Scenes from yesterday’s Thanksgiving, all around town:
Homes with Hope provided two festive meals — lunch and dinner — for clients of their emergency homeless shelters and community kitchen yesterday, at the Gillespie Center.
The Thanksgiving feast was created by Aux Delices, and donated by the Smith family.
Homes with Hope director Helen McAlinden was awed by the generosity of Westporters. In addition to the Smith, residents stopped by all day with bags of groceries, and homemade pies and treats.
Diners ate off fancy dishes, with silverware — “as it should be,” Helen says.
Among the volunteers: 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker.
1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Homes with Hope director Helen McAlinden (3rd and 4th from left), with staff members before yesterday’s Gillespie Center Thanksgiving.
At the annual Turkey Trot, the Levys were one of many families cheering the hundreds of runners on their route through Greens Farms (and to a well-deserved Thanksgiving dinner).
On High Point Road, residents revived the tradition of a holiday walk. That’s another way to work up an appetite:
Jennifer Herbert-Coste’s dog Louis spotted a raccoon stuck beneath a flooded street drain on the corner of Compo Beach and Quentin Roads. Westport Animal Control and the Westport Fire Department took time out of their holiday to lift the 75-pound grill, and help the critter live another day.
We assume he was quite thankful.
Then, after a big meal, these kids headed to the Compo Beach playground …
… while others romped on the sand, for some late-afternoon fun.
At least they waited until the end of the holiday:
The I-95 southbound Exit 17 on ramp will be closed at night on Monday and (if necessary) Tuesday (November 28 and 29). The Exit 17 off-ramp from I-95 southbound will be closed Wednesday and *if necessary) Thursday (November 30 and December 1). Workers will install conduits for the Incident Management System.
It’s a tradition for “06880” to run Westport artist Stevan Dohanos’ Saturday Evening Post 2 famous Thanksgiving illustrations. Both used Westport models (including the former “gingerbread house” on Long Lots Road):
Today, we’re adding a third from Dohanos. (Though the turkey was probably for Christmas.)
This was not a cover. As the caption (“Here they come, Mom! And Jim won need the wishbone — they’ve got their Plymouth!”) suggests, it was an advertisement.
Still, it’s an evocative illustration. You can almost smell the turkey.
And the seats in the brand-new Plymouth. (Hat tip: Anthony Dohanos)
Meanwhile, Fire Marshal Terrence Dunn notes that many offices and businesses will soon have Christmas trees and holiday decorations. These can pose a serious safety risk.
Natural trees with a root ball attached pose a less significant fire hazard than a cut tree, which dries out faster. Artificial trees and decorations should be flame retardant or flame resistive. Decorations should not block exits.
Dunn says, “All lighting should be turned off, or better yet disconnected, when the area is unattended. This is especially important in residential occupancies when the occupants are asleep. Make sure the tree is not situated near open flames, and that it does obstruct any fire doors.”
Yesterday, “06880” reported on Ryan “Shoeless” Smith. The Bates College men’s cross country captain lost a shoe in the first mile of the 8K NCAA East Division Regional Championship. He still finished 11th — out of more than 200 runners — and qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships.
That race was last weekend, at Michigan State University. Ryan kept his shoes on — fortunate, considering the snowy, 25-degree weather — and finished 59th out of 294 competitors. His 25:49.5 time over 8K was the best on his team.
He was not the only former Staples cross country runner there. Nick Taubenheim (SHS ’20) finished 146th for Claremont-Mudd Scripps (26:18.9), while Luke Lorenz (SHS ’19) took 179th for Middlebury College (26:29.9).
Sure, it’s Thanksgiving. But pumpkins are still hanging around.
And — as Pam Kesselman points out, with today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: “Someone was hungry.”
And everyone should. It’s the central tenet of democracy. Millions of people have marched, sacrificed, even given their lives for this country to ensure that right.
Billions of people around the world wish they had what we have.
Jolantha — Weston’s favorite pig — reminds “06880” readers, wherever in America they are, that today is Election Day.
If you live in Westport, click here for a sample ballot. (Thanks, Jeff Looby!)
If you live in Connecticut, click here to find your polling place. Then go there!
NOTE: Voters at Coleytown Middle School polling place should take the first entrance on North Avenue (the one right after Coleytown Elementary School), rather than the one at the top of the slight hill.
Turnout was light this morning. This was the scene at the Westport Library polling station.
Speaking of the election: It’s a bit late. And most voters have probably made up their minds.
But yesterday, Sustainable Westport said: “This year, in lieu of environmental debates (issues with scheduling), we provided candidates with questions on environmental issues and sustainability. They submitted answers at the end of last week.”
For candidates for State House District 143, click here. Candidates for District 136 did not respond. For candidates for State Senate District 26, click here.
Saugatuck Congregational Church will not host their traditional community Thanksgiving feast this year.
However, Westport’s Department of Human Services will once again join with the Westport Housing Authority and Homes with Hope to provide food gift cards and meals to those in need.
Those organizations are working with Coleytown Elementary School, Coleytown Middle School and Temple Israel to continue their traditions of offering homemade cards, gifts and pies.
Human Services director Elaine Daignault adds, “We are grateful to the Westport Woman’s Club. They provide grocery gift cards to distribute to food-insecure residents, and assist with the cost of specially catered meals from the Sherwood Diner for Westporters who receive home-delivered meals through the Senior Center.
For more information, contact Human Services by phone (203-341-1050) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). “We are here to help!” Daignault says.
