Tag Archives: Bob Satter

Unsung Hero #19

If you were in Westport at any time from the 1950s through 2003, chances are good there are photos on your mantel, and in your scrapbook, by Bob Satter.

A noted portrait photographer, he shared a studio next to the Green’s Farms post office with George Cardozo. His work included plenty of famous Westporters — but he made everyone he photographed, no matter how ordinary, feel important.

They looked great, too.

Bob Satter

Satter — a generous, gentle man who is now 93 years young — mentored many photographers. The best of them learned his tricks of entertaining clients during shoots. The more relaxed they were, the better the photos.

He melded his vocation and avocation in the name of his 28-foot sailboat: “On Location.”

A proud veteran, Satter was named grand marshal of Westport’s 2014 Memorial Day parade. He volunteered in 1942, and served as a radio operator in World War II. He flew 25 missions as war raged in Europe. Satter was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 2 battle stars, and the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters follow.

2014 Memorial Day parage grand marshal Bob Satter.

He lost much of his hearing during the war, and became an expert lip reader.

Bob and his wife Jean had 2 sons, Keith and Blair. She died last spring.

Bob and Jean Satter with their children, Blair and Keith, in the 1960s.

Every Westporter of a certain age knew Bob Satter.

Now every “06880” reader does.

(Hat tip: Carmine Picarello. If you’d like to nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Happy 70th Anniversary, Bob And Jean!

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.

In 2014, Bob Satter was grand marshal of Westport's Memorial Day parade.

In 2014, Bob Satter was grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade.

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.

Bob Satter, during World War II.

Bob Satter, during World War II.

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.

Bob and Jean Satter, a few years ago.

Bob and Jean Satter, a few years ago.

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!

Bob and Jean Satter on their wedding day. He was 22 years old; she was 20.

Bob and Jean Satter on their wedding day. He was 22 years old; she was 20.

 

 

 

Westport Loves A Parade

Crowds seemed a bit thin for today’s Memorial Day parade — but that could have been because nearly everyone in Westport was marching.

Here’s the “06880” view:

Grand marshal Bob Satter has a smile and a story for everyone.

Grand marshal Bob Satter — age 90, and a World War II vet — has a smile and a story for everyone.

Other veterans follow, in very cool cars.

Other veterans follow, in very cool cars.

The Carpenter family welcomes guests to their 1877 home, near the end of the parade on Myrtle Avenue.

The Carpenter family welcomes guests to their 1877 home, near the end of the parade route on Myrtle Avenue.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe, in his 1st parade as town leader. Behind him are State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, 3rd Selectman Helen Garten and 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe, in his 1st parade as town leader. Behind him are State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, 3rd Selectman Helen Garten and 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner.

Yesterday, Bill Meyer was in the hospital. Today -- wearing his Sunrise Rotary gear -- he rides in the parade.

Yesterday, Bill Meyer was in the hospital. Today — wearing his Sunrise Rotary gear — he rides in the parade.

The Sweet Frog mascot is not a veteran.

The Sweet Frog mascot is not a veteran.

Ted Diamond and his wife Carol, on Veterans Green before the ceremony. Ted -- now 96, and the 2007 grand marshal -- flew 50 missions during World War II.

Ted Diamond and his wife Carol, on Veterans Green before the ceremony. Ted — now 96, and the 2007 grand marshal — flew 50 missions during World War II.

This sign on the parade route says it all.

This sign on the parade route says it all.

Staples junior Jack Baylis sings “America the Beautiful” at the ceremony on Veterans Green.