Tag Archives: Veterans Day

Roundup: Veterans Day, Jazz, Entitlement …

Hundreds of Westporters gathered yesterday at Town Hall, as the town honored its — and America’s — men and women who served in the military, on Veterans Day.

As he has done for decades, Korean War vet Bill Vornkahl helped organize the ceremony.

Participants included the Westport Police Department, Connecticut Air National Guard, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Greens Farms Academy student Jared Lessing, Westport poet laureate Jessica Noyes McEntee, and the Westport Community Band.

The World War I doughboy statue on Veterans Green, at dusk on Veterans Day. The holiday began as Armistice Day, honoring the 11 a.m., November 11 official end of “the war to end all wars.” (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

A luncheon at Veterans of Foreign Wars Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 followed the official town ceremony.

A table is always set at the Riverside Avenue club, in remembrance of prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Yesterday, it was decorated especially for Veterans Day.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


Last night’s “Speaking of Music” series at the Westport Library focused on jazz.

A large crowd listened — and learned about — America’s unique genre.

The event was organized by Staples High School Class of 1966 graduate Roger Kaufman and friends.

Vocalist Audrey Martells was a star of the show.

From left: Bill Harris, Ben Kinney, John Fumasoli. (Photos/Ted Horowitz)


There are thoughtless people.

There are obnoxious people.

And then there are people whose sense of entitlement is so mind-blowing, they defy description.

Mike Hibbard spotted this yesterday, on an Aspetuck Land Trust trail:

“Someone thinks there is a Poop Fairy, and left this bag for it,” Mike says.

“I wonder what will be under that person’s pillow in the morning?”


Stephen Kempson is not your usual tailor.

Tradition rules at the bespoke clothier’s shop. But there’s always something new and different too.

Next up: “Sip and Shop, With Live Jazz.” It’s this Thursday (November 16, 5 to 8 p.m.), at the intriguing Post Road Space overlooking the Saugatuck River.


Over the years, our “Westport … Naturally” has run dozens of deer pictures.

Readers have spotted them all over town, in all types of poses.

But this is the first time I’ve ever seen Bambi at the beach.

Patrick Riordan took this shot yesterday morning, soon after sunrise:

(Photo/Patrick Riordan)


And finally … on this date in 1984, Madonna released her 2nd studio album. “Like a Virgin” became her first #1 record in the US. The producer was Chic front man — and not-yet Westport resident — Nile Rodgers.

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Pic Of The Day #2397

Ed Simek spotted this Veterans Day tribute on Pumpkin Hill Road. He writes: “We should all thank them loudly for their service.” (Photo/Ed Simek)

Roundup: Israel, Agent Orange, Veterans Day …

A concerned Westporter, who asks to remain anonymous, writes:

“During its October 7 terrorist invasion of Israel, Hamas and its allies kidnapped 240 hostages. Americans, Israelis and citizens of many countries are among the boys, girls, men and women still held captive, including babies, children, teenagers, adults and seniors.

“The 48 posters now on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge are just 1/5 of the total number of hostages. I laminated them and tied them to the posts with string, so there is no tape, glue or any adhesive on the bridge.

“A Westport police officer nicely chatted with me before driving off. It was very comforting to hear the many shouts of thanks and encouragement from people driving and walking on the bridge as I put these up.

“It should be beyond politics to say holding civilians hostage is a fundamentally unconscionable violation of human rights and the laws of war.”

Posters on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.


“Agent Orange: A Short Sickening Saga of War” — Carl Addison Swanson’s startling and true tale of 300,000 servicemembers who died from exposure to the herbicide following their exposure in Vietnam — will be available on Veterans Day (November 11).

The Houston Chronicle calls it “a very short but powerful revelation of a war which still keeps killing.”

Fifty thousand copies will be sent to Veterans Administration regional headquarters in Providence, Roanoke, San Antonia and Los Angeles. All will be free to veterans.

