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Tag Archives: Minute Man monument
August’s full moon is called the “sturgeon moon,” because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during that part of summer.
It reached peak illumination at 9:36 last night. The day before, Jonathan Prager took this gorgeous photo.
Last night, Westporters were out in droves to document the moon. Ted Horowitz shot this with his iPhone:
Taking another view, Patrick Kennedy describes this shot as “the full moon, guarded by our Minute Man”:
Like many longtime Westporters, Mike Elliot loves the Minute Man. Like the Compo cannons and Veterans Green doughboy, it is a Westport landmark.
However, the 1972 Staples High School graduate writes:
“The grassy area surrounding the stature always look like crap. It is impossible to mow, weeds always overtake it, and frankly it looks awful.
“It needs to be redone — but with a no-maintenance solution.
“My backyard patio has 4 inches of reinforced concrete, with 2 inches of blue stone. It will never have weeds. It always looks presentable.
“The Minute Man doesn’t need that kind of sub base. But if we held a fundraiser to redo the base with a concrete structure and inlay pavers, or cannon balls or some architecturally pleasing finish, it would always look clean and presentable. It would always remain our most iconic landmark.”
Mike has planted a great seed of an idea. Is there any interest in helping it grow? Click “Comments” below.
In the middle of some of the darkest days of the year — literally and figuratively — Westport woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise: a light blanket of snow.
It won’t make this Christmas the best ever — especially for those with canceled plans and continued fears of COVID.
But it sure is pretty.
“06880” photographer Patricia McMahon was out early today. Here’s what she found, all around town:
Big news from the Westport Woman’s Club: They held their first monthly luncheon in over a year.
Bigger news: The Yankee Doodle Fair is back!
The century-old event — Westport’s traditional last week of school/beginning of summer carnival — was canceled last year and this, due to COVID.
But the WWC has arranged for all the rides, games and cotton candy vendors to come this fall. The 2021 Yankee Doodle Fair is set for September 23 to 26.
As usual, all profits go toward grants and scholarships. It’s a great fundraiser, by an amazing group.
This fall’s Yankee Doodle Fair will be a great way to ring in the new school year. To raise money for those in need. And of course, to try to win one of those very elusive stuffed animals.
Westport Paddle Club’s first-ever Saugatuck River cleanup yesterday was trashy.
The Riverside Avenue rental and lesson facility supplied dozens of people with kayaks. They headed upstream, collecting trash along the way.
A thunderstorm sent them back to shore before everyone was done. Still, they filled barrels with “stuff.” Some of it was brush; much of it was man-made (and man-tossed).
Jr’s Deli fed the crowd. Rain cut short the reggae band. But the most important work was done.
And next year, it will have to be done all over again.
Most high school sports teams are lucky to have one All-American, every decade or so.
Before this year, Staples boys lacrosse had 5 since 2010.
This spring, they added 3 more.
Congratulations to the Wreckers’ newest All-American athletes: recent graduate JP Kosakowski, and rising seniors Henry Dodge and Charlie Howard!
Summer is here! Well, it arrives at 11:32 p.m. tonight, anyway.
To celebrate, the Minute Man donned a beach-type necklace.
PS: I’m sure that, as usual, a commenter will write in about this “desecration” of our town’s monument.
Ever since 1910, our Minute Man has been decorated. He’s worn Santa caps and Easter bunny years. He’s had flags draped over his shoulders, and flowers stuck in his musket.
Without going all First Amendment here, he fought for the right to be free. I think he would be pleased.
Tomorrow is worldwide “Make Music Day.” There are more than 1,000 events, in over 120 countries.
Unfortunately, there is no specific Westport celebration. But residents Louis Fuertes and Pat Blaufuss — members of the 4-person band Picnic on the 4th of July — will perform at Old Post Tavern in Fairfield (7 to 8 p.m.).
The CUkes — a ukulele group that originated at the Westport Weston Family YMCA — entertain in the Nordstrom Courtyard of The SoNo Collection mall (Norwalk, 6 p.m.).
And Talking Heads members Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth — who live just over the line in Fairfield — are part of an international “This Moment in Time” musical event. Click here for details.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature finds a pair of egrets enjoying Compo Beach.
And finally … in honor of international “Make Music Day”:
Town arts curator and historian Kathleen Motes Bennewitz reminds us that next Wednesday — June 17 — is the 110th anniversary of the unveiling of the Minute Man monument.
In an essay for ConnecticutHistory.org, she describes “Bunker Hill Day,” which drew over 1,000 state residents.
Temporarily concealed by canvas and a bunting-clad dais was a life-sized bronze of a farmer-turned-soldier — with his powder horn and musket at the ready — kneeling atop a grassy pedestal that rose some 6 feet above the roadway. The monument was erected to honor the heroism of patriots who defended the country when the British invaded Connecticut at Compo Beach on April 25, 1777, and in the ensuing two days of conflict at Danbury and Ridgefield.
