Tag Archives: Staples High School Class of 1980

Roundup: Donuts, Swans, Missoula …

In honor of National Donut Day last week, the Senior Center ran a contest.

The results are in:

  • Chocolate: Coffee An’ (“by far,” I’m told)
  • Glazed: Coffee An’ and Dunkin’ Donuts (a tie!)
  • Plain: Dunkin

Sweet!

A Westport favorite for generations. (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

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Staples Players’ first Studio Theater production in over 2 years takes center stage on Thursday. Studios are directed, designed and run entirely run by students.

“At the Bottom of Missoula” portrays loss and grief in such an impactful way. Co-directors Chloe Manna and Chloe Nevas — both seniors — say, “It was a challenging piece but one we were excited to take on with our amazing cast and crew. The show takes the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions within its 35 minute run. The lighting design and sound is unique too, and creates  really beautiful moments we hope the audience will be touched by.”

The plot: After losing her family in a fatal tornado, college student Pan embarks on an unimaginable journey. She transfers schools and isolates herself, but cannot escape feeling sad and guilty. Finally, a classmate helps Pam realize that healing need not be a solitary endeavor.

Performances are Thursday and Saturday, June 9 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., in Staples’ Black Box Theater. Click here for tickets.

The cast of “At the Bottom of Lake Missoula.” (Photo/Chloe Nevas)

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Speaking of Staples:

The rugby team defeated Trumbull last night 41-21 in the state tournament semifinals.

The Wreckers advance to the state championship. The match is home (Paul Lane Stadium) this Thursday (June 9, 5:30 p.m.) against perennial powerhouse Greenwich — winner of 11 state titles. The Westporters shoot for their first.

Staples and the Cardinals have a great history. The Wreckers won their league match this spring; 3 weeks later, Greenwich got revenge at nationals.

Get ready to rumble!

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Award winning singer-songwriter Diana Jones headlines this Saturday’s Voices Café at the Unitarian Church. Her 8 p.m. concert is both in-person and livestreamed.

The concert is dedicated to the efforts of 6 area faith communities. All help settle refugees in Fairfield County, through the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.

Volunteers come from Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church,  Unitarian Church and United Methodist Church; Weston’s Norfield Congregational Church, the Greenfield Hill Congregational, and First Church Congregational of Fairfield.

Jones has performed at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Galway Arts Festival, Levon Helm’s Ramble in Woodstock, New York, and Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and shared stages with Richard Thompson, Janis Ian and Mary Gauthier. Joan Baez has recorded her songs.

Voices Café offers café-style and individual seating. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Diana Jones

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It took 3 years of planning (and COVID), but Staples’ Class of 1980 will celebrate their 40th reunion — okay their42nd — at LaKota Oaks in Norwalk. It’s also a giant 60th birthday party for all. LaKota Oaks’ 65 acres includes a pool, basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoes and more.

The event begins Thursday, August 11 at Viva Zapata; continues Friday at the Black Duck, and concludes Saturday at LaKota Oaks. There’s jazz music in the afternoon, and a DJ at night.

As always, the Class of ’80 will raise money for the Susan Fund, in honor of classmate Susan Lloyd. For tickets and more information, click here. Questions? Email amy@aapk.com or szrobins84@gmail.com.

The Susan Fund — in honor of Susan Lloyd, Staples ’80 — provides scholarships for students with cancer, and survivors.

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Several readers have noticed that the swan’s nest near Gorham Island seems abandoned.

Amy Schneider took this photo, which may show the reason why: cracked eggs.

If so, it’s a sad — but natural — “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … if you’ve never heard of Diana Jones (story above) — or if you have, and enjoy her music — take a listen:

Roundup: Birds, Gifts, Music …

Here’s a bright idea: The Connecticut Ornithological Association has just launched a “Lights Out Connecticut” initiative.

Residents, businesses, schools and building managers can pledge to turn off non-essential exterior lighting each night from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., during periods of peak bird migration. The goal is to help save migratory birds.

Connecticut joins Colorado, Georgia and Texas as the only places in the nation with statewide “Lights Out” programs.

The COA says that because most North American migratory birds travel at night, artificial light can disorient them, leading to fatal window collisions. There may be as many as 988,000,000 bird deaths in the US each year.

It’s a great idea. It’s especially welcome by residents of Cottage Lane. They’ve been aggravated by bright lights at the new 1480 Post Road East development nearby. The Planning & Zoning Commission has ordered a new lighting plan by May 9.

