Tag Archives: Grace Salmon Park

Pics Of The Day #2024

Old Mill Beach … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and Grace Salmon Park ,,, (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and the nearby Riverwalk … (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

… and the Saugatuck River downtown (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

Roundup: Cumby’s Gas, Main Street Paving, FEMA Grants …

On Wednesday, “06880” reported that the Cumberland Farms at Bulkley Avenue South near Stop & Shop — formerly Mercury — was charging customers Super Premium prices for Unleaded gas.

Yesterday at 2 p.m., an “06880” reader was getting gas (hopefully for the correct price). In mid-pump, a woman emerged from the mini-mart and told her — and 4 other customers — that the station was short-staffed, and had to close.

Then the pumps were immediately shut off. The customers could not even finish filling their tanks.

The lights were turned off inside. No gas, no Ring Dings, no processed pizza. Nothing.

“Very strange,” the reader notes.

Yesterday’s sign at Cumberland Farms.

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Earlier this week, parts of Westport were affected by paving projects. Traffic backed up near Saugatuck and Jesup Road.

Here’s the next site. Main Street between Post Road East and Avery Place, plus Avery Place itself, will be milled beginning Monday (October 17.

Main Street will be closed to through traffic and parking starting at 5 a.m. Monday. Avery Place will be closed to through traffic beginning around 10 a.m.

Once milling is done, both roads will be re-opened to traffic until paving begins. It is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, and follow the same schedule as milling. However,  a weather system may postpone paving until Wednesday, October 19.

You won’t see this early next week. Paving and milling will close Main Street.

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One of the the Westport Library’s most popular technology events — the “Anyone Can Use…” series — returns next month.

The classes offer live tech instruction, for all users. They include:

The sessions run from 11 am to noon, near the checkout desk.

Use your library card to download stuff!

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FEMA grants help property owners make homes and businesses resilient against future floods, or relocate to safer locations.

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments’ Regional Flood Mitigation Assistance Program helps educate property owners about opportunities, determine if they qualify, and aid in applications.

An informational session is set for October 27 (6:30 p.m., Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Boulevard). The public is welcome. It will be recorded, and available at www.westcog.org afterward.

Questions? Call or email Todd Fontanella: 475-323-2070;  tfontanella@westcog.org(Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

Flood-proofing, at Old Mill Beach. (Photo/John Videler, Videler Photography)

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The winds picked up yesterday. Not enough for a flood (see story above) — but enough to draw at least one man to Compo Beach:

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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The first public reading of “The Incubators” — a new comedy by Madison Fiedler — is set for the Westport Country Playhouse (November 7, 7 p.m.).

It’s an absurdist dark comedy, as the “Pro-Life Generation” is just getting started.

On the first day of California Right To Life Leadership Camp Age Division 15-17, everyone is nervous. But they’re excited to be surrounded by what they believe in, with new strategies of warfare.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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A few days ago, our “06880” Roundup included a photo of pink ribbons on several trees in Grace Salmon Park.

We figured they honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Nope.

Nathalie Fonteyne writes: “They were placed there by Monica Buesser (conservation chair of the Westport Garden Club and chair of the Westport Tree Board) and myself (civics chair of the Westport Garden Club).

“They highlight the prevalence of the invasive Ailanthus altissima — also known as tree of heaven — at the park. We tagged 20 trees there.

“The Westport Garden Club is working with Mike West of Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department to get the trees removed. Removing invasive species can be an arduous process because of their extensive root system, and their ability to re-sprout. The fact that the trees are in a wetland complicates the process.

“However, the Westport Garden Club and the town are committed to removing the invasive species at the park and planting new native species in their place, hopefully very soon.”

Pink ribbons on trees of heaven.

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Just in time — well, a bit ahead of — the shopping season, the “Ugly Westport Holiday” collection has landed in Finding Westport’s e-store.

The design is available as a sweatshirt, bodysuit, fleece, hoodie or blanket. Click here for more information, and to order.

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Speaking of Grace Salmon Park (see story above), Peggy O’Halloran says of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: “It looks like this poor tree already has a headstone.”

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)

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And finally … speaking of Cumberland Farms (story above):

 

Pics Of The Day #1957

Dakota is a popular Grace Salmon Park dog walker. They listen intently to his commands. The other day they posed for a photo …

,,, and then headed out for some fun. (Photos/Pam Kesselman)

Pics Of The Day #1949

Storm clouds rolled in over Grace Salmon Park. “They produced 4 drops of rain,” says photographer Patricia McMahon.

