Jimmy Izzo Turns 50!

Everyone in Westport loves Jimmy Izzo. He’s a 1983 Staples grad, the owner of Crossroads Hardware, an RTM member, and an all-around great guy.

In honor of his 50th birthday — today! — alert “06880” reader/proud sister Sue Izzo offers this tribute:

Many of us have siblings we love. But I believe I have one of the most selfless, giving and amazing brothers in the world.

Jimmy Izzo, at one of his favorite spots: the Longshore golf course.

Jimmy Izzo, at one of his favorite spots: the Longshore golf course.

Jimmy is 10 years older than me. When I was obsessed with Cabbage Patch dolls, he was into Van Halen and was the bookie at Staples High School driving around in his Scirocco. Yet every night, it was my brother who put me to bed and read me a story.

As a junior in college I decided to study abroad. My brother handed me a credit card. He specifically said it was for emergencies.

Anyone who has traveled through Europe at the age of 19 knows how easy it is to find $2,000 worth of emergencies over 6 months. He just laughed it off.

But what makes my heart swell the most is the unconditional love and support Jimmy has given me through the years, as I dealt with my long journey with depression, building a business, and riding this roller coaster we call life. Having him by my side has made it all possible.

My sister and I abandoned my mom and dad. I left for the West Coast, my sister for Cape Cod. We completely broke the Italian daughter code.

My brother remained in Westport, and has been a pillar in my family’s life. How many sons do you know who not only bring lasagna or eggplant parm to their parents, but cook it from scratch?

The Izzo family -- decked out in Italy's colors.

The Izzo family — decked out in Italy’s colors. Jimmy is 2nd from right.

And have you met my father, A.J.? Not only is Jimmy his first and only son, but he works and puts up with him every day. My brother is definitely an amazing son!

I am confident in saying there is not one person who does not like my brother. He is the ultimate friend. His heart is so big, so giving, and unconditional. His door is always open. He is there to listen to a friend in need, lend a hand, and give advice when needed.

People are very lucky to have him their lives. It is rare to have such a loyal friend as Jimmy. When I come home to visit it is like walking into a bar with the mayor, though I doubt a mayor would be so well liked.

Jimmy Izzo (4th from right), and a few of his many close  friends.

Jimmy Izzo (3rd from right), and a few of his many close friends.

Two words: Ice melt. Go on Jimmy’s Facebook page to see when the latest shipment came in. Crossroads is more than a hardware store; it is the local community center. I love seeing my brother, dad and the longtime employees interacting with old and new residents.

So many times I hear my brother say, “just come down the store. We’ll take care of you.” And that is exactly what he does. That store has been in business for over 20 years. I love what it represents for our town. It is the epitome of community. And I love that my brother cares so much about Westport, its origins, and maintaining what we can of the Westport we grew up with.

So on his 50th birthday, I wish my brother Jimmy many more beautiful Compo Beach sunrises, as much laughter as possible, and a heart full of love and happiness.

I am so proud to call you my brother. I love you more than words could ever describe.


Jimmy Izzo, his mother and sisters.

Jimmy Izzo, his mother and sisters.

38 responses to “Jimmy Izzo Turns 50!

  1. Happy Birthday Jimmy, what a great story, you all at the Izzo family are great people, I wish you many more years with happiness.

  2. Happy Birthday to you, Jimmy. A great tribute from Sue (who was part of our family through High School.) A truly amazing Westport family!

  3. Happy 50th Birthday Jimmy!!
    I’m sending wishes for a wonderful,
    healthy and happy year, with many many
    more to come;)
    Btw, you’re a great “Words With Friends”
    player, so I’m extending a personal invitation to
    the official Scrabble and Game Night Barnes and Noble every Wednesday, from 6:30-9:00!
    We have lots of laughs, and you would love it;)

  4. Def one of Westport’s finest!

  5. Elisabeth Rose

    Happy Birthday, Jimmy, with tanti auguri for much health and happiness in the coming years!

    I love what Sue said about Ace being the “local community center.” With all the changes that Westport has gone and continues to go through, I love walking into a store where people know you. Jimmy and A.J. never fail to warmly greet their customers and, when it’s not too busy, take the time to chat.

  6. Wow Sue! Couldn’t be more spot on. I could be having a tough day at work … Jimmy walks in and then poof – instant good mood. Happy Birthday Jimmy. Great, great man.

    PS: Say hi to Sal.

  7. Happy Birthday Jimmy! I thought you were 30?! There is nothing better than a little sister who looks up to her big brother. What a nice tribute to a great guy. Crossroads Hardware is the center of Westport where the Mayor and the Governor reside. I love that store.
    Lou Mall

  8. Jimmy!

  9. Donna O'Donnell

    Happy Birthday to my unconditional and amazing friend!

  10. Happy Birthday Jimmy!!! You don’t look a day over 38! As they say…”the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” AJ is also terrific and I agree with Dan…would make a terrific Gov! Maybe Jim will Perdue the path of higher office! He would make a pretty good First Selectman one day!

