Tag Archives: Yankee Doodle Fair

Roundup: Crosswalks, Cannabis, Cancer Fundraiser …

==================================================

Today is October 1. That’s the seemingly arbitrary date on which new laws take effect in Connecticut.

Among them:

An expansion of the law requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. it now includes a pedestrian who simply steps to the curb and raises a hand to oncoming traffic.

Drivers must also now stop, then proceed slowly while passing ice cream trucks (only while selling!).

It is now illegal for employers to require a jobseeker’s age, birth date or graduation date on a first application.

Medical marijuana patients 18 or older can now grow up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants at home. Starting July 2023, anyone 21 or older can grow plants at home. There is a cap of 12 plants per household.

New rules for crosswalks.

=======================================================

Westport is filled with fundraising events: walks, runs, and “-thons.” All are worthy, and Westporters support them well.

But one of the most fun takes place this Sunday (October 3, Staples High School field hockey field). It’s the 12th annual Push Against Cancer.

And it benefits an organization with strong local ties.

The event — in which people of all ages do push-ups, in return for pledges — raises money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. That’s the fantastic refuge for children suffering from serious illnesses, founded in 1988 by our own Paul Newman.

It costs $2,500 to send one child to the upstate Connecticut camp for a week. Since its inception by fitness expert Andy Berman, the Westport Push Against Cancer has raised over $725,000.

This year’s goal is to send 100 kids to camp. That’s $250,000. Groups like the Staples High School girls and boys have already raised over $34,000.

There’s still room to participate, or donate. Click here for information.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas, founder Andy Berman and First Selectman Jim Marpe banged out pushups at a previous event.

=====================================================

The RTM is non-partisan. So is “06880.” (Most of the time.)

But we have to single out one candidate today. Not for his political views — but his sense of humor.

Fred Cantor received an email from the District 1 hopeful. It included the usual quotes and endorsements from voters. Boilerplate stuff.

But Fred and his wife Debbie found the final quote well worth reading: “‘Even knowing what I know now, I would still have married you.’ — Rick’s wife.”

=======================================================

Nearly a week after the last ride stopped, and the final stuffed bunny was won, the Westport Woman’s Club continues to revel in the success of the Yankee Doodle Fair.

The annual event — an enormous fundraiser for the organization’s charitable activities — was moved from June to September , after being canceled in 2020 by COVID. But children (and adults turned out by the hundreds this year.

They had waited 27 months. The next wait will be much shorter. The Yankee Doodle Fair returns next spring, to its traditional Father’s Day/end-of-school weekend.

Last weekend at the Yankee Doodle Fair. (Photo/Joel Triesman)

=======================================================

National Coming Out Day is October 11.

To support the LGBTQ community, Finding Westport will donate 10% of sales from t-shirts this month to Westport Pride.

The shirts show the Minute Man, silhouetted against the rainbow flag. To order, click here.

=======================================================

 

A record fell at Wednesday’s girls’ swim and dive team meet. Staples High School beat Ludlowe 104-79.

Highlights included a record-breaking swim in the 50 meter freestyle — by a  freshman. Annam Olasewere. broke the school record with a time of 26.48. She also won the 100 meter freestyle (59.82).

Top performances also came from Annam’s twin sister Ayaan Olasewere, senior captain Jessica Qi, Kate Whitaker, Mia Guster, Ava DeDomenico, Ella Alpert, Dani Schwartz and Ali Chodash.

The winning 400 meter free relay team (from left): Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere , Ella Alpert, Jessica Qi,

=======================================================

David Komansky — a Westport resident who as chief executive officer and chair of Merrill Lynch from 1996 through 2003 led a major international expansion of the firm’s key businesses — died Monday in New York. He was 82.

He was raised in the Bronx by his mother, an Irish Catholic who converted to Judaism when she married his father, a postal worker whose family had emigrated from Russia.

Komansky began his 35-year career at Merrill Lynch in 1968 as a financial advisor trainee in Queens, after living in Miami where he served in the Coast Guard, attended the University of Miami and worked in a variety of odd jobs.

He sat on the boards of BlackRock, the WPP Group and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, where the Komansky Children’s Hospital was established at the Weil Cornell campus.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, of Westport; daughters Jennifer Komansky and Elyssa Williams (Simon), and grandchildren Joey and Maverick Williams.

A private family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital (www.nyp.org/komansky) or the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).

