Tag Archives: Compo Beach

Pic Of The Day #2042

Compo in November (Photo/Pam Kesselman)

Roundup: Leaf Blowers, Jim Wheeler, Trick Or Treat! …

Leaf blower legislation alert!

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 1, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall), the Representative Town Meeting holds a first reading. of the newly revised leaf blower regulation.

Click here to read the full proposal. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)


Jim Kemish — son of former 1st Selectman John Kemish — now lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

The other day his neighbor Adam, and Adam’s daughter, knocked on Jim’s door. She was selling coupon books to fund her class trip to Washington.

Jim asked them in, and Adam admired the art on the walls.

Jim pointed to his favorite print and said proudly, “That was done by one of my high school art teachers.”

He was stunned when Adam replied, “That’s a Jim Wheeler!”

Jim Kemish and Adam Goby had been dog-walking buddies for a couple of years. But they never knew they both went to Staples — in fact, Adam’s father Dave was a highly respected biology teacher there — and that, to top it off, both were Jim Wheeler fans.

Jim and Adam both wondered if Jim is still alive.

I told them: Not only alive, but healthy, active — and still drawing!

Jim Kemish’s Jim Wheeler print.


Tonight, the streets around Compo Beach will be flooded (with trick-or-treaters).

There’s safety in numbers. So hopefully, not even the littlest one will be scared off by this guy on Soundview Drive.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)


Also tonight: kids begging for candy on Lone Pine Lane will have to navigate past these eerie inflatable eyeballs.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)


Meanwhile, as Halloween fades into the rear view mirror — except, of course, for your kids’ 3 tons of candy — it’s time to think about our 2nd “06880” Holiday Stroll.

Mark your calendar for Friday, December 2 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.). It’s right after the tree lighting — just walk down the Town Hall hill to Main Street.

This year, we’re partnering with the Westport Downtown Association. Details will be announced soon — but right now we’re looking for a Santa Claus and a face painter.

If you can help in either role, please email 06880blog@gmail.com. Thanks in advance!

Staples Orphenians’ will once again sing at the Holiday Stroll.


The weather is turning colder. But last week was delightful — perfect beach weather. And there’s no better place to catch some rays — and catch up on reading than Compo.

(Photo/Howard Silver)


Claudia Sherwood Servidio took her first hike yesterday at Haskins Preserve. Like everyone who discovers the hidden gem on Green Acre Lane, off Compo Road South, she was awed.

For a bit of what you’ll see, at this Aspetuck Land Trust property, check out this “Westport … Naturally” image:

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … ain’t no haint gonna run me off!

(Want to treat “06880” to a contribution? Just click here! And thank you, of course.)

Friday Flashback #316

The other day, Eve Potts called.

The longtime Westporter and noted historian had some home movies, from the 1930s. They were taken by the Kelly family at Compo Beach, and had been converted to DVD. Was I interested?

The 17-minute show was intriguing — though like any home movie of any time, it would be of far more interest if I actually knew who was in it. (It would have been better with a tripod too, and not shot directly into the sun. But hey …)

Compo Beach and Soundview look very familiar. Except for fewer rocks, it’s the same scenery as today.

Except for this screenshot.

It shows Schlaet’s Point at the northern end of the beach, where Soundview meets Hillspoint/South Compo.

But what do you notice that’s different, nearly 100 years ago? (I’m not talking about bathing suit styles.)

If you know, click “Comments” below.


Roundup: Paving, Compo Beach, Owenoke …

Westport’s fall paving program has begun. It will continue through mid-October, weather permitting.

These roads are scheduled to be paved (though not in this order):

  • Hunt Club Lane
  • Tiffany Lane
  • Imperial Avenue
  • Broad Street
  • Jesup Road
  • Main Street
  • Taylor Place
  • Northfield Drive
  • Bay Street
  • Brooklawn Drive
  • Marion Road
  • Meadow View Drive
  • Hillyfield Lane
  • Cypress Pond Road
  • Oakwood Lane
  • Barbara Place
  • Charcoal Lane
  • Bowling Lane
  • Charcoal Hill Common
  • Avery Place
  • Old Road
  • Broad Street

Questions? Contact the Public Works Department: 203-341-1120.


What do Connecticut’s Compo Beach, Massachusetts’ Race Point, Rhode Island’s East Matunuck, New York’s Cooper Beach, North Carolina’s Nags Head and South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach have in common?

According to Travel + Leisure, they’re the best beaches in those states. We share that honor with Old Saybrook’s Harvey’s Beach.

The writeup says:

Westport has several beaches ideal for exploration, but one that stands out is Compo. The 29-acre park includes a large sandy beach that looks out onto the Long Island Sound, as well as a wheelchair-friendly boardwalk and pavilion areas, where visitors will also find the concession stand. For those looking to break a sweat and have a little fun, the beach also has two sand volleyball courts.

Fans of other state beaches — from Ocean Point in New London to Hammonassett in Madison, even Sherwood Island a few mini-waves away from Compo — might argue.

But countless leisure travelers now know: We’ve got one of the two best beaches in Connecticut.

And one of its greatest features is its concession stand! (Hat tip: Lisa Gold)

Come to Compo for the volleyball courts. Stay for the concession stand! (Photo/Matt Murray)


Speaking of Compo Beach: On Saturday night, Mark Laclair saw a strange blue light flying over homes near there:

(Photo/Mark Laclair)

It was there for over a minute. At first he thought it was a helicopter with a search light. As it got closer, it seemed to trail smoke — and there were no helicopter sounds.

Eventually, he says, the light and smoke just stopped.

His wife says there was chatter about it on social media, with speculation that it was SpaceX.

If any “06880” readers know for sure, click “Comments” below.


Speaking still of that neighborhood: What do you do when you buy a home on Owenoke Park — just off the Compo Beach Road bend, with a view of Ned Dimes Marina — for $3.3 million?

Part of this house dates to 1910. It was so large, it did not all fit in one frame. (Photo/Dan Woog)

You tear it down!

2 Owenoke Park, yesterday. (Photo/Matt Murray)

A newer, bigger house will rise in its place.

With a pool.


Relly Coleman contributes today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo of black swallowtail caterpillars sharing a bite, and this back story:

“Over 20 caterpillars have made my parsley their nursery, devouring every leaf.  They have now started their ‘walk-about’ journey to find a good place for their next stage: chrysalis. The porch shelves seem to be a favorite choice.”

(Photo/Relly Coleman)


Pharoah Sanders died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 81.

The New York Times called him “a saxophonist and composer celebrated for music that was at once spiritual and visceral, purposeful and ecstatic.

His music was “a force of nature: burly, throbbing and encompassing, steeped in deep blues and drawing on extended techniques to create shrieking harmonics and imposing multiphonics. He could sound fierce or anguished; he could also sound kindly and welcoming.”

He played with John Coltrane, then recorded dozens of more albums, and toured for decades. Click here for a full obituary.

(“06880” is funded entirely by readers. Please click here to help.)


Pics Of The Day #1981

Tonight’s brief but intense storm produced these scenes:

Storm clouds move over Compo Beach … (Photo/Brian Sikorski)

… and Soundview Drive … (Photo/Maureen Aron)

… and rain falls outside the Gorham Island office building … (Photo/Jill McGroarty)

… and then a rainbow at Compo … (Photo/Maureen Aron)

… and over the cannons … (Photo/Lana Diggin)

… and Sherwood Mill Pond, where the power is out … (Photo/Matt Murray)

… and this double rainbow over Compo Cove … (Photo/Tammy Barry)

… and over Saugatuck Shores … (Photo/Rindy Higgins)

… and on Long Lots Road, near the Hunt Club … (Photo/Ellen Patafio)

… and downtown, over the Saugatuck River … (Photo/Danny White)

… while nearby, this tree is down on Thomas Road (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Pic Of The Day #1975

A different kind of harvest moon photo: Skip Weverbergh, Mimi Greenlee, Roe Colletti snd Mary Ann Weverbergh all focus on it. (Photo/Jacqui O’Brien)

Pics Of The Day #1966

The end of summer at Old Mill … (Photo copyright/Ted Horowitz)

… and Compo … (Photo/Karen Como)

… and nearby, an even emptier sight. (Photo/MaryLou Roels)

Roundup: Serena Williams, Beach Scenes, EMS …

Many Westporters loved Serena Williams big US Open win last night over Anett Kontaveit, the world’s 2nd-ranked player.

There were a couple of local connections — and we don’t mean any fans lucky enough to be in the stands.

Westport-based Birdseye Sports is a large independent production company. Specializing in game-day broadcasting and video productions, they provide camera crews to major networks. ESPN, for example, subcontracts them for the US Open.

Ryan Smith — a 1997 Staples High School graduate, and director of the Bedford Middle School Acting Group — has worked the Open for Birdseye for the past 4 years.

He’s seen a lot. But last night was special. He was behind the camera for Williams’ match.

Ryan Smith, at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I still kick myself from time to time, for how lucky I am,” he says.

He did not get home until 2:30 this morning. But he got up early, to head back to Queens. He’ll be behind the camera tonight — again covering Williams. She and her sister play doubles, in what their fans hope will not be their final match together. (Hat tip: Kerry Long)

Ryan Smith and Serena Williams at work.


Well, that was quick.

Summer, I mean.

School is back in session. And this was the scene yesterday — a beautiful, still-August morning — at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Karen Como)


Speaking of the beach: “06880” has run stories recently about beach days of old. Rocks instead of sand at Compo; sand instead of rocks at Longshore; demolished bathhouses, no houses along the shore — different days, for sure.

Suzanne Sherman Propp owns an interesting piece of art. It combines several elements of old beach-y Westport — some real, some imagined — in a fanciful way:

Created by Suzanne Urban, in part from a 1906 postcard, it shows bathers at Old Mill Beach; nearby homes (that probably were not there then), and — in the background — the old Longshore lighthouse.

Urban is a 1971 Staples High School graduate. After studying art at Marymount College, she worked as an illustrator.

For steady income she became a secretary at Greens Farms Elementary School, from the early 2000s to 2014. Former Stapleites Propp and Carey Leonard also worked there.

Urban moved with her husband to Windsor. They live in one of the oldest houses (1664), in what residents claim is Connecticut’s oldest town settlement (1633).

Urban has found a niche selling “contemporary folk art” — including holiday-themed work — online.

Her Halloween witches, ghosts and pumpkin-heads and cute. But only a true Wesetporter — like me, Suzanne Sherman Propp, and any “06880” reader — can appreciate the Old Mill Beach of Suzanne Urban’s imagination.


It’s not too late to sign up for Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician training.

There’s an orientation tonight. Classes begin next Tuesday (September 6).  Most are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with some Saturdays as well.

The course covers information needed for state certification tests, a prerequisite for joining WVEMS. Click here for more information.

Meanwhile, mark your calendar for September 9 (7 p.m.). DNR — the grimly named, highly entertaining and very professional rock band made up mostly of doctors — plays a free show at the Levitt Pavilion, in honor of Westport Volunteer EMS.

WVEMS personnel will be there, answering questions about donations or joining the ranks.

Standing by, at a Levitt Pavilion concert (though not one headlined by DNR).


Speaking of the Levitt: Though summer is over (at least, for those with kids in school), outdoor entertainment is not.

In addition to the Orebolo show September 7, featuring Rich Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach and Jeff Arevalo — members of the popular Connecticut rock group Goose — The Levitt just added a special free-ticket show at 1:30 p.m. September 17.

It stars ElephantProof. The band includes Ben Atkind — a founding member of Goose.

ElephantProof is “a euphonic snapshot of the unique sonic energy born at the house parties your best friends still talk about to this day. Refined by disciplined training and years of performance experience, Ben Atkind (drums), Sean Cronin (guitar), Chris Enright (keys) and Shon Gordon (bass) are reconnected, traipsing along the rigid confines of genre using erudite tonal expression.”

I’m not sure what that means, but I’m sure it will be a cool show! Click here for more details, and tickets.

Another piece of Pavilion news: Karina Rykman, whose band plays tomorrow (Friday, September 2), has another gig after the Levitt. She’ll fill in on bass during next week’s Late Night with Seth Meyers Show.

PS: The Levitt has added a “child 12-and-under free ticket” to the BYO-lawn chair section of the Robert Cray show on September 10 (8 p.m.). Click here for details and tickets.



Tonight’s (Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m.) MoCA “Cocktails & Conversations” event features the curators of the current “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse exhibition.”

Attendees will peek behind the scenes, learning more about the works and the artists. Cocktails and drinks are available for purchase.

“Cocktails & Conversations” is free, but advance registration is requested (click here). The exhibition runs through October 2.

Curators of the MoCA exhibit, and speakers at tonight’s event (from left): Maria Gabriela Di Giammarco, Melanie Prapopoulos (founder and director of the CAMP Gallery), Mario Andres Rodriguez), in front of a work by Shelly McCoy. (Photos/Leslie LaSala)


Earthplace’s fall activities for children and teenagers start soon

They include:

  • “Nature Investigators” (Wednesday afternoons, grades K-2)
  • “Animal Investigators” (Tuesday afternoons, grades 3-5)
  • “Teen Volunteer Club” (Tuesday afternoons, grades 6-12 — animal care skills with hands-on training).

Click here, then click “Programs” for more information.


Cars with decorations like this can be seen all over town:

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

It’s a long-standing Staples High School tradition: Senior girls (and only the girls) boast about their 12th-grade status on the opening day of school.

And you’ll be seeing these for quite a while. Another part of the tradition is to leave the writing on for a long, long time.


Sure, there’s a drought. But there are still lots of gorgeous colors out there. Lauri Weiser captured this, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


And finally … yes, it’s that time of year again.

The summer has flown by. Now it’s time to fulfill that promise:


(“06880” sees you in September … and every other month. Please click here to support the blog that’s here for you 24/7/365.)

Friday Flashback #311

“06880” has published some quite interesting back-in-the-day Compo Beach photos.

But this one is truly remarkable.

Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Posted first to social media by Paul Ehrismann, this 1912 photo shows:

  • One set of bathhouses, before more were added. (They were torn down in the 1960s).
  • The 2-story pavilion behind it. As noted last month, there was dining on the top floor. When the structure was damaged in a storm, the roof was salvaged. It now covers the open-air pavilion between the playground and volleyball courts.
  • A long ramp leading down to the water. It was needed, because …
  • … the beach itself was filled with rocks and grass. Rocks remained through the 1950s.
  • The seawall along Soundview Drive was much higher than today. More than a century of storms has added several feet to the beach.
  • As for Soundview itself, this scene predates the construction of most beach houses. They were built — sometime after 1912 — as summer cottages. Winterization came later. Still, for many years, they were modest homes. Today — well, you check on Zillow.

(Compo Beach has changed. “06880” has not. We’ve always been reader-supported. Please click here to help.)

Pic Of The Day #1955

Touching the late summer sky (Photo/Jennifer Johnson)