Tag Archives: Fran White

Fran White Thanks Westport — And Westporters

Fran White is a longtime, beloved — and now former — Westporter.

As she left, the loyal “06880” reader asked me to convey a few thoughts to the community. She wrote:

The day we left Westport for a new home in southern Vermont, Elizabeth Bernstein wrote in the Wall Street Journal that one can be awed by nature, but also by people.

For the 6 months we prepared for the move, we were awed by and grateful to:

  • The staffs of Goodwill and the transfer station, whose good humor and patience always greeted our numerous trips to divest ourselves of too much stuff
  • Tom Kashetta, for responding promptly and cheerfully to any crisis involving trees
  • Grapevine, Fortuna’s, Stiles, and Genee and Jess of Herbaceous Catering. for providing sustenance
  • Nelson and Don at UPS, for expertly packing and sending box after box
  • Aela, Griffin and Sienna, who are revitalizing our neighborhood
  • Most of all to my two best friends, Cia and MarySue, who provided love, support and encouragement the whole way through (and still do).

Thanks too to Chris for giving us the time and space we needed. and to Rob and Amanda. We hope that the new residents treasure all that Westport offers, including its greatest asset: its people.

Fran White, in her new home.

About Those Beach Benches…

In November — a couple of weeks after Hurricane Sandy — “06880” reader Fran White and  her son Michael went to Compo  Beach.

They noticed their memorial bench dedicated to David — Fran’s husband and Michael’s dad, who was killed in a bicycle accident several years ago — was gone from its usual spot, just over the wall from the cannons.

David White's original bench by the cannon, just before Christmas 2011.

David White’s original bench by the cannons, just before Christmas 2011.

A number of benches — tossed and upended by the wind and storm surge — had been stored near the skate park. But David’s was not one of them.

Fran called Parks & Rec. She was told the department knew of the missing benches and plaques.

“They were still dealing with damage from Sandy, and weren’t far enough along to think about replacing and repairing benches,” Fran says. “So we pretty much came to terms with its loss, and made up adventure stories about where it might be. The loss of homes for many seemed far more important.”

Last week, a friend of the Whites went down to Compo, for a final walk on the beach before moving. She spotted a group of benches, near Joey’s. David’s plaque was there — not on its original wooden bench, but an older fiberglass one.

David White's plaque, now on a different bench at a different site.

David White’s plaque, now on a different bench at a different site.

Fran has faith that — with everything else on Parks & Rec’s plate — it will be able to sort everything out by summer. They have a site map for the benches.

Parks & Rec knows the importance of the benches to donors, and honorees. They know how popular the benches are with beachgoers too, who may seek out certain benches because of the plaques — or may never read them, but just like sitting in certain spots.

Sandy left a big mess at the beach. Our town is still cleaning up from it.

One day, David White — and all the others — will be back where they belong.