Tag Archives: Mary-Lou Weisman

The COVID Chronicles

Remember COVID?

Three years ago this month we stood in line outside Trader Joe’s. Then we washed the food we bought.

We hunted for toilet paper.

But mostly, we hunkered down at home.

Mary-Lou Weisman

Mary-Lou Weisman remembers those days. A journalist for publications like the New York Times and The Atlantic, and author of 5 books, the longtime Westporter was teaching an advanced memoir writing class at the Westport Library when her 10 students’ lives changed dramatically.

Sharing their writing had drawn the group tightly together. Suddenly, those bonds were threatened.

Weisman suggested they stay in touch, by email. For 7 months they wrote, hit “send,” responded, and wrote some more.

At first their topics were tame: following arrows in stores, their favorite walks, whether to keep coloring their hair.

Gradually, they ventured into more serious stuff: getting along (or not) with partners. The “invasion” of kids back from New York. The changing perceptions of time. Politics.

Here’s one example:

I like alone time. I used to call these days my “snow days” as I revert to those in the classroom.

Am I enjoying them this week? Yup, but the promise of a month or more, or even more, makes me think: not so much.

Spending this unforeseen amount of time with my husband, (who doesn’t always put in his hearing aids), the ubiquitous Fox News, our dog who is hanging onto life with a silver thread, and a blank calendar make me determined not to complain, go out for a walk every day, do custodial things like cleaning out my file cabinet, and finish up writing assignments that I’ve procrastinated and probably won’t get published anyway due to everything closing or, in my case, the newspapers where I’m published going under for lack of advertisers.

Yesterday I thought that that the only stores necessary to sustain life as I know it are grocery stores, bookstores, and wine stores. An owner of a bookstore I’m writing about thinks that Trump will close down ALL retail by the end of the week. Then what?

In April 2020, every store on Main Street was closed. (Photo/Molly Alger)

Two group members were hospitalized with COVID. They kept writing.

I’ve been admitted to the hospital. The latest is that I’ve developed violent vertigo that leaves me under the impression I’ve slithered to the floor of one of those horrible spinning teacup carnival rides. The puking starts instantaneously and sometimes lasts hours. It’s about the most miserable feeling I’ve ever experienced—and laws knows, having spent 20 years with the Mingler, I’ve seen some misery.

I either spend the days sleeping or puking and praying for sleep.

My Covid test came back negative, which surprised me. I suspect a false negative. However, if I don’t actually have it, I’m ideally situated to pick it up.

Today I needed a walker AND a babysitter just to take a fricking pee. I’m shaking my fist at some unnamed god.

I don’t know when I’ll be well enough to participate. Even writing this email required Herculean effort. I miss everyone.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. Stay alive through this shit show please.

A classmate wrote back:

Dear God, I’m so very, very, very sorry to read this news. You’re in the right place to get the help you need, in spite of corona crowding. My thoughts and hope are with you.

I think I may have gotten IT, also, as I woke up this morning with some of the symptoms. And here my family is so worried about my husband. I’m thinking, read “hoping,” I have a mild case. Stay tuned.

The tone of most pieces was conversational. Occasionally, there were confrontations.

“It was the whole arc of human feeling and activity,” Weisman says.

Seven months in, the class began meeting via Zoom. Weisman looked at the 700 pages they’d amassed, and realized: This is a document about what Westporters have experienced during the pandemic. It could be a book.

Gina Ryan, a student who is “technologically adept,” said she’d help. Weisman sent Library director Bill Harmer a sampling of the writing. He loved it. The Library signed on, to help produce it.

Ryan and Weisman edited the 700 pages. Alison McBain created the cover, and prepared the book for publication.

“The COVID Chronicles” went to the printer last week. On May 15 (7 p.m.), it will launch at the Library.

All 10 writers will read an entry. Then there’s food and drinks for everyone.

Just like a little over three years ago, in pre-pandemic days.

