The other day, David Meth was at the transfer station. He saw a resident take 2 perfectly good children’s bikes from her SUV. He writes:
“I offered to take them to Cycle Dynamics because Charlie, the owner, donates them to churches in Bridgeport. However the attendant, who was very nice and very afraid to get in trouble because there are cameras everywhere, refused to allow me to take them because they were placed on the ground near the attendant’s booth.
“These bikes were in excellent condition. Why allow them to be trashed? Why not have an area to ‘exchange’ items that could sustain a small economy elsewhere, yet are thrown away here without another thought. It is very wrong.
“Cardboard, glass, cans and paper are recycled for future use. Food scraps are recycled. Leaves and brush are recycled. Why not recycle perfectly good, even repairable goods and equipment, to benefit others?
“This is an awful policy in a town that prides itself in helping others. It can be changed, and it should change soon.”
Speaking of trash:
A reader who loves Grace Salmon Park — but thinks it needs a bit of care — sent several photos of benches overgrown with weeds. Here are 2:
He adds: “Want a seat by the river? Bring your Claritin.”
Ann Turner Cook — the original Gerber baby — died Friday. She was 95 years old.
The reason that’s “06880”-worthy is that — nearly 100 years ago — the iconic sketch was “born” here.
In 1927, artist Dorothy Hope Smith made a charcoal drawing of her 4-month-old neighbor, Ann Turner. Ann’s father, Leslie, was an artist too; his comic strip “Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy” ran in 500 newspapers every day.
The next year, Gerber needed a face for its new line of baby foods. Smith entered her simple drawing in the contest. She competed with elaborate oil paintings — but the company loved it. By 1931, Ann Cook was the “official trademark.”
She was on every Gerber ad, and on every package, since.
But no one knew her. In fact — in an effort to appeal to both sexes — for many years Gerber did not even say if the baby was a girl or boy.
As years passed, several women claimed to be the Gerber baby. To end the discussion, Gerber paid Turner — by then married, named Ann Cook –$5,000 in 1951. That’s all she got — no royalties, nothing. (It’s better than Smith, though. She earned just $300 for her efforts.)
Cook left Westport long ago. She had 4 children, and spent 26 years teaching literature and writing in Tampa. After retiring in 1989, she wrote 2 mystery novels.
Neither Oprah nor HuffPo mentions Westport. Nor does the official Gerber website. ( For a full obituary, click here. Hat tips: Deej Webb and Jonathan McClure)
“Challenger Recognition Day” is always fun.
The Westport Baseball program for players with disabilities includes an announcer introducing each batter, and calling play-by-play. Dustin Lowman did the honors, and hit it out of the park.
A pizza party ends the day.
Congrats to all who made yesterday possible — and a tip of the baseball hat to all the players!
Yesterday’s 1st-ever Drag Show was anything but a drag.
A sold-out crowd at MoCA Westport — including many families with young kids — enjoyed 4 drag queens who strutted, danced, engaged the audience and even provided a bit of LGBTQ history.
The event was sponsored by Westport Pride. Next up: a townwide Pride Month celebration on Jesup Green, next Sunday (1 to 3 p.m.).
The Westport Book Shop’s guest exhibitor for June is Kerstin Rao.
Known to many for her years as a gifted teacher of gifted students at Bedford Middle School, Rao is displaying 4 prints, plus a QR code through which you can see each piece being created via time-lapse video.
Rao’s work is hyper-local. Her pieces begin at the Westport Farmers’ Market. They’re scanned in Westport, and printed in Norwalk. Her art business, Vivid Cottage, offers luxury stationery and home good based on her original artwork. It’s available online, and at the Westport Book Shop.
Rao majored in fine art at Vassar, and earned a master’s in special education at Bank Street College. She moved from teaching to art during the pandemic. She also volunteers at the Westport Library, facilitating author panels and book talks, helping and helping plan events. She was a founding member of Westport’s Maker Faire.
Speaking of art: MoCA’s next show — “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” — is a collaboration with The Contemporary Art Modern Project (The CAMP Gallery) and the Fiber Artists Miami Association. It explores how female artists, utilizing textiles as their medium, subvert the social expectation of crafting by lambasting this soft medium with political and social awareness.
It opens June 30 with a 6-8 p.m. reception, and runs through September 4.
Several local artists are in the exhibition, including Camille Eskell, Susan Feliciano, Sooo-z Mastropietro and Norma Minkowitz
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-222-7070.
On a windy, rainy Friday, Westporter Nathalie Jacob was on a boat with a friend. Suddenly — off the Darien shore — she realized her Gill sailing jacket (with iPhone 11max in its pocket) was gone.
She figured a gust of wind blew it into the water. The weight of the phone must have pulled it to the bottom of the Sound.
Her friend tried “Find My Phone.” Nada. Nathalie figured it was gone forever.
But 12 days later, her husband got a call. The caller said he’d spotted the jacket that day, in Westport waters — a mile from shore. He found the phone, took it home, plugged it in — and called the emergency contact number on it.
That’s right: After nearly 2 weeks in salty, wavy water, the iPhone still worked.
The jacket was full of live crabs and seaweed, Nathalie adds. But after 3 washing cycles, it’s usable too. She loves her Gill jacket.
PS: She brought a bottle of whiskey to the man who found it.
Staples High School’s senior prom — the first “normal” one after 2 COVID years — was held last night at the Greenwich Hyatt.
Most attendees were too busy having fun to take photos. But “06880”s great senior intern, Lyah Muktavaram, sent this photo along.
I’ve heard from 3 students who were there that it was a great one. I’m sure when they wake up — late this afternoon? — they’ll enjoy this image.
Nile Rodgers’ home here is still on the market.
To avoid realtors being there when realtors showed potential home-buyers through the house — or, more probably, because who can turn down an invitation from Buckingham Palace? — the international recording star/producer was in London, not Westport, last night.
He had an important gig: performing at Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee coocert.
Just one more day in the life of our soon-to-be-former neighbor.
Former Westport Woman’s Club president Natacha “Nat” Sylander died last month. She was 86.
The Auburn, New York native earned her bachelor’s degree in hotel management from Michigan State University. She then moved to Chicago to work at the Palmer House.
In 1960 she married Dick Sylander, and became a mom. In 1967 the family moved to Westport, where they lived for 44 years. She was a teaching assistant at Bedford Elementary School before starting a company with her husband in 1976. R.L. Sylander Associates did custom computer circulation fulfillment. They ran it for 25 years, until they retired.
Nat was active in the community, including president of the Westport Woman’s Club and chair of the Yankee Doodle Fair. She was a member of the St. Luke Church choir for many years. She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain, with a flair for storytelling.
She is survived by her children, Rick of Milford, Karen of Chicago and Beth of Long Island; as well as a grandson, Owen Hammond, serving overseas in the Army.
A funeral service is set for Saturday, June 11 (11 a.m., St. Luke Church) with a Mass of Christian Burial. A reception follows immediately. Interment will be private. Condolences may be left online. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Westport Woman’s Club Scholarship Program, 44 Imperial Ave, Westport, CT 06880.
This guy crawled onto Molly Alger’s deck, then posed for his “Westport … Naturally” closeup:
And finally … one famous “baby” deserves another: