Roundup: Loft Leaves, Charlie Capalbo, More


New tenants are filling vacant Main Street storefronts. But last week, 2 other retailers quietly left.

LOFT and Lou & Grey closed their doors. They had separate entrances, but were connected inside.

Both companies are owned by Ascena Retail Group, which owns Ann Taylor too (another previous Main Street presence).

When Ascena filed for bankruptcy last summer, they said they would close 30 of their 666 LOFT stores and outlets, and 8 of their smaller Lou & Grey shops. Neither Westport store was on the original closing list. (Hat tip: Melissa Augeri)

(Photo courtesy of Our Town Crier)


Charlie Capalbo — the 22-year-old former standout Fairfield Ludlowe High School hockey goalie, and grandson of Westport writer Ina Chadwick — has been through a lot.

He’s battled 2 deadly diseases: lymphoma and leukemia. But he’s been diagnosed again with leukemia. This fight will be his fiercest.

One of Charlie’s many friends suggests 3 ways to help:

Pray that Charlie’s family can endure what is to come, and that he can finally beat this monster. His family says that the love and prayers of many people helped them through the first two times.

Send supportive messages. These keep Charlie and his family going every day. There is a Facebook group (“Friends of Charlie Capalbo”). You can also email, or leave voicemail at 203-293-8464.

Donate via GoFundMe. Years of illness have been financially devastating. Another long term stay in Boston is daunting.

In addition, friends and strangers locally and across the nation have been putting hockey sticks (and other sports equipment) by their front door. They’ve tagged it #sticksout, and posted photos on social media as another great show of support.

Charlie Capalbo (Photo/Dave Gunn)


Sandra Stumberger, a longtime resident of Westport and Jupiter, Florida, died last week in Jupiter.

The New York City native and cum laude graduate of City College School of Business started a career in publishing. She moved to Rapid City, South Dakota in 1954 after marrying her college sweetheart, Raymond John Stumberger.

Sandy and Ray then settled in Westport. They raised 2 sons, eventually moving to the big yellow house across from the Compo Beach marina where they lived for 40 years.

Sandy worked as a teacher, travel consultant and financial assistant, but her main career was the loving care of her family.

She was active in the Westport Historical Society, which named a library in her honor. She and Ray visited Europe, especially Paris, many times. Always interested in art, fashion and beautiful objects of all kinds, Sandy was a devoted visitor to tag sales, had a keen eye for quality, and was always on the lookout for great finds.

She was predeceased by her her sister Carol Coller, and her eldest niece Leslie Coller. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Raymond; sons Robert Stumberger and Douglas Stumberger (Julie Blakeslee); granddaughter Skye Stumberger, and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held in Florida.

Sandra Stumberger


And finally … Hilton Valentine, the Animals’ guitarist whose hypnotic arpeggios helped make “House of the Rising Sun” a classic, died on Friday.

The British band paid homage to American blues — but for many years until his death, Valentine lived in Wallingford, Connecticut. He played with several local bands, and alongside area musicians like Charlie Karp.

Of course, that was not Valentine’s first connection with this area. In May 1966, the Animals played at Staples High School — the third of many big groups to perform here.

(Photo/Ellen Sandhaus from Mark Smollin’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”

2 responses to “Roundup: Loft Leaves, Charlie Capalbo, More

  1. Sandy Stumberger was a staunch supporter of the Westport historical society and dedicated thousands of volunteer hours there. She was a devoted Westporter and a wonderful, loyal friend and neighbor. My deepest sympathy to her loving family.

  2. Dan– Thanks for posting Charlie Capalbo’s GoFundMe. I know Anthony, Charlie’s dad. They are a lovely family and this is heartbreaking setback for them.

    I hope people will give a few dollars to help defray the awesome cost this local family.