Tag Archives: Miggs Burroughs

Roundup: Tunnel Of Love, Compo Swim, Cribari Lights

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Just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season, a small ceremony honored the re-lighting and re-naming of the pedestrian tunnel between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza.

New lights show off Miggs Burroughs’ stunning lenticular images. They portray Westporters connecting with each other. Each changes, depending on the angle you view them from.

The original name was “Tunnel Vision.” Suzanne Tanner came up with the new “Tunnel of Love & Community” — abbreviated as (of course) TLC. Then it was re-opened — as it always has been — to the public, 24/7/365.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker (center) and guests enjoy the newly re-lit Tunnel of Love & Community.

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While all the tunnel re-dedicators were bundled up in Friday’s chill, Ann Chernow’s grandchildren chilled at Compo Beach.

Well, actually, they went in the water.

She sends a photo of “2 of my crazy grandchildren. They usually swim  in the Pacific in San Francisco.” At 47 degrees, Long Island Sound was much chillier.

Yikes!

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Also this weekend: The Cribari Bridge is lit for the holidays.

Betsy Pollak sends along the first of what is sure to be many photos of one of Westport’s favorite and most colorful traditions.

(Photo/Betsy Pollak)

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Westport’s hidden music gem, Voices Cafe, offers in-person, high quality live music (or livestream), with café-style seating. Everyone brings their own snacks and beverages.

Coming this Saturday (December 4): Eclectic musical duo The Whispering Tree, and award-winning folk couple Ash and Eric (formerly, The Promise is Hope).

Click here for tickets and more information. Seats are assigned by ticket purchase date.

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Photos keep coming in of new Thanksgiving Day traditions. Here’s one more — of a group of dads and sons — with the by-now-familiar name: Turkey Bowl. (Hat tip: Bianca Jonas)

(Photo/Eric Ritter)

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You can’t be too busy next month, right?

If you need an activity, check out these 2 from Wakeman Town Farm.

“In “Making Spirits Brighter: A Holiday Mixology Class” (December 6, 7 p.m.), “Mixxed by Ed” Hernandez will teach you how to make 5 holiday-themed drinks, using natural ingredients picked straight from the farm. Premium liquor is provided by Remy Cointreau.

“A Holiday Centerpiece Workshop” (December 14, 7 p.m.), features WTF’s Chyrse Terill and Ellen Goldman. Materials are collected from the Farm. You can take home your creation — and feel free to bring an appetizer, bottle of wine or other drink.

Click here for details and registration.

“Mixxed by Ed” Hernandez

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Former Staples High School football star Joseph Vincent DeMattio died Wednesday, following a courageous battle with a long-time illness. He was 63, and is survived by a large extended family and hundreds of friends.

Joey played tackle on the Wreckers’ 1975 state champion team, and was a 1997 inductee into team’s Wall of Fame. He also played defense for the University of Maryland where he played  defense for the Maryland Terrapins. An excellent athlete, he returned to Westport and played softball for the legendary Sonny’s team.

His family says, “There was never a dull moment in Joey’s life. From running with the bulls in Pamplona to fighting pirates in the Bahamas, he was no stranger to adventure or travel.”

Although Joey held several positions in his career, his favorite was working for Keith Richards in Weston. He often said how down to earth and kind the family was to him.

He was also an accomplished inventor, and held 2 provisional patents.

Joey had a huge heart, especially for children and the elderly.

Joey loved Saugatuck, Jr’s Hot Dog Stand, Compo Beach, Aunt Jean’s eggplant parm, Walter K, the Maryland Terrapins, Ledo’s Pizza, inventing things, his little dog Tony, his beautiful home, eating any food (especially Italian), his Saugatuck Saints jacket, Calvin the monkey, yelling at umpires, playing football, traveling, the Three Stooges, the Rolling Stones, and pistachio ice cream.

His family notes, “Saugatuck will never be the same without you.”

A  funeral is set for Thursday (December 2, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home on Wednesday (December 1, 4 to 8 p..). Click here to leave online condolences.

