Tag Archives: TAP Strength Lab

Roundup: Staples Sports, Craft Fair, Black Holes …

Two Staples High School sports teams fell in their quests for FCIAC (league) championships last night.

Both were seeded #3. Both lost to the #1 seeds.

The field hockey team dropped a 3-0 decision to Darien, at Brien McMahon High School. The Blue Wave earned their 5th consecutive title.

The girls soccer squad lost 3-1 to St. Joseph. Evelyn Chudowsky scored the Wreckers’ goal, assisted by her sister Natalie.

Both teams — along with boys soccer — start state tournament play next week. The football team, meanwhile, is still in contention for a state playoff berth.

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Meanwhile, the Staples fieldhouse shifts from sports to crafts this weekend.

CraftWestport — a favorite Westport Young Woman’s League fundraiser for over 45 years — returns Saturday and Sunday (November 5-6). Like so many other events, it’s been a COVID-induced hiatus for 2 years.

Over 175 contemporary crafters and makers from across the country will exhibit at what has become Connecticut’s largest indoor crafts festival.

Ticket sales sales fund the WYWL’s community grants to are charities like Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Homes with Hope, Westport Emergency Medical Services and many others.

CraftWestport includes original fashions, accessories, jewelry, home décor, furniture, photography, and artwork like ceramic, glass, metal, wood and mixed media.  Food items including honey, maples syrup, cheese and more are also for sale.

Show hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket s are $11 adults, $10 seniors, $5 ages 12-18; children under 12 are free; click here to buy.

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I was a (very) occasional patron of Freshii.

The oddly named fast-casual bowl-and-a-bit-more restaurant next to the downtown Starbucks opened 9 years ago.

Now it’s closed. I’m not sure how long ago it left, but it looks like a while.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one who didn’t go there much.

Black holes: fact or fiction?

Defy the gravitational pull of Netflix. On November 15 (8 p.m.), open your laptop to the Westport Astronomical Society’s free online science lecture series. Dr. Jeremy Schnittman — a NASA research astrophysicist — highlights the most interesting and exciting aspects of black holes, explores recent discoveries, and notes some science fiction hits and misses.

Click here for the YouTube livestream.

Jeremy Schnittman

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Chris Frantz — of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club fame — returns to the Westport Library.

On November 19 (7:30 p.m.), he brings his Emerging Musicians series back to the Trefz Forum. He’ll spotlight 2 Fairfield County acts: Residual Groove (a funk-fusion, improv-heavy dance band) and contemporary singer-songwriter Brian Dolzani.

The Emerging Musicians series features up-and-coming regional, national, and international music, hand-picked by Frantz. The goal is to bring new music to new ears, and incubate rising talent. The concert is a collaboration and production of Verso Studios at The Library, and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are $10; there’s also a cash bar. Click here for more information.

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Mike Evans is a Westport Weston Family YMCA basketball coach. The Weston native is also the founder of Full Court Peace, a non-profit that repairs basketball courts in underserved communities, then uses the sport to bring people together.

Now he’s written a book about his time in Belfast, where he brought rival Protestant and Catholic teenagers together to play as one team

In “The Belfast Blazers,” Evans dives into the Irish city’s dark history. He describes meeting members of the Irish Republican Army (and the Dalai Lama). Click here for more information.

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TAP Strength is well known for its comprehensive, personalized approach to wellness.

On November 16 (6 to 8 p.m., 180 Post Road East), the fitness studio turns into an art studio. Miggs Burroughs, Bonnie Edelman and Alex Silver will show their work. 2 Roads Brewery will provide libations.

Can there be a better way to work out?!

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For more than 100 years, Save the Children has been saving children.

On November 14 (11:30 a.m., Green’s Farms Congregational Church), Ann Marie and miles and Kim Kilroy — high-ranking members of the non-profit’s leadership ship —  will tell the Y’s Women how Save the Children does it. The public is invited.

For decades, Save the Children was headquartered on Wilton Road. The main office is now in Fairfield.

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Lauren Tarshis — a Staples High School graduate, longtime Westporter and author of the wildly popular “I Survived” children’s book series — will read from her latest book and answer  children’s questions at the Westport Library.