(Copies of “The COVID Chronicles” will be available at the May 15 event. Click here to order the color edition on Amazon. Click here for the black-and-white version. Click here for the Kindle one.)

(The book includes writing by Weisman, Ryan, G. Kenneth Bernhard, Bernadette Hutchings Birney, Lynn Goldman, Judith Hamer, Deborah Howland Murray, Morgaine Pauker, Donna Skolnick, Polly Tafrate and Maria Rossello Zobel.)

(“06880” covered COVID closely. We’re here for Westport, through good times and bad. Please click here to support this blog. Thank you!)

EXTRA CHAPTER: Here is one more excerpt from the book:

My husband came down with a 102-degree fever and a cough on Friday. The minute that thermometer left his mouth, I left the room and haven’t been back since. He has been quarantined for five days, and I’ve moved to a different floor of the house. Aside from a few business trips that kept us apart, this is the longest we’ve gone without touching each other since we met.

Now that we can’t be in the same room, I am so aware of how physical we are; how much that makes us feel loved.

My husband always likes to intertwine our hands, but his fingers are so bony it hurts, so I curl my fist inside his palm—our bizarre way of holding hands. We give each other friendly shoves to see who can get in the house first. We sit on the couch: our thighs touching, or his feet on my lap, or his arm around me, or my head on his shoulder. He hooks a finger in my belt loop when I try to stand up and pulls me back down to kiss me.

I drape myself around him while he pays the bills on his laptop. He comes up behind me when I’m in the kitchen (always at the worst times!) when I’m stir-frying or taking a tray out of the oven, and he bites my ear or snuffles my neck, while I squirm out of his grasp, half-annoyed and half-turned on, saying, “Hot stove! Hot stove!” Even in the car, we touch each other: he grabs my hand and puts it on the nape of his neck. Or he says, “Nobody’s checking me,” which means, “Take your hand and fluff the hair on the back of my head.”

When we sleep, we find each other: back-to-back, toes to leg, an arm curled over a chest. He reaches out his hand to me in the morning when his alarm goes off at 5:30, a little squeeze on my shoulder before he leaves. But now there’s none of that.

I miss him, but I am also supremely irritated by him now. I have become Beck-and-Call-Nurse-Waitress and I’m sick of it. I go up and down the stairs with water, popsicles, Tylenol, rice, pasta, salad, a hot water bottle, a fruit cup, tea, a thermos, more tea. I knock and run away. He leaves the dishes in the hall, and I put them in the dishwasher and scrub my hands like a surgeon. He asks for charging cables, books, a folding chair, a TV tray. I go up and down the stairs some more.

When his fever was very high, he was kind and grateful and said, “Thank you, thank you, you’re so nice,” every time he heard me outside his door. But his fever broke on Sunday and now that he’s feeling better, he has turned sarcastic and demanding. When I ask how he’s feeling, he coughs and says, “How do you think I’m feeling?” as if I’m an idiot. He’s mad that we’re out of bananas and accused me of “poor planning.” He’s tired of being cooped up in one room. He’s tired of talking through the door and me saying, “WHAT?! WHAT?! Okay, Mumbles!” because I can’t make out what he’s saying. He’s tired of texting me, and me not responding because I left my phone in the other room and didn’t hear it ping. We are tired of each other. And the longer we don’t touch each other, the more we both stop caring.

Through a closed door, I cannot see how cute he is; how his silly expressions always soften my anger and make me laugh, even when I don’t want to laugh. I can’t kiss the side of his neck or stroke his bristly sideburns. I can’t smell his smell, which always reminds me of pencil shavings and hotel soap. I can’t put my head on his chest and cry.

So many of our arguments, our temper tantrums, our fears and stress are resolved by our bodies. That “oh, come on,” nudge, raised eyebrows and sweet smile; that “you know you want a piece of this!” swagger that makes us giggle. We touch each other and it’s all okay. We are okay.

Nine… more… days.

