Happy 50th, Keith! — The Sequel

Last week — under the headline “Happy 50th, Keith!” — I posted congratulations to Weston’s Keith Richards, on the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ 1st concert.

Westporter Brett Aronow did a double take. Her husband — Keith Stein — celebrates his 50th birthday today.

Then she emailed me, and asked if I’d surprise him with this “gift.”

Happy 50th, Keith!

OK, he’s not exactly Keith Richards. But my Keith is the most awesome husband in town. He’s turning 50, and I can’t think of a single present or party that would let him know how glad I am to have met and married him – many years ago!

Keith Stein, at the Memorial Day parade.

I call him my Renaissance Man, a la Leonardo da Vinci. Besides being intelligent, athletic, handsome (still sporting all his hair without a gray in sight – unfair!), he is an amazing cook, an incredible handyman (this one surprised me the most because when we met he was an investment banker), a gardener, a metal sculptor, a perpetual student (recently taking Stanford’s free online class on Artificial Intelligence), a web designer on the side, an incredibly generous volunteer, a wonderful son, a great friend, and basically the nicest person I know.

He is definitely a hands-on dad, luckily being able to attend all his kids’ sporting events unless they overlap (then we usually split up). He is the team photographer as well.

He is also well known in town, spectating other sporting events where his kids aren’t even participating. He has spent the last several years full time, completely unpaid, managing and trying to make a difference for Westport Little League, a huge organization (as far as I can remember, we haven’t had our own Little Leaguer for 4 years).

Brett Aronow and Keith Stein, a dozen years ago.

He serves on the Westport/Weston Health District board, the Democratic Town Committee, and has been treasurer for several local campaigns. He’s a long-time PTA volunteer, and he’s even president of our private road association (those of you on private roads know that not everyone volunteers for that job!).

I’m sure I’ve missed some more of his credentials. He stays amazingly under the radar, except to me and those who know and appreciate these qualities most. The most amazing thing is he never complains or speaks poorly about anyone.

Brett Aronow and Keith Stein, more recently — but before his half-Ironman.

I should know all this because we met and started dating when he was merely 22. Recently, in preparation for his big birthday, he has participated in his own version of “Fit for 50,” dropping nearly 40 pounds through diet and exercise. He completed a half-Ironman triathlon.  He said, “I thought I was burning calories watching cross country races, but obviously that wasn’t really working.”  I’m sure he’ll give out tips to those trying to do the same, just as he happily gives out his favorite recipes.

So this is your birthday card and present, Keith. Happy Birthday, I love you, and look forward to seeing what you can accomplish in your next 50 years!  — Brett

46 responses to “Happy 50th, Keith! — The Sequel

  1. Marc Sholes

    Nice blog! This Keith, though he did not write satisfaction, seems pretty cool!

  2. Keith Stein is one of my favorite people to see in Westport. Usually it is on a run, bike ride or at a game. He is always smiling and is just a great guy!
    Happy Birthday Keith!

  3. Nila Aronow

    Plus a terrific son-in-law. Happy birthday, Keith.
    Love, Phil and Nila

  4. Fred Cantor

    Brett–while your Keith sounds like a great guy, I do believe there is something truly missing from his life: soccer. It’s never too late to start and there is an old-timers group, the Westport Late Knights, that plays at Long Lots on Sunday afternoons. (Plus, I think most people would say that soccer is more fun than a half-Ironman triathlon.) One of the guys playing is closing in on 70.

    • Not really. If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know that “06880” is about much more than news.

      It’s about interesting, off-beat stories in Westport. It’s about new stores, and old. It’s about looking back, and looking around. It’s about the places that make this town special. And it’s about the people in it too — some of whom are recognized often, some seldom.

      Oh, yeah. “06880” is also about fun. What could be more fun than a woman getting a chance to wish her husband a happy milestone birthday in a very public way?

      “06880” seeks to entertain, enlighten and enliven readers. I hope every story is different in some way, and I hope, Anonymous, you’ll keep checking back often — for far more than “news.”

  5. In a world of ugly political sound bites we hear everyday and sorry news stories, I truly appreciated reading something heart warming and nice. Happy Birthday Keith-you sound like a wonderful person. And thank you.

  6. Great gift!!!! Happy birthday Keith!!!! Love Elviras Deli!!!!

  7. I agee it’s a nice story. Happy Birthday. Sounds like you are a real asset to Westport!!

  8. There is no doubt that Keith Smith is one of the nicest people in Westport.
    He combines abundant talents with a true modesty, an even rarer combination in Westport. And beyond his family, he puts his talents to work in a truly sincere effort to improve our community. We are lucky. Happy 50th, Keith! Whatever 50 is supposed to look like, you look younger. Anyhow, jump right in, the water’s fine! Best wishes to you, always.

  9. What a pleasure to read this story about Keith (and to see a woman still so in love with her husband after all these years). My son Josh was on the Staples Tennis Team a couple of years ago and Keith set up the website and took photos every day and posted them. He’s a great guy!

  10. A commuter, who loves westport.

    In my interactions with Keith, he is really all the blog says. I secretly wish he would offer coaching lessons to my husband.

  11. John McCarthy

    Happy Birthday!

  12. Happy birthday, Keith. You sound like a wonderful person who deserves the wonderful woman you married. To recognize so many good attributes in a person, and to say them publicly, shows that she is something special too.