The event is this Saturday (November 5, 3:30 p.m.).

We’ve got a question: Will Lauren survive all those kids?!

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Meanwhile, across Jesup Green from the library, there’s Julie Leff: Westport Book Shop’s Artist of the Month.

A member of the Artists’ Collective of Westport, WestonArts and Art/Place, she exhibits 4 vibrant photorealistic oil paintings, with a floral motif.

All work is available for purchase. On sale too: note cards with 12 images of Leff’s paintings.

 

Julie Leff at the Westport Book Shop.

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Everybody — including Wilbur, Rady and Diane Johnson’s Jack Russell — enjoys our fall foliage.

Now everyone who follows our “Westport … Naturally” feature can admire it too.

(Photo/Diane Johnson)

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And finally … on this day in 1783, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 was performed for the first time in Linz, Austria. It is also known as (surprise!) the Linz Symphony.

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Roundup: New Apartments, Paul Newman, TAP Sleep …

In October 2016, “06880” ran a story about 785 Post Road East.

A developer hoped to tear down the apartment building between the Toyota dealer and what was then Westport Wash & Wax. He’d clean up the land, and build a new office/retail/food store complex, plus residential units.

The structure was dilapidated. But the 16 units were some of the most affordable in Westport.

Because they were built before 1990, they did not count toward the number of Westport’s affordable units, to satisfy the 8-30g formula.

The former apartment building at 785 Post Road East.

Finally — nearly 5 years later — the building was demolished last month.

In its place will be 14 luxury apartments: 8 townhouse units with garages underneath, and 6 flat-style units. Ten are 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom units; the other 4 will have 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.

The complex will also include a 5,000-square foot retail/office building, in front of the apartments. There will be 4 buildings, in total.

Artist’s rendering of 785 Post Road East.

The new structures are reminiscent of other recent construction at 793 Post Road East, at the foot of Long Lots Road. That complex replaced a small building that had been both a stationery store and a residence.

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Paul Newman sometimes broke the Westport speed limits.

Then he took his cars to the race track. Lime Rock Park was one of his favorites.

Now, the upstate raceway has named the not-quite-straight (but very fast back stretch) “Paul Newman Straight.”

Lime Rock also announced a partnership with the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, the non-profit that helps over 20,000 seriously ill children and family members each year, free of charge. Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Frank Rosen)

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Having trouble sleeping? Never feel fully rested?

TAP Strength can help your ZZZs.

The wellness center is sponsoring a talk with Sarah Swanberg, doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. She’ll discuss natural sleep solutions.

It’s September 27 (7 p.m., TAP Strength, 180 Post Road East). It’s free, but space is limited. Email nancy@tapstrength.com to reserve a spot.

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I’m not sure whether this photo is more appropriate for “the dog days of summer” or “taking a rest on Labor Day weekend.” Either way, it’s a perfect Sunday shot for our “Westport … Naturally” series.

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

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And finally … on this day in 1781, 44 Spanish settlers founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels). Today, the name of the city is simply “Los Angeles.”

 

Roundup: Ukraine Rally, Mark Yurkiw, Mexicue …

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For the past few days, Westporters have watched citizens around the globe rally in support of Ukraine.

We get our own chance this Saturday.

The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge — the go-to site for local political activity — is the site March 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The theme is “Stand With Ukraine.”

The event’s organizers — DefenDemocracy CT — say: “Represent. Bring signs. Be safe.”

 

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Westport’s Mexican dining scene — already hot, with everything from “mama y papa” (Border Grille, Cuatro Hermanos) and fast-casual (Salsa Fresca) to upscale (Mexica) and of course old standbys (Viva Zapata, Bartaco) — gets another player soon.

Mexicue moves into the 2nd floor of 38 Main Street. The newly designed space was formerly occupied — in a much different configuration — by Bobby Q’s and Onion Alley.

Founder Thomas Kelly — who does not sound as if he’s from south of the border — writes on Mexicue’s website that he began by mixing a street food sensibility with fine dining. His experimenting, mixing and combining has led to Mexicues in New York City (Chelsea, NoMad, Midtown), Stamford and Washington, DC. Besides Westport, another is in the works in Bethesda, Maryland.

