Tag Archives: Y’s Men of Westport-Weston

Y’s Men Say …

Y’s Men of Westport/Weston is one of the area’s most active groups.

The pandemic has curtailed many meetings, making their email blasts more important than ever. The most recent one included this first-person account of COVID-19. 

Let one man’s experience be a word to the Y’s.

You cannot overestimate the impact of COVID-19, one of our members told us last week.

His daughter recently came home, feeling fine. He did what every father does: gave her plenty of hugs.

The next morning she woke up feeling she had a light fever, like the flu. He took her for a test. She was positive, and so quarantined in her room for 2 weeks, though she only had symptoms for a day or two.

After a week his wife started feeling badly. He took her for a test. She was positive. He also tested both times and was negative.

Then a few days after his wife’s test he “felt like I got hit by a truck.” He also tested positive and put himself into quarantine for two weeks.

“Pay attention to how you feel.”

He took multiple tests and found that turnaround had increased due to the growing demand — sometimes as long as 5 to 7 days after exposure to have a test show positive. He had 6 negative tests before his positive.

His recommendations were, first: hydrate. Then hydrate some more. “Drink and pee.” Then some more. Flush the virus out of your system. He recommended taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) — not Advil.

Relax as best you can. The moderate case takes 2 to 3 weeks to pass. A more serious, obviously longer.

And pray for a vaccine.

He added: Wash your hands more often than you’ve been accustomed to, wear a mask, keep your social distance, avoid touching your eyes. Avoid indoor gatherings with people who are not members of your household. Wipe down deliveries,

Socializing, while socially distant.

The virus can grow even if you are careful.

He recommended buying a thermometer, a digital device if you don’t have one, and an oximeter, a small and inexpensive device that measures your blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.

Have you been hit by the coronavirus? Click “Comments” below to share your experience.

Y’s Men Pivot In Pandemic

It’s hard to imagine a more active, involved — and social — group than the Y’s Men.

So it’s hard to imagine any Westport organization impacted more by COVID than the 400-plus seniors who hike, bike, play bridge and backgammon, sing, enjoy classical music, work with computers, discuss investments, and hear interesting speakers on a local and global topics every week.

The Y’s Men will not let a global pandemic keep them down. Though their in-person meetings are limited, they’ve adjusted, adapted and pivoted.

These are indeed wise men.

Like many members, president Bob Mitchell calls the group “a very important part of my life.” A member since retiring from a career in banking and IT in 2014, he appreciates both the variety of activities and the camaraderie.

Since the coronavirus struck, he says, “we rewrite our playbook every day.”

Bob Mitchell, Y’s Men president

Thursday morning general meetings were always convivial. After Coffee An’s coffee and donuts, members enjoyed speakers. Senators, congressmen, CEOs, authors, entertainers — packed audiences heard them all.

In-person sessions were replaced by podcasts. Among the guests: 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Board of Finance chair Brian Stern, “Live at Lincoln Center” producer Andrew Wilk, Dr. Robert Altbaum, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, golf pro Kammy Maxfeldt, realtor Alex Chingas and “06880” blogger yours truly.

The speakers series has now transitioned to Zoom. Every week through Christmas is booked, with guests and topics ranging from the history of the White Star Line to Westport’s downtown and Department of Human Services.

Mitchell notes one upside of virtual meetings: the chance to hear from people like Basil Hero. The author of that book about lessons learned by 12 men who went to the moon, he’s a former Westporter now living in San Francisco. That makes an in-person meeting tough — but a Zoom session easy.

A Y’s Men Zoom meeting.

The Y’s Men usually take the summer off. This year, groups like the Book Club continued to meet, virtually. The biking and walking groups got together for actual bike trips and walks — socially distanced, of course. Tennis players were active too; soon, they’ll move indoors.

The Bridge Club did not meet. But they’re starting now — virtually, of course.

“We are committed to keeping our members active, involved and social as much as possible — whether face to face or not,” Mitchell says.

Y’s Men (and wives) enjoy a socially distanced get-together at Compo Beach. (Photo/Molly Alger)

COVID did more than derail many Y’s Men’s plans. It also took the lives of 3 members.

One was a hiker. Group friends walked and met in his honor this summer, at Sherwood Island.

As the Y’s Men gear up for another year — one unlike any other, but filled like all the rest with events and activities — Mitchell invites any retired or semi-retired man who lived (or once lived) in Westport or Weston to join. Click here for more information, or email president@ysmenwestportweston.org.

Honoring Our Vets: Y’s Men Who Were There

In 2002, Bruce Allen and Jack Schwartz contacted Jim Honeycutt.

Members of the very active, wide-ranging Y’s Men retirees’ group, they asked the Staples High School media instructor for help with a project.

Both had served in the military during World War II. They wanted to produce a video, filled with memories and reflections of 18 WWII combat veterans. Already, the ranks of service members from that war were thinnning.

His father was in the navy. Honeycutt was happy to help.

Plaques, memorials and a statue fill Westport’s Veterans Green, across from Town Hall.

As he interviewed the nearly 2 dozen veterans, Honeycutt was stunned. One man had waved at a low-flying airplane. The pilot waved back. Then he torpedoed a battleship in Pearl Harbor.

Schwartz himself bombed Japan, at the same time an atomic bomb was dropped to the north. He saw the sky filled with colors.

“The stories are so important to remember,” Honeycutt says.

So earlier this year — now retired from teaching — he took the DVD, re-edited it, and uploaded the finished product to his personal YouTube channel.

There’s almost 3 hours of content. As Veterans Day approaches, Honeycutt invites “06880” readers to honor all who served America by hearing their stories. Just click below.


Remembering Roy Dickinson

Longtime Westporter — and always-ready-to-work civic volunteer — Roy Dickinson died yesterday, from a heart condition.

Roy served as a Parks & Recreation commissioner, president of both the Westport Historical Society and the Y’s Men, and deputy moderator of the RTM.

Roy Dickinson

Roy Dickinson

He was also a director of the Aspetuck Land Trust, a member of the Republican Town Committee, and an active member of the Green’s Farms Congregational Church. He was deeply involved with the Westport Library too.

As Historical Society president, Roy was instrumental in developing Woody Klein’s book on the history of Westport. At the WHS, he was a major force behind the completion of the Octagonal Barn.

Roy had a long career with Pfizer. As an executive in their water purification area, he brought water to areas of the world with limited access to it.

A memorial service will be held at Green’s Farms Congregational Church, at a date to be announced.

(Thanks to Pete Wolgast for this background information. Roy Dickinson co-chaired Pete’s campaign for 1st selectman in 1993.)