Tag Archives: Bob Satter

Jarret Liotta’s Movies Hit Home

Jarret Liotta has a love-hate relationship with Westport.

After college, the Staples High School graduate spent years in Los Angeles. The journalist was a regular New York Times correspondent, and contributed to 100 publications.

But in 2008, he returned to give his kids some suburban experience.

Now — with nearly a decade back home, as a freelance writer and photographer — he’s gained a new appreciation for Westport’s uniqueness. He’s deepened old relationships, and made new acquaintances.

Jarret Liotta

“Sad to say, many of us are so paralyzed by the fear-based myths of being ‘practical’ that we shun the directions our hearts want to lead us,” he says.

“Instead we waste time talking ourselves into believing we’re happily situated in our work life.”

Two years ago, he decided to go all-in pursuing film and video — interests he’d had since dabbling in them decades ago at Coleytown Junior High.

He wrote “Home Movie,” a feature-length dark comedy. Filmed entirely in Westport, it’s the story of a young woman’s trip back to her hometown after her father dies.

But the title also refers to the help Liotta got from many local people and groups, including the Westport Woman’s Club, Senior Center, Police Department, Kaia Yoga, 323 restaurant, Gold’s Deli, even the Harding Funeral Home.

A Kickstarter campaign — running through Thanksgiving — will help him place “Home Movie” in film festivals.

A scene from “Home Movie” …

While working on that project, Liotta talked with Bill Harmer. The Westport Library director mentioned that his previous library in Michigan was involved with films on local subjects.

Bob Mitchell of the Westport Historical Society heard that Liotta was interested in a Westport-based documentary. He suggested veterans.

“I’ve always been a dove,” Liotta says. “I’ve had relatively set ideas about the military, and what I imagined was a typical veteran.”

But he liked the idea. After each interview, his impressions evolved.

“On a personal level, it was very enlightening,” he explains. “I found myself understanding many positive aspects about the involvement I wouldn’t otherwise have considered.”

… and one from his veterans’ documentary.

Liotta started with World War II veterans, including well-known Westporters Leonard Everett Fisher, Ted Diamond and Bob Satter. Some he knew personally. Others, he says, “I had the good fortune to meet.”

While he still considers any kind of military machine “repugnant” — though “perhaps necessary” — he now has a different perspective on those who choose to serve.

“The people I interviewed seem to recognize the tremendous value in living a service attitude — giving back or taking responsibility to help their larger community,” Liotta says.

“That’s a brilliant and honorable concept. To me, that’s really the core reason to honor veterans.”

Right now, Liotta is editing the film. It’s called “Community & Country: A Spirit of Service.” It will be shown at Town Hall on Monday, November 13 (7 p.m.)

He hopes the library and Historical Society will make copies available after it’s screened.

That will be their — and his — way of giving back, just as our veterans have done.

Remembering Bob Satter

Bob Satter — longtime Westporter, World War II veteran, noted photographer and recent “Unsung Hero” on “06880” — died this morning. He was 94, and had been diagnosed with cancer.

Gil Ghitelman writes:

Bob Satter was my best friend. Witty, caring, and all around good guy, he was the consummate mensch. And at 94 he was more vibrant and tuned-in than folks half his age.

He was a feminist long before it became fashionable, expressing more concern for the health of Justice Ruth Ginsberg than his own.

Sitting at his table in Gold’s on any Monday or Friday were cherished moments for me, and I wish there could have been more. He touched the lives of anyone who met him. Our town has lost the sweetest guy I’ve ever known.

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

 

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.