In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to Safer Refuge of Central Texas, where 2 of Joey’s beloved puppies come from.

Joey DeMattio, in the 1977 Staples High School yearbook.

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Nicholas T. Saviano Jr. of Westport died quietly at home earlier this month.

After graduating from Staples High School in 1947, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Union College and a master’s from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was inducted into Sigma Xi Honor Society.

Nick was a lifelong Westport resident. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed photography, horseback riding, skiing, wine making, family genealogy, and aviation and navigation.

In his younger years he owned a small private plane with his older brother. He traveled throughout the country and abroad, including Italy and China with family and friends.

For most of his career he worked as an electrical engineer at Sperry Rand/Unisys in New York as the senior research section head, software development, shipboard and ground systems group. Nick also held a number of patents.

He volunteered for many years at the Westport Library and Sons of Italy. He was also an usher at the Assumption Church. He was devoted to his family and friends.

He was predeceased by his elder brother Ralph, his nephew David and his wife Joanne of New Hampshire, and several dear life-long friends. He is survived by his sister Florence of Stratford; brother Thomas of Westport; nieces Dyana and Felica of Monroe; niece Suzanne of New Hampshire; nephew Mark of Colorado; several great-nephews and nieces, great-great nephews and nieces, and 7 godchildren.

A funeral is set for Saturday (December 4, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption-Greens Farms Cemetery. A reception immediately following the burial will be held at Christ and Holy Trinity Church. Gifts may be given in Nick’s memory to Union College,

Nick Saviano

 

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Today’s colorful “Westport … Naturally” image comes from the home and camera of Linda Stern:

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … Today in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting in Nashville, as the WSM Barn Dance. Uncle Jimmy Thompson was the first guest.

And if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill:

 

Roundup: Downtown Tunnel, Downtown Cleanup, Compo Shoe …

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In 2014, “Tunnel Vision” — Miggs Burroughs’ clever series of lenticular photos, showing Westporters connecting with each other (and each one changes, depending on your viewing angle) — turned a drab pedestrian walkway between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza into a lively, creative tourist attraction.

“Tunnel Vision,” in the walkway between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza

Although — 7 years later — plenty of people still don’t know it exists.

Recently, the images were refurbished and reinstalled. A small reception, including a ceremonial re-lighting, is planned soon.

Also in the works: great visibility.

Miggs and Mark Yurkiw are seeking approval to add awnings to the tunnel’s front and back entrances. They’ll be an easy way for shoppers to find the handy cut-through (and enjoy Miggs’ photos).

They’ll also be an easily identifiable shelter for people waiting for a friend or ride, in all kinds of weather.

PS: Check out the new name: “Tunnel of Love and Community (TLC).”

Rendering of the proposed tunnel awning on Main Street.

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Speaking of downtown: Westporters of all ages headed there yesterday, for the first annual Riverwalk clean-up.

Sustainable Westport, Staples High School’s Zero Waste Committee and the Coleytown Elementary School PTA’s Sustainability Committee met behind Starbucks, then fanned out to remove trash from the riverfront, on both sides of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

They spent 3 hours, and filled 25 buckets.

The rest of Westport — and all kinds of wildlife — are grateful.

It takes a village to clean up a village.

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Are you missing a shoe?

This one was spotted yesterday at Compo Beach. The photo comes courtesy of 10-year-old Samantha Perrotta.

(Photo/Samantha Perrotta)

Then — a couple of hours later — I got this, from June Rose Whittaker:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

There must be a story behind this. Though I’m not sure we want to know.

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Looking for a special — and beautiful — holiday gift?

Longtime photographer Tom Kretsch has some ideas.

How about “Touching Maine,” his beautiful book of essays and images of coastal Maine? A 4″ x 4″ acryclic photo block? Or a gift certificate for one of his photos? There are plenty, taken throughout Fairfield County and beyond. Click here to see.

Email tom@peacefulplacesphoto.com for more information.

