If you want an inspiring way to start the week, keep reading.
Then click the video below.
“06880” has highlighted the story of Wynston Browne. For 14 of his 15 years, the non-speaking, autistic Staples High School sophomore was thought by everyone — educators, doctors, even family members — as having a profound intellectual disability. It was believed he could barely learn or communicate.
That was far from the truth. He had learned on his own, all his life.
Two years ago, Wynston began communicating through a spelling device. His vast knowledge and intelligence were unlocked.
The weekend before last, at a Circle of Friends ceremony — where local teens were honored for their work with people with disabilities — Wynston shared insights into his journey.
And into his future, as a neuroscientist and advocate for people with autism and other disabilities.
It was a remarkable afternoon. His standing ovations were well-earned.
Thank you, Wynston, for inspiring us all!
PS: To learn more about the remarkable first generation of “spellers” that Wynston is part of, click here.
Alert — and frustrated — “06880” reader Ray Broady writes:
This issue gets worse by the day.
My evening commute back to Westport takes me off I-95 at exit 17 daily, usually between 4:30 and 6 p.m. This route is getting so bad, it sometimes adds 45 minutes to my time.
Friday evening, it took an extra half hour just to exit I-95 and sit in traffic through Saugatuck, to the right turn at the Cribari Bridge.
One issue is that Westport stations a police officer across from the bridge to help keep the intersection moving. This really helps, but this person is nor in place until 5:30 or 6 p.m. I have called the police, and requested the lieutenant in charge of traffic and safety issues to try to have that person on duty from 4:30 to 6:30, when the problem is at its worst.
This problem is amplified when Waze reroutes thousands of I-95 commuters onto Bridge Street and Greens Farms Road.
I realize that this section of streets is a state route (136), and possibly only the state Transportation Department and engineers can affect changes. But there must be something Westport can do to improve this horrible situation.
I have not heard of any change on the Cribari Bridge status, so I don’t know what is happening there. It may even worsen this, for so many Westporters.
I am more than willing to donate some of my time and energy to address this disaster. But I need help from others to make this a Westport priority. How can we get this ball rolling?
I feel we should get a group of volunteers together, to start a positive effort to work on interfacing with town, state, police and the impacted Saugatuck community to help find a permanent solution, and not a bucket list future dream.
A steady crowd braved yesterday’s rain, for a book signing at Savvy + Grace.
Spoiler alert: It was mine.
Thanks to all who came to pick up “Pick of the Pics”: the best-of-“06880” photos compilation.
Lyah Muktavaram — my Staples High intern last spring, who did all the hard work on the book — and I had a great time greeting the 100 or so folks at Main Street’s favorite gift-and-more store.
Couldn’t make it? Click here to order!
Sure, Hook’d opened 2 weeks after their contract said they would.
But hey — the retro video games are free!
“Westport … Naturally” starts the week with this gorgeous photo from Imperial Avenue.
Scenes like this are as fleeting as they are welcome. Enjoy them while you can!
And finally … hard to believe, but I missed Willie Nelson’s birthday.
It was Saturday.
So: Happy birthday, to one of my favorite all-time musicians. One of the highlights of my life was being up front at his Levitt Pavilion performance a decade or so ago.
It’s also hard to believe he is 90 years young.
Here’s to another 90 great ones. Don’t bet against him.
Unbelievably, it’s his 88th. He will outlive us all.
(Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be people who don’t support the blog they read. Please click here to contribute to “06880.” Thank you!)