“COVID Chronicles” includes photos of all class members, with and without masks. Shown here: Ken Bernhard and Lynn Goldman.

Roundup: Luciano Paving, Winfield Coffee, Playhouse Show …

There are (at least) 2 sides to every story.

A recent “06880” Roundup item about an advertising sign on a utility pole brought a ringing defense of the company.

Luciano Paving, the writer noted, is a long-time, very generous local business.

They donate to Westport PAL, and supply the equipment that keeps the Longshore skating rink clear. They bring equipment to the Touch-a-Truck event at the Imperial Avenue parking lot, and provide trucks and a car for the Westport Woman’s Club Memorial Day float.

Sam Luciano — former Westport chief of police, for whom the Saugatuck train station park is named — was Tim’s cousin. Every year, Tim sponsors a golf tournament in Sam’s name at Longshore.

More broadly, contractors are an asset to the town. In weather emergencies, they plow snow, clear roads and do whatever else is needed.

We would not be where we are without contractors like Luciano — a family that traces its heritage back to Antonio Gilbertie, founder of the floral business over 100 years ago.

Tim Luciano, of Luciano Paving, is a Westport native and Staples High School graduate.


Winfield Street Coffee has come a long way from its start, 98 years ago in East Norwalk.

Under current owner Breno Donatti, there are locations in Westport (the old Art’s Deli, just over the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge) and Stamford; kiosks in the Croton-Harmon and Rye train stations, plus Q line subway stops in Manhattan, and 2 in Naples, Florida.

Now — in addition to coffee (f course), Italian deli sandwiches, healthy bowls and salads, and fresh pastry.

Donatti is not sitting still. Culinary director Chris Gonzalez has designed an expanded menu, adding side dishes like bacon mac & cheese, roasted brussels sprouts with hot honey and crispy shallots, fries options like (sweet potato wedges, polenta fries, home fries), and homemade baked goods.

Coffee director Caleb MacPherson is implementing new drinks and roasting beans.

I know all this because Westport’s own Stephanie Webster covered it in her great CTBites blog. Click here for the full story (and excellent food photos).

PS: Click on the “Restaurants” tab at the top of “06880,” for details on Winfield Street Coffee and many more.


“Ain’t Misbehavin'” — a revival of the Broadway show celebrating jazz pioneer Fats Waller’s career, while exploring the “masks” he and his musicians wore while performing for white audiences — opens tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. It runs through April 29.

Among the special events:

Taste & Chat (tonight, Tuesday, April 11, 6 p.m.): Wine and cheese with Marcella Monk Flake, of The Monk Center for Academic Enrichment and Performing Arts, and co-founder of Monk Youth Jazz and STEAM Collective.

Pride Night (Thursday, April 13, 6 p.m.): Pre-show cocktails for the LGBTQ community and friends.

Black Excellence Night (Friday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.): Free pre-show celebration for the Black and Brown community.

For ticket information, click here. For more on these special events, scroll down on that page.


Al Jaffee — the Mad magazine cartoonist best known for his clever fold-in comics, on the back page — died yesterday in New York. He was 102.

His obituary is fascinating reading.

Especially fascinating is this Westport connection: His 2010 biography, “Al Jaffee’s Mad Life,” was written by local writer Mary-Lou Weisman.

A 2010 story explains:

He has always had a soft spot … for Mary-Lou Weisman, a 72-year-old author from Westport, Conn., who used to own a summer place near his (in Provincetown, Massachetts). Not only did she appreciate his eccentricities but she also donated a stupid question to his collection. (For that, she thanks the sister who demanded to know, “Where do you keep your ice cubes?”)

Their friendship has led to a collaboration that should cheer anyone with a secret affinity for Mad magazine. Written by Ms. Weisman, “Al Jaffee’s Mad Life” lays bare in harrowing yet often riotous detail how a Southern boy, twice uprooted by his mother to Lithuanian shtetls on the eve of World War II, grew up to become a tireless satirist for some of America’s cheekier magazines. HarperCollins published the book on Tuesday under its It Books imprint.

