Tag Archives: St. Vincent’s Medical Center

Roundup: COVID Testing, College Help, Gatsby in Connecticut, More


A reader writes:

“I just got myself and my kids tested at St Vincent’s Medical Center drive-thru at 47 Long Lots Road.

“I called 860-972-8100 this morning, got an appointment (no symptoms, no suspected contact, just routine — I wanted a baseline before school starts).

“We drove straight over (they are open 8 a.m. to noon). There was no line, no cost, just a gentle nose swab. They said results would be available in 3-5 days. We got ours in 1 day!

“Boom! Easy! In my opinion, we should/could all be doing this before school starts.”


Since 1952, STAR Lighting the Way has helped people of all ages impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities live full, independent  lives.

They’re now launching a broader multi-lingual program for children experiencing, or at risk of, developmental delays. It expands services from birth through age 5, with additional options for children up to 8.

It includes direct coaching intervention by licensed occupational, physical, speech and behavioral therapists, and special education teachers; developmental evaluations and consultations; transition to school support; group activities (birth to age 5) like feeding, movement, play and music groups, plus additional services (6 to 8) including behavioral supports, assistive technology, translation and family supports.

For more information, email Barbara Fitzpatrick (starrubino@starct.org), or call 203-855-0634.


There’s a new college counseling service in town. And the counselors are not even out of college.

Nishika Navrange and Genevieve Demenico are 2019 Staples High School graduates. Both are products of the entire Westport school system. They were presidents of Staples’ Science Olympiad team and members of numerous honor societies. They attend NYU and Georgetown Universities (right now, online). So they know high school — and college.

Through Zoom and outdoor, socially distanced meetings, they offer essay help (“it’s a narrow way of writing, and we help keep the student’s personal voice,” they say), Common App advice, and counsel on where to apply.

Because they know students at “nearly every popular school,” Neshika and Genevieve can connect high schoolers with current collegians, for a personal connection and even (when they resume) a college tour.

For more information, email ctcollegeconsultants@gmail.com.

Genevieve Demenico and Nishika Navrange.


“Gatsby in Connecticut” — the video by Robert Steven Williams chronicling F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time in Westport, and its impact on his classic novel (with Sam Waterston as the writer, and voiceover by Keir Dullea) — is now available to rent, download or buy.

It’s available on Amazon Instant, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango Now, Vimeo, Microsoft Xbox and YouTube, and via most cable providers. Click here for the trailer.

And click here to read an insightful review from The New Yorker. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)


And finally … what was the most popular song of 1920, the year F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in Westport (as noted above)? It was “Swanee” by Al Jolson — shown here in what to our eyes, 100 years later, is jarringly inappropriate blackface.

Sound Swimmers

This summer, while you and I “swam” — in other words, did a lap or two in a clear, chemically balanced pool — 5 Westport teenagers swam.

In other words, they started at Port Jefferson, Long Island.  They finished in Bridgeport.  In between, they stroked their way — for 15 long, choppy miles — across Long Island Sound.

The event was the 24th annual Swim Across the Sound.  It’s a benefit for St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation.  This year 3 Abel siblings — Larry, Joss and Verity, and fellow Staples swim team members Kyle Bacon and Gabby Wimer — swam in honor of  the Abels’ father, a cancer survivor, and Masato Sakaguchi, a 4-year-old from Fairfield who died a year ago of a brain tumor.

(From left): Gabby Wimer, Joss and Larry Abel, plus Kyle Bacon and Verity Abel, pose happily after completing their cross-Sound swim.

The swimmers rotated half-mile shifts.  Together, they covered the 15 1/2 miles in 6 hours, 5 minutes and 2 seconds.

That’s about the time it took me this summer to apply sunscreen.  It earned the Westporters — all present or former Staples swim team members — 5th place overall.

This month, MSG Varsity ran a story on the quintet.

“It was way choppier than I thought it would be,” Joss said during the segment.  “And all the (support) boats looked the same.”

“It was 20 times more tiring than I thought,” Verity added.  “Every splash of water felt like a tsunami.”

Kyle said, “I went into the last leg tired, and I came out tired.  But the adrenaline made me feel good.”

So does the knowledge that he — and his 4 waterlogged, weary but motivated friends — raised $11,000 to help turn the tide against cancer.