Target date for opening is early May.

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Westport artist Mark Yurkiw’s parents emigrated to the US from Ukraine, in 1949. They had spent years in displaced persons’ tent camps.

As a teenager during World War II, Mark’s mother was enslaved .For almost 50 years, the United Nations paid slave labor reparations to her.

Mark was born in New York, but his first language is Ukrainian. He has followed the news from his parents’ homeland closely, and fearfully. He knows its history well.

Mark says: “To get a sense of what Ukraine has endured, watch the film Mr. Jones. It is a true story about a British reporter trying to warn the world about what is now referred to the Holodomor during the early 1930s, when Stalin starved Ukraine and untold millions died.

“The rise and acceptance of the ruling authoritarians around the world is the most frightening aspect of our times. What is happening now in Ukraine will affect the whole world for years to come.”

Mark Yurkiw, with a patriotic t-shirt.

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WestportMoms reports that in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, BevMax has taken Russian vodka off its shelves. Instead, the chain is encouraging customers to buy vodka from Ukraine.

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Today’s New York Times features a compelling photo from 1988 Staples High School graduate Tyler Hicks. It shows civilian volunteers sorting empty bottles in a parking lot in Dnipro, Ukraine. They’ll be used for Molotov cocktails.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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Following CDC guidelines, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice announced yesterday that students are no longer required to wear masks on school buses or vans. Anyone wishing to continue wearing them may do so.

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Pass the Torch is a popular sports podcast. Each episode examines the life journeys of athletes and sports personalities.

The most recent one highlights David Lloyd. The 1979 Staples High School graduate and SportsCenter host has been at ESPN for 25 years.

Click here for his insights into his career, including the long road from Westport to Bristol. (Hat tip: Tommy Greenwald)

David Lloyd

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Speaking of sports: With spring almost here*, the Joggers Club is warming up some great program.

The Kids Running Camp for kindergarten through 8th grade runs (ho ho) Sundays, April 3 through May 29 (Staples high School track, 2 to 3:15 p.m.). It’s $40 for members, $99 for non-members.

The Minute Man 10K Build-Up Series is Saturdays throughout April (Compo Beach, 8 a.m.); free for members.

Track Night (every Wednesday, Norwalk High School, 6:15 p.m.) and Fun Run (every Saturday, Compo Beach, 8 a.m.)) are both free for members.

Click here for more information, and membership ($50 per year; includes a free Brooks technical running shirt). Instagram: @TheJoggersClub.CT.

*Please, dear God.

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“What is a healthy fat?” “Should I do a juice cleanse?” “How can I improve my diet?” “Are all carbs bad”?

Dietician and wellness expert Katie Andrews answers those questions and more tomorrow (March 1, 7 p.m., TAP Strength Lab, 180 Post Road East). She’ll cover the basics of healthy nutrition, from macro and micronutrient needs, to how to manage a healthy diet.

It’s free; please RSVP to nancy@tapstrength.com. The first 30 people to respond get a free ready-to-eat chef-crafter meal from Azuluna.

Katie Andrews

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Because of an online glitch and snow that prevented hand delivery of essays difficult, TEAM Westport has extended the deadline for its Teen Diversity Contest to Wednesday, March 2.

Click here for full details, and an application form.

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Fulvio Vladimir Dobrich — a longtime Westporter, and husband of civic volunteer Maggie Mudd — died earlier this month in a sailing accident off the British Virgin Islands. He was 74.

His family writes: “Fulvio was a larger-than-life figure, a successful multi-lingual international financier who was energetic and ever-curious, with a strong grasp of world history and politics.

“He felt most at peace roaming the world on his beloved S/Y Istria.

“Youthful, adventurous and endowed with a passionate and enduring zest for life and risk unusual for a man of his age, he influenced the lives of many, showing them extraordinary generosity, warmth, moral support and always a guiding sense of greater possibility.

“Everybody could count on Fulvio for help. His devoted friends are spread across the globe.