David Komansky

=====================================================

The Staples High School Class of 1962 is planning its 60th (!) reunion, for June 17-18.

To learn more, send your name, address and phone number to StaplesReunion62@gmail.com.

An aerial view of Staples High School, when the Class of 1962 was there.

====================================================

“Westport … Naturally” has featured these 2 creatures before.

But never together.

As photographer Doug Brill notes: “Good day for praying mantis. Bad day for monarch butterfly.”

(Photo/Doug Brill)

=======================================================

And finally … of course we follow up the new Connecticut rules on marijuana growing (first item above) with:

Roundup: Thoreau, Yankee Doodle Fair, Politicians …

=======================================================

The Yankee Doodle Fair ends its 4-day run today (Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.), at the Westport Woman’s Club and adjacent parking lot on Imperial Avenue.

Youngsters (and adults) have enjoyed the many rides, games, activities (and all the food). A raffle is set for this afternoon, with prizes including the furry friend below.

=======================================================

Henry David Thoreau was a prophet of environmentalism and vegetarianism; an abolitionist, and a critic of materialism and technology — a century and a half before our time.

Westporter Andrew Blauner’s new book — “Now Comes Good Sailing” — will be published next month. It’s a compilation of original essays from 27 writers, exploring how this remarkable man influenced and inspired them.

On November 8 (7 p.m., Westport Library, in person and virtual), Blauner discusses all things Thoreau. Click here to register, and to buy his book.

Henry David Thoreau

=====================================================

The Staples High School boys soccer team’s car wash was a rousing success yesterday. They blew the previous record profit out of the water.

The event drew scores of drivers — and a few politicians. The boys soccer program is scrupulously non-partisan.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe, and 2nd Selectman (and candidate for the top spot) Jen Tooker (center) stopped by …

… and so did State Representative (and 1st Selectman candidate) Jonathan Steinberg (far left) and his running mate, Board of Education chair Candice Savin (2nd from right).

======================================================

“Westport … Naturally” features all kinds of living things. We’ve highlighted hummingbirds, egrets, bears and more. Today we introduce our first snake.

This beauty was seen yesterday on Roseville Road.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

======================================================

And finally … legendary farmer and environmentalist John Chapman “Johnny Appleseed” was born today, in 1774. He introduced apples to large portions of North America, as every schoolchild learns.

 

 

Roundup: ArtSmart, Smart Students, Horace Lewis …

=======================================================

ArtSmart — a great community program — is back after COVID. It’s “reimagined,” and better than ever.

A joint program between the Westport PTA Council and Westport Library, the project bring arts education and creative arts programming in elementary schools.

The Library provides excellent resources to parents volunteers, to research a variety of artists and styles of expression. Parent volunteers go into classrooms to introduce works of individual artists or styles (street art, murals, cartooning, sculpture, etc.). Students then create their own art.

In the spring, each class exhibits their work. Every elementary school is transformed into an art museum for the night.

This year, 2 vaccinated parent volunteers will be in a class. Outdoor projects are strongly encouraged. Museum Night may have timed admission slots, or be virtual.

Interested elementary school parents can attend a kickoff event on the Library’s river steps this Tuesday (September 28, 10 a.m.). No experience as an artist or teacher is necessary.

A workshop for new volunteers will follow on October 13 (10 a.m.). For more information, email co-chair Danielle Dobin: danielle@apifeni.com.

=======================================================

Help for Horace Lewis — the popular Staples and Coleytown Middle School head custodian who suffered a devastating stroke this summer — continues to pour in.

Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, September 26, noon to 4 p.m.),OneWestport will hold a bake sale in front of Savvy + Grace on Main Street.

All contributions are welcome. To help without buying delicious baked goods, click here.

Horace Lewis, in a typical pose.

=======================================================

Speaking of Staples: Congratulations to our high school’s 7 National Merit Semifinalists.

Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Zachary Bishop, Michael Brody, Chloe Nevas, Maxwell Tanksley and Julian Weng are part of the fewer than 1 percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT qualifying exam. They’re competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million.

From left: Chloe Nevas, Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Maxwell Tanksley,
Zachary Bishop, Michael Brody, Julian Weng.

======================================================

The Yankee Doodle Fair — in its new September slot — continues to draw big crowds.

It continues at the Westport Woman’s Club and adjacent parking lot on Imperial Avenue today (Saturday) from 1 to 10 p.m. The annual event ends tomorrow (Sunday), 1 to 5 p.m.

