

I hope you’ll use it often: As a page to publicize your upcoming event, post notices and seek help. (You can post images too — a logo for your organization maybe, or something you’re trying to sell.)

I hope too that “06880+” evolves. It may become a forum where folks seek advice. Questions are welcome: “Does anyone have a stroller I can borrow for when my granddaughter visits?” “What’s the best nail salon?” “What was the name of that place before it was 323 and Bogey’s?”

Like “06880,” I hope that “06880+” is a place where everyone feels welcome. Where all viewpoints are welcome.

And where I don’t have to say “no” to a story about your cat.

*Except those that come before the US Congress

Where Westport Meets The World: The Photos

Last week — in a nod to “06880”‘s tagline, “Where Westport meets the world” — I asked readers who do not live here to send photos of your favorite summer place.

A third of all “06880” readers live beyond this zip code. I thought it would be fun for our ex-pats to share scenes of your current, non-Westport lives.

Many readers responded. Here’s where you live, and what you love. The photos are arranged (more or less) geographically, from nearest to furthest.

Susan Feliciano and her husband Jose are just across the Westport line, in Weston. But they’re not, technically, here, so they count. He travels everywhere — in the past month he’s been in Austria, England and Baltimore; he leaves soon for Beirut, South Korea, Japan and Croatia — so home is particularly important. Susan calls this “our little piece of heaven, our little slice on the Saugatuck, especially lovely right after a summer rain.”

Happy place - Susan Feliciano, Weston 2

Happy place - Susan Feliciano - Weston 1

Bobbie Herman lives in Fairfield, half a mile over the border. Her favorite place is her garden. She spends 2 hours a day working on it. With 2.2 acres, there’s a lot to do.

“But it’s rewarding,” she says. “I have breakfast every morning on the patio which overlooks it, and every afternoon on the screened porch right next to the patio.”

Happy place - Bobbie Herman - Fairfield garden

Bonnie Bradley writes: “17 years ago, after a lifetime in Westport, I came to the town of Roxbury, in Litchfield County. Maple Bank Farm is a treasured destination, right in town. Farmers Cathy and Howie Bronson, of old Roxbury families, provide all kinds of their own vegetables and plants, and even skeins of wool from their sheep.

“Today you can go up the hill to pick their blueberries. Soon, their corn will be in. It seems you never go to Maple Bank without running into friends. That’s Roxbury.”

Happy place - Bonnie - Maple Bank Farm, Roxbury CT

From the other end of Connecticut, Peter Barlow’s photo shows Pawcatuck and Westerly, Rhode Island, separated by the Pawcatuck River (the bridge in the background on the right). Despite being in 2 different states, residents hold joint parades. Pawcatuck is actually part of Stonington, 3 miles away.

Happy plac - Peter Barlow - Pawcatuck CT

Rebecca Wolin says: “I am very lucky. After living in Westport for 20 years I moved to a vacation destination: the Berkshires. Monterey, Massachusetts has 900 residents, but in the summer it grows to 5,000. This is the lake at the end of my road ( I cheated — it’s a fall picture). I live right off the Appalachian Trail, and love it.”

Happy place - Rebecca Wolin - lake at end of her road, Monterey MA

Geoff Hodgkinson (Staples High School Class of 1964) has lived in Marblehead, Massachusetts since 1964. A peninsula 17 miles north of Boston, population 21,000, it features a harbor at Crocker Park. During the summer, 2000 boats moor there.

Geoff’s 2nd photo is of the historic district: 200 Colonial-era homes, many from the 1600s. The tower in the background is the 1876 town hall. “All in all, it’s a great place to live,” Geoff says. “But I do miss Compo and other Westport spots from time to time.”

Happy place - Geoff Hodgkinson, Marblehead Mass 1

Happy place - Geoff Hodgkinson, Marblehead MA 2

Kim Manchester Shaw writes: “I still refer to Westport as ‘home’, but It has been 30 years since I lived there. My brother and his family now live in our childhood home. It’s a blast to watch my niece and nephews enjoy all of our old Westport haunts as they grow up.

“These days I call Saratoga Springs home: the foothills of the Adirondacks. The photo is of my son, Alex, taken at the summit of Sleeping Beauty on an Adirondack hike last weekend. Tough to beat that view…unless perhaps you are in the 06880!”

Happy place - Kim Manchester Shaw - summit of Sleeping Beauty on Adirondack hike

Jane Davidson Arms (Staples High School Class of 1977) is now in Manchester, Vermont. Her youngest son (shown here) heads off to college in the fall:

Happy place - Jane Davidson Ams - Manchester, VT

After graduating from Staples in 1971, Fran Taylor has thrived in Kentucky’s horse country. She spent many years associated with Keeneland. She snapped the first photo below on Derby Day, while driving home from Louisville. The 2nd is taken from the driveway of her farm in Sadieville.

