Tag Archives: Ernest Hemingway

Roundup: Long Lots Preserve, Hemp, Traffic …

The Long Lots Preserve is one step closer to reality.

But the ecologically important, sustainably sound and very natural project around the perimeter of the Westport Community Garden needs our help.

Under the direction of Lou Weinberg — and with the help of many volunteers and businesses — neglected public open space, overrun with invasive plants and pests, is being turned into a native New England environmental oasis.

The project includes the removal of non-native plants. Then comes dense planting with native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses. They attract and sustain hundreds of year-round and migrating organisms. including the endangered monarch butterfly and native mason bees.

If the Long Lots Preserve gets $7,500 from at least 70 people, Sustainable Connecticut will match it with $7,500 more.

All money raised will purchase plants at wholesale cost. All deductions are tax-deductible.

Click here to donate online, and for more information. Checks can be mailed to Long Lots Preserve, 1630 Post Road East, Unit 129, Westport, CT 06880.

PS: Partners include Connecticut Audubon, Aspetuck Land Trust, Earthplace, Bartlett Tree Experts, AJ Penna & Son, Robbie Guimond, SIR Development, Southwest Conservation District, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Service Forestry Program,  Community Gardens members, many private citizens and 2 Staples High School interns.

The Long Lots preserve weed suppression team (from left0: Lou Weinberg, Darryle Kowalsky, Frank Rosen, Julie O’Grady, Andrew Coleman.

=======================================================

New England Hemp Farm has transitioned from its Brooks Corner store, to an online and wholesale business.

But you can still buy its full line of products — for yourself and your pet. They’ve partnered with Earth Animal, on Post Road East.

CEO Matt Bannon says, “Since humans and their pets both have an endocannabinoid system and suffer from similar conditions such as inflammation, anxiety, autoimmune and sleep cycle issues, this is a unique opportunity to keep a local presence.”

It’s a great fit for several reasons. “Earth Animal is committed to a health and wellness philosophy for pets and humans. They’re friendly and welcoming people who allow us to provide all of our products to clients who prefer to shop in-person. And this allows us to support another business right here in town.

 

=======================================================

When classes resume Tuesday, the Westport Police Department will increase traffic enforcement in school zones. Officers will look for drivers on cell phones, speeding and disregarding bus signals.

The department says: “We urge commuters to allow extra time, as they will be sharing the roads with school buses making frequent stops, as well as children who will be walking and/or biking to school. Obey the school bus laws, which include slowing down and preparing to stop for yellow flashing school bus lights and stopping for red flashing school bus lights.”

They urge parents to discuss safety with their children — and with young or inexperienced drivers at home.

=======================================================

Speaking of safety:

I got 2 emails within half an hour yesterday. As Westporters return from summer trips, and we head into even busier traffic times, both are worth noting.

Shelly Sherman writes: “Please emphasize the need for cars to slow down. and stop at crosswalks on Compo Road South. More than once I’ve had to sprint across with my dogs to avoid being run over by cars speeding to ???

“This area of Westport has so many runners, walkers and bikers, it’s amazing more people haven’t been hurt. Pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way — but I’d not want to test that theory every morning.”

Carol Sampson describes another danger, in a different part of town:

“Despite the sign saying ‘State Law Yield to Pedestrians’ at Post Road and Bay Street, it is clear from my experience today that few people actually stop. (One did, but the others whizzed by.) What is wrong with drivers in this town?”

Hmmm…let me think…

Entitled? Distracted? Selfish? What have I missed?

It’s a beautiful day. Just don’t try to cross the Post Road here. (Photo/Carol Sampson)

=======================================================

Staples High School Class of 2012 graduate Sam Reiner met Mallory Silliere 2 years ago this month, on a dating app.

On their second date, he took her kayaking on the Saugatuck River. They pulled up to the Black Duck for lunch. It’s remained one of their favorite dates.

Last Saturday, Sam proposed to Mallory — on the dock behind the Duck.

A small group of family and friends helped celebrate.

Wedding plans are TBD. It may not be at everyone’s favorite dive bar. But there are still bachelor and bachelorette parties to plan …

A Black Duck proposal.

=======================================================

Last month, “06880” reported on the Wings4Peace national art-and-gun safety awareness project.

Yesterday, artist Darcy Hicks provided an update. She says:

“Today marks 3 months since the Uvalde massacre. This morning, part 2 of the Wings4Peace message reminds communities everywhere to remember those children – and all children who are affected by gun violence.

“Last night, people across the country put out the second set of wings, which say ‘in America,’ making the message so far, ‘Peace in America…’

“Each month on the 24th the sentence grows, with the mission to inspire people to take action against gun violence. Art has always inspired societal change.”

For more information, click here.

Darcy Hicks’ “Wings4Peace” artwork, at the Westport Museum for History & Culture.

=====================================================

Speaking of back-to-school (see above): Are you ready for winter and spring break?

Builders Beyond Borders is already planning service trips to Ecuador. To learn more, students and families are invited to a pair of open houses: this Sunday (August 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m.) and September 14 (6 to 7:30 p.m.) at the B3 office (66 Fort Point Street, Norwalk). RSVP here.

======================================================

The other day, Tricia Freeman headed down the internet rabbit hole. She ended up at a 1950 New Yorker story about Ernest Hemingway.