(Photo/Tom Kretsch)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a beautiful gingko biloba tree. It’s in Ted Horowitz’s back yard on Wilton Road — but now everyone can enjoy it!

(Photo/copyright Ted Horowitz)

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And finally … today marks the 58th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. I’m still not convinced we know the whole truth.

“The Graduate,” Starring … Miggs Burroughs?

For the second summer in a row, the Remarkable Theater has entertained Westporters by showing classic films, on the Imperial Avenue parking lot’s giant screen.

And films don’t get more classic than “The Graduate.”

Mike Nichols’ comedy is set for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 30. It’s a great chance to revisit — or see for the first time — the triangle involving  the older Mrs. Robinson, her daughter Elaine, and confused recent graduate Benjamin.

The movie famously stars Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman.

Although, except for a twist of fate — or a casting change — the movie that launched Hoffman’s career might have done the same for Miggs Burroughs.

In 1967 — 4 years after graduating from Staples High School — he was a senior at Carnegie Mellon University.* A drama major, he spotted an announcement for auditions on a bulletin board.

Miggs mailed a t-shirt, with his image. His roommate had fortuitously silk screened it, as a test of marketing “personality t-shirts” — a great idea, but one the roommate never capitalized on.

The t-shirt, with Miggs’ mug.

Soon, Miggs was asked to audition for the role of Benjamin:

Miggs showed up at the appointed time. He took the elevator, walked to the front studio, handed over his photos, and auditioned.

Miggs went back to school. He waited. A month later, this letter arrived:

Miggs went on with his life. He graduated. He left acting behind, and became an artist.

In the 50-plus years since, he’s earned fame as a Time cover illustrator, postage stamp designer, and — in Westport — everything from his lenticular images in the downtown and train station tunnels, to Westport’s 150th-anniversary flag, and just about every non-profit logo imaginable.

Miggs is a founding member of the Westport Artists’ Collective. He is one of our town’s true treasures. He’s a great artist, and an even better guy.

Take that, Mike Nichols!

And it’s funny how life turns out, isn’t it, Dustin Hoffman?

Miggs Burroughs. wearing a t-shirt with the Westport flag he designed. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

* In 1967, the school was called Carnegie Institute of Technology. At Miggs’ graduation, the Mellon family announced they had bought naming rights, for about $400 million.

 

 

Friday Flashback #249

It’s one of Westport’s lost, mostly forgotten mysteries: Pearl Bailey’s early-1950s recording of “I Caught Her in the Kitchen Playing Westport.”

It was even the subject of a previous Friday Flashback. But all I had were the lyrics. Even YouTube — where you can find anything — came up blank.

Today — thanks to the magic of Ellen and Mark Naftalin, and Miggs Burroughs — all of “06880” (and the world) can hear the sultry tune.

Ellen and Mark — longtime Westporters and musicians; she’s also a historian, he’s a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — found the song.

In an album in their very own collection. It’s called — appropriately — “More Songs for Adults Only.”

Miggs turned the vinyl into an Mp3.

Click below to listen.

And if you want to sing along with Pearl, the lyrics are below.

There’s a little ranch house in the vale,
Pretty little ranch house up for sale;
All the shutters drawn,
Tenants all gone
And thereby hangs a long, unhappy tale.

‘Cause he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport,
A game indigenous to suburban life,
Where you take a wife of whom you’re not the husband,
While someone else’s husband takes your wife.

Some people may claim that the name of the game is Scarsdale,
Or Beverly Hills, or even Shaker Heights,
But commuters from Manhattan call it Westport.
And it’s the game that some of our local leading lights play
To while away those cold Connecticut nights.

Now in that little ranch house used to dwell
An advertising feller and his Nell.
Two kids and a pup, living it up,
And everything was sounder than a bell —
‘Til he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport
Between the washing machine and thermostat.

The husband thought it really was an outrage.
Said he, “You might at least remove your hat!”
Well, they may play it that way in Great Neck,
While in Levittown they’d never think it odd.
But there is not an architect in Westport
Who’ll ever forgive the cad that said, “My God! Sir.
I must have got the wrong cape cod!”

Since they are no longer groom and bride,
Quoting from the Sunday classified:
“Are there any takers
For three lovely acres
Of peaceful old New England countryside?”
‘Cause he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport
Which would ordinarily be a cause for gloom;
But though the sanctity of wedlock’s on the downgrade,
Currently housing is enjoying quite a boom!

And while they defame the name of the game in Boston,
Where naturally they think it’s a dirty shame,
In the green and fertile pastures of suburbia
The local dealers in real estate acclaim
It the best thing since the FHA, hey,

Westport is a grand old …
‘Midst pleasures and palaces …
Westport is a grand old game.

Tunnel Vision: Lighting Up Downtown

For 7 years, “Tunnel Vision” has been an intriguing — if overlooked and undervalued — part of Westport.

In 2014, artist/photographer/civic whirlwind Miggs Burroughs hung 16 lenticular images in the passageway between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza.

Miggs Burroughs, in his “Tunnel Vision” creation.

Looked at one way, the photos — showing Westporters connecting with each other, each one changing depending on your viewing angle — turned what had been a damp, moldy Clockwork Orange-ish walkway into a tourist attraction.

Looked at another way, it reminded us that we are all connected.

Looked at a third way — today — it’s clear that the 16 hands, symbolizing love, friendship and community — need a bit of freshening up.

The lights have burned out the artworks’ colors. The photos need to be reprinted. The tunnel needs a new vision.

A restoration campaign is underway. Artist Mark Yurkiw says that Norwalk lighting designer Gary Novasel is helping procure the proper new lights. Duggal — an immigrant from India, who printed the original art — is ready to help again.

The cost is $12,000. Click here to donate, and for more information.

For special tour, click below:

BONUS MIGGS BURROUGHS NEWS:

The artist’s “Signs of Compassion” project from 5 years ago — another lenticular images project, this one combining Emily Dickson’s poem of that name with  Westporters using its words in American Sign Language — is headed to Montefiore Hospital.

The Bronx institution just acquired all 30 images. They embody the hospital’s mission of healing and compassion, and will be displayed permanently on site.

Memorial Day Photo Gallery: Part 2

Thanks to all who submitted photos of today’s Memorial Day parade and ceremony. I received hundreds, and can’t run them all.

Today meant a lot to Westporters. It touched our hearts. It made us think about who we are, and what we want to be. And it made us deeply proud of our neighbors, our community, and all who have sacrificed to make this day possible.

World War II veterans like Joe Schachter had a special place of honor … (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

… and there were several cars with them. (Photo/Molly Alger)

Navy veteran Rick Benson (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

Leonard Everett Fisher (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

Bill Vornkahl — a Korean War veteran — has organized over 65 Westport Memorial Day parades. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Boy Scouts honor the flag. (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

The Fire Department held its annual ceremony, honoring its members who have served. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

1st Selectman Jim Marpe leads the political contingent … (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

… and the Blue Jays follow. (Photo/Whitney D’Angelo)

The Westport Paddle Club’s float echoed this year’s parade theme: Honoring Women in the Military. The WPC won “Most Creative Float” honors. (Photo/Robbie Guimond)

A Revolutionary War soldier (with sunglasses), aka Miggs Burroughs. One youngster — who really needs to learn history — asked, “Is he a pirate?” (Photo/Dan Woog)

Proud veterans, proud Westporters. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Besides publishing (and taking photos for) Westport Local Press and working as an educator Jaime Bairaktaris volunteers as an EMT. He marched proudly with them today — and wore out his shoes. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Remarkable Theater founder Doug Tirola (left) and Marine Corps veteran Michael Calise share a taste in shirt themes. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Roundup: Art Show, Beechwood, Private Benjamin …

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Here’s news to put a spring in your step:

Staples High School’s Jazz Combo earned 1st place at the 2021 National Jazz Festival this weekend. They competed in Small Ensemble Division 1 Live Performance.

Leading the quintet were seniors Lucas Lieberman (piano) and Abe Rubin (bass). The other members are sophomores: Noah Jahnel (tenor saxophone), Delaney McGee (trumpet), and Witt Lindau (drums).

Lucas was named the Superior Musician for the division, while Delaney and Witt were selected as 2 of the 3 Outstanding Musicians.

The Staples High School Jazz Ensemble participated in the Large Ensemble Division 1 Live Performance competition. Though they did not place, the adjudicators called the ensemble a “swingin’ band” and “one of the better bands that we’ve heard, in a tough division.” Congratulations to director Phil Giampietro, and all the musicians!

Click here to hear the Jazz Combo. Click here for the Jazz Ensemble.

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Westport’s back-to-normal journey continued yesterday, with a pair of just-like-old-times events.

The Westport Woman’s Club held its annual-except-for-last-year art show. Paintings, photos, ceramics — all by local artists — were admired (and bought) by a large, joyful bunch of happy-to-be-back art lovers.

Miggs Burroughs and Nina Bentley were among the artists exhibiting at yesterday’s Westport Woman’s Club show.

And  Frederic Chiu and Jeanine Esposito opened Beechwood — their Weston Road home, where they host regular arts salons (and more) — to the public, for the first time in a year.

The grounds were spectacular. Especially the centerpiece: an ancient copper beech tree, which gives the property and the arts series its name.

The Beechwood copper birch tree. (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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COVID stopped many things this year — but not the National Charity League.

Yesterday, Staples High School’s chapter of the mother/daughter community service organization honored 5 pairs — each of whom did more than 30 hours annually — with a “car caravan.”

It ended with a ceremonial “tea” at Ned Dimes Marina, for all 16 seniors.

National Charity League seniors, at Ned Dimes Marina. Back row (from left): Lauren Spheeris, Milei Wyatt, Grace Maloney, Tatiana Bicalho, Daphne Baker, Hannah Murphy, Kaytlyn Carnahan, Callie Rourke, Kyla Race. Front row: Maya Sampath, Abby Ragland, Isabelle Gerard, Hayley Buckman, Elana Lundbye, Sarah Corneck, Chloe Chaple..

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Just added to the Remarkable Theater’s schedule: “Private Benjamin.” It’s this Thursday (May 27, 8 p.m.). The parking lot opens at 7 p.m., for tailgating.

Click here for tickets, and more shows.

“Private Benjamin”

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Boston College’s “Spoon River Revival” has won the Outstanding Creative Ensemble Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Four cast members — including Staples High School Class of 2020 graduate Nick Rossi — were chosen to participate in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. The award provides recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers for the further pursuit of education. Click here for the full story.

Emily (Sophie Rossman) and George (Nick Rossi) at the soda shop, in Staples Players’ production of “Our Town.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from downtown, via Frank Rosen:

(Photo/Frank Rosen)

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And finally … on this day in 1624, Peter Minuit bought Manhattan for the Dutch, from the Lenape Native Americans.

It is commonly believed the price was $24 worth of trinkets. It was actually “60 guilders worth of trade” — approximately $1,143 in 2020 dollars.

So today’s featured artist and song are no-brainers:

 

 

 

Collective’s Virtual (And Very Cool) Art Gallery Opens

When the pandemic struck, Westport’s many artists kept creating. Stuck in their studios, they produced some astonishing work.

The downside: Stuck in their studios, they had little opportunity to showcase it. Galleries shut down. Auctions ended. Art shows stopped.

Sure, they could post images on their websites. But art is 3-dimensional. Technology is only 2.

Fortunately, our artists think in many dimensions. Longtime Westporter and Staples High School graduate Trace Burroughs developed an interactive 3D gallery space, to show his work. It won an innovation award from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.

Since the Artists’ Collective of Westport — a lively, hard-working and fun group of 150+ — could not have live exhibits, Trace’s brother Miggs Burroughs suggested they hire him to create their own 3D gallery.

