Every Saturday is “showtime” at Mitchells.
A steady stream of customers – from Brian Williams, Jack Welch and Jim Calhoun to your basic, everyday Joe Hedge Fund Manager and CEO — drops in. They grab a bagel, schmooze, and buy a suit or three.
Today was extra special. Bill Mitchell — son of founders Ed and Norma, father and uncle of the 3rd generation to run the store — turns 70 tomorrow.
The store was packed with well-wishers (and stocked with champagne and cake).
In the midst of all the A-Listers and heavy hitters, it was easy to overlook one older man.
But Walt Melillo was there too. He’s 90 now, but in 1958 he was the 1st non-family member hired by Ed and Norma.
Walt worked Friday nights and all day Saturdays . His real job was as an elementary school teacher (Saugatuck, then Burr Farms). In fact, both Bill and I were Walt’s students.
Today was a great day for Bill Mitchell. He was especially happy to share it with one of Westport’s most important — but seldom recognized — big, big names: Walt Melillo.