Tag Archives: Edyo Keehan

“06880” Is 1

A year ago tomorrow — March 6, 2009 — “06880” was born.

The first post described what this blog would be:  open-ended conversations with a Westport angle, no matter how tenuous.  I invited comments, feedback, tips — anything.

No one responded.

Things picked up soon — my 2nd post, on a Staples PTA’s “Risky Behaviors” panel — drew 3 comments.  “06880” was off to the races.

Time flies when you’re having fun.  Exactly 1 year later, my blog and I celebrate our 1st anniversary.

Thinking of a gift?  That’s sweet.  Ironically, the traditionally 1st-year gift is paper.

But I’d prefer money.

Feel free to donate as much as you wish to "06880."

For the past year, “06880” has offered up approximately 650 posts — nearly 2 a day.  Some have been international in scope — the ones on porn star Marilyn Chambers, “Paranormal Activity” star Micah Sloat and supermodel twins and “Amazing Race” stars Derek and Drew Riker still draw viewers, months later — while others are intensely local:  drivers who leave the Robeks parking lot by going directly over the curb onto the Post Road.  Arby’s taking advantage when Westport eased up on its sign regulations.  Edyo Keehan‘s tireless work on behalf of Westport’s World War II veterans.

And it’s all been free.  A public service, if you will.

In honor of my anniversary, I’m making an NPR-style plea.  If you like what you hear read, please consider supporting “06880.”

Am I worth $1 a month?  $1 a week?  Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.

Unlike Channel 13, you won’t get a Peter, Paul and Mary DVD.  Or a tote bag.  Donations are not even tax-deductible.

What you will get is the chance to help me recover a bit of the cost of registering domains, keeping “06880” ad-free, and spending an hour or 2 each day interviewing, writing, responding to comments, and scouring the web for appropriate (and occasionally inappropriate) photos and graphics.

Thanks for a great year.  I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

But it would be nice.

(Checks may be made out and sent to:  Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.  Put “06880” on the memo line.  It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me some money.)

Edyo’s Monument

Last night “60 Minutes” aired a harrowing piece on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mistreatment of millions of vets, from Vietnam through today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The department should have hired Edyo Keehan.  He knew how to get things done.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the Westport native dropped out of Staples.  He enlisted in the Navy.  There was a war to fight.  He was 17 years old.

He fought in North Africa, Europe and the Pacific.  When the Japanese surrendered at Tokyo Bay, Edyo was there.

He came back to Westport, and worked as a truck manager for 18 years.  He retired, then began a 2nd career in real estate.

But his real job was making sure that Westport’s veterans were not forgotten.  Those from earlier battles — World War I — had their names on a handsome Honor Roll that stood outside the old Town Hall (the stone building next to Restoration Hardware set back from the Post Road; it’s now a bank).  In 1943, Westport artist Stevan Dohanos painted the memorial for a Saturday Evening Post cover.

Four decades later, when Town Hall moved to Myrtle Avenue, the monument was lost.  Edyo vowed to replace it.

It wasn’t easy.  Bureaucracy moves slowly, and veterans were not high on Westport’s list of priorities.

Edyo persisted.  He pushed, prodded, poked and pestered.  A new Honor Roll was created.  In 1998, it was dedicated on Veterans Green — opposite the Myrtle  Avenue Town Hall.

The monument is perfect.  It’s in exactly the right spot, at exactly the right angle.  It looks like it’s been there forever.

The Honor Roll is shaded by trees.  Behind them every Memorial Day, a bugler stands out of sight, playing “Taps.”

The names are etched proudly.  They are there for posterity.  They honor Westporters who defended their country.  They honor Edyo’s neighbors, and friends.

(Edward J. “Edyo” Keehan died Saturday at Norwalk Hospital.  He was 84.  There are no calling hours.  A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Thursday at 10 a.m., at Assumption Church.)

The Honor Roll at Veterans Green (Photo by Jerry Dougherty)