Working — virtually, of course — with a programmer in the Netherlands, they made it happen.

The Burroughses and Susan Fehlinger created a members’ Call for Entries. Nearly 90 responded.

Of course, digital files are not canvases or prints. There were new details to work out — font and image sizes, gallery lighting and shadows, decor and more, and to simplify things all images are square — but Collective members figured it all out.

Enter the 3D gallery …

The artists are thrilled. And the public — anyone, anywhere, around the world — who wants to appreciate (and buy!) Westporters’ art can now do so, 24/7/365.

No masks or social distancing required!

Click here to enter. For the best immersive experience, use a desktop computer. 3D graphics are robust, so it may take a few seconds to load.

… and then click to view individual works. This is by Jay Petrow.

 

Roundup: Cribari Bridge, Burroughs Brothers, Chocolate Bombs, More


The Cribari Bridge Christmas lights never get old.

In fact, “06880” readers always provide fresh perspectives.

Here’s January Stuart’s:

(Photo/January Stewart)


The Winter Farmers’ Market: It’s not just for Thursdays anymore.

Next Tuesday (December 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane) features a special holiday Artist Market.

It’s a way to support local artisans, who have been battered professionally by COVID-19. The Farmers’ Market is a safe outdoor space where they can sell their crafts.

The Artist Market takes place in 3 open-air greenhouses. Food trucks will grab-and-go meals, and hot and cold drinks.


2020 has been a wretched year. It can’t end soon enough.

But on its way out the door, the Westport Library will give it a special push.

On Monday, December 21 (7 p.m.), Miggs and Trace Burroughs’ offer winter solstice entertainment.

“Oh Brother, Not Another Holiday Special” — streamed from the Westport Library’s Forum — features several cool guests.

Martha Stewart returns to town, giving Miggs some holiday tips. Psychic “Miss Liz” will answer questions and make predictions for 2021. (Uh oh.)

Miggs’ bagel-making, Moog-playing son Brayden and Trace’s conceptual artist Pavia will appear.

Scraping the very bottom of the barrel, Miggs has asked me to be on the show too. I’ll try to find the 10 most uplifting stories of 2020. (It’s not easy.)

Miggs and Trace promise to make short work of the longest night of the year. Click here to register.

 

For years, Aarti Khosla — Westport’s favorite chocolatier — has been “Giving a Little Love.” Her promotions have supported healthcare workers, police officers, Bridgeport high school graduates, and teachers right here in Westport.

Now — as winter looms — Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti embarks on a new campaign: “Give a Little Warmth.”

For each $10 “Hot Chocolate Bomb” pack customers buy, she’ll donate one to men and women who care for us: healthcare professionals, police and EMTs. They’re great stocking stuffers — and easy to ship.

Click here to order; be sure to write “Give a Little Warmth” in the note section.

Need another reason to shop at Le Rouge (190 Main Street, lower level)? Aarti will donate 5% of all December sales to local food banks.


And finally … today marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. He was 40 years old when Mark David Chapman shot him 4 times in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building.

In other words, John Lennon has been dead for as many years as he lived. Imagine.

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 35 Gallery

Thanksgiving is (almost) here. Submissions to our Saturday art gallery are starting to include some familiar holiday themes. Keep ’em coming!

Each week, we welcome submissions from all artists. You don’t have to be a pro, or even experienced. We want it all!

Works should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current lives. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world. Then enjoy your turkey!

“With Thanks for All Our Memories” (Ellin Spadone)

“Emaskulation” (Miggs Burroughs took all these photos during a 20-minute walk in Parker Harding Plaza)

Untitled (DIane Lowman)

“Welcome” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Morning Sky at Saugatuck Elementary School” (Olivia Whee, age 7)

“We Are Family” (Karen Weingarten)

“Happy Thanksgiving” (Amy Schneider)

“Falling Leaves” (Judith Koffsky — a giant Japanese red maple on Compo Road South)