Tag Archives: REO Speedwagon

Roundup: Starbucks Smiles Update, The Bats, Bus Shelters …

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Last Wednesday, “06880” posted a plea from Amanda DeRosa. The Westport mom sought help for her favorite Starbucks worker, a woman in dire straits due to deliver a baby in September.

Less than 5 days later — yesterday morning — Amanda delivered $4,550 in gift cards to the woman. They’re for stores like Buy Buy Baby, Target and Stop & Shop — and they’re all courtesy of “06880” readers.

“I’ve never felt so much joy in my heart,” says Amanda, about the moment she handed the cards (and flowers) to the woman.

“She said she couldn’t believe it. She felt her mom” — who died before she was a teenager — “was looking out for her. We both hugged and cried.”

Thanks go to Amanda — and the more than 100 very generous “06880” readers, who helped make one life a little brighter today.

Amanda DeRose (right) and her Starbucks friend.

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Rex Fowler has played the Levitt Pavilion before. So has Dodie Pettit,

But they’ve never played the Levitt together before.

They’re on stage Thursday (June 24). Of course, Rex and Dodie are not some fill-up-an-empty-date wannabes.

They’re Aztec Two Step 2.0. They’ve toured internationally; their music is known far and wide.

But on Thursday, the husband-and-wife duo will be performing in their home town.

Joining them are other noted musicians, including Westporter Joe Meo and Westonite Chris Coogan. It’s free, but tickets are required. Click here to register, and for more information.

Aztec Two Step 2.0 (from left): Muddy Roues, Joe Meo, Dodie Pettit, Rex Fowler, Peter Hohmeister, Chris Coogan.

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Speaking of music: REO Speedwagon and Styx will open the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport on July 28.

It’s part of the “We Are Back Tour 2021.”

The name is fitting. In 1971,  the most popular track on Speedwagon’s debut album was “157 Riverside Avenue.” That’s where — in Westport — they stayed while recording at Leka’s studio. Which (speaking of “we are back”) was in Bridgeport.

“157 Riverside Avenue” remains one of the band’s concert favorites. No word on whether they’ll take a side trip next month to their old stomping grounds.

If so, they won’t recognize it. Ten years ago, it became just another teardown.

(Tickets for the Bridgeport show go on sale Friday, June 25, 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com.)

(Photo/Peter Tulupman)

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Staples High School’s graduation ceremony last week was special for 450-plus graduates.

It was extra special for 12.

Russell Sherman writes: “In 2009, a group of kindergarten boys started their Little League careers together on a team called The Bats.

“Over the years the boys stayed in touch, and so have the parents. Thursday night, following Staples graduation 12 years later, they gathered for a reunion to celebrate.

“They are fantastic kids. It has been a privilege watching them all grow up. Obviously it is an emotional time for all of us parents. But we can’t help but be proud of them, and excited for what’s to come.”

The Bats, all grown up …

Front row (from left): Danlel Rosenkranz, John Vincini, Owen Sherman, Tucker Lawrence. Middle row: Coach Steve Vincini, Quinn Jumper, Eduardo Andrade, Sam Kleiner, Mathew Ambrifi. Standing: Coaches Russell Sherman and Eduardo Andrade.
Missing: Lucas Dimyan, Steve Greenberg, Mike Greenberg. (Photo/Scilla Vincini)

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Next on the Planning & Zoning Commission agenda: bus shelters.

On Thursday (June 24, 6 p.m.) the board holds a public hearing. A proposed text amendment would define bus shelters, exempt them from coverage requirements, and permit them within the front landscape area setbacks.

An explanatory statement notes that in Westport, bus shelters are considered structures with no special exemptions. Installing them adjacent to the roadway and within the 30-foot front landscape area requires a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The proposal will explicitly define bus Shelters, specify which features are permitted there, specify which agencies are responsible for overseeing the locations, exempt bus shelters from coverage requirements. and allow them to be located within the 30-foot front landscape area setbacks adjacent to the roadway without a variance.

The P&Z meeting will be live streamed on www.westportct.gov, and on Optimum Government Access Channel 79 and Frontier Channel 6020.  Comments may be sent prior to the meeting at PandZ@westportct.gov, and during the meeting at PandZComments@westportct.gov. Interested parties may join virtually to offer live testimony during the meeting if the meeting link is requested by sending an email to maryyoung@westportct.gov by noontime on the day of the meeting.

