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 dwoog@optonline.net.