Happy Place - Fran Taylor - from Louisville to Lexington

Happy place - Fran Taylor - driveway of farm in Sadieville, KY

Tom Siebrasse offers this shot of Big Glen Lake, in Michigan’s Sleeping Bear National Park:

Happy place - Tom Siebrasse - Big Glen Lake, Glen Arbor, MI

Mike Taylor checks in with a photo of Lake Michigan. He’s halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay. His town of Sheboygan, Wisconsin is a top golf destination; one of 3 US Official Sailing Centers in the country; home of Road America, one of the 3 car racing road courses in the world — and host to concerts partially sponsored by the Levitt Foundation. Having been an original employee of Westport’s Levitt Pavilion — he did lights and sound — he’s particularly proud of that.

Mike asks, “So why is this my favorite summer spot? I loved growing up in Westport and looking at Long Island Sound. But here, sitting on our lake deck, we look at the horizon. It’s like looking at the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore is awesome. And it’s my home.”

Happy place - Michael Taylor - Sheboygan, WI - Lake Michigan

Last August, Diana and Leonard Zaslow moved from Westport to Bonita Springs, Florida. Here’s what they see every evening:

Happy place - Diana Zaslow, Bonita Springs, FL

Alix Land says: “It’s hard to compare anyplace to Westport, but attached are shots from my home in Portland, Oregon. We get out on our bikes or paddleboards as often as possible.” The first photo shows the Willamette River, just south of Portland. She lives one street away from a ridge overlooking a beautiful golf course. On a clear day, she sees majestic Mt. Hood.

Happy Place - Alix Land - Willamette River just south of Portland

Happy place - Alix Land - OR (can see Mt Hood on clear day)

David Grant checks in from Danville, California — a San Francisco Bay area town of 42,000. The small-town atmosphere — with many unique stores and restaurants — reminds him of the Westport where he grew up. The 4th of July parade draws 40,000 attendees. Dave says: “Excellent schools keep property values strong. Good weather is a constant bonus.” Here’s Hartz Avenue:

Happy place - David Grant, Hartz Avenue, Danville CA

Finally, Mara Barth writes: “While we enjoy living in Paris at the moment (been here since October), we very much look forward to a little time in Westport this summer!”

Happy place - Mara Barth, in Paris since October

There you have it: where Westport meets the world. Plenty of water; mostly small towns; lots of beauty.

Wherever you are today: Enjoy it! There’s no place like home.

“06880” Asks: Where’s Your Summer Place?

Day in and day out, “06880” posts photos of iconic Westport scenes. The beach, Longshore, the Duck, Saugatuck Sweets — these are places Westporters love.

I know, because I hear from many readers. And not all of them live in Westport.

In fact, about 1/3 of “06880” readers no longer live here (some never did). So let’s turn the tables, and see where your favorite place is. Wherever you are.

This request is only for non-Westport residents. Pick a place you love, in the town or city where you now live. (No “vacation spots” or former homes, please.) We want to see the Westport equivalent of your current hometown.

Take a photo sometime this weekend. (Current summer shots only!) Send 1 or 2 images — not more — to dwoog@optonline.net, by Sunday night. Tell us a little bit about your shot(s). We’ll post a collection next week.

The “06880” tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.” It’s time all of us saw your world too.

If I had to pick a shot, this would be mine.

If I had to pick a shot, this might be mine.

“06880” Turns 7. Let’s Celebrate!

This week, “06880” turns 7 years old. My, how our little blog has grown!

365 days a year — often multiple times a day — “06880” (aka “yours truly”) posts stories. They appear on your phone, on your laptop, in your inbox — without fail. Like wacky weather, entitled drivers and the Minuteman in your driveway, “06880” is a part of Westport life.

In those 7 years I have written more than 5,300 stories. Whew!

Just as impressively — because “06880” is not really a blog, but a community — you all have posted nearly 60,000 comments. Holy ****!

The controversial Bridge Street Bridge. You read about its possible reconstruction here first. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

The controversial Bridge Street Bridge. You read about its possible reconstruction here first. And you got its entire history here too. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

“06880” covers the waterfront. And by that I don’t just mean Compo, Longshore, Old Mill, Sherwood Mill Pond, Burying Hill, Saugatuck Shores, Nash’s Pond, the Saugatuck and Aspetuck Rivers, and Muddy Brook.

