Here’s a big ‘Thank you’ to our loyal readers and fabulous advertisers—you are absolutely the best—for delivering a wonderful 2016 here at the New Canaanite. In NewCanaanite.com’s second full year, traffic on the news site increased 19.8 percent, to nearly 1.3 million pageviews. The top-10 most-read articles from 2016, listed below, reflect the town’s wide-ranging interests and point to a burgeoning and popular category of news that revolves around breaches of civility. Hopefully, the list also reflects our own steadily re-examined and refined coverage plan. As we’ve said since launching Jan.
About 12 years ago, Christopher Lloyd, the actor, re-visited Waveny House, his childhood home in New Canaan and centerpiece of the sprawling property, now a beloved park, that his mother Ruth Lapham Lloyd conveyed to the town in 1967. It was a Fourth of July weekend, Lloyd recalled, and he was “sitting out in the field, and the fireworks were going off down near the parkway and I looked back and I saw all those faces and the people and they had a band playing and all kinds of barbecues going on.”
“And I thought, if my mother could come back and see that, she would feel that her dream was coming true,” Lloyd recalled from the Great Hall at Waveny House on Sunday afternoon, standing a few feet away from the recently restored floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace that has greeted generations of New Canaanites entering the 1912-built structure. “That Waveny hadn’t been turned into gas stations and mini-malls—not that we don’t need those—but something that was preserved ‘in perpetuity’ so to speak, where the people who live in this area can come and enjoy what it offers. That’s a great pleasure, to come back and see that.”
He got a good dose on Sunday, attending the sold-out launch of a children’s book, “Waveny: New Canaan’s Treasure,” written by town resident Arianne Kolb and illustrated by Nicole Johnson Murphy. A max-capacity crowd of more than 150 picked up copies of the book, mixed and took photos with Lloyd, learned about the work of a nonprofit organization that co-presented the event with the town, the New Canaan Preservation Alliance, and perused contemporary photographs of the Waveny grounds by New Canaan artist Torrance York, while New Canaan Music owner Phil Williams entertained the crowd with live music from his band, Scavenger Trio.
The widely anticipated launch of a Waveny-inspired children’s book on Sunday is drawing back one of the cherished public building’s most prominent former residents, officials say: Christopher Lloyd. The Emmy Award-winning actor—of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Taxi” and “Back To The Future” fame—is the son of Ruth Lapham Lloyd, and grew up in Waveny House before his mother gave it, as well as all other buildings and the sprawling acreage that made up the estate, to the town. His attendance at the launch of “Waveny: New Canaan’s Treasure” is “significant and wonderful,” said Arianne Faber Kolb, author of the book, which is illustrated by Nicole Johnson Murphy and whose publication was made possible by a New Canaan Community Foundation grant and funding from the town. “He is really the history of this place and it’s his story and his family’s history and his own personal story is so tied to Waveny and the house, so it is really special for the town and community that he is still attached to this and would like to continue to be involved with anything that has to do with Waveny, and he has expressed that.”
He’s also made good on that promise. Lloyd attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Waveny House in 2012—an event organized by the New Canaan Preservation Alliance—and told attendees stories about growing up at the beloved building and property.