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.