Roundup: Bill Cribari, Harry Breitman, Mark LeMoult …

Everyone knows — or should know — that the William F. Cribari Bridge honors the long-time traffic officer who, with flair, dramatic moves and plenty of smarts directed traffic from and over the Saugatuck River span that now bears his name.

But only folks with long memories remember that Bill Cribari was also a high-strutting major with Nash Engineering’s crack drum and bugle corps.

He was at his finest every Memorial Day.

Here — decades later, thanks to his daughter, Sharon Saccary — is a wonderful shot of Bill Cribari: man, major, myth.

NOTE: I’m not sure what year this was from. I never recall the Memorial Day parade route going this direction past what is now Patagonia.

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When the Westport Police Department saw a couple of kids had set up a lemonade stand on South Compo Road, and traffic was pulling over, they …

… pulled over too.

They learned the youngsters were raisin money for the Connecticut Humane Society. So the WPD posted a photo on social media, urging everyone to stop by.

We saw this too late to help. But it’s never too late to thank young Westporters like these 2 — or our always helpful, very caring Westport Police.

Cops and kids, on South Compo.

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Many of the thousands of visitors to the 49th annual Westport Fine Arts Festival agreed: This was the best ever.

The (almost the entire time) great weather, the holiday weekend, the dozens of excellent artists, and the back-together-again vibe all contributed to the success of the weekend.

So did the great organizational skills and promotion of the Westport Downtown Association.

Congrats to all. And of course to the Best in Show artist: Dean DiMarzo.

2022 WEstport Fine Arts Festival Best in Show: Dean DieMarzo. (Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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Dick Lowenstein was intrigued by yesterday’s lead story. Tom Feeley honored a Westport VFW friend, whose life was saved in World War II by a guard in a German prisoner of war camp. The man — an American, who had been conscripted by the Nazis — altered Tom’s friend’s dog tags, erasing a reference to the soldier’s Jewish faith. That saved him from execution the following day.

Dick writes:

My uncle Donahl Breitman (born Heschel, later known as Harry) was a Brooklyn Jew who served in the 743rd Tank Battalion. They landed in Europe during the D-Day invasion.

His dog tag lacked the “H” for Hebrew. (The religion indicator was apparently optional. “C” for Catholic and “P” for Protestant were  the other choices.)

Because he spoke Yiddish and understood German, he was tasked with interrogating German prisoners. With the war near an end, my uncle was asked to accompany his commanding  officer to meet a Russian unit approaching from the east. My uncle and the Russian noncom communicated in Yiddish.

His older Russian-born cousin, Marine Capt. David Kipness, fought in World War I, and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in the Battle of Belleau Wood.

Dick Lowenstein’s uncle’s dog tag — without the religious indicator.

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Mark LeMoult, was killed last week, in an automobile accident on Saugatuck Avenue, while driving his cherished 1968 Pontiac Catalina  He was 58, and lived in Norwalk.

Born in Bronxville, New York, he was raised here and was  a lifelong area resident. He attended Staples High School and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America.

Mark was a highly esteemed chef. His culinary career began at age 13, squeezing limes at Viva Zapata. Mark worked at Café Christina in Westport, the Hudson River Club and Rainbow Room in New York, and Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich. He had been the executive chef at the Field Club of Greenwich for the past 14 years. He met his fiancée Elizabeth 21 years ago, while working at Stamford’s Beacon Restaurant.

One of the highlights of Mark’s career was serving as the president of the Club Chefs of Connecticut from 2006-2010.

Mark enjoyed camping, river rafting and spending as much quality time with his sons as possible. Many “Tuesday Dad Days” were spent barbecuing and cheering on the New York Yankees.

His favorite places to visit were Lake George and Cape Cod with family. He loved to get his hands dirty planting in his garden. He cherished his dogs Leo  and Teddy, and loved mornings at the dog park and walks through the neighborhood.

He was a cigar aficionado, and relished his relaxing evening. Mark and Elizabeth enjoyed entertaining in the backyard with friends and family around the firepit, concerts at the Levitt Pavilion, and experiencing wonderful meals at local restaurants.

His family says, “All those who knew him will always remember his roaring laugh, unyielding hugs, and his gentle heart and soul.”

Mark is survived by his sons Scott of Stamford and Eric of Fairfield; fiancée Elizabeth Kenny of Norwalk; brothers, Michael (Mary) LeMoult of Trumbull, Chris (Carole) of Trumbull, and Kevin of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; the mother of his children, Ellen LeMoult of Fairfield; stepfather, Bert Furgess of Murrells Inlet, SC, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister Kelly.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated June 1 (10 a.m., Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Fairfield). Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Friends may greet the family Tuesday, May 31 (4 to 8 p.m., Spear-Miller Funeral Home, Fairfield). Cheerful attire is encouraged to honor the vivacious life that Mark lived.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mark’s memory to the Culinary Institute of America’s scholarship fund: www.ciachef.edu/give. For information or to offer an online condolence, click here.

Mark LeMoult

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Everyone is at today’s Memorial Day parade — except these guys. They’re cooped up at Wakeman Town Farm. But they do make a nice, tight “Westport … Naturally” shot.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally …. today is Memorial Day. As we enjoy our holiday — at the beach, at backyard barbecues, with friends and family — let us not forget what this day is rally about.

One response to “Roundup: Bill Cribari, Harry Breitman, Mark LeMoult …

  1. Mark LeMoult was the friendliest guy. Met him at the dogpark and found out we had a lot in common. So glad we went to the Duck and had lunch together a little while back. RIP

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