Tag Archives: Westport Y’s Men

Roundup: Tyler Hicks, Jim Himes, Emil Gilmutdinov …


First came Willowbrook Cemetery’s “Miracle Mile.” Then came Debra Kandrak’s town-wide planting project. Now, Westport has become the Daffodil Capital of — if not the world — at least the area.

Among the yellow beauties bringing joy to us all: 7,000 lining Prospect Road.

These were planted, thanks to Debra, to remind everyone about the issue of bullying. It’s just not cool — for victim or the bullies themselves.

Cindy Shumate — who had both a literal and figurative hand in the projects — says that anyone who has suffered from bullying, or knows a person who has, is welcome to clip a bouquet for themselves.

(Please take them only from the roadway in front of #11, 13, 21 and 25 Prospect Road, owned by Melissa and John Ceriale).

“It’s a small token to let someone know that they are safe with you, and to open a conversation if that someone is ready,” Cindy says.

Prospect Road connects Hillspoint Road with Greens Farms Road. It’s worth a drive even without clipping a daffodil bouquet!

Hillspoint Road daffodils (Photo/Cindy Shumate)


As the Russian war in Ukraine grinds on, Tyler Hicks’ photos continue to illustrate the gruesome state of life and death there.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate’s latest work in the New York Times is from the village of Husarivka. The Pulitzer Prize winning photographer’s images illustrate a story about the depravity of Russian soldiers, as they harass, terrorize and kill farmers and their family members. Click here for the full story, and photos.

Lubov Dvoretska, 62, a biology teacher whose husband was killed in a bombing. Her neighbors buried his body in the garden behind their house. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)


The Y’s Men attract an A-list of speakers for their Thursday meetings. Last week’s was particularly impressive and insightful.

Congressman Jim Himes offered thoughts on some of the major news stories, then answered questions on a broad array of topics.

Click below to see and hear Himes’ session. All that’s missing are the Y’s Mens’ famous coffee and donuts,


Emil Gilmutdinov was born in Russia. He moved to New York in 2009. He worked in the food and beverage industry for nearly a decade, but lost his job during the pandemic.

That’s when he rediscovered his passion for drawing and painting. A self-taught artist working with both pencil and oil paint, he constantly experiments and hones his skills. His work includes both black-and-white graphic prints, and oils reflecting nature.

His first-ever solo exhibition is set for Steam, the coffee spot across from the Westport train station on Railroad Place. There’s an opening reception tonight (Monday, April 18, 6 to 9 p.m.).

Emil’s work is on display at Steam, for purchase, through June 12.

Pencil work by Emil Gilmutdinov.


In a few days, this tree will be bursting with color.

Right now, it’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” featured photo.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … Happy Patriots’ Day, to our readers in Massachusetts and Maine.

The official state holiday commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War, at Lexington and Concord in 1775.

GreenDay Clean-Up Day

In honor of GreenDay, a number of organizations, groups and random folks pitched in to clean up Westport today.

Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve — the former Allen’s Clam House on Hillspoint Road — drew Staples High School grads and students, Coleytown Middle School students, volunteer residents and members of the Sherwood Mill Pond Advisory Committee.

Sherwood Mill Pond clean-up - Carol Swan

(Photo/Carol Swan)

Steve Gustafson is in the foreground, in the photo above. Other volunteers are behind. And yes, the guy on the bench was just relaxing, as others worked all around him.

Meanwhile downtown, the Y’s Men picked up a year’s worth of trash from the Baldwin parking lot:

Y's Men - Baldwin Parking Lot

Among the other activities: Westport VFW and Auxiliary members cleaned up Riverside Avenue, from Treadwell all the way to the Sunoco station.


Memorable Memorial Day

The weekend clouds parted and the temperature rose, just in time for today’s Memorial Day parade.

From the Westport Y’s Men’s prize-winning Vietnam Wall float, to grand marshal Leonard Everett Fisher’s powerful speech — the 89-year-old recalled watching Civil War veterans marching in parades when he was young — it was a glorious, colorful (and sobering) tribute to our nation’s heritage.

And a much-needed reminder of the countless sacrifices that have been made so that we can enjoy a day — and a life — like this in Westport.

The Y's Men's float paid solemn tribute to Vietnam veterans.

The Y’s Men’s float paid solemn tribute to Vietnam veterans.

The Carpenters' house on Myrtle Avenue is a favorite spot for pancakes and parade-watching.

The Carpenters’ house on Myrtle Avenue is a favorite spot for pancakes and parade-watching.

What's a Westport Memorial Day parade without an imported fife- and-drum corps?

What’s a Westport Memorial Day parade without an imported fife-and-drum corps?

The parade is filled with kids, marching with every group: sports, Scouts, music and more.

Kids march with every kind of group: sports, Scouts, music and more.

A vintage car with vintage firearms carried veterans.

A vintage car with vintage firearms carried veterans.

A simple sign, along the parade route.

A simple sign, along the parade route.

Grand marshal Leonard Everett Fisher gave a strong speech, with a powerful message.

Grand marshal Leonard Everett Fisher gave a strong speech, with a powerful message. He also noted that he last wore his uniform officially 67 years ago — and it still fits.

Staples trumpeter Devon Lowman played "Taps." Adam Mirkine echoed the poignant notes.

Staples trumpeter Devon Lowman played “Taps.” Adam Mirkine echoed the poignant notes.

(Click below — or click here — for the Staples High School Band’s stirring “Armed Forces March.”)


0.2% Interest? You Bet We’ll Complain

The headline above was stolen directly from today’s New York Times.

Gretchen Morgenson’s story begins:

Stop your bellyaching.

That was the message delivered last Thursday to Americans who today make almost nothing on the savings in their bank accounts.

Sarah Bloom Raskin

It came from Sarah Bloom Raskin, an insider at the Federal Reserve. Ms. Raskin, one of the governors on the Fed board, made the usual disclaimer that her comments reflected her own thinking. But Fed watchers said her remarks probably mirrored views inside the central bank.

The remarks, Morgenson noted, came “during a speech in Westport, Conn.”

The event was a Westport Y’s Men meeting, in the jam-packed Unitarian Church.

The next day Morgenson asked Raskin — a former commissioner for financial regulation in Maryland who also spent time as a managing director at a regulatory consulting firm in Washington, and whose parents live in Westport — for an on-the-record interview. A spokeswoman said she was not available.

So it’s clear: When it comes to discussing the economic future of the United States, the Westport Y’s Men trump the New York Times.

(To read the entire Times story, click here.)