It was the same last night: Clouds looked like they’d bring much-needed rain. Despite this dramatic scene, they did not … (Photo/Deirdre O’Farrelly)

… and sailors enjoyed a pleasant evening. (Photo/John Videler for Vodeler Photography)

Meanwhile, despite almost no rain, there were rainbows visible throughout Westport. This was over Burritts Landing … (Photo/Lisa Gold)

… and Bedford Middle School … (Photo/Joan Gillman)

… and I-95 from Hillspoint Road … (Photo/Alison Freeland)

… and Terhune and Pumpkin Hill ,,, (Photo/Shira Honigstein)

… and Patagonia … (Photo/Carrie Kuhn)

… and one spot on the Saugatuck River … (Photo/Tom Feeley)

… and another. (Photo/Mia Kirkorsky)

Pic Of The Day #1518

Spectacular clouds over Grace Salmon Park (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Ignazio’s Pizza, Grace Salmon Park, Cribari Bridge …

In May, “06880” reported that Ignazio’s was looking for a new owner.

The asking price was $275,000. Rent is $8,000 a month.

The restaurant in the former Bertucci’s space is now closed. Tables and chairs are stacked outside, and lights are off inside.

A phone call brings this cheery-sounding message: “Hi! You’ve reached Pizza Life, formerly Ignazio’s. We are remodeling, and will be back soon!”

Meanwhile, Ignazio’s’ website — still live — promises a new location, coming soon to Mystic. The original location was in Brooklyn.

Iganzio’s opened in Westport in November 2019, just 4 months before COVID struck.

Ignazio’s, this week. (Photo/Matt Murray)

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Grace Salmon Park is one of Westport’s most beautiful — and underrated — places to relax.

Yesterday, it was a classroom.

University of Connecticut master gardeners (and Westport residents) Monica Buesser, Alice Ely and Nathalie Fonteyne  conducted an invasive plant workshop. It was sponsored by the Westport Garden Club.

Sixteen participants learned about the park’s top 15 invasive plants. They then broke into 4 groups, each canvasing a quarter of the site — and found several different invasives.

The next step: using the data to apply for a grant for removal of invasives from Grace Salmon.

Buesser — the conservation chair of the Westport Garden Club —  plans to be at Grace Salmon Park every Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m. (weather permitting). She invites everyone interested in weeding or learning more about the park’s plants to join her.

“You can’t miss me. I wear overalls!” she says.

Grace Salmon Park is a beautiful spot. Like many in Westport, however, it is home to several invasive species. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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Seen on the Town of Westport’s Instagram:

The Public Works Department was out in force on Bridge Street. Workers cut back branches and brush that had encroached on the pedestrian walkway leading to Saugatuck.

It won’t make your drive over the Cribari Bridge any quicker. But it’s sure a boon to the many bikers, joggers and walkers who love the view.

(Photo courtesy of Department of Public Works)

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Three Westport non-profits have received CT Humanities grants:

  • United Nations Association Southwestern Connecticut, Westport: $4,980, for “When the Stars are Scattered” author/illustrator visits.
  • Westport Country Playhouse: $14,750 for the production of “From the Mississippi Delta” this coming October.
  • Westport Museum for History & Culture: $4,074 for “Saugatuck Stories: Walking Tour Exploring Diverse Experiences.”

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Sure, NASA is excited about the James Webb Space Telescope.

But the Westport Astronomical Society has Cal Powell.

The former WAS president hosts the “Cal & Friends Meteorite Show & Tell Party” on Tuesday (July 19, 8 p.m.).

Cal received his first meteorite in 2010, as a going-away gift from WAS. He started collecting them a few years later. His collection of nearly 400 specimens covers most meteorite classifications.

Cal will his present his extensive personal meteorite collection, and introduce Stefan Nicolescu with rare samples from Yale’s Peabody Museum. The WAS adds: “Bring your own meteorites and assemble your meteorwrongs!” Click here for more information.

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Noted local artists Miggs Burroughs and Ann Chernow hosted the third and final noir film last night, on the Westport Library’s large Trefz Forum screen.

“Nightmare Alley” was part of the series accompanying the artists’ “Double Indemnity” art exhibit, in the Library’s Sheffer Gallery. It runs through August 6.