Electronic editions, and the paperback, are on sale on Amazon. Click here to order.

Swanson — a 1966 graduate of Staples High School — spent 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, between 1968 and ’70. He is a lifelong Westport resident, and a prolific author. Click here for more information on his work.


Speaking of Veterans Day:

Westport’s official service is set for this Saturday (November 11, Town Hall auditorium).

At 10:30 a.m., the Westport Community Band presents a “Patriotic Salute to All Veterans” program, with marches and patriotic tunes.

Services begin at 11 a.m. — the same time the treaty was signed, ending World War I. They include posting of the colors by VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399; remarks by 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker; an address by Greens Farm Academy student Jared Lessing; and placing of a memorial wreath by VFW Auxiliary.

The Westport Police Department Honor Guard will perform a ceremonial salute.

After the ceremony, VFW Post 399 will host a Veterans Day luncheon to honor veterans for their dedicated service, sacrifices, and unwavering commitment to our nation.

The public is invited to both the Town Hall and VFW events.

Westport’s World War I doughboy statue, on Veterans Green across from Town Hall. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Just 2 days remain before the curtain rises on “The Prom.”

Staples Players’ fall musical promises to be one of their best shows ever. The Broadway show includes great singing and dancing, a very talented cast, plenty of laughs — and an important story line about inclusivity and acceptance.

Performances are November 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees November 12 and 18 at 3 p.m. Click here for tickets, the cast list and more information.

Click below for a cool sneak preview:


Every Home Should Have a Challah — the Westport-based nationwide delivery service — wants every Shabbat dinner to be meaningful.

But especially the one on November 17.

Scott Sharkey’s company has just launched Shabbat 25K. The goal of the grassroots initiative is for 25,000 young people ages 21 and up across the country to host a Shabbat dinner, and educate their friends about Israel.

Every leader will receive a gift card for nourishment, and a “Shabbat essentials box” with challah,  candles,  black & white cookies, a weekly prayer, and extra goodies.

Hosts will also receive an “Israel Discussion Toolkit,” combining easy-to-digest historical context with stories from the frontlines, plus a Q&A card to help spark conversations around the Shabbat table.  Click here to sign up, and for more information.

Challah, from Every Home Should Have a Challah.


Bridgeport’s The Knowlton gallery presents an art exhibit showcasing the works of local, regional and international artists. It includes Westport artists James Chantler Brown, Herm Freeman and Kate Lashin, along with over 300 artists and photographers.

The event — including a panel — is part of the 15th annual Bridgeport Arts Trail. It’s set for this Friday (November 10, 4 to 9:30 p.m., 305 Knowlton Street.) Click here for more information.

The Knowlton.


Carl Mathis died Saturday, at his Westport home. He was 64.

His obituary calls the Illinois native “a natural performer, talented musician, capable athlete, and the easiest of friends.: He attended college at Bradley University, where he began a career in television that took him to Peoria, Denver, and Los Angeles,.

In New York City he met Risa, his wife of 32 years. They settled in Westport and raised 4 children; Robert, David, Michael and Elizabeth. He co-founded a company selling advertising on behalf of clients such as PBS and NPR.

Carl also coached basketball, and served as the president and an elder at Norwalk’s St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife, mother, 4 children, 5 siblings and their families.

A funeral service is set for tomorrow (Thursday, November 9, 2 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Norwalk. The family will receive friends in their home on Friday, November 10, from 2 to 8 p.m. To leave online condolences, click here. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Carl’s memory may be made at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, The Lutheran Hour,  or to Carl’s favorite radio station, WNYC.


Election Day is sort of the traditional date when the number of leaves on the ground surpasses the number still on trees.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature shows what Compo Beach’s South Beach now looks like:

(Photo/Regi Kendig)


And finally … on this day in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president of the United States. He defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover.