  11. And always a smile.
    Happy Birthday !

  12. Ace Hardware is truly one of the highlights of living in Westport!
    AJ and Jimmy always greet with a smile and a kind word.I used to go visit Charlie, the resident cockerpoo and absolutely fell in the love
    with this sweet dog:)
    Happy Birthday, Jimmy…wishing you the very best!

  13. Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

  14. Caroline Sherman

    Happy Birthday Jimmy Izzo, been voting for you to be Mayor since Bedford Junior High Days, what a great tribute. Thank you for writing it, Sue, right on target, and well-deserved, I count myself lucky to be one of Jim’s many fans. One of the nicest fellas ever, how appropriate that such a big heart should be born right after Valentine’s Day.Yay Jimmy Izzo Yay. (Oh – and while I have your attention, Jimmy, put $5 on the Jets to win it all next year, thanks.)

  15. Oh my gosh! This morning when I woke up and picked up my iPhone, there was the notification that today is Jimmy’s Birthday…Happy Birthday, Jimmy!
    But when I opened my computer, began reading my emails and saw your post, Dan, I had no idea I would be wiping tears from my face.

    As I read, everything Sue said about her brother touched me so deeply, so intentionally, that I could barely see the screen. Her description of her brother solicited nods of agreement and an understanding of their relationship that I had never heretofore been privy, invoking even more tears.

    So as Sue so sweetly implored, I too wish you those same sunrises, smiles and simple pleasures for many, many years to come and I join so many others in not only wishing you, my Dear, a Happy Birthday, but a public nod of gratitude as well.

    God bless you!
    Susan Feliciano and the entire Feliciano Family!

  16. Some people think the crown Jewel of Westport is Compo Beach, others that it is Longshore of Staples High School. But great as those things may be they are not the jewels. The real jewels of Westport are the caring people who live in town and make being involved an every day part of their lives.

    There is a high standard to reach for in the Izzo family; Jimmy’s dad, mother and grandmother are clear examples that for caring, honesty and involvement the apple has not fallen far from the tree. ( I’ll share a secret, but don’t tell. Jim’s dad AJ wants you to think he’s gruff and tough as nails, but you’ll not find a more caring guy in town.)

    Anyhow, Jimmy is the most visible in that family now, but all of them are what makes Westport A Special Place.

    Happy Birthday to a really special guy!

  17. Happy Birthday, Jimmy
    The Gabal family all love you!! (especially Kitty & Patty)..
    Enjoy your day and all the ones to come!!!

  18. Happy Birthday Jimmy! Sounds like your sister is the best gift!
    All the best,
    Steve Ax

  19. Eileen Lavigne Flug

    Happy Birthday, Jimmy!! With your thoughtfulness, generosity and good cheer for everyone, you are a real treasure for Westport. Enjoy your celebrations!

  20. Happy 50th Jimmy! So great to see you all in your sisters post 😉 love to the family especially Mom and Dad.

    Nancy Gallant ( Kennedy )

  21. Robert Mitchell

    Cento Anni, Jimmy!

  22. Happy Birthday, Jimmy! Your sister’s comments are on the mark!

  23. Happy birthday Jimmy! What a beautiful tribute to you.

  24. Jimmy Izzo is tops in my book! Great neighbor, full of helpful information and advice, and voluntary mentor to my son. We are all so lucky to have this excellent citizen in our town!

  25. Sweet birthday wishes! Such a lot of love your sister feels for you. You are very lucky.

  26. Happy happy birthday Jimmy , 50 is truly nifty

  27. Im coming back in April from Hawaii Looking forward to seeing my friend

  28. Happy 50th Jimmy! Your sister’s tribute is brilliant, but she forgot to mention what a great teammate you were as well. My Bob-Ball Torino memories are filled with good times with you. All the best my friend.

  29. David E Pettee

    Happy 50th. What a nice tribute from your younger sister.

    Yes, I’ve met your father AJ (Red) Izzo when he coached LL and Babe Ruth. Your brother Jimmy still a great Shortstop.

    David Pettee
    SHS ’81

  30. Better watch out Jimmy. Dean Kalif may come after you for the weekly football slips. Have a great birthday “pal” and hoist one for me! Looking forward to joining you at the red tees later this year!

  31. Happy 50th birthday wishes to my friend Jimmy. I suspect every one of Westport’s residents refer to him the same way – a friend. I’m especially fortunate to have Jimmy represent my interests at the RTM in Westport’s District 3 as well! Of course, all of the Izzos (including you AJ!) are great Westporters, a great part of our collective Town “character”.

  32. All those kudos and well deserved! My wife and I have been customers at
    Crossroads Hardware for 25 years. Jimmy, AJ, Joe (the in-store guru) and
    their entire staff wrote the book on service and customer relations. I have not
    yet asked a question to which they did not know the answer. A lot of global
    and local issues get solved in that store. With the decline in family-owned
    businesses in Westport, Crossroads remains a shining example. I wish there
    were more.

  33. Beautiful tribute Jimmy and a beautiful family