Miggs Burroughs and Ann Chernow. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is as delectable as it gets: raspberries, straight from Lauri Weiser’s back yard.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … Lauri Weiser’s photo (above) reminds us of …

(If you enjoy the daily Roundup, please support “06880.” Click here to donate.)

Roundup: Gun Violence March, Scholar-Athletes, Girls On The Run …

Westport Moms send word of a “Stand up Against Gun Violence” march this Wednesday (June 8). It begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Anthropologie steps, and continues through town.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Police Chief Foti Koskinas will join the crowd. Marchers are urged to wear orange, and bring signs.

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You can’t say the town is not responsive.

At 10 a.m. yesterday morning, the “06880” Roundup included 2 photos of Grace Salmon Park. They showed benches at the popular Imperial Avenue park, covered in weeds and brush.

This was the scene at 9 a.m. today — less than 24 hours later:

(Photo/Werner Liepolt)

What an improvement! Thanks for the quick action!

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Staples High School held its 21st annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner last night — but the first since COVID struck.

It was a fascinating evening. Each varsity sport selects one senior. Each coach asks each scholar-athlete a question about his or her passions, achievements, hobbies, extracurricular activities or sports.

The answers — a minute or so each — are insightful, poised, poignant, and often funny. Taken together, they paint a remarkable picture of the student-athletes at Staples.

Last night’s questions ranged from volunteer efforts (Food Rescue US, helping a Holocaust survivor, transcribing Library of Congress records) to lessons learned from coaching little kids, building models to predict the spread of COVID, working on political campaigns and against gun violence, and selling South African snacks.

Even more remarkably, the scholar-athletes were on top of their game despite having attended the senior prom the night before (and post-prom parties after that).

As several speakers noted after hearing the 36 students speak: The future is in great hands.

Scholar-athletes honored, and their sports:

Fall: Emily Epstein (cheer), Zach Taubman (boys cross country), Josie Dolan (girls cross country), Ava Ekholdt (field hockey), Andrew O’Loughlin (football), Ben Epes (boys golf), Aidan Mermagen (boys soccer), Madison Sansone (girls soccer), Raina Mandayam (girls swimming), Ally Schwartz (girls volleyball), Jasper Cahn (boys water polo).

Winter: Michael Brody (boys basketball), Sydelle Bernstein (girls basketball), Mimi Schindler (gymnastics), Johnny Raho (ice hockey), Rory Tarsy (boys indoor track), Emma Nordberg (girls indoor track), Will Heisler (boys skiing), Kate Smith (girls skiing), Brian Fullenbaum (boys squash), Romy Nusbaum (girls  squash), Jacob Lee (boys swimming), Reese Watkins (wrestling).

Spring: Finn Popken (baseball), Lizzie Kuehndorf (girls golf), Derek Sale (boys lacrosse), Sara DiGiovanni (girls lacrosse), Alex Harrington (boys indoor track), Tessa Moore (girls outdoor track), Nick Prior (rugby), Erin Durkin (sailing), Caroline Coffey (softball), Matthew Chiang (boys tennis), Jordana Latzman, Ethan Moskowitz (boys volleyball), Rachel Offir (girls water polo).

The evening also included the awarding of several scholar-athlete scholarships. The Coleman Brothers Foundation presented Brewster Galley with a $40,000 award. Jalen St. Fort and George Kocadag each received a $6,500 Laddie Lawrence grant. Jaden Mueller got the $2,000 Albie Loeffler Scholarship.

Two other honors were handed out. Rory Tarsy was named the Thomas DeHuff Award winner, while Molly Liles earned the Jinny Parker Award.

After dinner, the scholar-athletes posed with their plaques. Here’s boys skiing honoree Will Heisler, and his parents.

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Speaking of sports: The Staples boys tennis team has repeated as state champions.

For the 5th time.

The Wreckers won their 6th straight title Saturday. They beat Greenwich 4-1 at Wesleyan University.

Winners included singles players Robbie Daus and Noah Wolff, and the doubles teams of Luke Brodsky and Alex Guadarrama, and Brett Lampert and Lucas Ceballas-Cala.

The individual invitation tourney begins today, also at Wesleyan. Tighe Brunetti and Daus will play singles, Brodsky and Guadarrama doubles.

Congratulations and good luck to all — including coach Kris Hrisovulos!