The country was in the depths of the Great Depression. But Roosevelt’s theme song was upbeat, and became forever associated with him:

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Greens Farms El Salutes Veterans

There’s a good reason why Westport schools are in session on Veterans Day.

It’s a chance for students to learn the meaning of the holiday. Some classes have special discussions. Some buildings hold special assemblies.

At Greens Farms Elementary School, youngsters hear from veterans themselves. Some served in long-ago wars. Others — including the father of at least 2 current students — are serving now.

Greens Farms School principal Kevin Cazzetta welcomes Lieutenant Commander Ryan Weddle, father of students Ben and John. He has served in the US Navy since 2008, with deployments to Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Qatar.

Each year, teachers organize a ceremony. Several dozen servicemen and women are honored. This year, nearly two dozen took the stage.

Veterans on stage. The “Missing Man” table in front is decorated with symbols representing missing family members (rose), love for country (red ribbon), tears shed for those lost (salt), missing soldiers 9inverted) glass and hope (lit candle).

They were serenaded with songs of all the armed forces branches — including, this year, the new Space Force tune.

The Greens Farms PtA sponsors a reception too.

GFS 3rd grade teacher Karen Frawley (right) with her mother Doris Serbu Seipel. She is a first lieutenant in the Air Force Nurse Corps, and a captain in the New York State National Guard.

“It’s the best assembly of the year, every year,” says longtime music teacher Suzanne Sherman Propp. “It’s really heartwarming.”

Greens Farms 3rd graders are ready.

She helped organize the event, with colleagues Amy Murtagh, Karen Frawley, Dan Seek, Jason Hubball, Catherine Vanech and Lisa Doran.

Greens Farms Elementary School 3rd grade teachers (from left): Karen Frawley, Catherine Vanech, Amy Murtagh, Jason Hubball.

Former Bedford Middle School math teacher Salpi Tokatlian (right) with her granddaughter, GFS 2nd grader Ella, and husband Sgt. Matthew Charles Tokatlian, US Army 1968-71. He served in Vietnam, and earned a Sharpshooter Medal.

(Hat tip and all photos: Suzanne Sherman Propp)

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Roundup: Veterans Day, Share The Warmth, ABC & Millie Rae’s …

All around town today, flags fly proudly to honor our veterans.

Matt Murray captured this inspiring view this morning, on Compo Cove:

(Photo/Matt Murray)

A reminder: Today’s Town Hall ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m, The Community Band will play; speakers include 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Staples High School senior Tyler Clark; the Westport Police Honor Guard, American Legion Post 63 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 399 wilk participate too.


Firefighters work in hot spaces.

Now, the Westport Fire Department is trying to keep other people warm.

The “Share the Warmth” coat drive will provide winter apparel for hundreds of nearby residents in need.

Donations of new or gently used winter coats can be made at Fire Headquarters (515 Post Road East) and Town Hall through December 9.

Westport firefighters will sorting and transport the items to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.


Good news for supporters of A Better Chance of Westport, and fans of Millie Rae’s.

On November 17, 20% of all sales will be donated to ABC — the great program that provides educational opportunities here to academically-gifted and highly motivated young men of color.

It’s a great way to buy holiday gifts and decorations, jewelry and more. Plus: wine and nibbles will be served from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.


This first-ever MoCA Film Salon features 2 highly acclaimed documentaries about the art world.

Jay Myself” is a behind-the-scenes documentary about photographer/ artist Jay Maisel — directed by renowned photographer and Westporter Stephen Wilkes). It’s set for December 10 (3 p.m.) A conversation with Wilkes follows the screening.

The Art of Making It” (December 11, 3 p.m.) examines the lives of 17 young artists navigating emerging careers in the contemporary art world. It screens

Tickets ($20 for one show, $30 for both) include complimentary light bites. Drinks and cocktails will be available for purchase. Click here for tickets, and more information.


Yesterday’s story about Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw shone a spotlight on a Westport resident using his business acumen to help communities.

