Tag Archives: James Montgomery

Roundup: Techno Claus, Ukraine Aid, Blue Sunday …

For the 14th year in a row yesterday, “CBS Sunday Morning” featured modern gift ideas from “Techno Claus.”

Each year, the clever, rhyming St. Nick bears a striking resemblance to David Pogue.

And, as often happens, some of the shots in the segment bear a striking resemblance to our Westport neighbor’s home and neighborhoood.

Click below to see if you agree. As a bonus you’ll get some great ideas, on everything from a Zoom meeting “mute alert” and rechargeable hand warmers to a “cable crud” organizer and automobile back window message system.

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It was not the usual collection request.

Rather than toys, food, books or cash, Mark Yurkiw asked for new generators, chainsaws, kerosene heaters, flashlights, sleeping bags, cellphone power banks — the kind of important, durable things Ukraine needs to withstand the continued bombardment by Russia.

A shipping container was headed overseas in a few days. Westporters responded to Mark’s request — quickly and generously.

He received at least one of everything he requested, in an “06880” post. This photo shows some of the donations (in the nation’s famous blue and yellow colors).

But, Mark, notes, “Ukraine is a large country. They can use everything.”

There is still a day before a truck will be loaded.

Donations can be brought to 190 Cross Highway and left by the barn. For questions or pickup arrangements, call Mark: 646-873-0050.

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The last concert of Mark Naftalin’s “Blue Sunday” jazz series filled the Westport Library yesterday with great music, and appreciative music fans.

James Montgomery headlined the finale. In a long career, he’s earned plenty of honors.

So has the series host. Naftalin — a Westport resident — is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, for his work with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

James Montgomery (center), Mark Naftalin (piano, far left) and friends, at yesterday’s Westport Library “Blue Sunday” show. (Photo/Dennis Jackson)

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As seniors race to finish their college applications before the January 1 deadline — and their parents worry about paying for the next 4 years — there’s help in sight.

Staples Tuition Grants is open for applications (click here). Seniors and current college students with demonstrated financial need have until April 9 to apply for STG aid.

Last year, the 81-year-old organization gave over $400,000 in grants, to more than 100 students.

STG could not do it without the help of donors. As they gear up for another season of high demand, the non-profit reminds “06880” readers of the importance of donations. Click here to help.

 

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Last week’s Greens Farms Garden Club annual wreath-making and holiday lunch was both festive and functional.

The group gathered at the Connecticut Audubon Society. Their work can now be seen throughout Westport, Fairfield and Bridgeport, at the Bigelow Center for Seniors, Earthplace, Gillespie Center, Greens Farms post office, Wakeman Town Farms, CT Audubon Society, Fairfield Historical Society, Victorian Cottage, St. John’s Family Center, Mercy Learning Center, St. Timothy’s, STAR Inc., Sturges Ridge, CLASP, nOURish Bridgeport, and the Greens Farms, Southport and Fairfield train stations.

Greens Farms Garden Club members, and their wreaths.

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Westport Community Gardens director — and nature photographer extraordinaire — Lou Weinberg explains today’s “Westport … Naturally” image:

“The winter plumage of the goldfinch is muted. They love when we leave the coneflower stalks standing. Coneflower is an important food source for the birds and the bees. Don’t cut it down!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … today is National Ding-a-Ling Day. (Don’t believe me? Click here.)

We’re supposed to get in touch with (“ding-a-ling”) family and friends we’ve lost touch with.

Most of us are too busy today to do that. (Which is why we lost touch in the first place). But for a couple of minutes, we can listen to Chuck Berry’s only (somehow) #1 hit:

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(Where else but “06880” can you find David Pogue, the Greens Farms Garden Club and Chuck Berry on the same page? Please click here to support this blog. Thank you!)

 

 

 

Roundup: James Montgomery, Teens’ Songwriting Workshop, Shrimp Farming …

The “Blue Sunday” concert series at the Westport Library will end with a bang.

World famous blues rocker James Montgomery joins Mark Naftalin’s all-star lineup next week (December 11, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.).

The house band includes Blues Hall of Fame guitarist/singer/songwriter Paul Gabriel, lowdown bassman Paul Opalach, swingin’ drummer Nick Longo and the host: Westport’s own Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mark Naftalin on keyboards.

The show is (amazingly) free, but registration is highly recommended. Last month’s show was completely sold out. Click here to register.

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Speaking of music at the Library:

Verso Studios has partnered with the Song Arts Academy, with an 8-week songwriting program for 15 middle and high school students.

The program runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, beginning January 30.

It’s free (!), thanks to the support of Fred Reynolds and family. (A refundable $25 registration fee reserves a spot.) .

The workshop offers young songwriters a chance to record songs written in the workshop at Verso Studios.

The program is led by Billy Seidman, a Westport native and veteran New York songwriter, guitarist and producer. He’s worked with Jimi Hendrix, and top pop producers like Jimmy “The Senator” Douglass, (Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams) and Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton).

Each week, students will learn new craft and perspective tools, then write an original song using them.

Click here to register, and for more information.

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John Brawley grew up on Saugatuck Shores. He became a marine biologist, living (and fishing) on Cape Cod for many years.

He now owns Sweet Sound — Vermont’s first shrimp aquaculture outfit. He harvests 100 pounds of Pacific white-leg shrimp each week from indoor, aboveground recirculating saltwater pools.

Brawley was featured in Friday’s Washington Post piece on how the Green Mountain State has pivoted from dairy farms to other types of agriculture. Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Scott Smith)

John Brawley, at Sweet Sound Aquaculture.

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Yesterday’s rain kept many Westporters inside.

But it did not deter the weekly Compo Beach runners. Neither it, nor the wind whipping off the water, deterred them from their jaunt down Soundview Avenue.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society is spotlighting the Silvermine Art Colony.

Several of those artists lived in Westport between 1908 and 1922: Karl Anderson, George Hand Wright, George Wright Picknell, Ernest Funt and Edmund Marion Ashe. They met frequently, and critiqued each other’s work.

The 2 exhibits feature over 120 pieces of Silvermine artists’ work, including several of those Westporters. One of the standout pieces is Frank Townsend Hutchen’s “Compo Beach Sunset,” from  around 1925.

Click here for more information.

Frank Townsend Hutchen’s “Compo Beach Sunset.” The Saugatuck train towers are visible in the background.

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“Westport … Naturally” can never resist a cute dog photo.

This one sure qualifies.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

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And finally … James Montgomery (see story above) is a blues legend. If you haven’t heard of him, check out this 41-year-old clip:

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