Action at last night’s fair. (Photo/Joel Treisman)

=====================================================

Who wants to be a victim?

Weston and Easton EMS host an “Active Threat Class” October 16-17. Volunteers at least 18 years old are needed to play “victims,” helping police, fire and EMS members — including those from Westport — train. Click here for details.

=======================================================

Richard LoCascio died on Tuesday. His wife, Cynthia Ann Lozyniak, LoCascio was by his side. He was 80 years old.

The Bronx native earned a master’s degree in History from Fordham University, and a master’s in special education from New Rochelle Teachers College. He taught for 35 years in the Bronx, and also served as a substitute teacher in Fairfield.

Richard loved to paint and draw, write poetry and play the saxophone, flute and keyboard. He was a 2nd degree black belt in judo. He also loved nature, and carefully tended to his garden. He and Cynthia traveled the world and had many adventures together, especially on their annual trip to the Maine coast.

In addition to Cynthia, Richard is survived by his daughters Michelle LoCascio of the Bronx and Andrea LoCascio of Greenwich; sister Helen LoCascio of Stuart, Florida; nieces Nicole and Laura Augenti; nephews Casey, Jack and Peter Lozyniak, and many cousins.

A service will be held Tuesday (September 28, 11 a.m.) at St. Luke Church, with a Mass of Christian burial. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to any cancer organization of your choice. Click here to leave online condolences.

Richard LoCascio

=======================================================

An early fall day brought Matthew Slossberg to the water. He captured today’s serene “Westport … Naturally” scene:

(Matthew Slossberg)

=======================================================

And finally … today is National One-Hit Wonder Day.

Where would the world be without groups and solo artists who roared onto the music scene with huge smashes, then faded just as quickly into obscurity?

Here are 3 of my “favorites” from the 1960s. All — improbably — reached #1. Click “Comments” below to nominate your own, from whatever years you choose.

 

Roundup: Yankee Doodle Fair, Affordable Housing, Animal Blessings …

===================================================

The Yankee Doodle Fair is back!

After missing 2020 because of COVID, the annual Westport Woman’s Club carnival has shifted from its traditional June date to September.

What hasn’t changed are the site — the Imperial Avenue parking lot next and adjacent WWC — and the attractions: rides, games, raffles, food, sand art and more.

Or the cause: raising funds for philanthropy.

The Yankee Doodle Fair runs today (Friday, 6 to 10 p.m.), tomorrow (Saturday, 1 to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (1 to 5 p.m.).

Click below for a special video, created last year by Doug Tirola’s 4th Row Films, highlighting the 2019 event.

=======================================================

Affordable housing — what it means, where to put it, how it fits in to the suburban and statewide landscape — is a controversial topic.

Next Tuesday (September 28, 6:30 p.m., Zoom), State Senator Will Haskell and State Representative Stephanie Thomas host a bipartisan panel: “Affordable Housing in Our Community.”

Panelists include Westport Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin, and her Wilton counterpart Rick Tomasetti. The moderator is Heather Borden Herve, editor of “Good Morning Wilton.” Click here to register.

Among Westport’s affordable housing options: Sasco Creek Village.

======================================================

Wednesday’s Roundup included details of the upcoming Blessing of the Animals, at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Looks like Westport’s animals will be twice blessed.

On the same date (Sunday, October 3, 9:30 a.m.), Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will offer its own courtyard Blessing of the Animals. It’s part of the annual Feast of St. Francis.

All animals — and humans — are welcome.

Blessing of the Animals, at Christ & Holy Trinity Church.

=======================================================

It’s almost October. Almost time to say goodbye to your garden, for the year.

How do you do it? On October 18 (7 p.m.), Wakeman Town Farms hosts “Putting Your Garden to Bed: The Pollinator Friendly Way.

Nathalie Fonteyne joins WTF master gardeners and coaches Alice Ely and Ryan Brunelle to share tips on what to cut down and what to leave, how to recycle and compost the last greens as the garden prepares for its long winter nap, and what vegetables you still have time to plant to ensure a healthy, beautiful garden next spring.

Click here to register.

Back to the garden.

===================================================

Fairfield County has a lively music scene.

But there’s no band livelier than Band Central. The “house band” for CLASP Homes — the Westport-based nonprofit serving adults with autism and other developmental disabilities — headlines the organization’s first in-person, indoor event in nearly 2 years.

