Tag Archives: TD Bank

Carl Swanson’s Cautionary Tale

In the summer of 1955, 7-year-old Westporter Carl Addison Swanson had $12.34 in earnings, from his summer landscaping business.

His father marched him down to Southport Savings — a bank later purchased by People’s — to open a savings account.

Carl had his eye on a new baseball mitt. It did not happen. “Depression parents and all?” he wonders today.

Some 61 years later (and still a People’s Bank client), Swanson learned that an investment firm’s error (someone entered the wrong account number) resulted in the transfer of $28,000 from his checking account, to one of the firm’s clients.

People’s fixed the error relatively quickly (about 2 weeks).

But Swanson’s banking woes were not over.

In mid-August, he put a $10,000 check in his mail box to pay his credit card bill.

It never reached Chase. Instead it ended up in someone’s individual account, in a local TD bank.

The FBI, police, US Postal Service, People’s Bank and The Hartford (homeowner’s) insurance company have all tried to get restitution. It still has not happened.

Swanson — himself an attorney — says, “The banks have gotten too big to fail and to serve their customers. Bigger is not always better.”

Trimming Trees

Many Westporters spent the weekend buying Christmas trees.

On Saturday, workers were busy chopping trees down. This was the scene at TD Bank on Main Street, just north of Parker Harding Plaza:

Today they were back at it. This time the site was South Moon Under, at the entrance to the Taylor Parking lot:

(Photos/Chip Stephens)

No word on whether they were dead, diseased, or simply in the way.

First Light Shines On Westport

Outside, it’s chilly and rainy.

But inside the Westport Historical Society and TD Bank, it’s warm and inviting.

The town’s first First Light — organized by the WHS, after First Night ended its 24-year run — drew many families with young kids.

First Light activities included face painting …

They enjoyed face and henna painting, Disney and Pixar movie shorts, popcorn  and more.

and coloring.

The rain did not stop the outdoor activities either: horse-drawn carriage rides, and a bonfire on Veterans Green.

A bonfire on Veterans Green illuminates both the Doughboy statue and the Town Hall Christmas tree.

First Light continues through 9 p.m.

It may be the start of a new tradition.

But it’s definitely the only time we’ll ever ring in 2019.

First Night Dims — But First Light Shines On New Year’s Eve

Last month, First Night organizers announced the cancellation of this year’s New Year’s Eve festivities. Economics, changing entertainment options and an aging board all contributed to the demise of the 20+-year tradition.

But not everyone got the word.

On Saturday, December 15, the  Westport Historical Society held its final “Holly Day” celebration. As kids lined up for horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa’s lap, parents asked if they could buy First Night buttons. For years, the WHS had sold them there.

Horse-drawn sleighs were a feature of First Night. They’ll be back at First Light.

Giving the news that First Night was over saddened WHS executive director Ramin Ganeshram and her staff. “It was a beloved event,” she says. “Organizers made sure there was something for everything.”

That night, she asked WHS employees whether the Avery Place institution should offer a New Year’s Eve celebration for the town.

“NO! ” replied the staff, exhausted after weeks of their own holiday events.

But on Monday morning, director of operations Alicia D’Anna told Ganeshram she had a change of heart. She and her husband had talked. They wanted the WHS to do something after all.

In a local version of a Christmas miracle, the Historical Society took just a few days to develop Westport’s newest tradition: First Light.

It includes many favorite First Night activities, including performances, horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting, a digital caricaturist, a henna artist, and food trucks.

Plus a big bonfire right next door to WHS, on Veterans Green.

The WHS crew worked like Santa’s elves to get everything in place. They had help from many folks at Town Hall. Ganeshram singled out First Selectman Jim Marpe, for going “above and beyond” to make things happen.

TD Bank stepped up big time too, offering a venue for events that don’t fit in the cute but cramped WHS Wheeler House headquarters.

So First Night is gone. But First Light — at first just a flicker — has now grown into a full New Year’s Eve flame.

(First Light is set for 4 to 9 p.m. on Monday, December 31. Buttons are $10 online, $15 at the door; children under 2 go free. Click here to purchase buttons, and for more information.)

Off The Rails?

Alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti admires the large mural hanging inside TD Bank downtown. It’s filled with historic images of horses, buggies and a street car.

Trolley - TD bank mural

But, he says, on close inspection it seem like the trolley is off its track. (Click or hover over the photo to enlarge.)  That might explain the onlookers and crowd next to it, he says.

The caption for the photo does not give any details.

He adds: “Given the number of cars being driven into shops at several places around town recently, the timing seems right to investigate.”

Welcome To Saugatuck?

Saugatuck’s renaissance has breathed new life into an old neighborhood.

But to enjoy it — coming off I-95 Exit 17 — you first have to drive past this:

Joanne Romano 3

And this:

Joanne Romano 2

And this:

(Photos/Joanne Romano)

(Photos/Joanne Romano)

The abandoned buildings — Blu Parrot and TD Bank — hardly provide a great first impression of the area.

Westport has a blight ordinance — plus a blight prevention board and blight officer.

It applies to commercial property, as well as residences.

Enough said.

Stop The Presses! A Bank CLOSES In Westport

“Westport” is a Native American word meaning “land of 10,000 banks.”

However — for the 1st time since Horace Staples opened the First National Bank  in National Hall — a bank is closing, rather than opening, here.

TD BankTD Bank is shutting its Saugatuck branch — the former Westport Bank & Trust office opposite Luciano Park. Customers are advised to use TD’s Norwalk branch, near Petco.  (So much for their tagline: “America’s Most Convenient Bank.”)

It’s an odd decision. New apartments are opening in Saugatuck, new businesses are moving in — and TD is the only bank in the area.

However, here’s some positive news to bank on: A sign in the Gault apartments on the west side of Riverside Avenue promises a new gourmet market soon.

If they’re smart, they’ll stick an ATM near their fresh produce, specialty sandwiches and lovingly cured meats.