Woog’s World / It happened in Westport
Another year has quickly flown
It came, it stayed and now it’s gone
An active year like those of yore
In this small ‘burb tucked by the shore
A town beloved (most of the time)
Deserves a celebration rhyme
A fond look back at ‘17
The things we’ve done, the folks we’ve seen
The ups and downs, the highs and lows
The real good guys, the jerks and schmos
So without one more ado
Here’s my Christmas poem to you.
The beach drew crowds from far and near
‘Twas sticker shock; we said “Oh dear!
Who are these folks who take our spaces?
So many unfamiliar faces!
They clog the entrance, fill our lots
They sit where we prefer to plotz
They use our grills and fill our playground
There’s not a free spot to be found
But nothing’s “free” - they pay to play
If they come from far away
(Unless of course they Uber to us
And thus avoid the fee that’s due us).
But our beach is big; it’s super-size
With room for last summer’s surprise:
A palm popped up right there on South Beach
Filling well an unknown niche
Who knew a simple frond-filled tree
Would draw so many hordes to see
It as it stood with grace
So tall! So strong! So out of place!
It’s gone though, now, from what we’ve heard
To be one more Westport snowbird.
We turn our eyes now to downtown
The shopping jewel in Westport’s crown
Which, o’er the years, grew chain-infested
And left so many uninterested
In heading to an outdoor mall
Main Street was covered by a pall
But now that Bedford Square is open
Everyone I know is hopin’
That (with restaurants galore)
We will be able to restore
Zest, élan, and vim and vigor
And make it nicer, better, bigger
So everyone can make a buck
(And not lose out to Saugatuck).
Now, if you’ve been here many years
(Or just stop in for a few beers)
You know our biggest, worst headache
Is how many hours does it take
To get from one spot to another
Traffic’s bad - ain’t it, brother?
We creep and crawl throughout our days
And all because of that damn Waze
The app that sends so many cars
From Wilton, Easton, New York, Mars
Off crowded, clogged and sluggish highways
Onto our nice bucolic byways
We curse it, hate it, bitch and moan
Until WE use it on our phone.
We also talk of open spaces
All those empty, unbuilt places
Okay - there’s really not a lot
Of spots where we could put a plot
Of houses for the elderly
Or lower cost (8-30g!)
It really is a worthy goal
As we fulfill our housing role
It isn’t, we all say, that hard
Until it comes to my back yard.
Still, transformation is the word
And this time charm will be the third
As we remake our library
For the modern century
The main floor now becomes a forum
Books go below - there’s room to store ‘em
New Maker Space! Café! River views!
Plus more outlets we can use
To charge devices (and ourselves)
Mid comfy chairs and a few shelves
The only thing this project skips
Is the upper parking lot that dips.
Jim Marpe asked for four more years
He got them, to resounding cheers
With Jen Tooker, running mate
The team they form is something great
Melissa Kane adds extra insight
Making sure the town’s run right
But of course they get some aid
From hundreds more (not all are paid)
Department heads and all their workers
They pull their weight - there are no shirkers
Boards, commissions and committees
Volunteers galore are keys
To making sure that Westport jewels
Like beaches, parks and our schools
Make us proud - no, even joyous
And our taxes don’t destroy us.
So that’s a look at ‘17
The kind of year that we’ve just seen
I think I’ve hit most major news
Though there was much from which to choose
I’m thinking - is there one I’ve missed?
A story that may have got us pissed?
Aha! The one on “Westport life”:
The show about a fat housewife
It caused a stir when first announced
Everyone around here pounced
On ABC, which soon retreated
Tail tucked ‘tween legs, they were defeated
So all of us now celebrate
Without regard to any weight
Or age or gender or (hah!) height
Or if we’re dumb or very bright
Together, this we soundly say:
Have an awesome holiday!
Dan Woog is a Westport writer, and his “Woog's World” appears each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.