Alert “06880” reader and sweetFrog frozen yogurt shop owner Jennifer Gallan writes:
Around 6:35 every evening, I start looking in the parking lot for my friend in his hot red convertible Mustang. He’s never later than 7:15 — but if he ever is, I’ve told him I’ll go to his house to deliver.
You’ve probably seen this older man around town, proudly sporting his World War II hat and jacket, at lunch with a friend at the Sherwood Diner, Gold’s or Little Kitchen, or shopping in the grocery store as he makes his daily menu.
He doesn’t plan it too early, as he’s never sure what he might feel like eating. He cooks dinner every night for his “harem,” as I call it. They’re the nurses who help him take care of his wife. After he cooks dinner for everyone, he comes to me to get dessert.
Bob Satter is 92 years young. He’s a husband, father, grandfather — and he loves Westport.
Every day, Bob slowly pulls into the parking lot. I make my way over to greet him. I walk by his side, volunteering to make his wife Jean’s cup of Cookies ‘n’ Cream, after he has wiggled out 2, 3 or 4 small cups.
He makes the rest. I happily bring them up to the scale.
As we walk, he tells me about his day and what he made for dinner, whether someone in his harem hit traffic, how thankful he is for the help and how his heart breaks.
But, he says, “I’ve had a very good life.” He says he “made a promise” to his wife — who barely recognizes him anymore.
He tells me quick stories, smiles and talks to my customers. He loves to tell a good joke. When he’s there, he has the floor the whole time.
I tell everyone he is a WWII vet — in case they don’t see his jacket and hat. Every veteran deserves respect. Some of the children in my store may never get the chance to meet a (famed portrait photographer) World War II veteran again.
As I bag Bob’s yogurt, I label them with lovers’ names: Desi and Lucy. Scarlett and Rhett. Prince Eric and Ariel — the list goes on.
I make sure to put hearts on Jean’s — lots of hearts. I show him who he and his wife are for the evening, and he laughs.
Sometimes he does not know who the lovers are. He says he wasn’t watching TV — he was providing for his family. I gently explain, and we laugh together.
I walk with him to his car. I open the door, and make sure my friend is in. I hand off the yogurt. We chat again, but he’s got to get back so his yogurt doesn’t melt.
As I stand in the parking lot to make sure the traffic is clear, he smiles and waves. “I hope to see you tomorrow,” he says.
My reply is always the same: “I hope to see you tomorrow too — I will!”
Sometimes he jokes, “I don’t even buy green bananas.” We both laugh, as he drives away.
I smile. As I walk back into the store, I’m at peace. I tell my customers his story of love.
Today, Bob will be married 70 years. That’s something to be proud of.
Happy 70th anniversary, Bob and Jean. Yours is love at its finest!