Tag Archives: Stephanie Bass

Roundup: Swearing In, Peggy’s Cottage, ’60s Art …

Winners of Tuesday’s election — newcomers and incumbents — will be sworn in on Monday, November 20 (7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium).

The public is invited to attend.

Dozens of town officials — including board and commission members, and those on the Representative Town Meeting — will take oaths of office November 20. This is a file photo from 2021. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Loyal customers love Peggy’s Cottage — the great everything-Irish (and English, Scottish and Welsh) Post Road store, opposite Stop & Shop.

It’s a little bit of home — warm, comfortable, welcoming.

But there’s always something new there, too.

For example:

  • Irish Word Bangle Bracelets
  • 100% Irish Wool Socks.
  • Mittens
  • Irish knitwear for babies.
  • Celtic design pashmina wool and silk scarves, inspired by Irish islands with the story of each  isle on the hangtag.
  • Ireland t-shirts
  • Books, from a Celtic wholesale company.

Click here for more very cool (and often green) merchandise.

New arrivals at Peggy’s Cottage.


Speaking of holiday shopping:

The Westport Library Gift Store is now open, and filled with gifts. It’s located in the writing center adjacent to the Hub on the main floor, alongside the Library Store and Patron Services desk.

There are gifts for readers, writers, and anyone else special: handmade scarves, hats and gloves; puzzles and games; decorative items like unique snow globes; notebooks and journals; toys, art supplies, novelty items for kids, and more.

An added gift: Purchases are tax free. All proceeds support Library services and programs.


High school students were not around in the 1960s. Most of their parents were not, either.

But MoCA Westport is reaching back to that famous decade, while seeking submissions for their 2024 High School Student Art Exhibition.

The theme of the open call is “Through the Lens of Icons: Revisiting the 1960s.” The idea is to “reimagine the ’60s through your creative lens.” Individuals, moments or symbols that hold cultural, political or personal significance are welcome.

Categories include photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and video. Students may submit only one work each.

The deadline is December 1. For more details, including submission guidelines, click here.

President Kennedy, his wife Jackie and Texas Governor John Connolly, moments before the assassination that changed the world.


The “bridge slide” portion of the I-95 project is over.

But construction delays remain.

Long ones.

Last night, Jo Shields Sherman reports, 3 state highway trucks were traveling south, “as fast as 5 miles an hour.” Police vehicles kept pace, preventing any vehicles from passing.


One view of I-95, from the Hillspoint Road bridge …

The view from the other side of the bridge seemed eerie, she says, with not a single vehicle in sight. Here’s what it looked like:

(Photos/Jo Shields Sherman)

By 8:30, traffic was moving well again.


After a 3-year hiatus, Stephanie Bass returns to the stage.

Westport’s favorite 70something comedian offers her always-hilarious take on life — including getting older, and raising a kid from 5 to adulthood in this wonderful, odd, often (unintentionally) humorous town.

The free show (including both stand-up and storytelling) on November 17 (7 p.m., Westport Library) is presented by students of Verso University’s Stand-Up comedy series. The host is comedian (and course instructor) Mina Hartong.

Click here for more information.

Stephanie Bass, at the Gotham Comedy Club.


Staples High School’s November Students of the Month are seniors Dylan Fiore and Dylan Walsh, juniors Will Boberski and Kate Weitz, sophomores Tyler Smalls and Mia Zibly, and freshmen Ishan Pasham and Eliza Wadley.

Students of the Month “help make Staples a welcoming place for their peers and teachers alike. They are the ‘glue’ of the Staples community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students that keep the high school together, making it the special place that it is.”

November Students of the Month (from left): Dylan Walsh, William Boberski, Mia Zibly, Kate Weitz, Eliza Wadley. Not pictured: Dylan Fiore, Ishan Pasham, Tyler Smalls. 


The Westport Library’s Big Fall Book Sale is set for 3 weeks before winter: December 1-4.

On sale: thousands of gently used books for children and adults in more than 50 categories, antiquarian books, vinyl records, music CDs, movie and TV DVDs, plus a limited selection of ephemera and artwork, and the “Fiction for $1” room.

Hours are Friday, December 1 (noon to 6 p.m.), Saturday, December 2 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Sunday, December 3 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m., nearly everything  half price), and Monday, December 4 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; fill logo bags for $8 or $10).

On December 1 (8:55 a.m. to noon), the book sale is open via an Early Access ticket (click here to buy). For more information, click here.

To volunteer at the sale, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Can’t make the sale?  Visit the nonprofit Westport Book Shop across Jesup Green from the Library, or shop any time on the Book Sale’s Online Store, or eBay.

Westport Library Book Sale.


It’s been a few days since Tracy Porosoff sent in this “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Hopefully, these flowers are still hanging on, in her backyard garden.

(Flowers/Tracy Porosoff)


And finally … if high school students need a prompt to create art for MoCA Westport’s “1960s” exhibition (story above), there are tens of thousands of songs to choose from.

Here are 3:

(“06880” looks back often — and looks to the present and future always. Please help us continue our work. Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution. Thank you!)


Stephanie Bass’ Driveway Showcase

Stephanie Bass — a 72-year-old divorced grandmother who was diagnosed with ADD as an adult, and worked at jobs like publishing, marketing, credit card redemption, teacher and Trader Joe’s cashier — was well on her way to a new career as a standup comedian (because, why not?) when the pandemic struck.