“A teen emigrant who left a poor Istrian village in Croatia with his family to escape Communism, Fulvio became an ardent New Yorker, intensely proud of his public school education in Hell’s Kitchen and at City College, where he was a devoted alumnus.

“He served on the Advisory Council and the Board of Visitors of CCNY’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, and was a member of City College’s 21st Century Foundation board.

“He also created the Fulvio V. Dobrich New American Scholarship Fund. He instituted a similar program for first generation students at Wake Forest University.

“An anti-snob, he held an abiding compassion for the many worthy deprived of privilege or opportunity.”

In addition to Maggie Mudd, his wife of 27 years, he is survived by their sons, Jack Dobrich of New York and Andrew Dobrich of Los Angeles, and his daughter from an earlier marriage, Erin Dobrich of Westport.

In addition, a celebration of Fulvio’s life will be held at City College, New York, at a date to be determined.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Colin Powell School at CCNY.

Fulvio Dobrich

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No, Jo Shields Sherman admits, it’s not the best photograph.

But her shot of “the first robin” on North Avenue is a great “Westport … Naturally” reminder that spring is not too far away.

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)

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And finally … yesterday we noted the death of Sally Kellerman, “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the original “MASH” movie.

On this day in 1983, the final TV episode of “M*A*S*H” aired. Almost 106 million viewers tuned in. Nearly 40 years later, that’s still the record for highest viewership of a season finale.

Anyone who saw that emotionally stunning 2-hour show recognizes the key role Mozart’s “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings” played in that memorable broadcast.

And if you haven’t seen it — or want to watch it again — click below. War is indeed hell.

Roundup: UN, Paul Lane Field, Mushrooms …

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The UN is 76 years young.

To mark the occasion, Westport’s International Hospitality Committee and the UN Association of Southwestern Connecticut are hosting a ceremony on the Town Hall front steps. It’s set for next Monday (October 25, 3:30 p.m.).

UNASWCT president and International Hospitality Committee member Bill Hass will read a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Aye Aye Thant — a Westport resident, and daughter of former UN Secretary-General U Thant — is the guest speaker.

Flags of UN countries will fly on the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge.

For more information, call Bill Hass (203-454-7685).

Happy UN Day! (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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Paul Lane Field — the new name for Staples High School’s football stadium — will be dedicated officially on Friday, November 12.

A host of former players will be on hand, including Matt MacVane, Bill During, John Bolger, Buzz Leavitt and Lance Lonergan, as well as relatives of the longtime Wrecker coach. Festivities include a tailgate in the north parking lot before the 7 p.m. kickoff against Ridgefield High, and a halftime ceremony.

The original date for the dedication was this Friday (October 22). Instead, that’s Homecoming.

There’s plenty of action in what’s known — now and forever — as Paul Lane Field.

Paul Lane (center) flanked by his sons Peter (left) and Skip. Both played for him.

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It was a tough call. But MoCA Westport canceled this fall’s in-person fundraiser due to COVID concerns.

Of course, like any museum they still need support. They’ve pivoted to an online auction., to help with exhibitions and music, community events and outreach to the underserved.

The auction features over 50 items, including original artwork (like art by Devon Troy Strother and a Joel Sternfeld photo from the 1980s), one-of-a kind experiences (an NBA VIP draft experience), and curated products from local businesses (Stephen Kempson London, Stacy Bass Photography, JL Rocks, Pure Barre and Imperial Dental Associates, among others).

The auction begins November 1, and ends November 15. To pre-register, click here. For more information, click here.

MoCA Westport’s Newtown Avenue building is unique. Its online auction is special too.

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Speaking of artistry: The Flower Basket is more than just fantastic floral arrangements.

This Sunday (October 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 995 Post Road East), the wonderful shop near Stiles Market hosts an exhibit of abstract and contemporary art by Romeo. Flower and art lovers are invited.

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TAP is dedicated toward fitness and preventive care in all forms.

Including mushrooms.

On Tuesday (October 26, 7 p.m., 180 Post Road East) they host author Adam Piore. He’s the author of a recent Newsweek cover story on clinical trials using psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat depression. He’ll talk about neuroscience, research and stories shared by patients.

