Wilton Warrior Words: The Beauty of 06897

Libby Connolly

Libby Connolly

Hearst Connecticut Media

Nearly everyone that has grown up in Wilton holds a love-hate relationship with the small town life. Sometimes, nothing feels more suffocating than walking down the crowded halls of the high school with the same kids you’ve seen for the past sixteen years. I am nearly certain that my car has explored every single backroad in this town, and it is an impossible feat to make a “quick run” into the Village Market without getting entangled in five different conversations.

However, there are days that remind us of the beauty in a small town. I will never forget the way that the community rallied when “Lexi”, an 11-year-old labrador retriever, went missing for 41 straight days before finally returning home safe and sound. Someone would casually mention her name in a conversation, and suddenly four people around me would mention how their neighbor caught her on their security camera, or they drove around last night looking in the woods for her. When working as a collective, our unique sense of community and cooperative spirit has such an impactful force. So, as my time as a year-round resident in the 203 comes to a close, I want to reflect on some of the aspects of Wilton that make it home.

Orems. We know it, we love it. Those corner booths have been a welcome facade to house my exhausted, post-soccer-game feasts for many years. Whether it be a team dinner, post-sports-game meetup spot, or quick groggy Sunday morning breakfast, Orems has always been our tried and true, go-to. Most of my friends don’t even need the menu anymore, reciting their regular order off of years of experience. Nonetheless, I have made some late-night, lifelong memories over tables adorned with those black and white milkshakes, chicken caesar wraps, curly fries and, (of course), short stacks of chocolate chip pancakes.

While we are on the restaurant theme, it would be impossible to not mention the Village Luncheonette. Nothing brightens my day more than a text from my mom asking me to place orders for two fresh pita salads. I have to admit, my heart also belongs to those pregame Wilton Deli athlete’s specials and the much needed early morning CT Coffee cold brews.

The fields. Without the Wilton sports programs, I would have been an unbridled, wild child running off the walls without something to channel my energy. Whether it be rec soccer evenings on Allens Meadows, or varsity soccer games under the lights at Lilly, family tennis on the high school courts, or even quadrant tag up on the turf in fifth-grade gym class, those fields have been there through it all. They’ve seen the agonizing hours of running and conditioning, the bad losses, the BEST wins, and through it all, they’ve seen that same Wilton Warrior spirit of camaraderie on each and every team. Not to mention, those fan sections in the stands have endured years of stomping, clapping, cheering, and some playful chirping thanks to the unbeatable force that is the Warrior Tribe.

The natural beauty. Sure, there are some hot, 80-degree days where nothing sounds better than driving over to Westport for a Compo Beach day. But the natural flora and fauna of our little town is often forgotten. Whether it is the Norwalk River Valley Trail, Cranberry Park, Merwin Meadows, or even our own backyards, I have spent many spring afternoons admiring our blossoming trees, vibrant foliage, and chiming birds. Nothing is more ethereal than standing in Allen’s Meadow in the peak of autumn and looking up at the panoramic, colorful collage of trees up on the hill. And, for my fellow water-lovers, you have not lived in Wilton if you have not spent a night out under the stars at the reservoir on Old Huckleberry Road.

The little places that have created my meaningful memories in this small town: the late nights studying for midterms at Wilton Library, our pamper afternoons with friends at one of the many nail salons in Wilton, rambunctious team dinners at Wilton Pizza, and even late nights sitting in the WHS senior lot while reflecting on our time spent here. It’s these places, in combination with the people I’m surrounded with, that have made the years so genuinely special.

Finally, my favorite place is good old, home sweet home. As the youngest of five, I am sure our time in Wilton will soon come to a close once I depart for college. Throughout the years, this house has loved seven Connollys, six different generations of dogs, two cats, a couple fish, and endless friends and family. My room has been my favorite oasis, a much needed escape from the outside world every now and then. Although it is bittersweet, I know that my memories made here will preserve my connection long after I have left Little Brook Road.

Wilton may be small, and it definitely has its quirks. But, at the end of the day, I could not be more grateful for these little places, people, and experiences that have raised me and truly made it a home. As residents, we will forever be united through our Warrior community. Someday, if you ever see someone sporting our navy and white gear, I can almost guarantee you that after a few minutes of conversation, you will discover some sort of mutual friend, coach, or teacher - the beauty of a small town.