Comedy clubs were one of COVID’s many casualties. Packing people in a room while other people spoke into a microphone has not been a thing for the past 18 months.

Stephanie Bass, at the Gotham Comedy Club.

But Stephanie wanted to make people laugh.

Every day, she wrote a message in chalk. She placed the board at the top of her driveway, on Sherwood Drive.

The short road off Compo Hill is not a high traffic area. Yet thanks to social media, Stephanie’s words found an appreciate audience.

One sign read: “If CVS didn’t call me 4 times a day, I’d have no social life.”

Another: “Miss honking at lousy Westport drivers.”

And: “If this is it, sorry I didn’t eat more bacon and ice cream.”

Everyone could relate to “Good News: Moved upstairs to guest room to combat cabin fever. Bad news: My, my iPhone and my charger are never on the same floor.”

As spring gave way to the summer of George Floyd, and then to the presidential election, Stephanie’s chalkboard took on a political edge.

“France called,” she wrote one day. “They want their statue back, and said not to visit.”

She described the days after November 3 — when the result was still in doubt — as “worse than waiting for the results of a pregnancy test.”

Now Stephanie has collected her chalkboard thoughts in a book. “Driveway Showcase: A Comedian’s Year in Lockdown” has just been published.

Like any new author, she’s looking forward to her first book signing. It’s September 26, from noon to 3 p.m. (Books will be available there.)

The location is perfect: Stephanie’s driveway.

Head up Compo Hill, next to Joey’s by the Shore. Take a right on Sherwood Drive. You’ll see it there.

Of course, there will be a sign.

(To order a copy of Driveway Showcase, click here.)

Did You Hear The One About Westport’s 71-Year-Old Jewish Mother Comedian?

Stephanie Bass is divorced. Diagnosed with ADD as an adult, she’s worked at an ever-changing series of jobs: publishing, marketing, credit card redemption, Trader Joe’s cashier, teacher (she ran a class on how to hire a decorator).

For the past 15 years she’s lived with her cat in a small, eclectically jam-packed cottage on Compo Hill.

“My life turned out remarkably well,” Stephanie says.

“I grew up in a shitty town in upstate New York. All the girls got pregnant, moved into apartments above the bakery, and never left.

“Kids who grow up in Westport want to move back. My daughter lives nearby.”

She pauses. “I feel like I won the Jewish mother lottery.”

If that strikes you as a funny line, it is.

Stephanie Bass is a very funny woman.

As in: She’s a stand-up comic.

Stephanie Bass, in her very cool Westport home.

That’s not the usual line of work for a 71-year-old. Especially one who — before this year — had never told a joke before an audience.

For Stephanie though, it’s one more natural turn on life’s quirky path.

Last year — at her 70th birthday party — Rozanne Gates told her, “You should do stand-up.”

“Everyone — including my shrink — always told me that!” Stephanie said. “It was like the universe was calling.”

Years earlier, she’d taken Westport Continuing Education writing classes with Frank Wiener. “I wrote fabulous stuff, trashing my soon-to-be ex-husband. People howled when I read it in class, ” she says with pride.

She also studied with Jessica Bram at the Westport Writers’ Workshop. “She told me I had something too,” Stephanie says.

In another Continuing Ed class taught by Bob Selverstone, she made a timeline of her life. It included accomplishments, and dreams unfulfilled.

“I realized I had 15 or 20 years left before I go,” she says. “And I realized I had a talent for making people laugh.”

She bought a book on Amazon about how to be a stand-up comic. Then she embarked on the very serious business of learning how to be funny.

Stephanie worked on the craft of writing — and rewriting, and editing down — her material. She discovered the importance of finding her own voice, of timing, of presence.

She took classes. She had private sessions with a stand-up coach. A few months ago, she was finally ready for her debut.

At New York’s famed Gotham Comedy Club.

Stephanie Bass, at the Gotham Comedy Club.

If that sounds daunting, it was.

But she survived. Even better: The audience laughed. At all the right times.

They were laughing with Stephanie. Not at her.

She’s performed more than a dozen times since. She follows the advice to talk about what you know.

In her case it’s raising kids — and being single — in the suburbs.

Being a stand-up comedian has been wonderful. “I’ve come in contact with people I never would have met,” she says wonderingly.

“In Bridgeport, I followed 4 guys in their 20s who dissed old rich white people. I got up and talked about being an old rich white person. In 5 minutes, they were my buddies.”

Stephanie loves the laughs she gets. She also loves what stand-up does for her.

“I’m using my brain,” she says. “That’s what everyone says to do in old age. I think I’m getting younger.”

Westport is no stranger to stand-up. Brad Axelrod started the Treehouse Comedy Club here, years ago. He now has several venues, including Bistro B at the Westport Inn.

That’s where he runs his “Funniest Comic in CT” contest. Stephanie qualified, and will perform on Saturday, June 15.

She’s the only 71-year-old woman on the bill. So she’ll be the only comedian there who can get away with a Jewish mother joke like this one:

“You know Mrs. Zuckerberg? Do you think just because her son went to Harvard and became a billionaire, she still doesn’t give him advice?”

(Stephanie Bass competes in the “Funniest Comic in CT” contest at the Westport Inn’s Bistro B on Saturday, June 15. Click here for tickets.)