To register and for more information, email Nancy@tapstrength.com.

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Wasps — or at least, a paper wasp nest — makes an initial appearance in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Patricia Carey spotted it. She writes: “I think it’s really pretty (especially since there was no wasp activity!).”

(Photo/Patricia Carey)

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And finally … in honor of TAP Strength Lab’s upcoming event (see above):

 

 

Roundup: Paving, Business, Smart People …

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Westport Means Business.

That’s the name of a Westport Library/Town of Westport-sponsored panel on June 3 (7 p.m., at the Library or via Zoom).

2nd Selectwoman Jen Tooker will lead a discussion with 3 great — and very different — local businesses.

Sam Gault of Gault Energy, Dr. EJ Zebro (TAP Strength Lab) and Gina Porcello (GG & Joe) will share “Stories from the Pandemic.” They’ll describe what they learned, how they survived — and how they’re thriving.

Click here to register.

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Speaking of business:

Westport photographer Nancy Breakstone lives a few minutes from Rive Bistro. It’s her go-to spot.

Yesterday she met a friend for drinks, at 5. Her husband was set to meet Nancy there for dinner, afterward.

But despite a dozen outdoor tables on the plaza — plus under a tent — Nancy called him and said: No go. The restaurant was booked solid. The waitress advised calling 3 days ahead.

That augurs well for outdoor dining in Westport this summer. Bon appétit!

Outdoor dining at Rive Bistro, on the water. The plaza tables have been filled, as well as the always-popular deck.

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Westport’s spring paving program is underway.

The Library and Senior Center parking lots are already done. Paving will continue through mid-June on these roads:

  • Railroad Place
  • Franklin Street
  • Ferry Lane
  • Partrick Road
  • Clinton Avenue
  • Saxon Lane
  • Timber Lane
  • Moss Ledge
  • Dawn Drive
  • Greens Farms Road
  • Maple Avenue North

Once those are done, several school properties will be paved:

  • Greens Farms Elementary
  • Long Lots Elementary (partial repaving)
  • Bedford Middle School entrance and Wakeman Farm Road
  • Coleytown Elementary

That project is a collaborative effort with the Westport Public Schools.

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Getting into Cornell University is hard enough. Graduating in the top 1% of one of its undergrad colleges is insanely difficult.

But Isabelle Amlicke did it. The Staples High School Class of 2017 alum earned recognition as a Merrill Presidential Scholar for that achievement.

Isabelle was deeply involved with Cornell Sustainability Consultants. No word on what’s ahead. But we’re sure it will be impressive! (Hat tip: Cecily Gans)

Isabelle Amlicke

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Speaking of Staples: 4 juniors have earned Superior Achievement in Writing awards. The honor comes from the prestigious National Council of Teachers of English.

Caroline Coffey, Matthew Genser, Maya Markus-Malone and Talia Perkins
were honored as among the best student writers in the nation. In addition to submitting a piece of “best writing,” contest entrants were asked to craft a piece in any genre that took readers inside a community that is important to them, and convey the beauty they see within it.

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Speaking of education: On Monday night, the Bedford Middle School team got together. They celebrate their win at the Connecticut Science Olympiad Tournament, and watched the national event.

Coaches Arthur Ellis, Daniel Cortright and Kathryn Nicholas received special recognition. Congratulations to all!

Sisters Annam Olasewere, Anwara Olasewere, and Ayaan Olasewere are part of Bedford’s state champion Science Olympiad team. All paced in the top 3 of their events.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows black swallowtails at Sherwood Island State Park:

(Photo/Elena Nasereddin)

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And finally … legendary Muscle Shoals drummer Jerry Roger Hawkins died last week. He was 75, and had suffered from numerous illnesses.

Producer Jerry Wexler called him “the greatest drummer of all time.”

Hawkins — a member of both the Swampers and Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section session groups — played on hits like “Respect,” ” “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Mustang Sally.” As great as those songs are, listen again. Without Hawkins’ drumming, they’d have a lot less respect.  Click here for a full obituary.