Tag Archives: Anthony Dohanos

Friday Flashback #83

As work proceeds on David Waldman’s latest project — converting the former Save the Children headquarters on Wilton Road into a retail/residential complex — it’s a good time to revisit Stevan Dohanos’ 1965 painting of the site.

Back then, it was home to Famous Artists School. Dohanos was one of those (very) famous artists who helped stay-at-home artists around the world discover their inner illustrator.

This painting — courtesy of Dohanos’ son Anthony — is a bit stylized. The house on Gorham Island is moved south, and Bedford Elementary School (now Town Hall) slides very close to Main Street.

But it provides a very realistic view of the days when Westport was the center of the illustration world. Even without Famous Artists, we were a town filled with — and honored by — famous artists.

“38 Minutes Of Sheer Terror”

The alert blared on Anthony Dohanos’ phone a few minutes after 8 a.m.

It was a false alarm. Still, for more than half an  hour Anthony Dohanos — former Westporter, longtime resident of the big island of Hawaii, and son of famed illustrator Stevan Dohanos — had no reason to disbelieve the alert.

Instead, he had every reason to believe he — and everyone else in the state — would die.

“We all said our goodbyes,” he told “06880” this afternoon. He expected the missile — or missiles — to hit within 15 minutes.

It took another 20 minutes or so before the 2nd — and astonishingly more reassuring — message came through.

I spoke with Anthony a few minutes ago. It was 4 hours since the petrifying ordeal. He — and nearly everyone else in Hawaii — was still shaken up.

Another former Westporter — Bill Briggs, 1964 Staples High School graduate who earned fame as the Remains’ keyboardist — is vacationing in Hawaii.

He posted on Facebook:

I’m a little bit of a “prepper.” I says to myself, “We’re screwed!”

No shelters. No civil defense instructions. No nothin’! I had a little bit of extra medication and a really good flashlight but that’s it.

People were freaking out! We kept our cool and figured if it was true we were screwed anyway, so why panic. Incredible degree of ineptitude.

Anthony sent a GIF that’s making its way around Hawaii:

But it may be quite some time before he — and everyone else — can truly relax.

“We Rob Banks”

In 1968 — a few months after the movie “Bonnie and Clyde” swept the nation — a few Staples seniors and friends thought it would be cool to imitate the legendary outlaws.

The high school campus was open; students came and went as they pleased during free periods (and sometimes during not-so-frees). It was spring; giddiness filled the air. Hey, why not?!

Five guys dressed up like ’20s gangsters. They drove downtown, sauntered into Westport Bank & Trust — now Patagonia — and, with a “getaway car” idling outside, pulled out a fake .38 pistol and said, “Stick ’em up!”

Ha ha!

A few customers scrambled for cover. The tellers didn’t know what to think, but eventually realized it was just a prank. Cops were called, and hauled the Gang of 5 across the street to the police station.

The Westport Town Crier covered the “let’s pretend” robbery jovially. They described the teenagers’ suits and fedoras in detail.

Times sure have changed. Banks — not to mention the ATF, FBI and NSA — don’t look kindly on fake stick-ups.

If this stunt happened today, a full-scale investigation would be held. School administrators and the Board of Education can’t have kids dressed as bank robbers leaving school in the middle of the day, then pretending to rob a bank.

And the Westport Police would certainly not allow 5 teenagers, dressed in fedoras and holding cigarettes, to pose jauntily in the station lobby, looking like they’ve just pulled off the heist of the century.

The Town Crier photo of (from left) Thomas Skinner, Stephen Ambrose, Michael Simonds, Frank Rawlinson and Anthony Dohanos. Anthony posted the photo on Facebook. He now lives in Hawaiii -- far from the scene of the "crime."

The Town Crier photo of (from left) Thomas Skinner, Stephen Ambrose, Michael Simonds, Frank Rawlinson and Anthony Dohanos. Anthony posted the photo on Facebook. He now lives in Hawaiii — far from the scene of the “crime.”

 

 

 

Stevan Dohanos Put His Stamp On JFK

As the 50th anniversary of November 22, 1963 draws near, America will be awash in memories of the assassination of President Kennedy.

The date will be poignant for many. It’s already being recalled by Anthony Dohanos.

Stevan Dohanos at work.

Stevan Dohanos at work.

He hasn’t lived in Westport for 40 years — he’s been far away, on Hawaii’s Big Island — but his father, Stevan Dohanos, spent several decades as one of our town’s most famous illustrators.

He was well known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. But he had a side gig: stamp designing.Working with 7 presidents — starting with FDR — and 9 postmasters general, Dohanos created 46 US stamps.

In the 1960s he was named chairman of the National Stamp Advisory Committee. He had a big office in Washington, Anthony recalls, with a chauffeured limo decorated with the US Post Office logo.

A few months before JFK was killed, Anthony accompanied his father to the State Department. The president spoke. “I was 13 years old,” Anthony says. “I don’t remember much, but he seemed larger than life.”

Dohanos JFK stampFour years after Dallas, Dohanos designed a stamp honoring the late president. In the weeks ahead, it will surface often as a favored illustration.

Dohanos lived far longer than Kennedy. In 1984, the Postal Service’s Hall of Stamps was dedicated in his name. Dohanos died in 1994, age 87, of pneumonia.