Tag Archives: Robin Frank

Roundup: Ireland, Lacrosse, Politico …

“06880” readers know that Westport is a great place to live.

Now it’s official — at least, across the Atlantic.

Susan Garment spotted this sign the other day in Westport, Ireland. It says: “Tidy Towns National Winner.:

And below that: “Best Place to Live in Ireland.“

(Photo/Susan Garment)

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Westport sports fans know that the Staples High School boys lacrosse team’s rout of Darien in the state championship final was big.

But just how huge was it?

Inside Lacrosse just ranked the Wreckers’ win as the top performance in all of public high school lax this spring — in the entire country.

The site says:

A strong argument could be made that the Wreckers’ stunning 12-3 victory over Connecticut powerhouse Darien in the Class L state championship game was high school lacrosse’s biggest story in June. Scoring the game’s first eight goals to take a 9-1 lead into halftime, Will Koshansky’s squad played smart, methodical lacrosse en route to a commanding win over a Blue Wave squad that spent much of the season in the national Top 10.

This spring, the Wreckers picked up six victories over teams from the computer ratings Top 100, topping Massachusetts state champ St. John’s Prep, as well as Fairfield County foes Greenwich, Wilton, New Canaan, Ridgefield and Darien….

The 9-goal victory over Darien in the state championship stands above all of the Wreckers’ previous accomplishments this season, and now, Staples finishes as IL’s No. 1 public school program to end 2022…

AD

A young nucleus returns, so expect to hear even more about Westport’s finest going forward. (

(Click here for the full story. Hat tip: Dave Briggs)

Staples High School: boys lacrosse state champs — and now, #1 in the nation. (Photo/Chris Greer)

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Earlier this year, Steve Parrish brought Carlotta LaNier — one of the Little Rock 9, who desegregated Central High School in 1957 — to the Westport Library.

Now the consultant specializing in specializing in crisis management, corporate social responsibility, public affairs and communications — and frequent TV news show guest — has reached into his Rolodex, to plan another intriguing evening.

On July 19 (7 p.m.), he’ll chat with political journalist and Politico co-founder John Harris. Prior to creating one of the country’s most visited news sites, Harris was a national political reporter for the Washington Post.

Click here to register for a seat in the Trefz Forum. Click here for the livestream.

John Harris

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Kathie Motes Bennewitz — who serves as both Westport town arts curator and executive director of the Hopper House Museum and Study Center in Nyack, New York — joins Westporter Robin Frank in inviting “06880” readers to the Museum on July 19 (6 p.m.). Frank will give a presentation on “Framing Memory in American Art: Visions of Love and Loss.” The lecture is followed by  complimentary cocktails to toast the current exhibition Liliane Tomasko: Evening Wind.

Memory is the underlying theme of both Hopper’s isolated figures in interiors and Tomasko’s lyrical paintings of unmade beds. In addition to their works, I will discuss a diverse array of historic and contemporary objects—ranging from eighteenth-century mourning jewelry to a Covid-inspired video on view at the Whitney Biennial—that celebrate love and memorialize loss.

Click here for more details and tickets.

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Longtime Westporter, Red Cross volunteer, and one of Staples High School’s longest-lived graduates, Eloise Neyle Reilly died peacefully at her home, surrounded by her family and caregiver, on July 1. She was 102 years old.

Born on March 22, 1920 in New York City, she was called “a remarkable, self-sufficient and independent woman, known for her positive outlook on life.”

Eloise moved to Westport in 1934, and graduated from Staples High School. One of the most important chapters in her life began during World War II. She joined the American Red Cross Club Mobile Unit, a service to provide comfort and support to combat troops on the front lines with coffee, donuts and conversation.

After the war ended, she spent 2 more years in Germany, supporting US troops. She often told stories of her remarkable friendships and experiences during her years with the Red Cross.

Eloise’s strength and independence continued beyond the war when she returned home to Westport. In the late 1940s and ’50s she built a career in New York City, culminated as a human resource director at the advertising firm Young and Rubicam.

Eloise designed and worked with a local contractor to construct the home that she lived in since 1957. She was an avid gardener, a lover of nature and a long time member of the Westport Garden Club.    

In the late 1960’s, she left the city and the commute to start a second successful career as a real estate agent, with Helen Benson Real Estate.

One of her passions and strengths was maintaining great friendships in her community, and staying connected with lifelong friends and family across the country. A result of this passion came in the early 1970’s, when she began the first of many annual Red Cross Club Mobile reunions at her home here.

The tradition gained momentum and continued through the early 2000’s.   Reunions were held at the homes of Red Cross members and friends across the US and Europe.

Eloise is survived by her nephews, Kevin (Leslie Carrere) Reilly of Newfield, New York; William (Laura Gotfried) Reilly of Enfield, New York and Peter (Mary Picard) Reilly of Rye, New Hampshire; grand-nieces and nephews Colin, Marissa Mia, Megan and Conor Reilly, and great-grand-niece Kendall Reilly.  Her brother, Donald Reilly, recently predeceased her.

The family gives special thanks to Mary Krewsen, her personal caregiver, for her loving care, and the staff of Visiting Angels of Fairfield for their support.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her honor can be made to The American Red Cross.

Family and friends are invited a visitation on Wednesday, July 13th (9:30 a.m., Christ & Holy Trinity church. Funeral services will follow at 10 in the church sanctuary.  Interment will follow at the Christ and Holy Trinity Cemetery.  Click here to sign the online guestbook.

Eloise Reilly

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Crabs are not the most elegant looking creatures.

But they — like this one, today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature — have been at Compo Beach and environs longer than we have.

lot longer.

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

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And finally … happy 52nd birthday to Beck. The one-named singer/songwriter/ producer turns 52 today.

(“06880” relies on the support of readers like you. Please click here to donate.)

Roundup: Staples Class Of ’76, Coney Island, Sherwood Island …

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This is the 45th reunion weekend for the Staples High School Class of 1976. (Sorry, guys — time marches on.)

Like most classes, they’re enjoying each other’s company at the Duck, the beach, and a more formal affair.

But they’re also doing something every reunion class should emulate. This morning, members volunteered in a service project at CLASP Homes.

Tracy Flood — a proud member of Staples’ bicentennial class — is president of the local non-profit, which serves people with autism and intellectual disabilities, and their families.

(Coincidentally, CLASP was founded in 1976.)

Thanks, and congrats, to Staples’ Class of ’76. They came from all over the country to celebrate. To help their classmate. And to give back to the town where they grew up.

And, as is clear, grew into wonderful human beings.

Members of Staples High School’s Class of 1976, helping CLASP. Tracy Flood is 2nd from left.

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Connecticut’s COVID numbers don’t look great.

There’s been a 225% increase in cases over the past 2 weeks. Hospitalizations are up 93%, and deaths 133%.

The 2 most troubling hot spot  Windham County, in the northeast (up 682%) and New Haven County (up 244%). Fairfield County is up 253%, the 2nd highest percentage of the state’s 8 counties.

It’s not back. It never left.

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The other day, David Pogue interviewed Robin Frank for his “CBS Sunday Morning” feature.

David’s subject was Coney Island. Robin wrote a great book about it (“Visions of an American Dreamland: 1861-2008”), and curated a traveling exhibition about it.

The interview took place at the Coney Island Museum, and on the famous boardwalk. (Click below to see.)

Only afterward did David and Robin discover that both live in Westport.

“06880”: Where Westport meets the World. Including — especially — Coney Island.

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Sherwood Island — the 235-acre gem between Compo and Burying Hill Beaches — is the oldest state park in Connecticut. It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014 (as the many Westporters who discovered it during the pandemic now know).

But who knew that this is the 100th anniversary of lifeguards at the famed beach?

Well, Karen Scott did. The KMS Partners @ Compass realtor snapped this photo the other day. Congratulations,

PS: Entrance is free to all cars with Connecticut license plates.

(Photo/Karen Scott)

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Speaking of Sherwood Island: The park is filled with natural wonders. So — naturally — it’s a great subject for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Elena Nasereddin)

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Thanks to the Westport Police Department — and the generosity of many Westporters — Homes with Hope’ food pantry is now 303 bags of groceries more full.

Yesterday’s drive at Stop & Shop was a roaring success, says Helen McAlinden, CEO of the Westport non-profit that runs the Gillespie Center, and associated supportive housing and meal programs.

Missed your chance? Click here to see how to help.

Westport Police and Homes with Hope volunteers deliver food from today’s drive to the Gillespie Center, across from police headquarters.

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No, Linda Ronstadt was not at the Levitt Pavilion last night.

But Rita Harvey’s tribute made it seem like the star was on the Westport stage. Harvey — a Broadway veteran — interspersed songs with anecdotes about Ronstadt’s long career.

Tonight, the Levitt features the American Patchwork Quartet. Upcoming: Treehouse Comedy (Tuesday), Hopalong Andrew (children’s series, Wednesday), Nicki Parrott Trio (Thursday), The Lone Bellow (special benefit show, Friday) and Isaiah Sharkey (Saturday).

Click here for times, tickets (free — except Friday!), and more information.

Rita Harvey (Photo/JC Martin)

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Our athletes in Tokyo will never see it.

But — like graduates before them, who were also honored by a clever, colorful sign — this display on Pumpkin Hill near Colony Road illustrates well: It’s the thought that counts.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

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Yesterday’s “Roundup” featured the Westport Garden Club’s #FridayFlowers arrangement at the Wadsworth Arboretum.

(Photo: Susan Nettesheim)

It did not last long. Within hours, four deer devoured it.

Hey: As with the Olympic sign (above), it’s the thought that counts. (Hat tip: Dottie Fincher)

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And finally … I never liked the song “Chuck E.’s in Love.” It just kind of sat there.

But Chuck E. Weiss — the blues musician, club owner and “outsize Los Angeles character” who was the star of Rickie Lee Jones’ hit — died the other day in LA, of kidney failure. He was 76.

So, Chuck E.: This one’s for you. (PS: If for some reason you want his full obit click here.)