  13. Ginny McGovern

    Keith also has a wonderful wife and friend to add to that list… a unique gift and so well deserved. Happy Birthday Keith ~ thanks for all you do!

  14. I think it only fitting for Brett to hire this “other” Keith from Weston’s band to play at her husband’s birthday party. Let me know and I’ll be happy to bring over some chips and soda.

  15. My new best friends, even though we may never meet!

  16. Beachwalker13

    What a beautiful testimony for a deserving man! Happy Birthday Keith.

  17. Tina Uvena Piccolino

    Happy BIG 5-O, Keith!

  18. I recruited Keith to Westport Little League a number of years ago. I often felt guilty for roping him in since he wound up working around 12 hours a day, seven days a week, but he never once complained. He was only focused on making the program better for all the kids. He is brilliant, patient, nice, fair, accessible, upstanding and a pleasure to work with and be friends with! Happy 50th!!!!!

  19. Keith is a good man and well deserving of a little thanks. I think there at least a handful of accolades that didn’t make the list. He’s an asset to the town and really selfless in his desire to make it better.

  20. cheezy

    • If you know me — I totally agree cheezy (not my standard fare), but with 2 days before his b-day, and no present or even a dinner reservation decided on, I was at a loss!!! Dan totally bailed me out 🙂

  21. Kieth,
    You one lucky guy. A beautiful lady loves ya. Keep up the good work. 😉

  22. Westport Little League wouldn’t be the same without Keith…the most tireless worker on behalf of the kids I have ever met. And he never argues with the umpires! Happy Birthday, Keith! From your favorite umpire (I hope)…

  23. That was an amazing birthday card and so cool and sweet of Brett for her husband! Happy Birthday to Keith! Hope to meet them both around town soon!

  24. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Happy birthday to a long lost cousin… Haha no relation but a great last name

  25. Happy Birthday, Keith. Westport is lucky to have you and your very thoughtful wife.

  26. I am surprised there is no comment from the Water Closet (WC).

  27. Happy 50th B-Day Keith! What a great wife …. Who adores you to pieces. You sound like a great asset to the town, can you come to Norwalk!

    All joking aside …. Dan, I love reading your blog.

    Cheezy must be jealous.

    It takes a special person to fill all those hats that your wearing Keith!

    Brett your a lucky lady! Wishing you both more many years together.

  28. Gene Seidman

    Keith – love from Gene Seidman – Brett you forgot to mention that he takes advantage of people – I am one of them – he abused me in the paint on the basketball court many times using his weight advantage to his great benefit. Other than that – he’s perfect!

  29. keith is the bomb! brett you are setting the bar way too high…. but anyone who can survive all those years of little league dads deserves this

  30. One of the Town’s “good guys”. Happy Birthday Keith!

  31. Lawrence Zlatkin

    Brett and Keith are an amazing couple and a fabulous asset to Westport– one of the many reasons to love our town. We’re delighted to know you Brett & Keith and always thrilled to spend time together. Happy 50th Keith! Lawrence Zlatkin & Maureen Whiteman

  32. The Other Keith

    Sorry for the slow response – 60 mile bike ride this morning combined with technology issues. Wow!! Never expected to be the topic of an 06880 post along with the Rolling Stones. Thanks for all the birthday wishes — Dan, my fellow Brunonian, — Brett, who had the faith to marry me when I was an unemployed actor, — John Videler, whose photo of me at the memorial day parade is posted, and — all the 06880 faithful.

    I spent my first few summers as a toddler on Compo Beach and returned over 20 years ago to settle down and raise a family. Westport continues to be a special place because of the lively and active community of people like you all. Here’s to the next 50 years!!

  33. SINGLE IN WESTPORT

    HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, KEITH!

    p.s. Wow, you’re very handsome! 🙂 Do you have an older (single) brother? 😉 😉

  34. Add a couple of cast iron tubs on a lawn and this thread reads like a Cialas commercial.

    Congrats/Happy B’day

  35. I have the pleasure of working with Keith – running Westport Softball to his Westport Baseball – and he is among the smartest, fairest and all around good people I know. Happy Birthday big guy!
    Steve Ax

  36. Plus a great “step” son and friend

  37. Elaine Whitney

    Happy 50th, Keith!! The Westport community is very fortunate to have such nice people — and such dedicated volunteers — as you and your terrific wife, Brett Aronow! And I’m glad you have each other. Carpe diem!

  38. Happy Birthday and what a wonderful, thoughtful, romantic, loving, unique and very special gift from your wife. Excellent job Brett. Nice job Dan.

  39. Happy Birthday Dad!

  40. Happy 50th Keith! Al and I wish you ANOTHER fabulous fifty! Congrats on the “new” you. Maybe we should invent the ExerStand (think: stationary bikes instead of seats in the bleachers) by next year’s Volleyball season to keep up with our kids.

  41. As a 42-year veteran of Westport Little League Baseball, I would like to second Beth’s comments about Keith and add that he has run one of the
    best programs that I have had the opportunity to participate in. Happy 50th
    Keith.

  42. Stacey and Steve Landowne

    Keith, Sorry these wishes are a bit late, but Quincy just pointed out the existence of this lovely and deserved tribute (though she owns she just “skimmed it” herself). Happy 50th!