The Davis Family Signs Out

Yesterday morning was the Davises’ last in Westport.

After 50 years in the same house, Bob (age 93) and his wife Agnes (87) headed south.

Nancy — one of their 5 born-and-raised-in-Westport kids — created a few dozen road signs. No, not the kind you grew so tired of during election season. These were much more personal.

Davis sign 1

They said things like:

  • “All 5 Davis kids had a great upbringing in Westport, thanks to you.”
  • “This is where we learned to ice skate.”
  • “St. Luke’s and the diner will miss you on Sundays.”
  • “The Minuteman statue will wonder where you went.”
  • “Enjoy this view one more time. Drink it in.”
  • “You have lived here a long time. You made a good life here.”
  • “Godspeed, Mom and Dad. I love you.”

Nancy placed them along Greens Farms Road, down South Compo to the beach, then back through Saugatuck. Mary Lou — another daughter — made sure her parents saw the signs as she drove them toward I-95, and on to their new life.

Davis sign 2 (2)

Bob and Agnes leave behind half a century of involvement here: Little League, Boy Scouts, PTAs, the Norwalk Hospital, mentoring, the Perkin-Elmer Retiree Club.

Davis sign 4

“I know I’ll miss my folks,” Rick — one of their sons — says.

“But I think they’ll miss Westport just as much.”

Davis sign 3

Davis sign 5

22 responses to “The Davis Family Signs Out

  1. Such a wonderful and heartwarming story! I feel exactly the same way about our town. I was fortunate to grow up here and so happy I was able to raise my sons here too! Bob Davis was their baseball umpire for many years while they played for Westport Little League. Good luck to them as they move to their new home down south!

  2. Lisa Giambalvo Russ

    Couldn’t ask for a better family to live next door to and grow up with!! So many wonderful memories of their Christmas Open House, Mischief Night trailer pit stop and softball games in the backyard. The Giambalvos will miss their dear neighbors of 50 years!!!!

  3. I drove by most of these signs yesterday smiling and wondering about the story behind them. Thanks for solving the mystery and good luck to such a wonderful family. Westport will miss you as much as you will miss us.

  4. I saw the signs throughout the day and thought “what a wonderful memory for someone” good luck and enjoy the warm weather

  5. Dan,
    On behalf of my siblings (Nancy, Mary Lou, John, and Rick), we would like to thank you for this great story on our parents departure from Westport. Fortunately, (as I have learned being gone from Westport all these years), they still have a link to Westport here at “06880”.
    Ed Davis

  6. Dan. What a heartwarming story. And what an awesome tribute to the parents who raised their kids very well. Thank you for this story. LuAnn

  7. Saw the signs on the way to the train yesterday morning. They were awesome and made me think of how great Westport is. Nice work!

  8. I have very fond memories of Mr Davis. I remember building a go cart with my father and then racing down Mr Davis’s road for Boy Scouts, and all the years he coached and umpired Little League. In fact, 2 years ago he umpired one of our games and it was a ball just reminiscing with him about the good old days. Mr Davis would also visit my father in the last days of his life at Norwalk Hospital. He is a wonderful man an we will miss him.

  9. Beautiful tribute from the Davis children to their parents. And thank you for sharing all those beautiful places that made growing up in Westport simply the best.

  10. Mary Lou Davis

    Thank you for the wonderful tribute to my parents. I am sitting here with them half way down south, having stopped in Raleigh at one of the 5 kids – John’s – house to visit before making the final leg to The Villages, Florida. We have been reminiscing about all the activities they were involved in, and my dad especially remembers the many years he umpired little league baseball! They are deeply moved and extremely grateful for all the love and support that family, friends, and Westporters have shown during this transition. I have read every post to them, and their hearts are filled with happiness knowing that Westport is truly the same “small town” that they have known and loved for 50 years. Thank you, Dan and Westport for everything!
    Mary Lou (another one of the 5 kids)

  11. Jill Nash von Schmidt

    What a loving, caring thing for these siblings to do for their mom & dad. Truly heartwarming. Thank you for sharing this story.

  12. To say Bob Davis gave his best over 50 years would be the grossest of understatements. Bob we can’t thank you enough. I wish my aunt, Mary Ellen, were still with us to thank you in person, but she has to be happy that you are heading sout for well deserved r and r. I still remember the lecture you gave me on the proper positioning for umpiring first base. 20 years latrer it is now safe to admit you were right! Many happy years ahead to you and pay attention to the Red Sox this year.

  13. Mary Lou Davis

    My dad, Bob, says “keep us the good stance!”
    Mary Lou (Davis)

  14. Wonderful post, Dan. I see the signs and think how wonderful the Davis family is.

  15. To elaborate, Bob didn’t retire from umpiring back in his 60, 70s, 80’s… but rather was still umping behind the plate in his 90s, and is still listed as active, so is welcome back on the field whenever he’s back in town!

  16. Truly two of the kindest people I had the privilege to know.

  17. Walter R. Lehman

    I believe Mr. Davis was a Democratic candidate for Board of Education in the hotly contested election of 1979.

    • Walter, yes he was, along with 4 other candidates. And I remember him saying that he finished “like a bad bottle of scotch – a poor fifth…”

  18. Dan — This might be one of my all-time favorite 06880 pieces. What an inspired idea by the Davis family to gently bid their parents farewell riding a memory high. Just beautiful!

  19. As I told Dan in an email, I am truly humbled by the outpouring of affection for my parents and for the joy that these signs brought to Westporters. Thank you all for your kind words about my parents and for making their 50 years in Westport the best years of their lives. (It is now up to The Villages to make their NEXT 50 years better, but that will be hard to beat.)

  20. It was always fun at the Davis house–baseball in the backyard, lots of junk food : ), the juke box playing, many kids running in and out—Agnes and Bob smiling through it all!! A great family– thanks for all the wonderful memories in Westport and Wellfleet! We will miss you.
    Amy (Kiester) Leonard