The 3rd-generation owner of Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center — plus Gilbertie’s Organics — has quite a story.
From its beginnings as a small business started by Italian immigrants, to its explosive growth as the flower and herb industries boomed, to its current emphasis on organic agriculture, Gilbertie’s has been part of our town.
There are tons of stories — and 86-year-old Sal Gilbertie tells them engagingly, and well.
I learned a ton during our chat at the Westport Library Trefz Forum. Click below, for a fascinating half hour:
Julie Mombello and Patty Lewis met at Greens Farms Academy, where they worked.
When Patty’s husband Adam — who grew up poor but, helped by scholarships and access to education, became a successful Wall Street executive — was killed in the Twin Towers, the women vowed to pass his legacy on to others.
They founded Adam J. Lewis Academy in Bridgeport. Begun as a pre-school — now including kindergarten through grade 4, with plans to increase through 8th grade — it offers a high-quality experience so that curious youngsters can explore, discover and develop their full potential.
It is a remarkable place, full of compassion, passion and energy — and plenty of opportunities. It is nurtured by many caring Westporters.
The other day, I chatted with Patty (now head of school) and Julie (a longtime Westporter who is now the director). We talked about Adam J. Lewis — the school, and its namesake — as well as education in Bridgeport and Westport, wealth inequality, American culture and much more.
It was an eye-opening half hour. Click below, to see and hear our conversation.
Everyone who loves the Westport Farmers’ Market — in other words, everyone — loves Lori Cochran-Dougall.
The dynamic director of the nearly-year-round Thursday event (outdoors at the Imperial Avenue parking lot from May to November; inside at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center greenhouses from now through March) has made shopping the Market much more than just shopping for lettuce and tomatoes.
The array of goods is staggering. (Sourdough bread! Tacos! Organic pet food!)
The programming — helping area non-profits, showcasing musicians, welcoming high school interns — is crucial. It creates more than a market. It’s a community.
How did the Roanoke, Virginia native wind up in Westport (by way of Jackson Hole, Wyoming)? What are her goals for the Farmers’ Market? Who are her favorite vendors?!
Click below to see our recent chat at the Westport Library Trefz Forum. As everyone always does at the Farmers’ Market: We had fun!
For more than 20 years at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, Rev. John Branson was a conscience of Westport.
His commitment to social justice, and his efforts on behalf of his entire community, were hallmarks of his service here.
After he retired, Rev. Branson and his wife Judyth moved to North Carolina. But he was called back to several pulpits. Now he’s back in Westport.
In a wide-ranging chat the other day at the Westport Library, Rev. Branson talked about his route to the ministry, the evolution of the Episcopal Church, the “least and the lost,” the people and places of this town, and much, much more.
Westport is many things to many people. For those with disabilities — physical or intellectual — it’s a place with possibilities and opportunities.
Stacie Curran and Sharuna Mahesh have been active in the local disabilities community — and the larger Westport community — for years. They are strong advocates for the educational, recreational and social needs of people of all ages.
The other day at the Westport Library, we talked about their work, and our town. What do we do well here, for people with mobility or cognitive differences? What needs work? What are the resources? What else is needed? What are the success stories, and what are the misconceptions and myths?
Click below for our conversation. It’s insightful, fascinating — and very important.
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For years, Dr. Nikki Gorman was known as a beloved local pediatrician.
Now she’s helping adults get and stay healthy too.
Dr. Gorman recently opened the Westport Medical and Wellness Center, behind the CVS parking lot. It’s a special place, integrating direct primary medicine with yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation and other holistic types of care.
How and why did she pivot? What’s the difference between working with kids, and now their parents? How did she end up in the healthcare in the first place?
Those are some of the questions I asked recently, when we chatted in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum. Click below for an intriguing look into Dr. Niiki Gorman’s world.
Westport is filled with very intriguing people, doing very interesting things.
At the top of any list is Greg Wall. The “Jazz Rabbi” leads the Beit Chaverim modern Orthodox congregation. His side gig: He’s an internationally known jazz saxophonist.
From a shul in the East Village to Carnegie Hall; from the Torah to Miles Davis, and (of course) from his synagogue on Friday nights to jazz at the VFW Post on Thursdays, the Jazz Rabbi does it all.
The other day, we sat on the Westport Library Verso Studios’ stage. He talked about his journey from suburban Boston (spoiler alert: he was not observant) to suburban Westport, plus all the religious and musical stops in between.
I asked about the intersections, challenges and joys of his 2 lives. I also asked about his other interests (spoiler alert: he’s a sailor too).
Click below for our fascinating conversation.
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As much as I enjoy writing “06880,” I know many readers come for the photos.
And in a constellation of stellar “06880” photographers, John Videler shines very, very brightly.
The other day he put down his camera, headed to the Westport Library, and chatted about his craft.
I spoke with the 2nd-generation Videler Photography owner (his father started the business) about how he works; the variety of his clients; his favorite shots in Westport, and (of course) what it was like to grow up here.
Click below for our interview. To see some of John’s “06880” work, click here.
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