Man About Town / Capturing community character
When Editor Gary Jeanfaivre and I met for coffee at downtown's Las Vetas Café one recent late summer morning, the aim was to get to know each other a little better and figure out how my particular writing style and unique way of looking at the local scene might best work in a fine hometown paper like the Fairfield Citizen.
I had always thought there was a void when it came to reporting not news events necessarily but just the average goings-on of life in Fairfield. Sometimes, just what happens around us during the normal course of the day is news. Sitting for a spell at the local bookstore. Browsing through a gallery. Wine tasting at the corner liquor store. Dining at sunset at the beach. Strolling around Mohegan Lake as the fall colors begin to show themselves. Taking a car ride up by the reservoir.
And through these average slices of Fairfield life, I hope to convey the certain vibe and wonderful privilege it is to live in this town. A buoyant energy. An amazing community spirit. A pride in who we are, how we conduct ourselves and how we enjoy our lives here. What's it like to live in this town?
In this new column that, we hope with your support, will become a regular feature of the paper, I will answer that question. And I will do it through these vignettes and slices of local life. And as I encounter its citizenry, I will incorporate them as well.
I have lived in Fairfield for 14 years now. Raised two fine sons here who attend its high-caliber schools and benefit from its hard-working teachers. Seen the town change from a sleepy place with capes and cottages to a very vibrant and affluent shore-side hot spot. Mourned the loss of colorful retailers like Mercurio's and the Fairfield Store but been thankful for the economic surge that new retailers have brought and recognize that change is inevitable.
Are there more qualified citizens to speak about Fairfield? Those with deeper memory banks or who are more integrated into the workings of this town? Sure, and I hope to profile them. But I feel I'm about as big a fan as you'll find and, while I've cycled its streets, trod its beaches and walked its wooded areas, I continue to make new discoveries and find amazing points of interest.
As such, could the new column title -- "Man About Town" -- be more apt? Not only will I be speaking about Fairfield, but I will be out and about in Fairfield. Where will I pop up next? What new stories and captures will I have to share with you?
My hope is to create a whole series of little images that when placed all together will form this gallery showcasing the area -- from the farthest northern reaches along the Easton border and eastern portions that abut Bridgeport, to the western border with our neighbor Westport and southern shoreline looking out on Long Island Sound. And through these images I hope to infect you with the same passion and positive spirit that I have come to know and, together, to champion this place to everyone we encounter.
So keep your eyes peeled as I file my reports from venues near and familiar. You never know where I'll be next but you can bet I'll be taking it all in and loving every minute of it. Cheers, Fairfield. Be catching you again soon.
Mike Lauterborn's "Man About Town" column will appear every other Friday in the Fairfield Citizen. He can be reached at email@example.com