One final sports note: Yesterday, the Angels won the Little League championship.
But for Pell Schmeisser, that honor paled beside another: He was named the winner of the Perrin Delorey Sportsmanship Award. Perrin, a Little Leaguer, died in an automobile accident in 2018, after a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Previous winners include Jack Hanlon and Dylan Burdeshaw. (Hat tip: Lauren MacNeill)
The Little League champion Angels. Perrin Delorey Sportsmanship Award winner Pell Schmeiser is in the bottom row, far left.
Friends of Sherwood Island’s annual meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. today (Sunday, June 12), in the state park’s main pavilion. All are welcome.
Guest speaker Juliana Barrett will speak on “Climate Change and Connecticut’s Coastal Forests.” She is an educator with the Institute for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, part of the University of Connecticut’s Sea Grant program.
The meeting includes a tribute to the Nature Center’s architect and benefactor, Westporter Peter Wormser.
Meg Kirby — co-owner and namesake of Peggy’s Cottage, the popular all-things-Irish store across from Stop & Shop — died Friday afternoon. She had battled illness, but passed peacefully.
Her husband, Brian Ellard, says: “She loved her little shop, and put her heart and soul into filling it with special things. Heading off to work every morning and looking forward to seeing everyone for a chat put a big smile on her face. I thank everyone for their love and support over the last few years, especially the last few months.”
And finally … on this day in 1817, the earliest form of a bicycle was driven by Karl von Drais. It had no pedals; the rider straddled a wooden frame supported by two wheels, and pushed the vehicle along with his feet while steering the front wheel.
The bicycle’s original name: “dandy horse.”
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As Westport plans “replacement, relocations and/or enhancements of existing facilities and new facilities” for Longshore, the town seeks residents’ input.
Stantec — a landscape architect, planning and engineering firm — has developed a town-wide survey. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Click here to participate. The link will be active until June 14.
Click here for more information, and project updates.
The Inn at Longshore and 18th hole are just a small part of Longshore Club Park. (Drone photo/John Videler for videler.com)
The Staples girls golf team — ranked #1 in the state — added to their superb season by defeating Greenwich 181-186 yesterday. The win clinches the FCIAC Western Division championship, the Wreckers’ first solely held division title since 2016.
Staples — now 13-1 — vies for the FCIAC crown on June 2. Two days earlier, they end the league season with a match against Eastern Division champion New Canaan.
Congratulations to coach Patty Kondub and her team!
The 2022 Staples High School golf team. Seated (from left): senior co-captains Lizzie Kuehndorf and Leni Lemcke. Standing: freshman Rachel Pontoriero; sophomore Kathleen Coffey, juniors Reilly McGeehan and Keeva Boyle.
No one loved Staples High School more than Gerry Kuroghlian. The beloved English teacher collected many Wrecker items during his long career — including yearbooks.
“Dr. K” died last November. Now his wife Ellen is offering some of those yearbooks to anyone who wants them. They’re free — but she hopes their new owners will make a donation to the Dr. K. Humanitarian Scholarship, created by friends and administered by Staples Tuition Grants.
(The first award will be given out May 31. Donations are always welcome!)
The yearbooks are from 1970, ’71, ’72, ’75, ’79, 2000, ’02, ’03 and ’05. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Some youngsters with critical illnesses ask Make-a-Wish for a trip to Disney World, or to meet a celebrity.
Aaron James wanted to serve food from a truck.
The 17-year-old was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago. It’s now in remission. So the other day he happily took over Dan Kardo’s food truck at Don Memo. Along with great chefs like Bill Taibe (Don Memo, Kawa Ni, The Whelk), Jess Bengtson (Terrain Café and Amis Trattoria), Matt Storch (Match Burger Lobster, Match) and Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering), he served up tacos, oysters and more.
Aaron’s goal is to have his own food truck one day. Here’s hoping that’s one more wish that comes true.
Westport Country Playhouse’s current production — “Straight White Men” — is both funny and thought-provoking. In between male bonding rituals and conversations about money, work, and love, a father and his 3 adult sons face serious questions about their own identities.
The play runs now through June 5. But the Playhouse is offering free post-curtain events, open to all who want to learn more about the production and its themes.
Anyone can attend; tickets are not needed. Just arrive at the Playhouse 90 minutes after curtain time.
The first (Thursday, May 26) is a conversation with director Mark Lamos,
A symposium after this Sunday’s (May 29) 3 p.m. matinee features the full cast, in an in-depth discussion. of “Straight White Men” for an in-depth discussion about the show.
