So you think you know Westport
Published 1:04 am, Friday, October 23, 2009
Tonight at 7 p.m., the Staples boys soccer team sponsors its annual Quiz Night. Based on an Irish tradition -- soccer clubs raise money by holding trivia games in pubs -- this is always a fun night. Teams compete to answer questions about history, geography, science, sports, popular culture and esoteric. It's a rare, intergenerational event: The best teams usually include students, parents, grandparents and teachers. (Despite its origins, it's alcohol-free -- what do you expect in the Staples cafeteria?)
In honor of Quiz Night, here's a Westport version you can play at home. The answers are below.
1) Westport's first telephone prefix -- 227--was originally called "CA7." What did "CA" stand for?
2) What sports facility once sat opposite the Westport post office?
3) Name the original sites of these landmarks: Sport Mart, Mitchells of Westport, Saugatuck Congregational Church, Rogers Little League Field.
4) What was the last Staples High School graduating class to contain Weston students? Wilton students?
5) What was the original fast-food franchise where Arby's is now? How about Swanky Frank's?
6) In the early 1960s, where did the Westport Recreation Commission youth soccer league play its games?
7) What store is now the site of the first Fine Arts movie theater?
9) Which of the following rock groups appeared in Westport: the Doors, the Animals, Cream, Hall and Oates?
10) Upon what famous celebration is the Festival Italiano based?
11) What former U.S. Supreme Court justice had a Westport summer home?
12) What could Compo Beach bathers do through the late 1950s that they can't do now?
13) Where did the old Town Crier newspaper run its profiles of families who had just moved to town?
14) What happened every May at the vacant lot where Barnes & Noble now stands?
15) Which current elementary school once had a wing burn to the ground, in a fire set by a student?
16) What unique feature did Chubby Lane introduce when he ran the Compo Beach food concession?
17) How many Zip codes does Westport have?
18) What was the former name of the Post Road?
19) What caused the demise of Greenberg's store on Main Street?
20) What sports team did Staples once have that now seems incomprehensible?
2) A duckpin bowling alley was on the second floor of the building directly across the street.
3) Sport Mart was located in Sconset (then called Sherwood Square); Mitchells (nee "Ed Mitchell's") started out on the corner of North Compo and the Post Road, where People's Bank is now, then moved to Colonial Green; Rogers Field was basically on the site of the Westport Public Library.
4) The last Weston students graduated from Staples in 1970, the last Wilton students in 1959.
5) Arby's was originally Carrols; Swanky Frank's was Dairy Queen.
6) Young soccer players played on a sloping hill at Longshore, between the tennis courts and the Inn. When the two courts closets to the Inn were built, the field became too small.
7) Restoration Hardware was once the Fine Arts theater -- which later added a second screen (plus one in the back, where Matsu Sushi is now).
8) "Lucky Lindy" lived on Long Lots road; the Fitzgeralds rented on South Compo, just before the Longshore entrance, and Rod Serling lived not in another dimension of time and space, but on High Point Road.
9) All four groups were scheduled to appear in Westport; all but Hall and Oates did. (The duo were the victim of a hoax, perpetuated by a local housekeeper who claimed to have booked the act.)
10) The Italian Festival is based on the Feast of St. Anthony. When I-95 bisected Saugatuck in the mid-1950s, the annual event died out.
11) Abe Fortas spent his summers on Minuteman Hill.
12) Once upon a time, bathers could swim out to rafts moored off Compo Beach.
13) Newcomers to town were greeted with profiles on page 1 of the local paper.
14) Every spring a carnival -- complete with rides, sideshow and rigged games -- came to town.
15) Long Lots -- then a junior high school -- lost its "200 wing" to arson. That was okay; it was made of tin, anyway.
16) Chubby's employees -- dressed in blue shirts, shorts and knee socks -- delivered food to customers on the beach. They transmitted orders by walkie-talkie, then left a balloon to mark the spot.
17) Westport has two Zip codes. Besides 06880, 06881 is used by certain businesses, and for post office boxes.
18) For a long time, the Post Road was known as State Street.
19) The roof caved in during a 1960s snowstorm, sealing the fate of a store that epitomized the Westport of a bygone era.
20) Believe it or not, Staples once fielded rifle teams -- for boys and girls.
1-3 correct: Just passin' through
4-7: Welcome, newcomer
8-10: Joe Westporter
11-13: Westporter who spends time at the Historical Society
20: Relative of the Sherwood triplets