On October 15 (6:30 p.m., Fairfield Theater Company), they’ll play songs from Motown, and soul greats like Aretha Franklin, the Commodores, Earth Wind & Fire and more. Special guests will join in.

$40 tickets to the benefit include a pre-party, and an art show with work by CLASP residents. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Two members of Band Central in action.

==================================================

Speaking of music: Scott Barr loves venues like FTC, the Levitt Pavilion and Capitol Theater, plus bars and other spaces to see local (and national) acts. He particularly enjoys seeing bands in small, intimate spaces, then watching as they achieve great success.

Every so often you stumble upon an entertainment event or a scene that must be witnessed and it usually happens where you least expect it.

He’s done it with the Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Joan Osborne and Phish. More recent examples include The Record Company playing at Roton Middle School, and the Revivalists and Black Pumas playing at StageOne.

Now, Scott says, a music scene is happening in Westport “right under our noses.”

Every Tuesday night at 8, a band called Residual Groove (aka KRIS or JEDD ) plays at Dunville’s. This week, members of Goose played with them.

“They have special guests all the time, and their playlist is for all ages,” Scott reports. “If anyone is looking for a fresh new scene and great music, check it out.”

He gives a special shoutout to Dunville’s owner Steve Carpentieri, for making it all happen.

Residual Groove (with special guest Peter Anspach from Goose, center) at Dunville’s.

=======================================================

Jayne Mauborgne was moved by yesterday’s Roundup story about the rescue of 11 turtle hatchlings. A wildlife conservationist came from Madison to help.

She wants readers to know about Wildlife in Crisis.

“We are lucky to have this wildlife rehabilitator right in Weston,” Jayne says. They are great, dedicated people. Over the years I have brought them birds, squirrels, opossum, and all manner of forest creatures.”

Call 203-544-9913 (ask for Darrah or Peter), or email wildlifeincrisis@snet.net.

=====================================================

Lifelong Westporter John Stahursky died Tuesday at Fairfield County House in Stamford. He was 86 years old.

John graduated from Staples High School in 1953, and retired as a mechanic from Slez Garage in Westport. He loved gardening and farming, and volunteered for many years maintaining the lawns and flower gardens at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fairfield. John grew from seed, then donated, countless plants to the parish for sale at their annual picnic.

He was honored with the St. Augustine Medal, from the Diocese of Bridgeport.

John enjoyed restoring Model A Fords, which were driven in Westport’s Memorial Day parades.

His family remembers him as “a hard working man, always ready with a smile and happy to help others in need.”

Survivors include his siblings Bernard Stahursky of Westport, Wanda Ornousky of Norwalk and Bertha Matis of Westport, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.

John was predeceased by sisters Jean Kral, Helen Rutski and Sophie E. Stahursky, and brothers, Joe, Frank and Steve Stahursky.

A funeral will be held Monday (September 27, 9:15 a.m. from the Dougiello Fairfield Funeral Home, and 10 a.m. in St. Anthony of Padua Church with a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be in Assumption Cemetery in Westport. Friends may call Sunday (noon to 3 p.m).

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in John’s memory to St. Anthony Parish, 149 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 or Fairfield County House, 1 Den Road, Stamford, CT 06902.

================================================

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene is familiar, yet fresh:

(Photo/Wendy Levy)

=======================================================

And finally … singer Sarah Dash died Monday. She was 76.

According to the New York Times, she “brought her church-rooted soprano and high harmonies to Labelle, which began as a 1960s girl group before reinventing itself as a socially aware, Afro-futuristic rock and funk powerhouse, costumed in glittery sci-fi outfits and singing about revolution as well as earthy romance.”

Click here for her full obituary.

Pic Of The Day #1619

After an absence of 27 months, the Yankee Doodle Fair returned tonight to Imperial Avenue. That’s good news for the Westport Woman’s Club, which relies on the event to fund its charitable work. The fair runs through Sunday. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

All’s Fair: Yankee Doodle Returns

Back in the day, the Westport Woman’s Club’s Yankee Doodle Fair raised money to build sidewalks on Main Street, install toilets at Compo Beach, and bring hot meals and health care to our schools.

That day was over 100 years ago.

Today we’ve got sidewalks (some in retro red brick). There are toilets at Compo (both permanent and portable, including some controversial new ones). And our schools serve plenty of hot meals (plus, at Staples, sushi).

