Tag Archives: Sooo-z Mastropietro

Roundup: Cavalry Road Bridge, Staples Graduation, Sharkey’s Cuts …

Residents in the Red Coat Road/West Branch neighborhood, straddling the Westport/Weston border, were thrilled earlier this month when the Cavalry Road bridge reopened.

For a year during the project, they’d faced long detours, constant traffic pattern changes, even property damage. They seldom complained.

But now they’re mad.

Suddenly, a large chain link fence has been installed on both sides of the new bridge. Residents call it an eyesore — and not part of the original plan. They wonder how safety measures more appropriate for a state road became part of their bucolic landscape.

Guardrail and fencing on the Cavalry Road bridge.

Resident Gery Grove — who says it is a Weston project — wrote to officials of both towns:

“This is a low speed bridge (now with extensive guardrails in place) with probably a limited to nonexistent history of injury or death. This is a pastoral residential neighborhood that people move to for quiet charms.

“Behind our backs at the dawn of a holiday weekend, it has been made to look like a downtown Manhattan parking lot with no warning. And likely no historical public record of this addition. No other small bridges that I am aware of (that don’t go over the Merritt or I95) have this extensive fencing.”

Westport 1st selectwoman replied quickly, promising to meet with residents there on Monday morning.

Weston town administrator Jnoathan Luiz said that he asked the engineering company that designed the bridge and provided construction oversight to respond.


For the second year in a row — after a hiatus of nearly 40 years — Staples High School held its graduation ceremony outdoors.

“06880” provided photos of the 135th commencement. But those were only from ground level.

Staples sophomore Charlie Scott adds a new perspective, thanks to his drone:

(Drone photo/Charlie Scott)

The stage is at the north end (bottom of photo). Board of Education and other dignitaries are at the lower left. The 450-plus graduates are massed on Coach Paul Lane Field. The 2,000 spectators fill the bleachers on the right.


Scalp dramatically reduces chemotherapy-induced hair loss in cancer patients.

But it’s expensive.

Scott Sharkey — founder of Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids, the Westport-based haircut chain – has jump-started a fund to support patients throughout New England who cannot afford the treatment.

Each Sharkey’s salon donates a percent of every haircut to charity. “Hair to Stay” will be one more beneficiary of the company’s generosity.


Jillian Elder has a new line of Westport-themed tank tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and tumblers.

Some are actually more specific: They say “I’d rather be in Saugatuck” and “I’d rather be at Compo Beach.” There are also red-white-and-blue Minute Man items.

Click here for “I’d Rather Be …”; click here for the Minute Man stuff.


Artists Collective of Westport member Lee Walther curated a new exhibit, “Sculptural Dimensions,” at the Fairfield Public Library. It features Collective artists Sooo-z Mastropietro and Louise Cadoux, plus international artist Alan Neider.

The show runs through August 6. Click here for more infromation.

Art by Sooo-z Mastropietro.


Marie Coppotelli — one of Westport’s first girls “soccer moms” — died peacefully on June 9. She was 92 years old.  .

Stuart McCarthy — a founder of Westport’s girls soccer program, and former Staples High School coach — says:

When we started the first girls travel team in 1977, Marie took charge. She did all the great organization and coordination that comes with the job (but she had no 3-ring binder left behind by the last manager). I will always remember how she was such a sweet lady — until someone fouled one of ‘her girls.’ Marie was fiercely protective, and they were all ‘her girls.’ We were all lucky to have Marie on our team.

Marie was preceded in death by her husband Donald Coppotelli and brother Anthony Cuda. She is survived by her sister Patricia Nole, sister-in-law Lynn Cuda; children Michele (Pat) Solis, Lisa Coppotelli, Alan (Nancey) Coppotelli, Renee (Mark) Dixon, and Claudine (Lee) Martin; grandchildren Emma and Reed Tso, Oliver and Madeline Dixon, Devon Mayhew, Dylan and Eileen
Martin, Ghislain and Mary Melaine, Jeff and Jessica Doerner, and great-grandchildren Molly and Benjamin Doerner and Georges Melaine.

Services will be held privately at a future date. In lieu of flowers,
everyone who knew Marie knows she loves to feed people. Donations may be made online to Connecticut Foodshare, Memories and condolences may be sent to the family: ACoppotelliNY@aol.com,

The Coppotellis, at Marie and Don’s 50th wedding celebration. From left: Renee, Claudine, Donald, Marie, Michele, Lisa, Alan.


This “Westport … Naturally” wren seems right at home in Paul Delano’s birdhouse.

(Photo/Paul Delano)


And finally … sure, Jillian Elder’s gear and mugs say “I’d rather be in Saugatuck” (or “at Compo Beach”).

But as the Turtles knew years ago:

Online Art Gallery #115

Some weeks, there’s a definite theme to our online art gallery.

This is not one of them.

Subjects range from music, hummingbirds and houses to love, Queen Elizabeth and a reclining woman.

That’s the magic of our gallery. All readers are can participate, whatever your age, level of experience (professional or amateur, young or old) — or subject matter.

All genres are encouraged. Watercolors, oils, charcoal, pen-and-ink, acrylics, lithographs, macramé, jewelry, sculpture, decoupage and (yes) needlepoint — whatever you’ve got, email it to 06880blog@gmail.com. Share your work with the world!

“Playing with the Wind” — acrylic on Masonite (Peter Barlow)

“All You Need is Love” — seen on a Norwalk building near I-95 (Karen Weingarten)

“Nap” (Sooo-z Mastropietro)

“New Homes for Owenoke” (Steve Stein)

“The Hummingbirds Are Back!” (Nina Marino)

“The Queen” (Sarah Kennedy)

This One Day At Bass Camp…

She’s Sooo-z Mastropietro.

And her story is as intriguing as her name.

A Westporter for 12 years, she’s a visual artist and classical bassist. She’s played with the American Chamber Orchestra and Civic Orchestra of New Haven. She was on the Saratoga Performing Arts Center stage as a teen, toured Europe, and — while pregnant with her 1st of 3 children — made a quick stop at Carnegie Hall.

A few days ago, she was contacted by a bass-playing friend. Extras were needed for “Mozart in the Jungle,” season 4.

Sooo-z Mastropietro

A couple of days later — after filling out pages of tax forms, signing agreements and harnessing her mane into a braid that did not interfere with the rest of the musicians — Sooo-z was ready to rock.

“Malcolm McDowell is a very cool cat,” she reports. “He clearly enjoyed hanging by the basses. And Bernadette Peters is gorgeous. She patted my bass case.”

But that did not distract Sooo-z from another passion: Bass Camp. A day-long intensive session at the Quick Center on August 28, it’s all about bass trios, quartets and (hopefully) a master class with Brian Torff.

“The bass is often misunderstood and under-heard,” she notes. “This gives us an opportunity to celebrate this great beast, without pressure.”

Sooo-z wasn’t sure her idea would fly. But Danielle Merlis — who runs a Cello Camp — was supportive.

She connected Sooo-z with Jeff Zimmerman, another Westport bass player (and a specialist in the relationship between music and physical health).

It turns out that they both grew up in the same New York town. They went to the same high school — and had the same music teacher, 10 years apart.

“Small world, big instrument!” she says.

(For information on Sooo-z’s Bass Camp, call 203-454-4010.)

Sooo-z Mastropietro, on the set of “Mozart in the Jungle.”