Created by Westport artist H. Daniel Webster (1880-1912), The Minute Man is sited in the center of the intersection at Compo Road South and Compo Beach Road, said to be the exact spot of the fiercest engagement between British and Continental militias that April evening. After accepting the statue and turning it over to the town’s care, Lewis B. Curtis, president of the Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution, declared that “Westport should always cherish among their brightest possessions, this spot and the monument, which we have erected to commemorate the noble deeds enacted here.”
Surprisingly, our Minute Man is one of only 4 honoring those Revolutionary War civilian patriots. The most famous, Bennewitz says, is at Concord, Massachusetts near “the shot heard ’round the world.” The other 2 are also in the Bay State (Lexington and Framingham).
Bennewitz notes that the 1910 unveiling capped an 8-year campaign for a monument. It began in 1902, when the town “secured title to Compo Beach as a public resort.”
As for the sculptor, Webster was just 29 years old when he received the commission in 1909. Three years earlier, he had moved from New York to Westport’s “nascent artist community.”
After modeling the figure at his Westport studio, he had it cast by Tiffany & Co. at Roman Bronze Works, the country’s preeminent art foundry. To complete the monument, he asked nearby residents to donate fieldstone for the foundation wall and large, asymmetrical boulders for the earthen mound and to house the bronze plaques. The finished cost was $2,900.
Four years after its unveiling, the Minute Man was a destination for owners of newfangled automobiles, who followed George Washington’s route from Philadelphia to Cambridge to assume command of the Continental army.
In 1935 the monument was the emblem for the town centennial; in 1986, the centerpiece of Miggs Burroughs’ town flag.
In 1957, it was even featured on “I Love Lucy.” You can’t get more American than that.
Anne Craig is familiar to Westporters. She spent 15 years on TV, as an entertainment and features reporter for Fox 5 in New York, and evening news anchor on New Haven’s Channel 8.
These days Anne is home in Westport with her husband and young kids. But she still loves telling stories — and tells them very, very well.
This one is about Westport’s mysterious “yarn bomber.” We’ve all seen her (or their) (or his?!) work. Now Anne tries to unravel the mystery.
Two weeks ago, Staples senior Lillie Bukzin learned that Oprah Winfrey was organizing a Facebook Live graduation event — and was looking for videos.
Lillie and her friends Sofie Abrams, Meher Bhullar, Reilly Caldwell, Kate Enquist and Cassie Lang went to work. They wrote a mini-script, and Lillie recorded them all saying “Hi! We are from the class of 2020 from Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut and this how we graduate.” They also threw their Staples baseball caps in the air.
On Thursday, they learned they’d be part of Oprah’s event — which aired yesterday. Click below to see their 15 seconds of fame! (Okay, it’s more like 1.5 seconds. But the video is very cool!
PS: In other Staples/national graduation/famous people news, tonight (8 p.m., multiple platforms) is when former president Barack Obama gives a speech to the Class of 2020. It’s the direct result of a social media campaign spearheaded by Lincoln Debenham, who grew up here and spent 2 years at Staples before his family moved to Los Angeles.
The Class of 2020 may graduate virtually, but together they rock!
The Westport Garden Club had to postpone their annual flower sale. But the 96-year-old organization is growing new roots, with their “Friday Flowers” project. All around town, they’re brightening our days. Here’s one example — at the gateway to our newly opened beach.
Here’s another interesting shot. David Squires calls this “our new (ab)normal.” Personally, he says, “I prefer the fuzzy dice.”
In month 3 of COVID, you’ve gone through nearly every Netflix, Showtime and Disney title available.
But you may have missed “Batsh*t Bride.” Filmed locally — including Christ & Holy Trinity church, Longshore and Pearl restaurant — the comedy stars Meghan Falcone as a bride who pranks her fiance by saying they should break up. Unfortunately, he feels the same way. Everything spirals out of control from there.
It’s available just about any way you can watch: Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Xbox, FangangoNOW, Hoopla, Sony Playstation Video Application and console, AT&T, DirectTV, Dish, iN DEMAND (Comcast, Spectrum) and Vubiquity (Verison Fios). Enjoy the trailer below; then click here for the direct links.
There’s not a lot to laugh about these days. But people walking past Saugatuck Congregational Church have to smile when they see the signs below.
Too young to know the reference? Google John Cleese and Monty Python.
And finally … the beach parking lot reopening was timed perfectly with the arrival of actual spring weather. Well done, Westport!
Spring is here. And here’s what Westporters saw this weekend:
Special “morning ice in Westport” edition!