Tag Archives: Barbara Cross

Down By Billy’s Old Mill Beach

Many Westporters think of the beach parking staff — if we think of them at all — as men, women and teenagers who glance at our stickers, wave us through, and spend too much time dealing with out-of-towners who are incapable of understanding signs.

After reading this story, you might think differently about at least one of them.

Billy works at Old Mill Beach. A Westport resident, he clearly cares about his town, his job, and everyone who enjoys his beach.

He’s concerned about cars that speed into the parking lot too quickly, without a clear view of anyone walking along the bushes in the corner.

So he went to Toys R Us, and with his own money purchased a plastic yellow flag-holding crossing guard. Whenever he’s on duty, he places it (with “Billy” written on the arm) in a prominent spot.

Billy makes Old Mill Beach safe, and welcoming.

Billy makes Old Mill Beach safe, and welcoming. (Photo/Google Street View)

During his shift, Billy also weeds the patch across from the guard shack, leading down to the sand.

There, he created a stone sculpture. He calls it “Share the Love.”

When alert reader Barbara Cross — who sent along this story — asked if she could take a picture, he said, “Sure! Share the love!”

His care and concern are infectious. An Old Mill resident is donating mulch to cover Billy’s beautified area.

Barbara had a great conversation with Billy the other day. She learned he comes from a family of Marines, and had a full ride to the University of Hawaii as a football player. She and Billy talked about sports concussions, and athletes who graduate without a functional education. Billy, she says, has made the most of his opportunities.

Old Mill Beach — no, all of Westport — are better for it.