Tag Archives: Carvel

Roundup: Carvel, Lifeguards, Challah …

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Last Friday’s Question Box sparked a debate about when Carvel opened.

The definitive answer: August 1954.

And the man who provided that answer — RTM member Harris Falk — also offered proof. Here’s a newspaper advertisement from that month:

Check out the ice cream cone on top of the store. As Dave Lowrie noted in the Comments section, both it and the red and white bucket over KFC (now Sun Reflexology, next to Layla’s Falafel) came down in the 1970s. The Architectural Review Board was trying to make the Post Road look “less commercial.”

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As one of their many services, the Compo lifeguards post a new, thought-provoking quote every day. Little gestures like that mean a lot.

But this sign last week was particularly intriguing:

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

Were they being slyly clever, misspelling both “their” and (look closely) “swimming” in a quote about fault-finding?

Or were they just simple mistakes, made more prominent by the context of the quote?

We may never know. Today is their last day on duty.

Anyway: Who cares? If you see a lifeguard, thank him or her for another safe, fun summer.

And for a daily diet of inspiring, important quotes.

No matter how they’re spelled.

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Every Home Should Have a Challah — the Westport-based national delivery service — is busy taking Yom Kippur orders. The deadline is midnight Wednesday (September 8). Click here for details.

Rosh Hashanah challah is already sold out.

Challah, from Every Home Should Have a Challah.

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Westport Book Shop is expanding its hours. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, September 7), they’ll open earlier — 10 a.m. — Tuesdays through Saturdays.

They’ll open at noon on Sundays, and are closed Mondays.

Westport Book Shop, on Jesup Road.

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William Nicholas (Nick) Delgass died peacefully at his West Lafayette, Indiana home last month, attended by his family, after a 9-year battle with cancer. The 1960 Staples High School graduate was 78.

His interest in the world and the way it works led him to science. He graduated from the University of Michigan, then earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University.

He was more than a scientist. Throughout his life, Nick was well rounded. When he spotted Elizabeth (Betty) Holstein at a mandolin concert in 1966, he convinced her to go out with him after they bonded over a love of English literature. They married a year later, and would have celebrated their 54th anniversary at the end of August.

He and Betty had their first child, Michael, while Nick was completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California. He accepted his first faculty position at Yale University, and the growing family moved to Branford, where their second son, Leif, was born. Nick was on the faculty at Yale University for 5 years before accepting a position at Purdue.

he became chair of the chemical engineering department there, and taught until retirement. Nick was globally recognized for his work in integrating new tools and methods into reaction systems. His colleague Fabio Ribeiro said that few researchers impacted the field so broadly. He was a joint author of over 200 scientific papers, 2 books, advisor to many graduate students, and consultant to many companies.

His love for Betty was fierce. Nick often biked from the lab to have lunch with his family, and was a constant presence at his sons’ events. When his grandchildren were born, he made cross-country trips to visit.

Nick served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Catalysis, the flagship journal of the field. he earned various awards, and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Teaching was one of his great loves, as evidenced by his many honors, including the Shreve Teaching Award 7 times, and inclusion in the Purdue University Book of Great Teachers.

In addition to his wife Betty, Nick is survived by his sons Leif and Michael (Jessica Spector), and grandchildren Isaac, Aidan, Ariella, and Serafina.

No formal service is planned, but there will be a memorial reception on October 16 at the Whittaker Inn in West Lafayette. Click here to leave condolences.

Nick Delgass

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Since we began our “Westport … Naturally” feature a couple of months ago, we’ve posted plenty of animal photos. Lots of flowers, too.

This may be our first cucumber shot. It’s a nice “window” into another aspect of Westport’s many natural wonders.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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And finally … Happy Labor Day!

It’s easy these days to forget the origins of the holiday. We may not remember (or never learned) the importance of unions in our nation’s history. They brought about safety, minimum wages, overtime pay and more.

Winning those rights was not easy. The power of unions has waned over the years — look at the recent Amazon battle in Alabama — even as income inequality has grown. Organizers there no doubt wish they still had a Pete Seeger to champion their cause.

Question Box: Answers #3

Our Question Box is once again full.

Here are the latest answers — to the best of my ability, anyway. I’m stumped by many of these queries. So readers: Please chime in with any additional information. Click “Comments” below.

And if you’ve got a question for our box, just email dwoog@optonline.net.

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Where does the name “Compo” come from? (Art Hayes)

What a great, basic question!

Compo (“Compaug”) means “bear’s fishing ground.” It’s a Native American name, from the early Paugussett tribe.

it’s been a while since a bear went fishing at Compo. But that’s where the name of the beach comes from.

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A recent photo showing the “bridge to nowhere” off Parker Harding Plaza started the wheels of memory turning. Was it there in the late 1960s? (Susan Hopkins, Elizabeth, Colorado)

Westport’s favorite bridge to nowhere: Parker Harding Plaza (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

Another excellent question! It was built — I believe — in the early 1970s. I’m not sure, however, who sponsored it, or why.

If any readers have the back story, let us know!

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What’s up with the missing/deactivated blinking yellow traffic lights at the Westport Fire Department’s headquarters on Post Road East?

