Tag Archives: Doug Davidoff

Roundup: 9/11, Daffodils, Rach’s Hope …

Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States.

In the days and weeks afterward, many Westporters offered help, in many ways. Among them: Westport Police officers Richard Failla, Phil Reisteri and Manny Sylvia.

Today, we remember their service, all those who lost their lives that day, and all those who continue to suffer, more than 2 decades later.

From left: Richard Failla, Phil Restieri and Manny Sylvia.

Manny Sylvia and Phil Restieri. (Photos courtesy of Andrew Colabella)


Debra Kandrak’s one-woman crusade to paint the town yellow has paid off handsomely.

Every autumn for 4 years, she has encouraged Westporters to plant daffodils.

Her message to friends, strangers, town organizations, committees and businesses is simple: “Paint the Town Yellow.”

Every spring, her work brightens our town. Tens of thousands of daffodils bloom, all over Westport.

Daffodils on the Sherwood Island Connector …

Well, it’s fall again.

Debra says: “All of this is possible because all of you made it happen. This little idea of mine has brought the community together in such a positive way. When you hear all the negative news, it’s so nice to see that if you have an idea and put it out to social media, you can make things happen. Getting others involved creates a real sense of  community. We can all use a little positivity.

“Get your family, friends and neighbors involved. Have a ‘Paint the Town Yellow’ party! Get your children involved too. In the spring, show them the beautiful daffodils that they planted.

“Plant more daffodils! You can never have too many daffodils!”

PS: They are very hardy. And deer resistant!

Questions? Email Debra.Kandrak@Raveis.com.

… and Prospect Road.


Rach’s Hope — the non-profit honoring the memory of 2015 Staples High School graduate Rachel Doran, which provides nutritious food, lodging, transportation and encouragement to family members when a child is in intensive care — is as active as Rachel herself was.

On Sunday, October 22 (3 p.m., Compo Beach), everyone is invited to join the 3rd annual “Walk the Extra Mile … For Rach’s Hope” event.

It’s a fun, community-wide beach walk, with live music, a gourmet pizza truck, wine and beer from Greens Farms Spirit Shop, and special Rach’s Hope swag.

Click here to buy adult and student tickets.


Staples High School Class of 1975 graduate Doug Davidoff lived in Indianapolis from 1983 to 2006. He was a reporter for the Indianapolis News, a public relations consultant, and communications director for the Indiana Housing Finance Authority and the Indiana Democratic Party. He now lives in Bridgeport, where he is a public relations and editorial consultant.

Yesterday, his op-ed piece was printed in the Indianapolis Star. It’s a remembrance  of his work for Governor Frank L. O’Bannon, who died in office 20 years ago, age 73.

Davidoff was communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party in 2000. O’Bannon’s re-election that year marked the last time a Democrat governed the Hoosier State.

Davidoff’s piece explains why he thinks Americans need more people like Frank O’Bannon in office today. Click here to read. 

Doug Davidoff


Many “Westport … Naturally” photos are beautiful. Some are just pretty, or nice.

Occasionally, they show a side of nature that is stunning, though we’d prefer not to see it up close.

While walking his dog near Greens Farms Elementary School, Bob Weingarten spotted this enormous wasp nest.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

It’s a good thing most kids don’t walk to school these days.


And finally … as we honor today the nearly 3,000 people murdered on September 11, 2001, those of us who were alive recall the awful days and weeks that followed.

Music helped soothe our sorrow. These 2 songs will always remind me of that terrible time, and the many friends and strangers we lost.

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Music Rings Out At Jack Adams’ Memorial Service

Every Chrismas Eve for years, the Unitarian Church resounded with the sound of Jack Adams’ trumpet. Many of his students joined him, in memorable performances.

Music church rang out again yesterday, as family, friends and many fans gathered to pay tribute to the life of one of Westport’s most popular band leaders and teachers.

Jack Adams

Jack Adams

When Doug Davidoff realized that the exceptional acoustics of the Victor Lundy-designed church offered their own perfect tribute to the musician who died last month, he pulled out his iPhone and began recording.

The selections — played by a brass ensemble of 6 former students — provide a legacy as powerful as any of the heartfelt words spoken at the service.

Trumpeters Jon Owens, John Kirk  Dulaney, Andrew Willmott and Jon Blackburn, plus Dave Smith (French horn) and Jim Marbury (brass trombone), performed “Jesu Joy,” “Sheep May Safely Graze” and other brass favorites.

Speakers included former students who — inspired by Adams — went on to become music educators. Davidoff recorded the memorial statement offered by his mother, Denise Taft Davidoff. “It may have been been a ‘cornball’ thing to do, as Mr. Adams might say,” Davidoff conceded.

But it’s included in this tremendous tribute that Davidoff generously shares with “06880” readers — and Jack Adams’ countless fans, everywhere. Click below to hear it: