Tag Archives: Ellen Naftalin

Roundup: Sidewalk Clearing, Ellen Naftalin, Carl Addison Swanson …

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Molly Alger writes:

“About 5 hours after the snow had stopped falling yesterday, it was very treacherous being a pedestrian on Post Road.

“I stopped in a couple of businesses and asked why their sidewalks had not been cleared. No excuses were forthcoming other than, ‘Someone is supposed to do it.’ This is extremely disappointing — not to mention hazardous.”

Molly sent along a series of photos of un-shoveled sidewalks. Here is one:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

A reminder: According to WestportCT.gov, “Per town ordinance, businesses are responsible for keeping all sidewalks along their property clear of snow and ice.”

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It’s been many months in the making. But Ellen Naftalin’s “Art of the Album” exhibit is open, at the Westport Library’s Jesup Gallery. Put a mask on, and go!

On display is album cover art from remarkable women artists from the 1920s through ’60s. From the Depression and World War II to the civil rights and women’s movements, they broke the glass ceiling and the color barrier.

Naftalin and her husband Mark — a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — dug through their personal, vast collection of LPs. Now they share them with the rest of us.

Every album cover — plus and the sign with Sister Rosetta Tharpe (“The Godmother of Rock and Roll”) has a QR code. Visitors can admire the art — and listen to each artist.

Naftalin’s exhibit is the second in a series. Another is planned for spring.

Part of Ellen Naftalin’s “Art of the Album” exhibit.

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Speaking of the Library: “Cart-side service” is now available weekdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Westport Library. Books, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and children’s toys and kits are available for pickup.

Anyone with a Westport or CT Library card registered with the Westport Library can use the service. However, requests can take up to 4 days to be fulfilled

Click here or call 203-291-4807 to request items (up to 10 per library card). You will receive an email or phone call when the items are ready. Call the number above when you plan to come; items will be placed on the cart in the library (just inside the main upper entrance) for pickup.

This replaces the previous “curbside” service. Click here for more information.

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There’s never a dull moment with Carl Addison Swanson. The Staples High School graduate has written 51 (!) novels, including the highly acclaimed Hush McCormick series, Tug Christian thrillers, Scooter mysteries, Ian Fletcher legal series, Justin Carmichael nostalgic memoirs, and more. Five works have been optioned to the film industry.

Carl’s latest is “Never a Dull Moment: Spring of 1966.”

Amazon’s teaser says: “One’s last two 2 semesters of high school can be rough, but even worse when there is never a dull moment.”

Click here to order.

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Westport’s feathered creatures know how to fend for themselves in foul weather. Of course, a bit of help from humans never hurts. Wendy Crowther snapped today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo right after yesterday’s snow.

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)

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And finally … Inez Foxx’s “Mockingbird” is one of the album covers in Ellen Naftalin’s Westport Library exhibit (above). Here’s the song behind the artwork:

Friday Flashback #249

It’s one of Westport’s lost, mostly forgotten mysteries: Pearl Bailey’s early-1950s recording of “I Caught Her in the Kitchen Playing Westport.”

It was even the subject of a previous Friday Flashback. But all I had were the lyrics. Even YouTube — where you can find anything — came up blank.

Today — thanks to the magic of Ellen and Mark Naftalin, and Miggs Burroughs — all of “06880” (and the world) can hear the sultry tune.

Ellen and Mark — longtime Westporters and musicians; she’s also a historian, he’s a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — found the song.

In an album in their very own collection. It’s called — appropriately — “More Songs for Adults Only.”

Miggs turned the vinyl into an Mp3.

Click below to listen.

And if you want to sing along with Pearl, the lyrics are below.

There’s a little ranch house in the vale,
Pretty little ranch house up for sale;
All the shutters drawn,
Tenants all gone
And thereby hangs a long, unhappy tale.

‘Cause he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport,
A game indigenous to suburban life,
Where you take a wife of whom you’re not the husband,
While someone else’s husband takes your wife.

Some people may claim that the name of the game is Scarsdale,
Or Beverly Hills, or even Shaker Heights,
But commuters from Manhattan call it Westport.
And it’s the game that some of our local leading lights play
To while away those cold Connecticut nights.

Now in that little ranch house used to dwell
An advertising feller and his Nell.
Two kids and a pup, living it up,
And everything was sounder than a bell —
‘Til he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport
Between the washing machine and thermostat.

The husband thought it really was an outrage.
Said he, “You might at least remove your hat!”
Well, they may play it that way in Great Neck,
While in Levittown they’d never think it odd.
But there is not an architect in Westport
Who’ll ever forgive the cad that said, “My God! Sir.
I must have got the wrong cape cod!”

Since they are no longer groom and bride,
Quoting from the Sunday classified:
“Are there any takers
For three lovely acres
Of peaceful old New England countryside?”
‘Cause he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport
Which would ordinarily be a cause for gloom;
But though the sanctity of wedlock’s on the downgrade,
Currently housing is enjoying quite a boom!

And while they defame the name of the game in Boston,
Where naturally they think it’s a dirty shame,
In the green and fertile pastures of suburbia
The local dealers in real estate acclaim
It the best thing since the FHA, hey,

Westport is a grand old …
‘Midst pleasures and palaces …
Westport is a grand old game.