Formerly, 2 cables held 2 blinking lights each. They turned red to stop traffic in all directions when fire trucks exited the station.

A few months ago, the cable that held the pair of blinkers facing eastbound traffic lay on the ground opposite the fire station. Did the cable break? Were the lights removed on purpose? The cable holding the 2 lights facing westbound traffic are still in place, but deactivated. (Wendy Crowther)

Deputy chief Michael Kronick says: “The computer that controls the light died earlier this year. We have contacted a vendor to replace and upgrade the system.

Unfortunately, the computer is on back order because of the worldwide microprocessor order. We have no timeline for when the controls will be available.”

Fire headquarters, near the (now-non-) blinking lights.

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From time to time, we see wildlife with tags like the one below. Who tags them — and why? (Gail Berritt)

(Photo/Gail Berritt)

I’ll pass this one of to our wildlife experts. Click comments below, please!

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A recent posting on Facebook about Carvel elicited plenty of likes and comments. But no one seems to know when it opened. Do you? (Fred Cantor)

Nope! But you and I both remember it from our high school days in the 1970s. And I remember it from earlier — with a huge ice cream cone on the top of the building. That’s been long gone, victim of either a hurricane or zoning regulation, no doubt.

There must be former Carvel employees out there who know when the ice cream stand — one of the longest-running businesses in Westport — first opened. Let us know!

Iconic Westport.

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Have a question for the Question Box? Email dwoog@optonline.net.

 

 

 

Vanity Fair Features Westport’s Essential Workers

Last month, it was “the party.” This week, the short-lived “pandemic drone.”

After 2 turns in the national media glare, the 3rd time’s the charm.

Today, Vanity Fair turns its spotlight on the men and women who keep Westport going in a pandemic..

Stephen Wilkes is a photographer and National Geographic Explorer. He’s documented endangered species and habitats, rising seas, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ellis Island in decay and more.

He’s also a Westporter.

After hearing about a young Maryland woman infected by COVID-19 who was so devoted to working at a store that it killed her, he set out to photograph essential workers here.

He said “so many great, small mom-and-pop shops are making sure that everybody is okay right now. Without them, I don’t know what we’d do.”

Wilkes’ story includes photos of Gold’s Delicatessen, Carvel and Fleishers Craft Butchery, as well as EMS headquarters and a Metro-North train.

His photos — like the one below, of the Gold’s owners and staff, masked yet still offering curbside pickup behind yellow caution tape (the caption notes that owners Jim and Nancy Eckl celebrated their 37th anniversary “serving their devoted customers”) — are powerful.

And — after all the chatter about a party and a drone — the perfect way to start the weekend.

(Photo/Stephen Wilkes for Vanity Fair)

(For more photos, and the text, click here. Hat tip: Kerry Long)

Paying It Forward At Carvel

Alert “06880” reader Mary Ann West spotted this item on her friend Tim Perry’s Facebook wall:

An old man walked into the Carvel in Westport the other day and ordered an ice cream cake for his grandson’s 3rd birthday.

US Navy vetA stranger saw the old man wearing a baseball cap that read “U.S. Navy Veteran.” The stranger walked up to the vet and said, “Sir, I want to thank you for your service. I would like to pay for your cake.”

The old man was surprised and thankful, and allowed the stranger to buy the ice cream cake.

That old man is my father, and the cake is for my son.

Thank you, kind stranger, for the random act of kindness, and for paying it forward. May we all learn from your kindness and gratitude.

Sunny Daes Is Here

This week, as our thoughts turn to skiing, skating and hot chocolate, Westport welcomes — an ice cream shop.

Sunny Daes introduces its 5th Connecticut location (30 Riverside Avenue — site of the former King’s service station) with a “soft opening” (ho ho).  It will show off its 68 favors of ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt, with free cones on New Year’s Eve.

I don’t want to be the skunk at the garden party, but I’ve got a few questions:

  • Will the location work? That section of Riverside Avenue — just beyond the Post Road intersection — has always been a tough business environment.  Restaurants and retailers struggle.  It’s out of sight — physically and metaphorically — for manydowntown shoppers.  Most ice cream shops rely heavily on foot traffic, which is non-existent across the river.  And despite a few parking spots in front of the store, getting into and out of the small lot is not easy.
  • Is Westport ready for another ice cream place? Carvel carved out a niche around the time the Bedfords and Coleys settled in town.  Baskin-Robbins has a prime downtown spot, though it’s suffered since the demise of the movie theaters.  Ben & Jerry’s — arguably the world’s most famous ice cream name — recently closed up shop.  Gone too are MaggieMoo’s, TCBY and — for far too long — the crème de la crème, the Ice Cream Parlor.
  • What’s with the name? Sunny Daes does not scream “ice cream”; in fact, it looks vaguely Middle Eastern.  It’s one thing if you’ve got the name recognition of Tom Carvel, but Sunny Daes does not.  They must not only introduce themselves to Westport; they have to explain what they are.

None of those problems are insurmountable.  Sunny Daes may well thrive.  It might lead to a West Bank (of the Saugatuck) renaissance.  Certainly, any new business in Westport is welcome.

Even one selling ice cream in the dead of winter.