It did not mention — because I did not know, until Dennis Jackson told me — that Warshaw has just been named chair of the Radio Advertising Bureau.

He’s a longtime advocate for the importance of radio. In his new position, he’ll have an even stronger voice.

Jeff Warshaw, in his Connoisseur Media office in downtown Westport.  (PHoto/Dan Woog)


Clocks have changed, but there’s still plenty of fall foliage left in the area.

Wendy Levy captured this classic “Westport … Naturally” scene at Devil’s Den:

(Photo/Wendy Levy)


And Finally … Joe Tarsia died last week in Pennsylvania. He was 88.

You may not know his name, but you’re heard his work. A recording engineer, he was a key developer of what the New York Times calls “the lush, fervent blend of soul, disco and funk known as the Sound of Philadelphia.” Click here for a full obituary.

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Honoring “Grandma”‘s Service

Today is Veterans Day.

It’s a quasi-holiday. Banks and post offices are closed. For most of the rest of us, it’s business as usual.

But as we pause to remember the millions who served our nation, let’s think about the stories of every man.

And woman.

In 2017, children at a Fairfield elementary school eagerly filled out forms honoring veterans they knew.

Six-year-old Declan O’Gorman proudly wrote “Grandma.”‘

Kendall Gardiner — a longtime Westport resident — joined the Army in 1967. She volunteered for Viet Nam.

Kendall served as a combat nurse on the ground, treating badly wounded soldiers in a M*A*S*H-type unit. She and her fellow nurses worked 12 hour shifts, 6 to 7 days a week.

But Declan’s school balked at “Grandma.” They made him rewrite the form, with help from his 7-year-old brother Luke.

“I think the school missed a great opportunity to educate the children about all the different people who choose to  become soldiers,” Kendall writes.

“And they missed an opportunity for my grandson to learn I haven’t been ‘Grandma’ my whole life.”

She’s right. Names don’t matter. Actions do.

Thank you for your service, Kendall “Grandma” Gardiner.

Kendall Gardiner, in Viet Nam.

Thanks too to all your fellow nurses, doctors, pilots, soldiers, sailors, and everyone else who served: the few remaining World II veterans; those in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan; those who were stateside, and those no longer with us.

Today, we honor you all.

(For more on Kendall Gardiner’s service, click here. Don’t forget this morning’s Veterans Day ceremony at Town Hall. The Community Band plays at 10:30; the speakers take the auditorium stage at 11.)

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Roundup: Holiday Stroll, Veterans Day, Old Dominion …

Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Holiday Stroll. It’s Saturday, December 3  (5 to 7 p.m.).

Last year’s first-ever event was sponsored by “06880.” This year, we’re teaming up with the Westport Downtown Association, for an extra-special event.

It’s family friendly, with a visit from Santa, special activities for kids, and songs from the Orphenians and more. There will be a tent outside Cold Fusion.

Downtown merchants — including some across the river — will offer promotions. For example:

  • Walrus Alley: Happy hour prices for food and drinks
  • Bridgewater Chocolates: complimentary chocolate tastings
  • Noya Jewelry: hot holiday drinks
  • The Toy Post: free small toy
  • Lift Wellness Group: discount on bundled psychotherapy and nutrition services, gift cards with 10% discount applied for virtual and in person psychotherapy and nutrition services.
  • Upnorth: 10% off, and a giveaway.

Merchants and restaurants wishing to participate can click here for more information.

See you at the Stroll!


Before the holidays, there’s Veterans Day.

Westport honors its vets tomorrow (Friday, November 11), with a ceremony at Town Hall.

The Community Band welcomes visitors with patriotic tunes, at 10:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m. — the hour the armistice ending World War I took effect — the program begins.

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Staples High School senior Tyler Clark will speak. The Westport Police Department will fire a salute. The Community Band will play the “Armed Forces Salute.”

The public is invited.

The doughboy statue on Veterans Green. Tomorrow’s ceremony takes place in nearby Town Hall.  (Photo/Ted Horowitz)


Carnivores: read on.