Readers will also be treated to 74 original drawings by Mr. Jaffee, nearly twice what he had pledged. “He was on fire,” Ms. Weisman said.
Click here for the full Times book review.


It’s budget season.

So in this week’s “What’s Next in Weston” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor discusses her town’s projections — and urges residents to participate

Click below to listen, courtesy of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.


Save the date!

The VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 charity golf tournament is June 12, at Longshore.

Individuals, businesses and organizations can support the local club by sponsoring a veteran (or a vets’ foursome) to play.

Other ways to help: donating prizes, registering to play, buying a tee sign, even being a title sposnor.

For more information, contact tournament chairs Ed Cribari (203-451-0644; ecribari71@gmail.com) or Patty Kondub (203-767-3778; nortonpk@aol.com).

VFW on Riverside Avenue.


Speaking of the VFW:

Ever-popular pianist Chris Coogan headlines this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, April 13; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.).

Chris grew up here, and the area is home base for his multi-faceted career. He is a world-class jazz pianist; an in-demand accompanist for singers; a powerhouse Gospel pianist, choir director and bandleader; an inspiring educator, and an all- around good guy.

He’s joined this week at the VFW by bassist John Mobilio and drummer Joe Corsella.

Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Chris Coogan


Starting yesterday, Church Lane will be closed to through traffic.

The move — begun during COVID, and continued in following years thanks to the popularity of outdoor dining and leisurely strolling — continues through November 6.

Outdoor dining on Church Lane. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The Y’s Women spaced out yesterday.

Marty Yellin — a Ph.D. in engineering, who helped design and manage the Hubble Space Telescope — explained the differences between it and the James Webb Telescope.

His photographs, we are told, were “out of this world.”

Marty Yellin addresses the Y’s Women.


Martha Stewart returned to Westport recently.

She sampled Arogya Holistic Healing & Tea’s teas, and shared recipes. The event was filmed for her TV show, “Martha Cooks!”

Click here, for the full episode on Roku.

Martha Stewart at Arogya.


Judith Katz’s Harvest Commons magnolia tree serves beautifully as today’s “Westport … Naturally” image.

(Photo/Judith Katz)


And finally … Happy Barbershop Quartet Day!

(Stay “in tune” with “06880” — and please support what we do. Click here — thank you!)





In Death, The Gift Of Life

Like many others, Dan Levinson moved from New York to Westport when his children were young. He thought it would be a great place to raise kids.

He was right. He grew to love the town, and has been active in many non-profit organizations here and in Bridgeport.

Like some others, his father — Peritz Levinson — moved in with the Levinsons late in life. He too learned to love the beach, Longshore, the library and Senior Center.

Peritz died a year later. Unlike many others, however, his death was not frightening, painful or brutal.

Instead, it was powerful. It was meaningful.

And now it’s become the impetus for an intriguing, important book project.

Peritz Levinson spent his life in Cincinnati. That’s where he took care of his own parents, until they died.

Peritz Levinson, with a very young Dan.

A psychiatrist, he came to Westport when he was 90. His wife had died, and he was ailing. He did not want to impose on his son.

Peritz need not have worried. He had prepared to die. During the last year of his life, he “became transcendent,” Dan says. “He was less present, but more brilliant.”

As they heard Dan talk about his father’s death, people who befriended Peritz during his last year — Sue Pfister at the Senior Center, Bill Harmer of the Westport Library, Sharon Bradley at Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County — encouraged Dan to write about the experience.

Peritz and Dan Levinson take a selfie.

He realized there were other stories out there, of “good deaths.” He decided to find them, find writers to tell them, and collect them in a book.

In Death, The Gift of Life is hyperlocal, he says. It  features 10 stories from here.

Some of the names are familiar, like community activist Estelle Margolis and musician Charlie Karp.

“It’s not a book for the world. But I think it can influence a lot of people.”