But the Yankee Doodle Fair still raises money for local causes. Each year, the Woman’s Club donates over $200,000 to community groups.

That would pay for a lot of Port-a-Potties.

This week — for the first time in 15 months — the Yankee Doodle Fair returns.

The 2020 edition was a victim of COVID. The last thing the club that started out bringing nurses to schools wanted was to spread a virus to kids riding tilt-a-whirls, laughing in bounce houses and sharing cotton candy.

A decision had to be made far in advance of the June 2021 event too. At that point, the answer was “no.”

But now kids are back in school. We’re vigilant, but not paranoid.

The Yankee Doodle Fair returns this Thursday through Sunday (September 23-26). It’s 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Yankee Doodle Fair, 2019/ (Photo/Lee Scharfstein)

There’ll be attractions like a Ferris wheel, kiddie cars, basketball toss, bumper cars, tower drop, giant slide and scrambler.

For the less adventurous, there’s face painting, sand art, and plant and bake sales. Sweetcake Mountain Band plays Thursday; the School of Rock rocks Sunday.

Amy takers? (Photo/Dan Woog)

The Westport Woman’s Club downplays their civic contributions.  Few Yankee Doodle Fair-goers — little kids enjoying the rides; middle schoolers primping and preening; adults reliving a relic of their youth — even realize they help the organizers support dozens of worthy charities.

That’s fine.  The last thing you want to think about — hanging upside down on the banks of the Saugatuck River, your change falling out of your pockets — is where your money is going.

Well, let me rephrase that…

Flying high at the Yankee Doodle Fair on one ride …

… and another. (Photo/Kristina Bory)

Roundup: Yankee Doodle Fair, All-Americans, River Cleanup …

=======================================================

Big news from the Westport Woman’s Club: They held their first monthly luncheon in over a year.

Bigger news: The Yankee Doodle Fair is back!

The century-old event — Westport’s traditional last week of school/beginning of summer carnival — was canceled last year and this, due to COVID.

But the WWC has arranged for all the rides, games and cotton candy vendors to come this fall. The 2021 Yankee Doodle Fair is set for September 23 to 26.

As usual, all profits go toward grants and scholarships. It’s a great fundraiser, by an amazing group.

This fall’s Yankee Doodle Fair will be a great way to ring in the new school year. To raise money for those in need. And of course, to try to win one of those very elusive stuffed animals.

The Yankee Doodle Fair takes over the Imperial Avenue parking lot. (Photo/Lee Scharfstein)

======================================================

Westport Paddle Club’s first-ever Saugatuck River cleanup yesterday was trashy.

The Riverside Avenue rental and lesson facility supplied dozens of people with kayaks. They headed upstream, collecting trash along the way.

A thunderstorm sent them back to shore before everyone was done. Still, they filled barrels with “stuff.” Some of it was brush; much of it was man-made (and man-tossed).

Jr’s Deli fed the crowd. Rain cut short the reggae band. But the most important work was done.

And next year, it will have to be done all over again.

A small sampling of the large amount of trash collected from the Saugatuck River.

=======================================================

Most high school sports teams are lucky to have one All-American, every decade or so.

Before this year, Staples boys lacrosse had 5 since 2010.

This spring, they added 3 more.

Congratulations to the Wreckers’ newest All-American athletes: recent graduate JP Kosakowski, and rising seniors Henry Dodge and Charlie Howard!

 

(From left) Henry Dodge, Charlie Howard, JP Kosakowski (Photos/Shelley Burger)

=======================================================

Summer is here! Well, it arrives at 11:32 p.m. tonight, anyway.

To celebrate, the Minute Man donned a beach-type necklace.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

PS: I’m sure that, as usual, a commenter will write in about this “desecration” of our town’s monument.

Ever since 1910, our Minute Man has been decorated. He’s worn Santa caps and Easter bunny years. He’s had flags draped over his shoulders, and flowers stuck in his musket.

Without going all First Amendment here, he fought for the right to be free. I think he would be pleased.

======================================================

Tomorrow is worldwide “Make Music Day.” There are more than 1,000 events, in over 120 countries.

Unfortunately, there is no specific Westport celebration. But residents Louis Fuertes and Pat Blaufuss — members of the 4-person band Picnic on the 4th of July — will perform at Old Post Tavern in Fairfield (7 to 8 p.m.).