On June 3 Edson Rivas, executive director of the Triangle Community Center, leads a discussion on gender expectations
Click here for more information “Straight White Men.”
The threshold for entitled parking photos on “06880” is now taking up 3 spaces — not just 2. And a parking job must be a lot more egregious than just a “No Parking” zone to make the cut these days.
But this driver managed to do both yesterday, at the Westport Library. He or she came all the way from Florida (or registers his or her car there, to avoid Connecticut taxes), just to 1) hog 2 spaces perfectly and 2) ignore the sign that says — smack in front of the driver — “No Parking/Loading & Unloading Only.”
The state Department of Transportation plans work on 2.5 miles of I-95, from the Yankee Doodle Bridge in Norwalk to the Saugatuck River bridge. It includes reconstruction of the center median and right shoulders, and resurfacing the ramps at Exits 16 and 17.
The bridge over Saugatuck Avenue will be totally replaced. The new superstructure will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge, and slid into place.
The bridges over Franklin Street and the Saugatuck River will undergo concrete deck repairs, and replacement of expansion joints.
A virtual public information session is set for Thursday, June 3 (7 p.m.). To access the meeting, and for information about commenting or asking questions, click here.
The estimated cost is $90 million. Construction is planned to begin this fall. DOT did not provide an anticipated end date.
This work is substantially more complex than the Kings Highway replacement project currently underway near Canal Street. Fingers crossed …
Traffic will flow less smoothly on the I-95 bridge over Saugatuck Avenue when construction begins this fall. (Photo/Mark Mathias)
Brette Warshaw’s love of food, food culture and food writing began in Westport.
In 3rd grade, she was reviewing local restaurants for the Long Lots Elementary School paper. (Angelina’s got a rave.)
At Staples High School, the 2009 graduate loved Alison Milwe Grace’s culinary classes. Brette wrote her college essay about working at the Weston Field Club snack shop.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she worked at the Food52 website, moving up to managing editor. Brette the became CFO of Lucky Peach, David Chang’s quarterly food journal.
She works at Apple News now (no food jokes, please!). She writes the daily Newsletter. She also wrote “What’s the Difference” — answering questions we’ve all wondered about. (What’s the difference, for example, between a balcony and terrace? Latino and Hispanic? A dash and a hyphen?)
In Brette’s special area of expertise, what’s the difference between broth and stock? Jam and jelly (and preserves)? Barbecuing and grilling? Chef and cook? Sweet potato and yam? Maître d’ and host?
She’s turned those important questions (spoiler alert: I have no idea about any of the answers) into a new book. What’s the Difference? Recreational Culinary Reference for the Curious and Confused will be published June 8. (Click here for more information, and to order.)
It’s irreverent, informative — and when I get a copy, I’ll let you know the answers.
Longtime Westporter George Manchester turns 90 in June.
His son Jeff — now raising his own family, in his home town — has planned a special gift. He hopes at least 90 “06880” readers will send his father “Happy Birthday” cards.
George spends summers in Maine. This year, he’ll arrive June 5. Going to the post office is an important part of his day. Let’s inundate him (and the PO) with cards!
Send to: George Manchester, PO Box 202, South Bristol, ME 04568. And feel free to pass this on to others!
George Manchester in 2017, just before the old Saugatuck Island bridge was torn down after damage from Superstorm Sandy. Decades earlier he was involved in the construction of that bridge, as president of what was then called the Saugatuck Shores Island Association (now the Saugatuck Island Special Taxing District).
For today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, Tina Green writes:
“Some time in the last several days, the American oystercatcher eggs hatched at Compo Beach. This year there are 2 very healthy chicks. The adult female is limping, but will hopefully recover soon.
“The federally protected piping plovers are nesting on the most northern edge of the roped off area. I had the good fortune to witness the first egg being laid while observing the female early yesterday morning.
“Westporters are lucky to have a variety of bird species nest within our borders. About 88 species breed in the wide variety of habitats around town, including back yards, town parks, beaches and open spaces like Cockenoe Island and Aspetuck Land Trust properties.
“If the pandemic got you into birdwatching while at home, this is one of the best towns in the state to see and observe our feathered friends.”
American oystercatcher at Compo Beach (Photo/Tina Green)
Longtime Westporter Ronald Joseph Melino died on May 22. He was 91.
The South Bronx native transplanted himself and his family from the city he loved to Westport in 1967.