For much of history, Dan notes, death was seen as a natural part of life. People died at home, surrounded by loved ones. But advances in technology and medicine have made us think we need to “fight and scrap,” to put off the inevitable end of our days.

Peritz Levinson, enjoying his son Dan’s back yard.

Peritz Levinson had thought for years about death. He was a founding member of Exit International. The non-profit organization wants to ensure that all rational adults have access to the best available information, so they can make informed decisions about when and how they die.

“My father wanted to be present as he died,” Dan says. “He was calm. He had clarity.”

The final 3 months in particular were “spectacular.”

Dan took his father to meaningful places. Peritz loved the beach. At Elvira’s, Stacy gave him rice pudding. When they drove through the golf course, people waved. Dan’s son Jesse — Peritz’s grandson — was around for much of the time too.

Peritz Levinson, surrounded by (clockwise from lower left), his grandchildren Andie, Adam and Jesse, plus Andie’s now-husband Steve and Adam’s girlfriend Hayley.

“It was beautiful,” Dan says. “We had quality time, and closure. There was acceptance and peace.”

Dan is fully aware that his family’s experience is rare. Part of the reason for the book is to spark conversations about dying. So he sought writers who knew their subjects, and could tell their stories lovingly and insightfully.

Estelle Margolis, longtime activitst and a Westporter who prepared well for her own death.

Longtime civic volunteer and political activist Margolis, for example, prepared well for her own death. Her grandson wrote her story.

Author Mary-Lou Weisman wrote about Pamela Parsons Naughton, the wife of actor James Naughton. Karp’s sister Eleanor Duffy writes about him.

Other familiar author names include Sarah Gross, Jarret Liotta, Robin Weinberg and Craig D.B. Patton. I was honored to contribute Peritz Levinson’s story.

The title — In Death, the Gift of Life — comes from something someone told Dan Levinson: “Your father gave you his life. And he gave you his death.”

On October 13, the book launches officially, at the Westport Library. There’s a 6:30 p.m., reception; remarks from Levinson, Liotta, Weisman, Naughton (and me), and music by The Name Droppers, Charlie Karp’s band.

The public is invited. It will be a joyful celebration of this book — and of the joys of good, meaningful deaths.

(For more information on the October 13 event at the Westport Library, click here.)

(“06880” is entirely reader-supported. Please click here to contribute.)


Roundup: Arts $$$, Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward, IRS Help …


CT Humanities has awarded grants to non-profit museums, cultural organizations, humanities organizations and arts organizations. The funds will help them recover from the pandemic, connect K-12 teachers and students to strong humanities and arts content, and improve information technology and digital infrastructure.

CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants are part of $30 million allocated over the next 2 years by the state General Assembly.

Local recipients include:

  • Artists Collective of Westport – $5,600
  • Beechwood Arts & Innovation – $8,800
  • Earthplace – $168,700
  • Friends of Westport Public Art Collections – $5,900
  • Levitt Pavilion – $38,500
  • MoCA Westport – $65,600
  • Play With Your Food – $13,000
  • Remarkable Theater – $12,500
  • Weston Historical Society – $10,200
  • Westport Community Theatre – $7,700
  • Westport Country Playhouse – $80,900
  • Westport Museum for History & Culture – $26,900
  • Westport School of Music – $21,800

One of many organizations earning a grant.

(Hat tip: State Senator Will Haskell)


Too many Americans today know Paul Newman only as the popcorn guy. And not enough know his wife, Joanne Woodward.

Yet, as Variety notes: “They were a Hollywood power couple who chose to live and raise their family in Connecticut, far removed from the center of moviemaking. They were box office draws who remained true to their art, using their celebrity to finance smaller dramas and passion projects. They epitomized glamour and romance for legions of fans, but remained more devoted to social justice and philanthropy than red carpet premieres.”

A new 6-part documentary will bring their lives and legacies to light.

“The Last Movie Stars” is directed by Ethan Hawke and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The series debuts on CNN+ later this year, and will be available on HBO Max.