With antisemitism on the rise in the nation, The Conservative Synagogue invites all Westporters to commemorate Kristallnacht — the Nazis’ “Night of Broken Glass” — this Saturday (November 12, 5:30 p.m., 30 Hillspoint Road).
The service includes Havdallah and hearing eyewitness testimony from Kristallnacht survivor Fred Behrend.
Saugatuck Rowing Club’s junior athletes won several medals at last month’s season-ending Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Pennsylvania.
But they’re winners off the water too. The young rowers (and their parents) spent last weekend cleaning up the banks of the Saugatuck River, right by their home boathouse.
Thirty participants amassed over 300 pounds of trash. That’s 10 pounds of garbage per person.
Keep Norwalk Beautiful provided supplies. Jen and Adam Goldberg of Pop-Up Bagels donated nearly as many bagels as there were pounds of trash.
Saugatuck Rowing Club plans an encore this spring.
A small bit of the large amount of trash collected by Saugatuck Rowing Club volunteers.
Speaking of Saugatuck: Slice of Saugatuck delivers. The September event raised $5,000 for Homes with Hope.
The 10th annual festival brought over 2,000 people to experience, sample and taste their way through the neighborhood. To date, donations from the Slice to Homes with Hope, for use in their Gillespie Center Food Pantry, total over $40,000.
“The Festival is all about food — food for those who can afford it, and now food for those who can’t,” says Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Slice’s sponsor, the Westport Weston Chamber. “We are so pleased we have been able to make these donations each year to help ease food insecurity. It’s a win-win.”
From left: Bob O’Mahoney and Harry Brady Viva Zapata owners; Bill Rizzuto owner of Rizzuto’s; Helen McAlinden director of Homes with Hope; Matthew Mandell, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director; Robert Curwen, Chamber member.
In 2010, former Red Sox pitcher John Trautwein lost his son Will to suicide. There was no sign or warning.
Trautwein and his family formed the “Will to Live Foundation.” The goal is to encourage teenagers and young adults to “talk about it,” and serve as “life teammates” for each other.
On November 17 (7:30 p.m., Town Hall), Trautwein will speak about this important topic. The event is sponsored by Westport Youth Services, the Police Athletic League, and the Teen Awareness Group.
Trautwein spoke to high school athletes in August, at the FCIAC leadership conference. His message was strong, and well received.
This program is aimed at parents, middle and high school students, coaches, and anyone who works with young people. Additional resources and counseling support will be available through Kids in Crisis and Positive Directions during and after the event.
This Thursday (November 10, 7 p.m., online), Amy Chatterjee — senior college counselor from Collegewise, — discusses what a transcript actually is, how it can “show a love of learning through courses,” and why it’s the most important part of the college application.
Usually, it’s music teachers who watch their students perform on stage.
On November 20 (MoCA Westport, 4 p.m.), faculty members of the Westport School of Music will be on stage for a special concert. “Autumn Colors” will celebrate nature’s splendor, through piano, strings, flute, guitar and voice.
Highlights include “Autumn in New York,” “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” from “Charlie Brown,” and “Autumn” from “The Four Season of Buenos Aires.”
After the concert, guests can greet the musicians, and enjoy refreshments and drinks at the MoCA Bar.
Longtime Westporter Joan Kahn died Saturday, in Norwalk Hospital. She would have been 98 next month.
Joan’s family described her as “feisty, independent, determined, brilliant and caring.:
A “founding mother” of modern Westport, she and her husband Ed moved to Westport in 1953 from New York City. They lived first on Charcoal Hill, then built a home on Coach Lane.
Joan’s family called her “a sounding board and encourager of husband Ed throughout his town leadership as he chaired the Representative Town Meeting, spearheaded efforts to save Cockenoe Island, positioned Westport as the first town meeting to vote against the war in Viet Nam, and was a part of the committee that bought Longshore.”
With a group of mothers, Joan started the Westport Cooperative Nursery School (now Westport Nursery School).
Joan was valedictorian of her high school class at Calhoun High School in
New York, graduated from Smith College, and earned her social work degree from Columbia University in 1952.
She was an early “career mother,” as a social worker at Norwalk Hospital, then Bridgeport Hospital, and finally in the Norwalk school system, from which she retired.
She was an avid follower of politics, curious world traveler, and consummate reader. She was also an active, loving, mother of 3 children. all of whom attended Westport schools: Karen, Shoshi
She also leaves 6 grandchildren — Ron, Edwina, Maya, Eli, Max and Emma =- and 4 great-grandchildren.
The “Comments” page of “06880″ has been filled with wild stuff the past year. Crazy drivers, crazy weather, crazy crap going down at The Farm — if I’ve written about it, you’ve commented on it.
Today, let’s play nice.
We’ll devote this post’s “Comments” to a simple topic: whatever we have to be thankful for.
I’ll start it off. I’m thankful that I live in such a beautiful, creative, compassionate, involved and supportive town.
I’m thankful for the thousands of readers who make “06880″ such an interesting labor of love.
And I’m thankful that despite all the craziness that sometimes threatens to drown us, we somehow manage to keep our heads above water, shake ourselves dry, and find our way back to firm, familiar land.
Oh, yeah. I’m also thankful for electricity. It’s on, most of the time.
Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for? Just click the “Comments” link.
Westport illustrator Stevan Dohanos’ “Saturday Evening Post” cover, Thanksgiving 1941 — 70 years ago today.
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome, appreciated — and tax-deductible! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to “06880”: PO Box 744, Westport, CT 06881. Or use Venmo: @blog06880. Or Zelle: email@example.com. Thanks!)