In the piece by Lillian Ross, the author has just arrived in New York, heading to Europe. There are 2 Westport references, starting with:

“Where I like it is out West in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, and I like Cuba and Paris and around Venice,” (Hemingway) said. “Westport gives me the horrors.”

Is that Westport, Connecticut? With so many of them in the world — and so many non-East Coast places mentioned in the quote — who knows?

But the second one narrows it down:

“Hunting is sort of a good life,” Hemingway said. “Better than Westport or Bronxville, I think.”

That’s it.

Besides his long friendship with the late author A.E. Hotchner, did Papa Hemingway have any connection at all with our town?

If you know — or think you do, click “Comments” below. And if you want to read the entire (long) New Yorker piece, click here.

A.E. Hotchner and Ernest Hemingway.

======================================================

cARTie — Connecticut’s first (and only) non-profit mobile art museum bus — bridges inequities in education and arts access across the state.

Each year, they exhibit a juried art show of diverse high school student art. It’s interactive, designed to inspire young students and families.

Several current and former Staples students have exhibited with cARTie.

This year’s event is Sunday, September 18 (3-5 p.m., Westport Museum of History & Culture). The afternoon includes “paint and sip,” live music, a silent auction and raffle, awards and food. Click here for more on cARTie.

======================================================

Yesterday’s “06880” noted the ongoing drought, and asked for photos.

Stacy Prince sent this, of the Aspetuck River at the Coleytown Road and North Avenue corner.

(Photo/Stacy Prince)

======================================================

Jonathan Prager describes today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

“A nifty bumblebee blissfully nestled into the blossom of a sedum spectabile sponging up its nectar. I hope you enjoy this as much as s/he enjoys it!”

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)

======================================================

And finally … as back-to-school traffic picks up, and traffic continues crazily in other parts of town (see above):

(Enjoying our daily Roundups? Pleas consider supporting this blog. Click here!)

Remembering A.E. Hotchner

A. E. Hotchner — a writer who parlayed his friendship with fellow Westporter Paul Newman into a second career in philanthropy — died today at home. He was 102 years old, and lived more than half his life — 67 years — here.

The New York Times obituary described the longtime Hillandale Road resident as a “novelist, playwright, biographer, literary bon vivant and philanthropist whose life was shaped and colored by close friendships with two extraordinarily gifted and well-known men, Ernest Hemingway and Paul Newman.”

A.E. Hotchner and Ernest Hemingway.

Hotchner “was not to the manner born, nor was he a celebrity. But he was nonetheless at home among the glitterati, one of those not-so-famous people whom famous people, for whatever reason, take to,” the Times said. At Washington University, he was a classmate of Tennessee Williams.

He wrote books about his friends, including Clark Gable, Barbara Hutton, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Doris Day and Sophia Loren.

But he included honest details about Hemingway’s suicide in “Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir,” whose publication the author’s widow tried to halt.

Hotchner wrote 2 other books about Hemingway, and one about the Rolling Stones, among others.

Yet it was his friendship with Newman that most distinguished the latter part of Hotchner’s life. According to the Times:

“We owned a series of dilapidated boats we’d take out on the water to go fishing and drink beer and have all sorts of adventures,” Mr. Hotchner told the London newspaper The Daily Mirror after Newman’s death in September 2008. “We drank a lot of beer and so never actually caught many fish.”

Mr. Newman had made it a holiday ritual to make batches of homemade salad dressing in his barn, pour it into wine bottles and drive around his neighborhood giving them away as Christmas gifts. Just before Christmas 1980, Mr. Newman was stirring up an enormous batch, with a canoe paddle, when he invited Mr. Hotchner to join him. Out of their small adventure came the idea for Newman’s Own.

Founded in 1982, the company has given away hundreds of millions of dollars through its charitable arms….

In 1988, Mr. Hotchner and Mr. Newman furthered their charitable work by founding the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with life-threatening diseases.

(Click here for the full New York Times obituary.)

America’s Story. In Just 6 Words.

No matter what your political views, it can feel as if there are no words to describe America’s current situation.

But all you need are 6.

Ernest Hemingway wrote the most famous 6-word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Since then, writers of all types have tried their hand at the 6-word exercise.

Karin Kessler wants to hear yours.

She’s the upbeat, indefatigable owner of Backspace, the typewriter shop/writing space on Church Street South, behind Little Barn.

Karin Kessler, in her Backspace space.

Customers always talk about the political climate, Karin says. They usually throw their hands in the air, and say they have no voice.

So this month, she invites everyone to come to Backspace and write their own 6-word story on any typewriter. There’s no charge.

(You can also write at home, and drop it off at Backspace. You can email it in too — backspacewestport@gmail.com — or post it on a special Facebook page. But if you haven’t seen the shop, you really should.)

Any and every viewpoint is welcome (except hate-mongering).

The 6 words should have something to do with the political atmosphere — and be a thought-provoking reflection of the times.

“We can show that right and left can coexist, and respectfully disagree with one another,” Karin says.

This is not a competition between parties, she notes. She’s looking for “a description, statement or feeling about politics today.”

Karin offers her own suggestion: “United we stand. Divided we fall.”

She hopes to compile the stories, to promote both thought and conversation.

December can be a stressful month. She hopes this can be a fun exercise, done during downtime on the train, while stuck in traffic, or anywhere else. (Except, I guess, watching Fox or MSNBC.)

“Let’s start a wave from Westport, using our right of freedom of speech,” Karin says. “Let’s all hear what everyone says.”

In exactly 6 words.