I mean everything that goes on in this town.

The good — no, the incredibly amazing — things that Westporters do. Raising money for Bridgeport fire victims, local organizations and African villagers. Starting businesses and raising families. Living life fully every day, while nurturing the town that nurtures them.

The bad. Enough said.

And everything in between. Schools, the Town Farm, cops, the library, real estate, religion, commuting, the Y — if there’s a Westport connection, I’ll find out about it.

Then I’ll write about it.

Will work for food.

Will work for food.

I do that 365 days a year. But once a year, on the 365th day — my anniversary — I put out my tin cup.

Because I do a lot more than write what I hope are moderately interesting stories.

I also do research. I interview. I moderate and respond to comments — and to every private email. I scour the interwebs for photos, and take my own. I also size and frame them.

I answer all kinds of questions. Like “What was the name of the restaurant that used to be where…?” And “Can  you forward my email to…?” As well as “Will you fix the typo in my comment?” Plus (OMG) “My daughter is selling Girl Scout cookies. Can you let everyone know?”

I even spend money on “06880.” I pay to keep it ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for photo-editing software.

If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.” Scroll down — details at the bottom!

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.

If my 5,300 stories are worth a penny each, that’s $53. If half of them are worth a dime each, that’s $265. I’ll leave other calculations to you.

I hope that if “06880” has ever

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development in town
  • delivered news about a favorite person or store
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • helped publicize your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • paid tribute to someone you loved or admired
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • saved you time or money
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • given you a voice in the “Comments” section
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “holy f—!”)

— you will consider tossing something my way.

Only a suggestion.

Only a suggestion.

Thanks for 7 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

We’ll still have our annual summer “06880” party at the beach. Plus the weekly photo challenge.

But hey. You tip a taxi driver you don’t even know for a 5-minute ride, right?

You can donate by PayPalclick here. It’s easy (and safe)! You don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, try www.paypal.comthen log in, create an account, or send money from the drop-down menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”

Checks may be mailed to:  Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.  Put “06880″ on the memo line.  It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

Is this a great town or what? (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Is this a great town or what? (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary To Me. Now Pony Up!

This week, “06880” turns 6 years old. My blog has already lasted longer than “The Twilight Zone” (5 years). And it will soon surpass “I Love Lucy” (6).

Both of which — as alert readers know — have very strong Westport ties.

That’s the thing about “06880”: You never know what you’re going to get. But whatever it is, there will be some connection to this town.

When I hurled my 1st post into cyberspace in 2009 — click here for that baby — I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

If spring ever comes, you'll read about it first on "06880."

If spring ever comes, you’ll read about it first on “06880.”

I thought I’d offer some moderately interesting stories about the people, places, events and history that make this town our home. My goal was 1 post a day.

I had no idea — even though my tagline was “Where Westport meets the world” — that I would find connections everywhere: from Broadway to the Boston Marathon bombings, from Saugatuck to Syria.

I had no idea either that so many talented, accomplished people could suck so bad at parking. I did not realize that — right here at home — so many amazing people are doing such amazing things. Children, teenagers, busy businesspeople, retirees, merchants, volunteers — this town rocks the universe.

That 1 post a day is now, sometimes, 4 or 5. In 6 years, I’ve posted more than 4,200 stories. You’ve read this far, so I’m guessing you like at least some of them.

For me, “06880” is a labor of love.

But like any love, it takes work.

As “06880” has grown, so have the hours I spend on it.

Will work for food.

Will work for food.

There’s writing, sure. But also interviewing, researching, responding to comments (public and private), moderating comments (removing those from people who do not use full, real names), taking and sizing and framing photos, and scouring the web for appropriate (and occasionally inappropriate) graphics.

I spend a few bucks too. I pay to keep “06880” ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for photo-editing software.

So, once a year — on my anniversary — I put out my tin cup.

If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.”

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.

If my 4,200 stories are worth a penny each, that’s $42. If half of them are worth a dime each, that’s $210. I’ll leave other calculations to you.

I hope that if “06880” has ever

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development in town
  • delivered news about a favorite person or store
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • helped publicize your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • paid tribute to someone you loved or admired
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • given you a voice in the “Comments” section
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “holy f—!”)

— you will consider tossing something my way.

Only a suggestion.

Only a suggestion.

Thanks for 6 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

We’ll still have our now-annual summer “06880” party at the beach. Plus the weekly photo challenge.

But hey. You tip a taxi driver you don’t even know for a 5-minute ride, right?

You can donate by PayPalclick here. It’s easy (and safe)! You don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, try www.paypal.comthen log in, create an account, or send money from the drop-down menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”

Checks may be mailed to:  Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.  Put “06880″ on the memo line.  It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

Is this a great town, or what? (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Is this a great town, or what? (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

No More Trolls: The Sequel

We’re in the midst of an important Westport anniversary.

At dusk 237 years ago yesterday — April 25, 1777 — 2000 British troops landed at Compo Beach. Tory loyalists planned to guide them up Compo Road to Cross Highway, across to Redding Road, then north through Redding and Bethel to Danbury, where they would burn a major munitions depot.

Patriots fired a few shots at the corner of the Post Road and Compo, but the British marched on. In Danbury they destroyed the Continental Army’s munitions, then headed back toward their waiting ships at Compo.

Hastily assembled patriot forces fought them in the fierce Battle of Ridgefield. Led by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold — not yet a traitor — and outnumbered 3 to 1, the patriots deployed a strategy of selective engagement.

British forces landed at Compo Beach, marched to Danbury, marched back south and — after the Battle of Compo Hill — retreated to Long Island.

The next day — April 28, 1777 — patriot marksmen waited on Compo Hill (the current site of Minuteman Hill road). They did not stop the redcoats — 20 colonials were killed, and between 40 and 80 wounded when the British made a shoulder to shoulder charge with fixed bayonets — but they gave them a fight.

A very different fight took place in the days leading up to April 26, 2013. Here on the “06880” blog, a post about the new town arts curator devolved into nasty attacks on her and her appointment. Accusations flew about a waste of town dollars. Even after it was noted that she is a volunteer, she continued to be vilified.

A post about a summer party planned for the “06880″ community quickly degenerated into a political catfight. Much of the joy of the announcement was sucked away by anonymous commenters.

There is a word for anonymous internet bullies: trolls.

There is a word for anonymous internet bullies: trolls.

So a year ago today, I pulled the plug on anonymity. In a pissed-off post, I described the reasons I finally had it with “trolls.” By stirring the pot so virulently, they were poisoning the blog for everyone. They clothed themselves in free speech garb, but in reality they were just cyberspace bullies.

That post drew 91 comments. Almost all were positive. A few people predicted the end of “06880.”

So what’s happened in the year since, now that commenters have to use their real, full names?

Well, I’m working harder. Not everyone follows the rules. I spend time deleting occasional anonymous posts — I have not gone as far as to demand pre-registration — and sending requests to re-post (I’ll even do it for you).

The number of comments is down a bit — but not significantly. Instead of 2 or 3 bozos shouting at each other, we’ve had (for the most part) civil conversations.

The dark spirits are gone. “06880” is lighter, freer.

We now know who is part of the “06880” community. And doesn’t any community — a blog, a town, whatever — function better when everyone knows their neighbors?

In the nearly 2 1/2 centuries since the Battle of Compo Hill, the British have never ventured inland again.

And — as the past year proves — the trolls are also gone for good.

 

Happy Anniversary To Us!

Today, “06880” turns 5 years old.

What a wild, wacky and wonderfully Westportesque that half decade has been!

When I hurled my 1st post into cyberspace on March 6, 2009 — click here for that baby — I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I thought I’d offer some moderately interesting stories about the people, places, events and history that make this town our home. My goal was 1 post a day.

I had no idea — even though my tagline was “Where Westport meets the world” — that I would find connections everywhere: from Broadway to the Boston Marathon bombings, from Sochi to Syria.

Rafaella Sforza -- who last month closed her tailor shop in Colonial Green -- got a well-deserved send-off in "06880."

Rafaella Sforza — who last month closed her tailor shop in Colonial Green — got a well-deserved send-off in “06880.”

I did not realize that — right here at home — so many amazing people are doing such amazing things. Children, teenagers, busy businesspeople, retirees, merchants, volunteers — this town rocks the universe.

I had no idea either that so many talented, accomplished people could suck so bad at driving and parking.

I could not imagine that my vision of a nice “comments” section would explode into a snake pit of controversy, as packs of anonymoids turned the milquetoastiest stories into rants about Obamacare, socialism, and that big bad socialist, Obama.

I also could not predict that after pulling the plug on anonymous comments (click here for that epic post, last April), “06880” turned into a far more thoughtful, civil place to hang out. A discussion last month on climate change/global warming — always a hot topic — was certainly intense. But it ended with the blog equivalent of “Kumbaya.”

