Tag Archives: Cindy Shumate

Roundup: Cops & Firefighters, Lacrosse, Dogs …

It was a tense game, with plenty of close calls.

But in the end last night, the Westport Police Department defeated the Westport Fire Department, 19-14, in a benefit softball game at Compo Beach.

All proceeds go to the Tommy Fund, supporting patients and their families undergoing pediatric cancer treatment.

The opposing teams smiled, and celebrated together.

The next game is Saturday, July 8, also at Compo.

Friendly foes, before the game. (Photo and hat tip/Andrew Colabella)


And after another close game yesterday: Congratulations to the Staples High School boys lacrosse team!

They defeated archrival Darien — as they’ve made a habit of doing recently — yesterday 9-8, in the state “L” (large schools) tournament.

The victory by the #2 Wreckers over the #3 seed Blue Wave vaults Staples into the state championship game. It’s set for tomorrow, 3 p.m. at Sacred Heart University.

That’s a fitting spot for coach Will Koshansky’s team. They’re the defending state champs, after winning their first-ever title last spring.

Their foe on Sunday is Fairfield Prep. The Jesuits are the top seed.

Go Wreckers!

The 2023 Staples boys lacrosse team.


Prospect Gardens – the magnificent Greens Farms property — is open to the public tomorrow (Sunday, June 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; GPS either 13 or 25 Prospect Road).

It was first settled in 1813. Noted landscape designer Cindy Shumate first saw the property in 1997; at the time, an 1874 farmhouse sat on an acre of suburban yard.

It has been expanded over time by John and Melissa Ceriale to 9 magnificent acres. Prospect Gardens now includes a Mediterranean garden, 2 orchards, an amphitheater, terraced vegetable garden, woodland walk and wildflower meadow. Winding paths lead from one area to the next.

Mark Demmerle will play classical guitar in the newly finished stone/grass amphitheater. It’s the first performance by anyone in the venue. For more information, click here.

A small portion of 9-acre Prospect Gardens.


June is dog license month. And all dogs over 6 months old must be licensed.

It’s $8 for neutered male or spayed females. $19 for male or female. There is a $1 penalty per month for renewal licenses issued after June 30. A $75 infraction will be issued for any non-licensed dog, and for any dog not wearing a tag.

Click here, then scroll down for online registration. To register by mail, click here. For all dog license information, click here.

Yeah, you’re cute. But you still need a license. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Speaking of Staples: The World Languages Department has awarded 215 “Seals of Biliteracy” to graduating seniors. The Seal “affirms the value of diversity and honors the cultures and languages in our community,” school officials say.

More than half of the seals — 126 — were for Spanish. Other languages represented were French (29), Italian (26), Mandarin (12), German (7), Latin (6), Hindi (2), and Czech, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Japanese, Marathi, Polish and Thai (1 each).

¡Felicidades! Alles gute! 恭喜你!


Blue skies are back. The orange haze and acrid smoke are gone.

But Charlie Scott is making sure we don’t forget.

The Staples High School junior — a talented photographer, videographer, runner and WWPT-FM sports announcer — has created a visual montage of the past few days.

And he’s picked an apt metaphor: “Blade Runner 2949.”

Click below for Charlie’s 53-second video. Let’s hope he does not have to make another.


Kathie Motes Bennewitz and Robin Jaffee Frank are Westporters.

But the women — executive director of the Hopper House Museum & Study Center/Westport town arts curator and senior associate curator of American paintings and sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery, respectively — cross the Hudson River next Thursday.

Frank will discuss “Social Distancing: Edward Hopper’s Paintings of Women Dining in Public” at the center in Nyack (June 15, 6 p.m.). She examines the artist’s “sexually and psychologically charged urban dining scenes, interpreted in the context of his life and art, and the larger history of women in American society.”

Click here for tickets, and more information.

“Automat” (Edward Hopper, 1927)


For the 4th year in a row, Church Lane is closed to vehicular traffic through the summer. It’s pedestrian-only, with outdoor dining and music.

Signs and barriers at Elm Street are pretty clear. But yesterday, one driver did not get the message:

(Photo/Molly Alger)


Former Westporter Frances Hyman died Thursday in Lynchburg, Virginia. She was 90.

The Roosevelt High School (Bronx) graduate met her future husband Leon through a mutual family acquaintance. They both loved classical ballet, and married in 1956.

They lived in Greenwich Village, Stamford and Sacramento, where Frances was a devoted member of Hadassah.

They returned to the East Coast in 1974 and lived in Westport for 45 years, until Leon died in 2019.

Frances led an active life here, volunteering for many causes including Save The Children , Dress For Success and the Stamford Arboretum. She loved Longshore, was an avid bridge player and gardener, and with her husband was a lifelong supporter of the New York City Ballet.

One of her proudest moments was participating in the 1987 “Freedom Sunday for Soviet Jews” rally in Washington.

Frances was also predeceased by her sisters Eleanor Feffer and Barbara Skydel. She is survived by her sons William (Sarah) of Manhattan, and Scott (Phoebe) of Lynchburg, and grandchildren Alexandra and Chloe Hyman of Manhattan, Samuel Hyman of Athens, Ohio, and Jonathan Hyman of Denver.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday, June 11) at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, New York. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. To send online condolences, click here.

Frances Hyman


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo features man’s best friend — with a new friend, in the Coleytown woods.

(Photo/Julie Blume)


And finally … speaking of biliteracy (see story above):

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in Greens Farms, A Meadow Grows

For decades, Westporters have watched meadows disappear. New homes replace open space. Natural grass gives way to well-manicured, well-meaning — yet artificial-looking — lawns.

It’s hard to imagine a new meadow being created anywhere. But it’s happening on Prospect Road.

John and Melissa Ceriale are already Westport heroes for the beauty they’ve brought to Greens Farms. Gardens, trees, bushes and walking paths fill their 8-acre property.

Looking northeast, on the Ceriales’ property.

The couple — noted philanthropists and volunteers — have a vision. Noted landscape designer Cindy Shumate brings it to life.

And they’re in it for the long haul. “In 40 years, the trees we’re planting now will be magnificent,” Cindy says.

Right now, it’s the meadow that’s drawing raves.

Early this spring, Cindy planted 4,600 3-inch perennial plugs on an acre of land, at the far end of #25 Prospect. They’ll grow in slashes, she says, self-sowing in the lawn grass to create a “wild meadow.”

Already, that lawn grass is 18 to 20 inches high. It moves in the wind. “So beautiful and natural,” Cindy says. “It’s what anyone’s lawn would look like if they stopped mowing.”

The Prospect Road meadow.

She likens her role to a painter. Instead of a brush, her medium is plants.

Neighbors notice.

“People out on their COVID walks pass by,” Cindy says. “They’re curious. I wave, and they come over to the stone wall to talk.”

One man stared as he drove by. Then he backed up to chat, and learn more.

“Everyone is amazed that someone would purchase a piece of land and not put a home on it,” Cindy says. “But John and Melissa have a larger perspective. As they add land, they’re putting this parcel together so that it really works with nature.”

A parcel of land with gardens, walking paths, and now a meadow. What is Westport coming to?

(Hat tip: Samuel Wang)

Pyramid grasses on Prospect Road.