No word on its content, but there’s sure to be plenty about Westport — an integral part of their lives — in at least some of the 6 parts. (Hat tips: David Roth and Kerry Long)

Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman and friend.


Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup noted the lawsuit filed by Westport writer Ruth Shalit Barrett against The Atlantic magazine.

It’s a national story. The New York Times has covered the lawsuit. Click here to read.

And Barrett has created a website with the full complaint. Click here to see.

Ruth Shalit Barrett (Photo/Robertson Barrett, courtesy of Washington Post)


Westporters — especially seniors and those with low to moderate incomes — can once again take advantage of the town’s no-cost full-service AARP/VITA/IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance Program.

On-site personal counseling is available by appointment at Town Hall (Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m.) and the Senior Center (Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursdays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.), starting January 24. Call 860-590-8910 for an appointment.

The service is also available through a secure internet site. Click here for an appointment.

The program is administered by Westport’s Department of Human Services.


The 2nd of PBS’s 3 special concerts — “Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse” airs this Friday night (9 p.m. ET on Channel 13; check other local listings). The series is also available on PBS.org and the PBS Video app.

Shoshana Bean is this week’s guest. The Broadway (“Wicked,” “Waitress”) and recording star taped 2 shows at the Playhouse in September.

The series — spearheaded by executive producer Andrew Wilk of Westport — debuted last week with Gavin Creel. It concludes January 21, with Brandon Victor Dixon.


Always wanted to write your memoir?

The Westport Library and WestportWRITES sponsors a pair of workshops, with best-selling author, personal essayist and memoir writer Mary-Lou Weisman. She’s taught her craft too, at The New School, New York University and Manhattanville College, and through Westport and Norwalk continuing education programs.

The Introductory Memoir Writing Workshop meets Tuesdays (12:30 to 2:30 p.m.) from February 15 through March 29. Click here for information.

The Advanced Memoir Writing Class meets Thursdays (12:30 to 2:30 p.m.) from February 17 through May 17. Click here for information.

Mary-Lou Weisman


There’s a bit of a back story to today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Robin Frank reported yesterday: “Our puppy cannot go in the backyard because this raccoon has been outside our kitchen window all day.”

(Photo/Robin Frank)


And finally … today is the birthday of Slim Harpo. The spectacularly named blues singer-songwriter and musician was born in Louisiana in 1924. He died of a heart attack in 1970, at just 46.


Roundup: Homeless, Speed, The Brook …


A Westporter who asked for anonymity writes:

“Yesterday I saw 2 people that I believe are homeless.

“One was asking for money in front of Fresh Market. After I gave him some, he showed me his injuries from overseas military assignments. I then stayed in my car watching, as many Westporters passed him by.

“The second individual I saw yesterday morning walking in Southport towards Westport (see photo).

“I wonder: What is Westport doing to help these people?”

Walking toward Westport.


“06880” readers know Caryl Beatus for her insightful comments, on a broad range of subjects.

The Longshore Ladies Golf Association know her as a friend.

On August 31, they’ll celebrate 60 years of existence with a luncheon. (A year late, because of COVID. Good things come to those who wait.)

Caryl — an original member, when the organization was formed in 1960 — is an important part of those 60 years.

In 2017, the LWGA recognized her service by naming its annual member/member tournament after her.

Caryl has served the LWGA in many capacities. She oversaw the creation and revision of its by-laws, was tournament chair, and for many years organized biannual luncheons.

She has put in countless hours, and always made herself available to help move the organization forward.

Patty Kondub, a past president and coach of the Staples girls golf team, says that a decade ago, when she and Caryl were both injured, Caryl convinced her to serve with her as a “co-hostess.” Every week early in the morning they greeted members, explained the tournament, and introduced players to each other to build camaraderie.

Patty notes that Caryl is a “good luck charm.” Many LWGA members have shot their best rounds while playing with Caryl in their Tuesday tournaments.

