Tag Archives: Larry Silver

Here She Is: The Dragon Lady!

This morning’s post about the new exhibits at the Westport Historical Society included a passing reference to The Dragon Lady.

Several readers commented — quickly and excitedly. They saw her often at Compo Beach, and remembered her floppy hat, black bouffant do, animal print outfits and high heels.

Of course, they wanted to see the photo I mentioned.

It’s hanging on the WHS wall, as part of the Larry Silver exhibit. (The official name is “Woman With Straw Hat, Compo Beach 1985.”)

And now here it is too, on “06880”:

(Copyright Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York)

Here are 2 more of my favorites. “Boy Standing on Swing” evokes the original Compo playground …

Larry Silver - Boy Standing on Swing

… while “Dancing on the Jetties” shows that while fashions have changed since 1979, kids at the beach have not.

(All copyright Larry Silver photos courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York)

Larry Silver’s Westport Historical Society exhibit includes much more than just Compo Beach. It’s open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m.

Hey! I Know You!

Last night, the Westport Historical Society celebrated 2 new exhibits.

“Larry Silver/Westport Visions” is a fascinating look at our town, through 40 years of remarkable photos. Larry has focused a keen eye on Longshore, downtown, the railroad station — you name it, he’s captured it in a special way.

"Compo Beach Showers" (Photo/Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

“Compo Beach Showers” (Photo/Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

His most remarked-on shot last night may have been the “Dragon Lady”: the striking woman who for years strode up and down Compo in heels. If you didn’t know her, don’t call yourself a Westporter.

Equally intriguing is the 2nd exhibit, in the smaller Mollie Donovan Gallery. “Faces in the Crowd” consists of a few dozen group shots from long (and longer) ago. Class shots, Little League teams, parties — if there was a gathering in Westport, it might be on the wall.

Here’s one, of teenage Hi-Y Club members at the YMCA:

WHS - Hi-Y

And another of a crazy party in the barn at 57 Kings Highway North, owned by Ann Sheffer’s grandparents:

WHS - barn party

But what’s really fun is the interactivity. Each photo has a number; each number has a small notebook. If you recognize someone in any of the photos — Ed Hall, say, or Harold von Schmidt or Dan Woog — you can write where that person is in the photo, and add something about the scene.

Yeah, me. I’m in the WHS exhibit, in the photo below. Go, Apaches!

DW - Little League

(The Westport Historical Society is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday 12-4 p.m.)

Shower The People

After the cannons, the brick showers might be the 2nd most iconic Compo Beach scene.

Generations of people of all ages have rinsed off there. Generations of little kids have played in the mud. Generations of photographers have taken photos of generations of shower-users.

Larry Silver’s 1980 shot is one of the best:

(Photo/Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

(Photo/Larry Silver, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

It’s one of over 50 prints included in “Larry Silver/Westport Visions,” a Westport Historical Society retrospective of his 40-year career that opens next month.

There will be plenty of publicity about this great show.

But today let’s just honor this great, often-overlooked, seldom-remarked-on piece of the beach we love so much.

If you’ve got any Compo shower memories, click “Comments.”

And if you’re new to town: What are you waiting for? Head on down, and enjoy this true Westport gem.


Larry Silver’s Longshore

This morning’s post on Longshore’s trees evoked memories for many readers.

Scott Smith — who 3 years ago chaired Longshore’s 50th anniversary celebration — remembered Westport photographer Larry Silver’s classic shots.

Larry spent many years documenting the dramatic entrance road. Here is one of his best.

Longshore - Larry Silver 1979