OMG! I almost forgot

To write my Christmas poem.

A traditional holiday crockpot

Of Westport hearth and home.

Some folks think it's crazy

Others call it cute

The origins are hazy

But it sure has taken root.

Yet this year's take is different

It's time to change the style

Before you read on, heed this hint

(It takes a tiny while)

The rhyming scheme has changed a tad

From what is was before

AABB was not too bad

But ABAB adds some more

And instead of singling out

Actual Westport dudes

We'll give a "Woog's World" shout

To stores and trends and moods.

We end the year with news that's tough:

Silver's end is coming

The retail business sure is rough

But Steve and Sue are bumming

That shopping center reconstructions

Kept customers away

So stop in now for price reductions

And perhaps to say

"Thanks for over 60 years

Of selling special tchotchkes

There's sure to be some heartfelt tears

But sit back and enjoy the latkes."

That shop is not the only one

To close forevermore

Max's ended its long run

As our go-to artists' store

pencils, easels, Letraset

Pens and brushes could be found

'Twas all for sale there, surely

With friendly service all around

From Nina and from Shirley.

We lost much more than stores, you know

In Westport since the last freeze

Among the things that had to go

Were Longshore's stately trees

But Parks and Rec was on the case

Back in the 1980s

They planted more to take their place

So hold your fire, mateys

The entrance now looks fine in present tense

Yet 'twill be nicer still, for sure

In many decades hence

When the new trees grow mature.

Also gone is Kemper-Gunn

Though not too far -- that's great!

The famous house was not undone

By plans to renovate

That little neighborhood

See, David Waldman's Bedford Square

Plan seems all well and good

He's taken pains and lots of care

To change the Church Lane course

Retail, housing, more -- oh my!

Will surround the Spotted Horse

building on the now-moved Y

It takes some time but life continues

Already we can have some joe

And enjoy intriguing menus

At Java (though it's s-l-o-w).

As for the Y, it sits so proudly

By the Merritt Parkway

Despite the wails heard loudly

On that awful dark day

When it moved out from downtown

Off to Mahackeno

Though some predicted gloom and doom

Members smile, all aglow

(Except in the locker room).

Meanwhile, 'cross town, in Saugatuck

Some things change, others not

We still have Dunville's, and the Duck

But much is different -- quite a lot

The Whelk, Downunder, yeah and Sweets

A place for smoothies, and for Thai

Another to buy gourmet meats

Yet for old Saugatuck don't cry

Mario's is there, and the station

Inviting you to walk and roam

Despite the pace of innovation

It's still a place that folks call home.

In fact, that's true throughout our town

From Kibberia east to Shake Shack

It's like a game to put us down

But like whack-a-mole we pop back

Of Westport we're insanely proud

So "Woog's World" says without a fuss

We shout it from the rooftops loud:

"Happy holidays to all of us!"

Dan Woog is a Westport writer, and his "Woog's World" appears each Friday. He can be reached at dwoog@optonline.net. His personal blog is www.danwoog06880.com.