The CUkes — a ukulele group that originated at the Westport Weston Family YMCA — entertain in the Nordstrom Courtyard of The SoNo Collection mall (Norwalk, 6 p.m.).

And Talking Heads members Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth — who live just over the line in Fairfield — are part of an international “This Moment in Time” musical event. Click here for details.

======================================================

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature finds a pair of egrets enjoying Compo Beach.

(Photo/Stephen Raffel)

=======================================================

And finally … in honor of international “Make Music Day”:

Roundup: Memorial Day Parade, Yankee Doodle Fair, Waterspout …

===================================================

In one more sign of approaching normalcy, the town is moving forward with plans for an actual Memorial Day parade.

This year’s theme for the float contest is “Honoring Women Veterans.” Certificates will be awarded for Best Development of Theme, Best Youth Organization Float, Most Creative, Best Community Organization, Most Colorful, and the Best Overall Float.

If past form holds true, the Y’s Men will win the Overall award. They’ve won it nearly every year for the past 20 or so.

And the only reason the Y’s Men did not win in 2020, 2017 or 2016 was because there were no parades. (COVID last year; rain those other 2.)

Weather and COVID permitting, this year’s event begins at 9 a.m. on May 31, at Saugatuck Elementary School. Veterans — and thousands of others — will march north on Riverside Avenue, trn right on Post Road East, then continue to Myrtle Avenue.

 

The Y’s Men’s float won, as usual, in 2012. This one honored Korean War veterans — complete with freezing mist.

======================================================

The Memorial Day parade is not the only tradition that’s returning.

The Westport Woman’s Club’s Yankee Doodle Fair returns this year — but not in its century-old mid-June, end-of-school, welcome-summer slot.

Yesterday, the Board of Selectmen approved the event for September 23 through the 26th.

So it will be a start-of-school, welcome-fall fair.

But it’s still at the Woman’s Club site on Imperial Avenue.

Even after 100 years, little changes.

The 2017 Yankee Doodle Fair (Drone photo/Ryan Collins)

======================================================

Yesterday was spring-like — warm and mostly sunny. Guy Sherman wanted to  photograph a few interesting clouds over Saugatuck Shores.

He got a bonus: this rare and remarkable waterspout:

(Photo/Guy Sherman)

======================================================

A month ago, the old wood-shingled house at 19 Soundview Drive bore a demolition sign.

Then it was gone.

Now the home — one of the oldest, as-yet-unrenovated along the Compo exit road– has been painted and spiffed up. It looks eager to greet renters and beachgoers.

And ready to last another 100 years.

=======================================================

The Learning Community Day School celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 28th.

The institution — housed for many years on Hillspoint Road — is not just patting themselves on the back. They’re raising money for kindergarten scholarships, with their first-ever golf outing.

It’s set for Monday, April 26 at Longshore. Check-in and breakfast are 9 a.m.; tee times start at 10 a.m. You can play 9 or 18 holes.

The cost is $250 per player, $900 for a foursome. You can form your own twosome or foursome, or be paired up.

Popup Bagels and Manny’s Ultimate Bloody Mary Mix are sponsoring food and drinks. Of course, there are prizes and giveaways.

For more information, email learning_community@yahoo.com or call 203-227-8394.

=======================================================

Longtime Westport resident Judith Portner Sappern died peacefully on Saturday. She was 88 years old.

The Rumson, New Jersey native was an adventurer who, after serving as managing editor of her high school newspaper, took the unusual step at the time to go out of state for college. A

t the University of Connecticut she served as president of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, made lifelong friends and fell in love with Donald Sappern. Married shortly after graduation, they started a telephone answering service in Norwalk.  As Don’s career progressed and he became a successful insurance executive, Judy managed office operations and bookkeeping.

Judy Sappern

As the couple’s children grew, Judy helped with their studies and supported every interest, from the choir room and pool to the baseball diamond and the rock band that practiced in the basement. She fed generations of Staples High School students who used their nearby house on Wedgewood Lane as a home base throughout the day.