Saugatuck Provisions opened yesterday.

The new shop in the former Fleishers Craft Butchery is the creation of  chef (and Staples High School graduate) Matt Storch and Susan McConnell — both of Burger Lobster and  Match — plus Jimmy Bloom (Copps Island Oysters) and butcher Paul Nessel (well known from his Craft Butchery days across Riverside Avenue).

Stephanie Webster of CTBites calls Saugatuck Provisions “a new concept offering customers a curated selection of the very best ingredients from the land, sea and grocery, enabling guests to create beautiful restaurant quality meals at home.”

Saugatuck Provisions (Photo and hat tip/JD Dworkow)


For Old Dominion, winning “Vocal Group of the Year” at the CMA Awards never gets old.

The country band — whose lead guitarist is 1997 Staples High School graduate Brad Tursi — took top honors for the 5th time, at last night’s 56th annual event.

Tursi was best known at Staples as a star soccer player. Now he’s scoring on a much bigger stage.  (Hat tip: Jeff Lea)



The first evening of the Westport Library’s Short Cuts Film Festival earned rave reviews.

The second night is Thursday, November 17 (7 p.m., Trefz Forum).

Four short documentaries — all from the Tribeca Film Festival — will be shown.

  • “More Than I Want to Remember,” by Amy Bench. Winner, Best Animated Short, Tribeca. In the Congo, 14-year-old Mugeni runs to the forest, escaping bombs and surviving without her family.
  • “Beirut Dreams in Color,” by Michael Collins. This heart-rending story follows an openly gay Arab rock star and his activist fan. Tragedy results “in Cairo.
  • “Kylie” by Sterling Hampton. A Black ballerina tries to make it in the traditionally white ballet world?
  • “John Leguizamo Live at Rikers Island,” by Elena Francesa. The actor performs and spends time at the prison, inspiring justice-involved young men to reflect about their lives and the challenges of incarceration.

After the screenings, Kevin Wilson Jr. — an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, chats with Short Cuts producer Nancy Diamond.

The festival continues December 8, with an evening of narrative shorts.

Tickets are $25. Refreshments and popcorn will be served. For more information and tickets, click here.


Deej Webb writes:

“I always thought of ‘Compo’ as coming from the Native American ‘Compaug.’ So I was surprised to see this clock at The Castle Museum in York, England.

“I looked it up and found: ‘Original Metal Front/Vanner & Prest’s Molliscorium Compo Embrocation Trade Mark/Advertising Clock with Restored Paint, circa 1905 to 1910.

“Etc., etc. — but with no explanation of ‘Compo.'”

Deej hopes the “06880” crowd can crowdsource this mystery. If you have any idea where “Compo” fits in all this, click “Comments” below.


The Westport Police have released arrest reports for November 2-9.

Three people were detained in custody. One was charged with identity theft and larceny, 3rd degree.

One was arrested for sale of hallucinogenics, drug paraphernalia, weapons in  a motor vehicle, carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit, misuse of plates, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle under suspension, insurance coverage fails minimum requirements, failure to wear safety belt

One was detained for for violation of parole and narcotics possession.

The following citations were issued:

  • Violation of any traffic commission regulation (11)
  • Traveling unreasonably fast (7)
  • Misuse of plates (3)
  • Operating an unregistered vehicle (3)
  • Speeding (2)
  • Failure to  obey control signal (2)
  • Insurance coverage fails to meet minimum requirement (2)
  • Larceny, 6th degree (2)
  • Stop sign violation (1)
  • Operating vehicle without proper load cover (1)
  • Failure to have stop lamps/turn signals (1)
  • Failure to display plates (1)


Readings of the new musical “Psyche,” starring Jay Armstrong Johnson and Johanna Moise, are set for today and tomorrow (November 10 and 11 at New York’s DiMenna Center .