It can’t come soon enough for the neighbors. Or the birds. (Click here for the full Connecticut Ornithological Association story.)

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Need gift ideas for Mothers Day, Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6) or Nurse Appreciation Week (May 6-12)?

How about a gift for yourself?

Beauty consultant Carmela Cusano can help. She’ll be at Salon Nash tomorrow (Sunday, April 24, 1 to 4 p.m., Nash’s Plaza, 179 Post Road West).

While you’re there, enjoy a free wash and blow dry, courtesy of owner Felicia Catale, the great and very generous owner.

How’s that for a great gift!

Felicia Catale

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It took a while during the pandemic for Hook’d to get its act together.

But the Compo Beach concession stand was open yesterday for business.

Anyone can enjoy a meal there before May 1. On that date, stickers are required for beach entrance.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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Westport has many adult education offerings in many areas.

Andrew Smith thinks there are not enough in music.

He’s the executive director of Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange — well known as a center for early childhood, and middle and high school, programs.

The Suzuki Philosophy is that children need an immersive experience in music. Smith says that holds true for adults too. Suzuki is not just for kids.

The school offers basic classes like Music Reading for Beginners, and Listening to Classical Music. Smith hopes to add Singing for Pleasure, Film Music and Composing.

He’d also like to create a Suzuki Members Club for Adults, with social engagement, public concerts and use of the facility. It would be like rowing or golf clubs — but focused on music.

Click here for more information, and registration.

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May is flower month at Wakeman Town Farm.

“Blooming With Paint’ (May 9, 6 to 8 p.m.) is a painting and drawing workshop, focusing on floral still life and challenging students to notice scale, proportion and placement.

Each participant receives a piece of handmade Nujabi paper, watercolor and oil pastels, paint brushes, Nujabi paper and drawing board. Click here for more information, and to register.

WTF also offers “sweet and whimsical spring flowers” for Mothers Day. Each bouquet comes in a mason jar tied with grosgrain ribbon. They’re $55, and designed by Sarah Shaw Floral Design exclusively for Wakeman Town Farm.

Orders will be taken through May 4. Pickup is at the Farm on Saturday, May 7 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) A portion of the proceeds supports WTF programs. Click here to order.

Wakeman Town Farm Mothers Day flowers. (Photo/Nancy Elizabeth Hill Photography)

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The Camp Gallery’s new solo show is “The Rooms of Joseph Ginsberg.”

There’s an opening reception next Friday (April 29, 5 to 7 p.m.) at 190 Post Road East. The show runs through May 24.

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It’s 2 years late. But Staples High School’s Class of 1980 celebrates their 40th (okay, 42nd) reunion (and giant 60th birthday party for all) this year.

The main event is Saturday, August 13 at LaKota Oaks in Norwalk. The 65-acre site features a pool, basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoes and more. Dinner includes a DJ and dancing.

There are also meet-ups as Viva Zapata (Thursday, August 11) and the Black Duck (Friday, August 12).

As is traditional, they’ll raise money in honor of beloved classmate Susan Lloyd, to support The Susan Fund.

PS: Thanks to a generous donor, tickets are (almost) free!

Click here for more information. Questions? Email Amy Potts: amy@aapk.com.

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This guy popped out the other day at Sherwood Mill Pond.

Then he looked John Kantor in the eye, stood still, and posed for a “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/John Kantor)

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And finally … in honor of the photo directly above:

Staples Grad Nominated As Ambassador To Malaysia

Kamala Lakhdhir is in line to be an ambassador.

President Obama has named the 1980 Staples High School graduate as the next US Ambassador to Malaysia. The multi-ethnic, multicultural nation is an economic powerhouse of Asia.

A career member of the Foreign Service, Lakhdhir served as executive assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2011-15. For 2 years before that, she was US Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

She previously worked as director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia; special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; political officer at the US Embassy in Beijing; on US House of Representatives committees and subcommittees, and as a political officer in Indonesia and a consular officer in Saudi Arabia.

Kamala Lakhdhir

Kamala Lakhdhir

Lakhdhir received a BA from Harvard College, and an MS from the National War College.

Her “diplomatic missions” date back to her Westport days. In the mid-1970s — during her Bedford Junior High School days — Lakhdhir supported a girl in Bangladesh, through Save the Children. She did it by giving up half her allowance.

Inspired, Lakhdhir visited the youngster — bringing frisbees, super balls and other tiny gifts to the village.

Her latest appointment must be confirmed by the  US Senate.

(Hat tip: Dan Kail)