Judy pursued a master’s degree in social work, and volunteered at Norwalk Hospital. She loved helping others work through tough times, and passed that empathy on to her children. When not at the hospital or office, Judy worked on needlepoint, and played golf or bridge with friends. She also became a personal computer enthusiast and fanatical supporter of UConn basketball.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Donald, and her older sister Joyce Cooper. Judy is survived by her children, Laurie Sappern Gaugler  (Dean), and Matthew (Rianne), both of Fairfield, and Adam (Margot)of Bethel, Vermont. Judy enjoyed frequent visits and calls with her 7 grandchildren: Billy, Chloe, Brian, Geoffrey, Rachel, Carly and Tobey. She is also survived by her beloved sister-in-law, Pietrina Sappern of Milford.

A memorial service will be held when travel and gathering is less limited. Memorial contributions in Judy’s memory can be made to the IGA Nephropathy Foundation, PO Box 1322, Wall, New Jersey 07727.

=======================================================

And finally … sure, the IRS has extended this year’s filing deadline to May 17. But April 15 will always be, um, special.

 

Roundup: Library Reopens; Craig Melvin; Dirty Dancing; Yankee Doodle Fair; More


The reimagined Westport Library was a spectacular success. For a few months, it was packed with users, jammed with events, pulsing with energy.

Then COVID-19 struck.

But 4 months after it closed, the library is poised to reopen. The big date is Monday, July 13.

Limited services begin, weekdays (2 to 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (12 to 4 p.m.). Only 100 people — including staff — will be allowed in the building at any time.

Masks are required. The only entrance is the main one (upper parking lot). The only exit is through the café.

The café and store are not open. Conference and meeting rooms will also be closed. Computer access will be limited to the Express stations.

Curbside pickup services continues weekdays (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

The library will extend loan periods, but fines will accrue for materials not returned within the loan periods.

The library will continue to offer virtual programs and services, while phasing in the full reopening of the building.


During these disconnected times, Dave Briggs — former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox anchor (and proud Westporter) — has conducted a series of Instagram Live interviews with interesting residents.

Folks like 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, restaurant owner Bill Taibe and former NFL quarterback/ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky talk about the town, the pandemic, and answer questions from followers.

Today’s guest (Thursday, July 2) is Craig Melvin. The NBC “Today” host has been square in the middle of both the COVID and racial unrest stories.

Just follow @westportmagazine on Instagram, and click on the “Live” tab at the top of their feed at 4:30 for a fascinating chat. It will be reposted later by Dave (@davebriggstv).

Craig Melvin


There are no fireworks at Compo Beach to celebrate the 4th. BUT … there is a great movie at Westport’s own drive-in!

The Remarkable Theater shows “Dirty Dancing” at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. The classic summer romance/dance film begins at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday (the 4th). The lot opens at 7:45, and pre-film content starts at 8:15.

Tickets are $50 per car. Click here to purchase.

It’s a great movie. Even if it’s not “Independence Day,” or “Born on the 4th of July.”


COVID knocked out this year’s Yankee Doodle Fair. But the annual Westport Woman’s Club fundraiser has been around for a century. It will be back next year.

And if you want your Fair fix, check out this video shot last year by interns from Fourth Row Films. It premiered last week, at the Remarkable Theater’s opening night drive-in movie benefit for the WWC.

if you’re inspired by the video — or just want to help provide much-needed funds for the Woman’s Club community grants, scholarships, food pantry and other great causes — click here.


Want to win the war on invasive weeds?

That’s the topic of the next “Pollinator Series” online presentation from Wakeman Town Farm.

This Monday (July 6, 7-8 p.m.), University of Connecticut advanced master gardener Alice Ely will spotlight a guide to invasives, developed by WTF’s 2020 senior class interns.

Click here to register. Registrants will be emailed a Zoom link the day of the talk. Everyone gets a free guide to the area’s worst weeds too.


Missed the benefit cabaret that Staples High School senior Jamie Mann organized for Obi Ndefo — the actor/inspiration/friend who lost both legs when hit by a drunk driver?

Here’s your chance. Just click below. The sound is not great at the start, but it gets better. The performances, back story and messages are well worth it!


And finally … another fun summertime classic.

Pics Of The Day #789

The Yankee Doodle Fair was packed last night. It runs till 10 p.m. tonight, at the Westport Woman’s Club (44 Imperial Avenue). Tomorrow is the last day: 1 to 5 p.m. Don’t miss it!

(Photo/Lee Scharfstein)

(Photo/Kristina Bory)

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

(Photo/Dan Woog)

(Photo/Dan Woog)

(Photo/Dan Woog)

(Photo/Dan Woog)

(Photo/Dan Woog)