The state champion Staples boys tennis team (from left): coach Kris Hrisovulos, Holden Dalzell, Clint Graham, Hayden Frey, Noah Wolff, Tighe Brunetti, Luke Brodsky, Robbie Daus, Matthew Chiang, Jared Evans, Brett Lampert, Alex Guadarrama, Lucas Ceballos-Cala. (Photo/Bob Daus)

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Speaking once again of sports: Good luck to Staples’ boys lacrosse team. Ranked #2 in the state tournament, they face #3 Ridgefield on Wednesday (5 p.m., Fairfield University), in the semifinal round.

Go Wreckers!

Staples’ boys lacrosse team takes the field.

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This past weekend, 5 girls from Saugatuck Elementary School participated in the Fairfeld 5K along Jennings Beach.

But they didn’t run alone. The youngsters took part in Girls on the Run. The after-school program is part of a national positive youth development project for grades 3 to 7.

The season runs for 10 weeks. Twice a week, girls learn about and practice skills and positive mindsets, including positive self-talk, friendship, and the importance of individuality.

Each session includes running. Girls build endurance, culminating in that celebratory 5K.

Westport’s Girls on the Run has partnered with Westport Continuing Education. Three parent volunteers lead the local program. They hope to bring the program to other schools in town. Parents interested in helping can email mary.bentley@girlsontherun.org. All abilities are welcome.

Girls on the Run participants.

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Tower of Power rocked the Levitt Pavilion this weekend.

Which means another great season has begun.

Click here for upcoming concerts and special events. There’s something for everyone!

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David Ader writes:

“I admit this photo has the quality of some yahoo’s version of a sasquatch. I have sympathy for that yahoo.

“On Saturday night as I sat at my dinner table a very large and muscular bobcat sauntered across my backyard. I was both shocked and anxious as I dropped some pizza to distract my dog, and scrambled to get this photo.

“In its confident walk, the bobcat stopped for a moment to look at me while I feebly attempted to get my phone open for the photo. Imagine if it was a sasquatch!”

(Photo/David Ader)

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The sold-out audience at Saturday’s Westport Pride drag show at MoCA included a numberof families with children. In addition to dancing the performers offered a bit of LGBTQ history.

Yesterday, the mother of one youngster wrote to “06880”: “I feel very strongly that exposing children to all sorts of personal expressions and pathways is essential in order for them to know that there is not one cookie-cutter way to be in this world.

“To have our children witness a person living life, full of joy, as their 100% authentic and beautiful selves is a powerful gift I intend on exposing them to always.”

15-year-old Desmond is Amazing — a New York City drag artist — posed with young fans.

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Diane Bosch spotted this new object, bobbing in the channel at the mouth of the Saugatuck River.

She suspects it has something to do with the dredging plan. Is she right?

If any “06880” readers know for sure what this is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Diane Bosch)

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It’s strawberry season at the Westport Community Garden.

Lou Weinberg shared this luscious one — unfortunately, only photographically — for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … you knew this was coming, right?

Roundup: Grace Salmon Park, Garbage, Gerber Baby …

The other day, David Meth was at the transfer station. He saw a resident take 2 perfectly good children’s bikes from her SUV. He writes:

“I offered to take them to Cycle Dynamics because Charlie, the owner, donates them to churches in Bridgeport. However the attendant, who was very nice and very afraid to get in trouble because there are cameras everywhere, refused to allow me to take them because they were placed on the ground near the attendant’s booth.

“These bikes were in excellent condition. Why allow them to be trashed? Why not have an area to ‘exchange’ items that could sustain a small economy elsewhere, yet are thrown away here without another thought. It is very wrong.

“Cardboard, glass, cans and paper are recycled for future use. Food scraps are recycled. Leaves and brush are recycled. Why not recycle perfectly good, even repairable goods and equipment, to benefit others?

“This is an awful policy in a town that prides itself in helping others. It can be changed, and it should change soon.”

Sign at the transfer station.

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Speaking of trash:

A reader who loves Grace Salmon Park — but thinks it needs a bit of care — sent several photos of benches overgrown with weeds. Here are 2:

He adds: “Want a seat by the river? Bring your Claritin.”

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Ann Turner Cook — the original Gerber baby — died Friday. She was 95 years old.

The reason that’s “06880”-worthy is that — nearly 100 years ago — the iconic sketch was “born” here.