Not every "06880" story needs to be told in words. (Photo/Betsy Phillips Kahn)

Not every “06880” story needs to be told in words. (Photo/Betsy Phillips Kahn)

I’ve kept my promise to post at least once daily. Sometimes I post 2 or 3 times. Thanks to ever-increasing tips from readers, and increasing bad weather (thanks, climate change!), I occasionally post 6 or 8 times a day.

That translates to nearly 3,400 stories. Hopefully — if you’ve read this far — you realize you like at least some of them.

For me, “06880” is a labor of love.

But, like any love, it takes work.

As “06880” has grown, so have the hours I spend on it.

There’s writing, sure. But also interviewing, researching, responding to comments (public and private), moderating comments (removing those from people who do not use full, real names), taking and sizing and framing photos, and scouring the web for appropriate (and occasionally inappropriate) graphics.

I spend a few bucks too. I pay to keep “06880” ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for photo-editing software.

So, once a year — on my anniversary — I put out my tin cup.

Will work for food. Or cash.

Will work for food. Or cash.

If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.”

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.

If my 3,400 stories are worth a penny each, that’s $34. If half of them are worth a dime each, that’s $170. I’ll leave other calculations to you.

I hope that if “06880” has ever

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • delivered news about a favorite person or store
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • helped publicize your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • paid tribute to someone you loved or admired
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • given you a voice in the “Comments” section
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “holy f—!”)

— you will consider tossing something my way.

Thanks for 5 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or nice.

And we’ll still have our now-annual summer “06880” party at the beach.

But hey. You tip a taxi driver you don’t even know for a 5-minute ride, right?

You can donate by PayPalclick here. It’s easy (and safe)! You don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, try www.paypal.comthen log in, create an account, or send money from the drop-down menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”

Checks (or cash, if you’re paranoid I’ll find out who you are) may be mailed to:  Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.  Put “06880″ on the memo line.  It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

Next year's "06880" party will NOT be held on the hottest day of the year. (Photo/Jo Shields)

Next year’s “06880” party will NOT be held on the hottest day of the year. (Photo/Jo Shields)

I Resolve…

Happy New Year!

In the spirit of the season, “06880” offers up a few resolutions.

In 2014, I promise to…

Run only a few photos of selfish, entitled drivers taking up 3 spaces, parking almost on the jetty at Compo Beach, and using the sidewalk in front of Silver’s to enter and exit the Post Road. And I will make snarky comments about them only if they really, truly deserve it.

You won't see more than 20 or 30 of this type of photo in 2014!

You won’t see more than 20 or 30 of this type of photo in 2014!

Try my best to find a story that highlights how great it is that a family with no ties to Westport buys a handsome, well-maintained, 200-year-old home; promises the owner to keep it and love it; then levels it and constructs a 12,000-square foot behemoth filled with rooms that don’t even have names, after chopping down more trees than George Washington ever dreamed of. I know you guys are out there — I can’t wait to tell your inspiring tales!

A blight on the neighborhood. Good to see it go!

A blight on the neighborhood. Good to see it go!

Limit my trips down memory lane. After all, how many times can I mention the Remarkable Book Shop, Clam Box, and a time shrouded in nostalgia when a 5-year-old could walk from home all the way downtown, spend a day shooting baskets (or billiards) at the Y, then wander along Main Street while shopkeepers came outside, greeted him by name, fed and clothed him, and put the bill on the back of a paper bag for the parents to settle, hey, whenever they wanted.

Good riddance!

Good riddance!

Like any New Year’s resolutions, I’ll do my best to stick to these as long as I can. I figure at least through Saturday.

(Have your own resolutions? Click “Comments” to share — and please, use your full name!)

Giving Thanks (“06880”-Style)

Thank you.

Thank you to Westport, for being — despite the ease and frequency with which we/I often knock it — a wonderful, warm, creative, arts-supporting, involved and ever-evolving community. At the dawn of a new administration, the best is yet to come.

Thank you to the people I spend so much time with: Westport’s teenagers. You are smart, passionate, compassionate and clever. You work far harder than I did when I was at Staples. You’ve got far more pressures on you than I had. Yet you handle it all with maturity and poise (most of the time). And you do it with plenty of smiles.

Thank you to the readers of “06880.” You are never without opinions, information and feedback. You feed me ideas and photos. You read my words at 5 a.m., noon and midnight. And — thankfully — you are no longer anonymous.

Those are my thanks, this Thanksgiving day 2013. I’d love to hear yours. And — more importantly — so would everyone else in this great “06880” community. Just click “Comments.”

Thank you!

I am thankful I live in a beautiful town. I am also thankful I'm not a turkey.

I am thankful I live in a beautiful town. I am also thankful I’m not a turkey.