Waiting for the bus — without a shelter. (Photos courtesy of Planning & Zoning Commission Bus Shelter Working Group

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is Molly Alger’s darling dahlia:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … happy 68th birthday, to the amazing Cyndi Lauper!

Photo Challenge #270

REO Speedwagon is one of those fairly popular, somewhat forgettable 1970s and ’80s bands.

They sold over 40 million records, and hit the Top 40 13 times. Their most famous song is “Keep On Loving You” — unless you’re from Westport, and know your musical trivia.

If so, then last week’s Photo Challenge was a no-brainer. It showed a mailbox at 157 Riverside Avenue. (Click here for the photo.)

That’s the address of a house REO Speedwagon rented in 1970, while recording their first album (in nearby Bridgeport). Apparently the band is still together, with a few original Speedwagons. Also apparently, “157 Riverside Avenue” is still a concert favorite.

The actual 157 Riverside Avenue was not a favorite with historical preservationists. It was torn down in 2011.

A new home now sits on the lot opposite Saugatuck Elementary School. But — thanks to the mailbox — the band and the song live on. (Scroll down for bonus features: the song and lyrics.)

Congratulations to Fred Cantor, Matt Murray, Bruce Taylor, Ralph Balducci, Derek Fuchs, Wendy Cusick, Jill Turner Odice and Adam Schwartz. We don’t give out concert tickets — or any other prizes. For knowing your rock history though, you get 15 minutes of fame on “06880.”

This week’s Photo Challenge has nothing to do with music. But it has everything to do with Westport. If you know where you’d find this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Caroly Van Duyn)

We flew into town on Sunday, had to find a place by Monday
Tried Bridgeport and Westport, ’til we found a place that we thought would do
157 Riverside Avenue.

Saugatuck River’s flowin’, mother nature’s colors were showin’
So cold, so rainy, we couldn’t help feelin’ blue
Not enough time, too many things to do.

We met a young girl on Main Street, wanted to just pass her by
She was homely, so lonely, she said, “can I make love to you?”
We shouted 157 Riverside Avenue.

It’s over, Miss Lena, we’re leaving, such a pleasant stay, I must say.
So nice, so easy, we hate to say goodbye to you
At 157 Riverside Avenue.

REO’s 157 Riverside Avenue

Westport’s Historic District Commission reviews the proposed teardown of any home over 50 years old.

Sometimes they’re lovely, architecturally significant treasures.  Usually they’re outdated, 51-year-old split levels.  Almost always, the commission says “yes.”

But what will they say when REO Speedwagon fans learn that 157 Riverside Avenue is may be bulldozed into oblivion?

The ’70s rock band — best known for “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It on the Run” — released their 1st album in 1971. The most popular track was “157 Riverside Avenue.

Yes, that’s our 157 Riverside Avenue.  REO Speedwagon stayed there — directly across from Bedford Junior High School (now Saugatuck El) while recording in Bridgeport.  According to Wikipedia, that song “remains an in-concert favorite.”

(They’re still touring.  On September 15, you can catch them at the Kansas State Fair.  Little River Band too!)

But back to 157 Riverside.  Nick Thiemann — an attorney who lives next door — recently wrote to the Historic District Commission.

He does not object to the demolition.  However, he said:

While it would not appear that Washington slept there, it does seem as though someone did.  Whether this historical significance is relevant to your deliberations is a question you must determine.

Over the years that I have lived here (since 1968), I have been asked periodically if this is “really the REO Speedwagon 157 Riverside Avenue.”  Not often to be sure, but probably more often than neighbors of many the other houses you have designated as historically significant.

Okay.  It isn’t Big Pink.

But its ours.

And REO Speedwagon’s.

“06880” readers?

157 Riverside Avenue -- hidden by trees, like a true celebrity house.

We flew into town on Sunday, had to find a place by Monday
Tried Bridgeport and Westport, ’til we found a place that we thought would do
157 Riverside Avenue.

Saugatuck River’s flowin’, mother nature’s colors were showin’
So cold, so rainy, we couldn’t help feelin’ blue
Not enough time, too many things to do.

We met a young girl on Main Street, wanted to just pass her by
She was homely, so lonely, she said, “can I make love to you?”
We shouted 157 Riverside Avenue.

It’s over, Miss Lena, we’re leaving, such a pleasant stay, I must say.
So nice, so easy, we hate to say goodbye to you
At 157 Riverside Avenue.