Melino studied biology at City College, and was a proud employee of American Airlines. He worked his way up from the La Guardia Airport terminal to the company’s executive offices at the Chrysler Building.
Original to his core, naturally charismatic and never shy, he lived life on his own terms. He loved beach walks, tennis with pals at the Westport Tennis Club and Longshore, workouts and saunas at the Westport YMCA, reading, train travel to San Francisco, and above all else his grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Maureen. He is survived by his children Stephen Melino (Margie), Frances Zahler (Gary), Barbara Deecken (George), and James Melino (Ilana); grandchildren Alexsis Adams, Christina Deecken, Cody Zahler, Christian Zahler, Avery Chung-Melino, Rachel Melino, Emily Zahler, and Katey Melino, great grandson Isaiah, beloved nieces and nephews and their families, and his brother Eugene.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Assumption Cemetery, at a time to be determined.
Westport’s newest police officer is Stephen Silva has joined its ranks. He was sworn in yesterday at a small ceremony, in front of his family and friends. Two brothers serve with the Trumbull Police Department.
Silva started his career in law enforcement in 2016 with the Bridgeport Police Department. He worked in the patrol division, served as an acting detective, and was a member of the department’s honor guard.
In addition to working full time as a police officer, Silva is pursuing a degree in emergency management at Post University.
Officer Stephen Silva (right) is congratulated by Police Chief Foti Koskinas.
While Charles MacCormack traveled the world as CEO of Westport-based Save the Children, his wife Susan Ross devoted her life to public service of a more local scope. For 40 years she worked with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; for 12 years, she was its CEO.
Susan died 4 years ago this month, after a 7-year battle with breast and pancreatic cancer. In her memory, her husband of 45 years has helped established the Susan M. Ross Fund for Great Leadership at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. It targets the organization’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which provides leadership develop opportunities.
And finally … happy 76th birthday to John Fogerty. I’ve played tribute to his band — Creedence Clearwater Revival — and I will again. So today I’ll honor his solo work. (PS: Thanks again for that great Levitt Pavilion concert in 2017. I’m still smiling.)
COVID-19 has done what no opponent can: knock off Staples High School spring sports teams.
Coaches are providing workouts, and staying in touch via video conferences. Athletes are training on their own. Competitions, however, are on hold — perhaps all the way through the end of the season.
Yet one team still sails along.
Staples’ sailing squad is special in many ways. It’s coed, for one thing. Members have experience in everything from 10-foot dinghies to 50-foot sailboats. But they are from different ages, they race in the summer for different clubs, and they’re in a variety of friend groups. Working together in tight quarters, they become a close-knit bunch.
The 2019 Staples High School sailing team.
The 20 sailors meet at Cedar Point Yacht Club. They typically spend 15 hours a week practicing and racing. The vibe is “competitive yet chill,” says senior co-captain Emerson Anvari.
The team — with a bunch of talented juniors — was looking forward to this season. Then the coronavirus raced in.
That’s because coach AJ Sorenson has found intriguing out-of-the-water experiences for his sailors. The most exciting is Virtual Regatta. An online game, it simulates an actual race as much as possible (without of course real wind, sea spray and booms that can knock you into the water.
The physical engagement — the full-body workout of trying to hike and flatten the boat — is missing. Sitting home with a laptop is “serene,” Anvari admits.
But the 2 competing teams join the same group chat program to simulate the often hectic nature of a race course, when many voices call out across the water. And it sure is fun. Take a look:
Last week, Anvari says, “I found myself really getting into it, getting tingly and excited the way I do when I compete.”
Then his sister called him to dinner, and he realized he was just lying in bed playing a computer game.
Still, Anvari and co-captain Nora Dockter have received great feedback from the rest of the team. They all enjoy the break from their daily routines.
Staples has “sailed” against Greenwich High already. They’re connecting with schools in places they never could compete against in real life — like Annapolis, Maryland — for future regattas.
Cecilia Adams and Emerson Anvari, last year.
Sailing is not the only Staples team using online resources. The girls golf team “practices” at 4 p.m. every day on Facebook. Head coach Patty Kondub — who is also a certified fitness trainer — leads golf-specific workouts Mondays and Wednesdays.
On Tuesdays they focus on skills like putting and chipping, through YouTube and other videos. The girls then post their own videos, and get feedback from coaches.
Thursdays are dedicated to other aspects of the game like rules, nutrition, and mental concentration.
Kondub is even making plans for Senior Day, and and a post-season “banquet.”
It’s not the same as Longshore. But — as the Staples sailing team knows — “any port in a storm.”
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