But you can be forgiven if you think it’s a Staples Players’ Class of 2017 reunion.

The musical’s book and lyrics are by Emily Garber. The score is from Jake Landau.

Rounding out the production team are developmental producer Lauren Weinberger, dramaturg Phoebe Corde, and gender and sexuality consultant Shira Helena Gitlin. All collaborated on many Players productions.

“Psyche” was featured in Broadway World (click here). Click here for the website, with a full synopsis and link to demos.


Speaking of performances: “Cheese Fries & Froot Loops” — the funny, poignant solo show written and performed by Weston’s Chris Fuller, about this lifelong dream to play on the PGA Tour while living with bipolar manic disorder — returns to the Fairfield Theater Company November 30 (6:30 p.m.).

His brothers Jeff and Judd Fuller (both professional musicians) and Chris’ step-sister Vicky — all raised in Westport — offer a special musical performance prior to the show. The theme is mental health awareness.

Chris was recently invited to join the United Solo Festival on New York’s Theater Row.

Click here for more information about the FTC show, including tickets.

Chris Fuller, in “Cheese Fries & Froot Loops.”


Art of Everyone is launching Connecticut’s first Hybrid NFT & Traditional Art Exhibition.

The 2 mediums will be merged under one roof. The exploration of the convergence of traditional visual arts and NFTs puts artists back in control of their careers.

Set for this Saturday (November 12, 4 to 9 p.m.), it’s part of the Bridgeport Arts Trail. The Knowlton (305 Knowlton Street) has donated their entire 10,000-square foot space, audiovisual resources, staging and technology for the event.

Among the participants: Westport artists James Chantler Brown (Art of Everyone co-founder), Linda Colletta and Alison James.

Westporter Herm Freeman is showing too. He helped curate and hang the entire exhibit.

The Knowlton: a bird’s-eye view.


“06880” readers sent plenty of beaver moon photos. But only one — today’s “Westport … Naturally” image — included a dog.

Tessie and the beaver moon. (Photo/Richard Abramowitz)


And finally … on this date in 1775, the US Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Happy 247th birthday — and thanks for your service!





Roundup: Vote, Vets, Arline Gertzoff …

For the past 2 elections, Mark Yurkiw’s artwork (below) offered a reminder on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge of upcoming votes.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find out where you vote, click here.

Connecticut voters will cast ballots for state legislators, governor and US senator. There’s also a referendum question: Should the state constitution be amended, to give the General Assembly the option to allow early voting?

A “yes” vote on this one seems like a non-partisan no-brainer. Right now, only 4 states — Connecticut, New Hampshire, Alabama and Mississippi — do not permit voting before Election Day.

(Photo/Mark Yurkiw)


Veterans Day is a quasi-holiday. There are a few official closures, but mostly it’s business as usual. Veterans Day.

But if you can, make time this Friday (November 11) for the annual Town Hall ceremony.

The Community Band plays patriotic songs at 10:30 a.m. At 11 a.m. — the time the armistice ending World War I took effect — the program honoring all veterans begins.

Veterans of Foreign War Post 399, American Legion Post 63, town officials, veterans and a Staples High School student speaker will all take part.

Proud veterans at the 2018 ceremony. (Photo copyright/Ted Horowitz)


Four Westport Police Department members were promoted last week to new ranks.

Congratulations to Sergeants Daniel Paz and Howard Simpson, Lieutenant Serenity Dobson and Captain David Wolf.

And thanks, of course, for your service.

The Westport Police Department promotion ceremony. From left: Sgt. Daniel Paz, Sgt. Howard Simpson, Lt. Serenity Dobson, Capt. David Wolf, Deputy Chief Samuel Arciola, First Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Chief Foti Koskinas, Captain Eric Woods. (Photo and hat tip: Andrew Colabella)


Friends and admirers of Arline Gertzoff are invited to a ceremony honoring her life this Saturday (November 12, 2:30 p.m., Town Hall).