Congrats to the LWGA for 60 (61) years — and to Caryl Beatus for all she has one, during those 6 decades.

Caryl Beatus (right) and Anne Krygier, enjoying another day on the links.


Longtime Westporter — and North Avenue-area resident — Carl Addison Swanson shares an email he sent to 1st Selectman Jim Marpe:

“Last year, over 100 children died and another 25,000 were injured on their way to school.

“In Westport, where I grew up and have been associated with this town since 1952, North Avenue is used as a commuter route for those living in Easton, Weston, Wilton, Fairfield and Southport. Drivers drive too fast. A recent study, using a radar gun, clocked 72% of drivers exceeding 45 m.p.h. on the road.

“What makes this issue more critical is that 4 schools are situated on North Avenue: Coleytown Middle, Coleytown Elementary, Bedford Middle and Staples High School. And while a traffic guard is used to direct traffic, they are not there when, many times, children cross before and/or after school hours due to sports or extracurricular activities. Further, many adults use these crossways to take a walk or bike ride at odd hours.

“I have written to the Westport Police Chief with return comments such as we do not use traffic lights to control traffic,’ and the placement of little green men cones (as seen on Riverside and downtown) are too expensive. Really?

“In every other jurisdiction I have lived in, from Texas to Vermont, the state and town protects their children by blinking lights, a speed limit of 5 mph during peak times, and strict enforcement by the local police on each and every school.

“For a town that bases its importance on the education of their youth, you seem to yield to the flow of traffic rather than the safety of our residents?  A grassroots effort by concerned Westporters to change this is now being organized.”

Carl Addison Swanson would like to see — at the minimum — signs like these near our schools.


Speaking of school:

Tracy Porosoff spotted this near Shake Shack.

“Am I the only one confused?” she asks.


(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for first responders, frontline workers, teachers, and community groups to attend “Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse.”

The 3 nights of concerts by Broadway artists Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress), Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon) and Brandon Victor Dixon (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Hamilton) will be taped August 31 through September 2, for a future national television broadcast. There are 2 shows each night: 7 and 9 p.m.

For complimentary tickets, Jennifer Carroll: jcarroll@westportplayhouse.org.

The public can buy tickets, starting at $20. Click here for more information.

Gavin Creel


A former Westporter used to frequent the Brook Café with a friend. For his birthday, she wants to give him some memorabilia — perhaps a box of matches, glass or napkin with the bar’s name on it.

If anyone has any souvenirs from “the Brook,” please email me directly: dwoog@optonline.net. I’ll connect you with our reader.


The transfer station will be closed to residents next Wednesday (August 25) for repairs. It will be open though for private residential and commercial haulers.

Transfer station will be closed Wednesday. (Photos/Ernie Lorimer)


Upcoming Westport Library events  of note:

Food and travel writer Alexander Lobrano — a Weston High graduate, and former Westporter — sits for a conversation with Kelle Ruden on August 31 (7 p.m.),

Lobrano’s memoir, My Place At the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris is a moving coming-of-age story. Through a series of encounters with culinary figures like Paul Bocuse, Julia Child and Ruth Reichl, Lobrano hones his palate and finds his voice.

Click here to join via livestream or in person. Copies of My Place At the Table are available for ordering and pickup at the Library, or shipping if further away.

Author/essayinst/memoir writer Mary-Lou Weisman hosts :Introductory Memoir Writing Workshops” this fall. They are on Mondays, from September 20 through October 25 (12:30 to 2:30 pm). Click here for more information, and to register.

Alexander Lobrano (Photo/Steven Rothfeld)


Ken Yormark boasts, “I got 2 eagles at Longshore.”

Congratulations! But he’s not referring to his golf game. He means — with a smile — this “Westport … Naturally” at the town club.

At any rate, it’s a nice “shot” of a couple of “birdies.”

(Photo/Ken Yormark)


And finally … following up on the eagles above, and the feeling it evokes: