“Imagine driving through Westport and seeing thousands of daffodils around mailboxes, on the roadside, in front of stores,” she said. “It would be so pretty. And they can be in honor of loved ones, so they’re even more meaningful.”
She got commercial landlord David Waldman on board. Laurelrock and Northeast Horticulture, which maintain several traffic islands, joined in. So did the Westport Garden Club, town officials, businesses, and plenty of random Westporters.
A collage of daffodils.
As she drove around last spring — when the town was laid low by the coronavirus — Debra was heartened to see thousands of new daffodils.
The residents on Soundview Drive had planted hundreds of beautiful flowers along the beach exit road. Project Return planted them in front of their North Compo shelter. They sprouted in front of The Learning Community School on Hillspoint Road, at the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, and at dozens of other spots, both public and private.
The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown.
Now, Debra announced the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Yellow” campaign. This year’s theme: Every daffodil represents a stand against bullying.
“Bullying destroys lives,” Debra says. “It chips away at someone’s self-esteem. As you plant flowers with your children, teach them empathy, not excess.
“Our country is in turmoil. Let Westport, show the world that we practice kindness, compassion and empathy. We can do this!”
Debra asks residents, committees, businesses and the town of Westport to plant daffodils “in front of your home, around the mailbox post, by street signs, at your store or office — everywhere!”
She would love to see schools get involved. (Parents can donate daffodils, she suggests).
Sherwood Island Connector, at the Post Road. (Photos courtesy of Debra Kandrak)
Last spring, when we desperately needed to be uplifted, daffodils did the trick. No one knows what this spring will bring.
“A long long time ago, as children would say (but really only last fall), we planted 1,000 daffodil bulbs in the beds along Hillspoint Road, and our entrance in back.
“Our volunteers — along with hundreds of other people Westporters — decided to ‘paint the town yellow’ in memory of people we love, and to brighten our passings all over town.
“Now, in the most bittersweet of ways, they are blooming en masse. As I come and go, to and from an empty CCDC, I remember the families and children who helped make this beautiful scene possible — and I hope and hope some more.”
The project was conceived by Debra Kandrak. Other daffodil gardens can be seen by the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown, the Sherwood Island Connector, Beachside Avenue, and Project Return.
Daffodils around town.
Rindy Higgins writes: “Calling all Westporters to go outside tonight at 8 p.m. and howl at the pink moon! If the Italians can sing from their balconies to connect during social distancing, we can howl to the moon as a way to reconnect with the human pack.
“Even if it’s cloudy, there’s still the biggest and brightest supermoon of 2020 in the sky. So let’s connect to nature and each other by howling tonight at 8!”
Lisa Power provides this update on the Norwalk Hospital meal train:
The goal is to get daily meals to every unit at Norwalk Hospital (20 people each), delivered by a restaurant. It’s a win-win: feeding hard-working medical personnel, while supporting local businesses.
Many restaurants are even providing discounts for donors. Click here for a list of participating restaurants (scroll down to “General Instructions,” and to donate. Restaurants interested in being listed should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special shout out to Food for the Front Line who have been amazing and feeding all units at Norwalk Hosptial on Mondays. I’m hoping this Meal Train will help fill the gap on those other days.
Earthplace now has its own YouTube channel. Features include animal videos, activities to do at home, and story time. Click here to see.
The coronavirus is taking a toll even on Stew Leonard’s. Departments are shutting early — the butchers now leave at 5 p.m. weekdays — and the entire store will be closed this Easter. That’s a first in the store’s history.
Easter services may be canceled, but one tradition lives on: Jalna Jaeger’s Easter Egg tree!
For the 13th year, the 1971 Staples High School graduate has decorated a large tree on her 3 East Avenue property in Norwalk (just down the hill from Stew Leonard’s) with hundreds of eggs.
Kids (of all ages) enjoy it. “We all need something cheerful these days,” Jalna says. She provides it!
Here’s a novel way to amuse yourself (and others), during the pandemic.
Westporter Steven Kranz is a founder of Strax Networks. The new company just launched “StraxAR.” It’s “augmented reality” — and all you need is a smartphone.
Take a video. Then digitally “stick it” to any item: a logo, a painting, a stop sign…
Take a look at this video:
Strax is offering any “06880” reader the chance to submit a video (45 seconds or less). It could be a special recipe, a do-it-yourself project, even a singing dog. They’ll “stick it” to the target of your choice. Your content will be available worldwide, to anyone who “Straxes” that target.
Send your video to email@example.com. Their crew will turn it into an augmented reality experience. And — completing the circle — “06880” will feature some submissions here. (The Strax app is available through the App Store and Google Play.)
PS: If you’d like, your augmented reality experience can lead to the home page of a charity of your choice.
And finally, this one might be a springtime cliché. But — as Jalna says above — “we all need something cheerful these days.” We can always count on the Beatles for that.
This is peak fall foliage time. The wonder of nature is on display all over town. It’s an amazing, spectacular, all-too-brief moment that makes us realize, yeah, Westport really is someplace special.
So why is Debra Kandrak thinking of daffodils?
The yellow bulbs are an early sign of spring. But they’re planted in autumn. Debra wants Westporters to plant thousands of them soon.
A while back, she started a memory garden on her property, in honor of loved ones lost.
She has hundreds of daffodils, and adds more each year. Just when winter seems to drag drearily on,up they pop. (And even if it snows again, they survive. They’re a lot tougher than they look!)
Debra would like to see daffodils everywhere — not just on her property, Willowbrook Cemetery and random other spots.
“Daffodil Mile” at Willowbrook Cemetery.
She’s started a campaign: “Paint the Town Yellow.” If residents, business owners and town officials participate, she says, “it would be a beautiful thing.”
Both literally and figuratively.
“Imagine driving through Westport and seeing thousands of daffodils around mailboxes, on the roadside, in front of stores,” she says. “It would be so pretty. And they can be in honor of loved ones, so they’re even more meaningful.”
She reached out to landlords David Waldman and Roger Leifer. They’re on board. So are Laurelrock and Northeast Horticulture, which maintain several traffic islands.
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