In 1927, artist Dorothy Hope Smith made a charcoal drawing of her 4-month-old neighbor, Ann Turner. Ann’s father, Leslie, was an artist too; his comic strip “Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy” ran in 500 newspapers every day.

The original charcoal sketch of Ann Turner, and Ann Turner Cook today.

The original charcoal sketch of Ann Turner, and Ann Turner Cook in 2010.

The next year, Gerber needed a face for its new line of baby foods. Smith entered her simple drawing in the contest. She competed with elaborate oil paintings — but the company loved it. By 1931, Ann Cook was the “official trademark.”

She was on every Gerber ad, and on every package, since.

But no one knew her. In fact — in an effort to appeal to both sexes — for many years Gerber did not even say if the baby was a girl or boy.

As years passed, several women claimed to be the Gerber baby. To end the discussion, Gerber paid Turner — by then married, named Ann Cook –$5,000 in 1951. That’s all she got — no royalties, nothing. (It’s better than Smith, though. She earned just $300 for her efforts.)

The Gerber baby at work -- and all grown up today.

The Gerber baby at work — and all grown up, some years ago.

Cook left Westport long ago. She had 4 children, and spent 26 years teaching literature and writing in  Tampa. After retiring in 1989, she wrote 2 mystery novels.

But nearly a decade ago, when she was 88, she was rediscovered. Oprah profiled Cook on her “Where Are They Now?” series. Huffington Post picked up the story.

Neither Oprah nor HuffPo mentions Westport. Nor does the official Gerber website. ( For a full obituary, click here. Hat tips: Deej Webb and Jonathan McClure)

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“Challenger Recognition Day” is always fun.

The Westport Baseball program for players with disabilities includes an announcer introducing each batter, and calling play-by-play. Dustin Lowman did the honors, and hit it out of the park.

A pizza party ends the day.

Congrats to all who made yesterday possible — and a tip of the baseball hat to all the players!

Jonah Atienza and his dad. (Photo.Beth Cody)

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Yesterday’s 1st-ever Drag Show was anything but a drag.

A sold-out crowd at MoCA Westport — including many families with young kids — enjoyed 4 drag queens who strutted, danced, engaged the audience and even provided a bit of LGBTQ history.

The event was sponsored by Westport Pride. Next up: a townwide Pride Month celebration on Jesup Green, next Sunday (1 to 3 p.m.).

Getting in the swing of things. (Photo/Jerri Graham)

Weston High School senior Zac Mathias served as MC. (Photo/Jerri Graham)

Ambrosia Black (Photo/Jerri Graham)

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The Westport Book Shop’s guest exhibitor for June is Kerstin Rao.

Known to many for her years as a gifted teacher of gifted students at Bedford Middle School, Rao is displaying 4 prints, plus a QR code through which you can see each piece being created via time-lapse video.

Rao’s work is hyper-local. Her pieces begin at the Westport Farmers’ Market. They’re scanned in Westport, and printed in Norwalk. Her art business, Vivid Cottage, offers luxury stationery and home good based on her original artwork. It’s available online, and at the Westport Book Shop.

Rao majored in fine art at Vassar, and earned a master’s in special education at Bank Street College. She moved from teaching to art during the pandemic. She also volunteers at the Westport Library, facilitating author panels and book talks, helping and helping plan events. She was a founding member of Westport’s Maker Faire.

Kerstin Rao, with her prints at the Westport Book Shop.

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Speaking of art: MoCA’s next show — “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” — is a collaboration with The Contemporary Art Modern Project (The CAMP Gallery) and the Fiber Artists Miami Association. It explores how female artists, utilizing textiles as their medium, subvert the social expectation of crafting by lambasting this soft medium with political and social awareness.

It opens June 30 with a 6-8 p.m. reception, and runs through September 4.

Several local artists are in the exhibition, including Camille Eskell, Susan Feliciano,  Sooo-z Mastropietro and Norma Minkowitz

For more information, email liz@mocawestport.org or call 203-222-7070.

“Red, White, and Pink: The Colors of Politics” (Laetitia Adam-Rabel). Thread, yarn, ink, acrylic on canvas.

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On a windy, rainy Friday, Westporter Nathalie Jacob was on a boat with a friend. Suddenly — off the Darien shore — she realized her Gill sailing jacket (with iPhone 11max in its pocket) was gone.

She figured a gust of wind blew it into the water. The weight of the phone must have pulled it to the bottom of the Sound.

