Earlier today, I posted a story about an epidemic in town: Citizens stealing signs advertising non-profit events.
I used a generic photo. Obviously, I did not have a handy image of someone caught in the act.
Now I do. Even better: It’s a video.
A Westport resident captured this scene, from a dashcam.
The view is from Church Street South, near the Post Road intersection.
The sign advertises — er, advertised — Bedford Theater Company’s production this weekend of “Bye Bye Birdie.”
It’s in 2 separate videos, because the dashcam records in 3-minute increments.
In the first, we see a man who has parked his silver SUV in the lot of the now-closed Mobil Self-Serve (right). He walks from right to left, toward the sign:
In the second, longer clip, he lifts up the sign and brings it back to his vehicle, on the right.
It’s easy to say, “No big deal. It’s only a sign.”
But when you see a neighbor of ours behaving like this — a grown man removing a sign for a middle school play — you have to wonder what kind of town we’re living in.
When ExxonMobil closed its Westport location near Barnes & Noble in September, Sam Hiba promised his many customers he’d keep in touch.
Four months later, there’s good news. Sam — the popular, generous owner who brightened everyone’s day, while working tirelessly to support his 5 children and on behalf of refugees from his native Syria — is now a partner in the Global station right off I-95 westbound Exit 14 in Norwalk.
Global is Sam’s new gas station.
The address is 224 Connecticut Avenue.
You might want to take the back roads there, though. 95 may be gridlocked — jam-packed with all of Sam’s fans.
Sam Hiba, at the Mobil Self-Serve.
Bert Porzio is one of Westport’s all-around good guys.
The tree service owner lends a hand — no questions asked — in emergencies large and small. He helps families in need, Little League fields — you name it, Bert’s there.
With all those trees, it’s no surprise that a side gig is selling firewood. For years, customers picked up cords at the Mobil Self-Serve next to Barnes & Noble. Many say it’s the best wood around.
Unfortunately, the gas station closed earlier this fall. With winter near, what’s a Westporter to do?
Lloyd Allen to the rescue!
The owner of Double L Farm Stand less than a mile west of the Mobil station told Bert he’s happy to sell his firewood.
It’s a warm win-win for everyone.
Bert Porzio at the Double L Farm Stand
While we often think of Westport businesses as either “mom-and-pop” or “big huge chains,” the dichotomy is often far less stark.
Take the self-serve gas station next to Barnes & Noble, for example.
I always thought it was “Mobil.”
The other day though, it looked spiffier than usual. There wasn’t the usual mess outside; indoors, the counter was clean.
Turns out Mobil — the international conglomerate — has taken over the station, from its independent owners.
The changes are more than cosmetic. According to the manager, gas prices have dropped over 30 cents.
And, he promises, the station won’t run out of fuel, as it often did in the past.
Far be it from me to get all gushy over an international gas conglomerate.
On the other hand, I’m likin’ those prices…
Note to cashiers at Mobil Self-Serve, CVS and Dunkin’ Donuts:
After I hand you money, and you give me change, and I say “thank you,” it is acceptable to reply with any of these phrases:
- “You’re welcome.”
- “Happy to help.”
- “Have a nice day.”
It is not okay to look right past me into space, and say nothing at all.