The longtime jUNe Day hospitality chair, poll worker, RTM member, Democratic Town Committee activist and proud Staples High School graduate died in September, of esophageal cancer. She was 76.

Arline Gertzoff, at the Grand Canyon.


William “Willie P.” Patterson died last month.

He was well-known in the Westport hospitality family, and a consummate professional. He served for many years at Mario’s, DeRosa’s, Viva Zapata and the Inn at Longshore, among others.

A friend says: “His wry sense of humor, kindness and cheeky smile were just a few of the things we loved about him. Many were lucky enough to know him well and call him a dear friend, but Willie was really a friend to all  he met.”

At his request, there will be no funeral. Instead, friends are invited to celebrate his life on Sunday (November 13, Black Duck Café, noon to 4 p.m.).

Light food will be served, with a cash bar. Friends can bring pictures or stories to share.Digital photos for a slide show can be emailed to williepics2022@gmail.com.

“Willie P” Patterson


Westporters know her as Julie DeLoyd. To her music fans, she is simply Julie Loyd.

By either name, she’s ready to record her 7th album — the first full-length one since 2008.

A lot has happened in that time, and she has 10 songs to share about it. The album goes back to her acoustic roots, with guitar, banjo, cello, upright bass, accordion and more.

“It’s earthy and honest,” Julie says. “I’m sharing stories from own family, about my friends, about love, about ambition.  It’s an album that I couldn’t have written 15 years ago.

She’s funding much of it herself. But she’s started a $10,000 Kickstarter project to help cover studio and producer time, musicians, traveling to Nashville, graphic design and manufacture, and publicity.

Click here for more information, and to contribute.


Ann Chernow has been an important part of Westport’s arts scene for decades.

But she’s not just ours. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, DeJong Musem, National University of Taiwan, el Aviv Museum  Coupozoulos Museum in Athens and many others.

Now she’s got a new website. Click here to see her work. Click below for an intriguing interview, with Miggs Burroughs.


Felice Pagliuso — well known to generations of Compo Barber Shop customers — died Thursday, surrounded by hsis family. The Norwalk resident was 73.

He was born in Calabria, and emigrated from Italy in 1971 with his wife. They began their new life in the US, and started a family.

Felice spent 47 years at Compo Barber Shop. When it closed, he moved nearby to Westport Hair &Co. He took great pride in his work, and earned rewards for his men’s hair styling.

Felice’s happiest role in life was being a grandfather. He found joy in family dinners, walks by the beach and playing Italian cards. He loved classical music and enjoyed going to Italian concerts.

Felice is survived by his wife of 52 years, Palma Torcasio Pagliuso; daughter Giovanna Pagliuso (Alex) Apazidis and son Antonio Pagliuso (fiancée Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis); grandsons Nikolaos and Anthony Felice Apazidis; brother Francesco Pagliuso, and several nieces and nephews. Felice was pre-deceased by his brother Antonio, sister Caterina and nephew Gianfranco Pagliuso.  

Calling hours are today (Monday, November 7, 4 to 8 p.m., Raymond Funeral Home. 5 East Wall Street, Norwalk). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated tomorrow (Tuesday, November 8, 10 a.m. at St. Philip Church, 1 Father Conlin Place Norwalk. Entombment will follow in St. John’s Cemetery.

Felice Pagliuso


The Westport Library is a hive of activity.

It’s also a literal hive — well, right near it, anyway.

Anne Pfeiffer spotted this the other day. It’s just right for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Anne Pfeiffer)


And finally … happy 79th birthday to Joni Mitchell!

Roundup: Vietnam, Veterans Day, Alec Baldwin …


On the heels of Veterans Day, Y’s Men member Jay Dirnberger has created a program about the Vietnam War for the Westport Library’s Oral History Project.

On November 23 (7 p.m., Westport Library) he and 3 other combat veterans — all now Westporters — will talk about their war experiences, reflect on its impact since leaving the military, then answer questions from the audience.