Her friend tried “Find My Phone.” Nada. Nathalie figured it was gone forever.

But 12 days later, her husband got a call. The caller said he’d spotted the jacket that day, in Westport waters — a mile from shore. He found the phone, took it home, plugged it in — and called the emergency contact number on it.

That’s right: After nearly 2 weeks in salty, wavy water, the iPhone still worked.

The jacket was full of live crabs and seaweed, Nathalie adds. But after 3 washing cycles, it’s usable too. She loves her Gill jacket.

PS: She brought a bottle of whiskey to the man who found it.

Nathalie Jacob …

… and her Gill jacket and iPhone.

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Staples High School’s senior prom — the first “normal” one after 2 COVID years — was held last night at the Greenwich Hyatt.

Most attendees were too busy having fun to take photos. But “06880”s great senior intern, Lyah Muktavaram, sent this photo along.

I’ve heard from 3 students who were there that it was a great one. I’m sure when they wake up — late this afternoon? — they’ll enjoy this image.

(Photo/Lyah Muktavaram)

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Nile Rodgers’ home here is still on the market.

To avoid realtors being there when realtors showed potential home-buyers through the house — or, more probably, because who can turn down an invitation from Buckingham Palace? — the international recording star/producer was in London, not Westport, last night.

He had an important gig: performing at Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee coocert.

Just one more day in the life of our soon-to-be-former neighbor.

Nile Rodgers, at the Queen’s Jubilee. (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

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Former Westport Woman’s Club president Natacha “Nat” Sylander died last month. She was 86.

The Auburn, New York native earned her bachelor’s degree in hotel management from Michigan State University. She then moved to Chicago to work at the Palmer House.

In 1960 she married Dick Sylander, and became a mom. In 1967 the family moved to Westport, where they lived for 44 years. She was a teaching assistant at Bedford Elementary School before starting a company with her husband in 1976. R.L. Sylander Associates did custom computer circulation fulfillment. They ran it for 25 years, until they retired.

Nat was active in the community, including president of the Westport Woman’s Club and chair of the Yankee Doodle Fair. She was a member of the St. Luke Church choir for many years. She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain, with a flair for storytelling.

She is survived by her children, Rick of Milford, Karen of Chicago and Beth of Long Island; as well as a grandson, Owen Hammond, serving overseas in the Army.

A funeral service is set for Saturday, June 11 (11 a.m., St. Luke Church) with a Mass of Christian Burial. A reception follows immediately. Interment will be private. Condolences may be left online. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Westport Woman’s Club Scholarship Program, 44 Imperial Ave, Westport, CT 06880.

Nat Sylander

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This guy crawled onto Molly Alger’s deck, then posed for his “Westport … Naturally” closeup:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … one famous “baby” deserves another:

 

Pic Of The Day #1861

Grace Salmon Park (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Free Trees!

Most “06880” tree stories involve cutting them down.

This one is about planting more.

Westport’s Tree Board is gearing up for Arbor Day with 3 days of free giveaways.

Bartlett Tree Experts is providing 100 red maples and 100 smaller native variety trees. They’re small enough to carry away yourself. After you plant them, they’ll grow large.

The red maples being given away are smaller than these.

Some of the trees will be given away on April 23, as part of the Westport Book Shop’s Jesup Green event.

On Arbor Day itself — April 29 — the trees will be offered at Town Hall.

The next day (April 30), the Tree Board partners with Earthplace. Following the 3-4 p.m. giveaway, there’s a “Toast to the Trees” educational talk.

But that’s just part of the Tree Board’s work.

At last week’s meeting, chair Monica Buesser says, they discussed a “tree inventory.” The survey of every tree on town property (parks, schools, rights of way, etc. — not private land) would allow warden Ben Sykas to figure out where trees should be removed and new ones planted, and the best maintenance schedule, among other information.

An inventory would also provide a record for possible reimbursement, when trees are destroyed in a natural disaster.

The computerized list would be updatable, and searchable. The Public Works Department is looking a different vendors, and costs.

Also in the works: updating the Tree Board’s webpage with more resources, and information on planting, mulching and more; creating a “Be a Tree” story walk at the Wadsworth Arboretum; planting red maple hybrids at Grace Salmon Park, and a “Mayple” spring event to complement “Oaktober” in the fall.

A 2019 storm downed trees at Grace Salmon Park. The Tree Board hopes to replace them. (Photo/Wendy Cusick)