Captain Jay Dirnberger, US Army retired, came home from his last college final exam to find he’d been drafted. He missed his graduation to report to the Army. He completed helicopter flight training, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to an assault helicopter battalion in Vietnam in 1968.

Also on the panel: Lieutenant JG Tucker Mays, US Navy retired. He served most of 2 9-month tours at Da Nang as a boat group commander,

Air Force Sergeant Bud Siegel was assigned to an air traffic control unit responsible for controlling fighter/bombers near the North Vietnam border.

The final member of the panel, Army Sergeant and Y’s Man Preston Koster, was first assigned to Vietnam as a combat engineer, then finished his tour of duty near Saigon.

Y’s Man John Brandt, a Vietnam era Naval Reservist, though not a combat veteran, will moderate the discussion.

Jay Dirnberger served with the 1st Cavalry Division in South Vietnam.


Speaking of Veterans Day:

They’re years away from military service. But Boy Scout Troop 100 had the honor of accompanying and supporting veterans during yesterday’s ceremony at VFW Post 399.

Led by Scoutmaster Alexey Syomichev, the troop has dedicated this year to supporting local veterans, and the VFW post. Scouts have built relationships with VFW members, and are dedicating service hours, and leadership and Eagle projects, to benefit and support those who served.

Before yesterday’s festivities, Troop 100 cleaned and painted the VFW parking lot, provided fresh painted lines and arrows, and cleaned up the VFW grounds.”

Boy Scout Troop 100, at yesterday’s VFW Veterans Day ceremony.


Speaking still of Veterans Day: Ed Simek spotted this former servicemember yesterday on the Post Road, near Stop & Shop.

He held an American flag — and wore roller skates.

There must be a back story. If you know it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Ed Simek)


After Alec Baldwin shot and killed someone on a movie set with a prop gun, the industry has been reeling.

Among the first people to take action: Staples High School Class of 1985 graduate Alexi Hawley.

The showrunner for ABC’s “The Rookie” banned “live” guns. Instead, “air soft guns” — replicas, used in airsoft sports — will be mandatory.

Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: David Roth)

Alexi Hawley


When is a dog a turkey?

When he’s the statue outside Winslow Park Animal Hospital, and he’s decorated for Thanksgiving.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Check out the real thing when you’re stopped at the Post Road light by Playhouse Square.


Speaking of the Playhouse: There’s no “doubt” that the current production of “Doubt: A Parable” — the first in-person play since the pandemic — is a hit.

It runs through November 21. Click on the trailer below. Then click here, for tickets and more information (including virtual tickets).


Continuing our “Westport … Naturally” fall foliage series — as long as it lasts — we offer June Rose Whittaker’s shot of Longshore’s 5th hole.

She says, “my golf game was terrible. But the scenery was fantastic.”

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)


And finally … happy birthday to Booker T. Jones. The pianist/saxophonist/ songwriter/producer/Grammy Award Lifetime Achievement winner is 77 years old.

“06880” Salutes Our Veterans

“This is a special day in our house,” says Staples High School graduate, longtime Westporter — and Vietnam veteran — Carl Addison Swanson.

It should be a special day for every American.

It’s not. For many, it’s just another day at work or school.

To remind us of the importance of Veterans Day, Swanson shared a few photos with “06880.”

They span various years, and different branches of the US military.

They show Westporters, and other veterans Swanson knows and admires.

Look carefully at their faces. Wonder about their stories. Appreciate their service.

Most importantly, thank a veteran for his or her service today.

And every day.

12-year-old Kelly Spearen (right), with his father. After graduating from Staples High School, Kelly served a helicopter tour in Vietnam.

Col. John Glenn — a family friend of Carl Addison Swanson and his wife Joann — after orbiting the earth 3 times.

Marine Lt. Gen. Thomas H. Miller — Carl Addison Swanson’s father-in-law — in 1960.