Tag Archives: Frank Mastrone

Roundup: Jackie O’s Piano, Backpacks, Boxing …

Frank Mastrone returned to the Levitt Pavilion last night, for another standout evening of Broadway, Frank Sinatra (and Tom Jones, Adele and Michael Bublé) tunes.

Frank Mastrone and Westport’s own Terry Eldh. (Photo/Dan Woog)

But there was another star on stage too: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ baby grand piano.

It was there, white and beautiful and sounding great, courtesy of Yury Feygin Amadeus Piano, the Levitt’s piano partner.

Jackie Kennedy’s piano, before the audience arrives.

“All my pianos are special,” he says. “But this is my personal one. It has been with me since my dad bought it for my first piano lesson.”

The piano debuted Thursday, for the Pete Muller & the Kindred Souls show. Mastrone and his friends — including Westport’s own Terry Eldh — put it to great use last night, before an appreciative (and very full) audience.


Children who live in the Domestic Violence Crisis Center safe houses need many things. Among them: school supplies.

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19), and running through next Tuesday, you can donate:

  • New backpacks
  • Notebooks
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters an dcrayons
  • New lunch boxes
  • Graphing calculators.

They can be left in a collection bin in the Westport Police Department headquarters lobby (50 Jesup Road).

For more information on the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force, click here.


Three-time light heavyweight world champion Chad Dawson was in Westport yesterday. He was part of a fundraiser at Rich Dean’s Boxinf & Fitness.

Dean is raising money Westport Police Department’s Mike Ruttenber who will be running the NYC marathon for St. Jude’s. (Hat tip: Kevin Carroll)  ‘

Chad Dawson (right) instructs.


Carol Longmuir Meier died peacefully on Tuesday, with her son Douglas and his wife Valerie by her side. The former Westport resident was 80 years old.

Growing up in Westport, she became active with Girl Scouts. That led her to the Mariner Scouts, where she developed a love for sailing.

Her family was also active with the United Methodist Church of Westport, where she attended youth group meetings. It was there that she met Frederick Meier Jr.

They were grade school sweethearts, and were married for 33 years. Fred died in 1994, age 52. Carol loved him until the day she died.

After graduating from Staples High School, Carol entered Yale’s Grace New Haven School of Nursing.  Growing up she became active with the girl scouts that led her to the Mariner Scouts where she developed a deep love for sailing.  Her family was also active with the United Methodist Church of Westport where she attended the Methodist Youth Group Meetings.

Fred’s career with the American Diabetes Association included several moves. Carol to hold nursing licenses in several states.

She started out in general nursing, which led to pediatrics. She became  infectious disease coordinator for Holy Redeemer Hospital outside of Philadelphia.

She moved on to the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield, as head nurse and then director of nursing. In Virginia she joined a visiting nursing service. Her final nursing shifts in New Jersey began with her as a visiting nurse. At the age of 60 she went back to school to earn a degree as a certified diabetic educator.

In New Jersey she was active with the Whitehouse United Methodist Church, participating in bible study and book club.

She enjoyed hiking, bird watching, reading and trips to Nana’s beach.

She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. They include Kelly Arciola, her husband Sam III and their sons Sam IV and Dominic;  Megan Meier and William Bodie, BBF and grand dog Yager; John Meier, his wife Lauren and their children Adrianna, Harper and Jack; Nana’s twins Lillian and Brieanna;  Sean O’Shea, Robert O’Shea and his son Michael. Carol is also survived by her brother Robert Longmuir and his children. The family thanks Sandy Hack, who was Carol’s caregiver and dear friend.

he family will receive friends tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19, 4 to 8 p.m., Harding Funeral Home). A funeral is set for Wednesday (July 20, 11 a.m., United Methodist Church of Westport). Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery.

Memorial donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association. Click here to leave online condolences.

Carol Meier


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature features a couple of bunnies.

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. Based on what everyone knows about bunnies, I wonder how many there are now.

(Photo/Carol Cederbaum)


And finally … in honor of yesterday’s appearance of a world champion here:

(“06880” is completely reader-supported. Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Cannabis, Weston Fine Arts Festival, Drew Angus …


Several years ago — after the state of Connecticut legalized medical marijuana — the Planning & Zoning Commission debated locations for dispensaries in town.

Several meetings drew SRO crowds. They lasted past midnight. After much contentious discussion, a dispensary has operated — quietly — since 2019.

Now, the state has legalized recreational cannabis. The local process begins again. As with medical marijuana, municipalities have the option to allow or disallow dispensaries.

This Thursday (6 p.m., Zoom), the Planning & Zoning Commission holds a work session on the impact on Westport. Besides whether or not to allow recreational sales, the P&Z may discuss a related issue: What — if anything — to do about residents who want to grow cannabis, for commercial use.

This is a work session only. Public hearings will be held at a later date. Click here for tonight’s full agenda.

Tonight’s meeting will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, Optimum channel 79, and Frontier channel 6020.


What a musical weekend!

“06880” has already covered the Darlene Love and Broadway on the Beach shows.

Last night, the Levitt Pavilion was again packed. Broadway star/cabaret singer Frank Mastrone and Friends wowed the crowd with a selection of classics, pop and show tunes.

Frank Mastrone (right) and part of his band. He was joined onstage by 2 daughters, and Broadway singers he’s starred with. (Photo/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup includes the Connecticut Ballet (Tuesday), Divinity Roxx (children’s series, Wednesday), Feufollet (Cajun, honkytonk and string band, Thursday), the Drew Angus Band (Staples High School Class of 2007 singer/songwriter, Friday), Billy & the Showmen (R&B, soul, funk; Saturday) and Leonardo Suarez Paz & Cuartetango (tango, Saturday).

Click here for times and (free!) ticket information.

The Levitt Pavilion crowd for Frank Mastrone. (Photo/JC Martin)


This weekend’s first-ever Weston Fine Arts Festival was a smash. The weather was great; plenty of artists exhibited, and Weston’s own José Feliciano gave his first public concert since COVID struck.

A small sampling of the large number of artworks. (Photo/JC Martin)

Plans are already underway for next year’s event.

Among the artists (below): Westporter Gabrielle Ferrara.

(Photo/JC Martin)


Drew Angus’ video of “Made to Love You” — one of the talented Staples High School Class of 2007 singer/songwriter’s recent releases — has already racked up more than 60,000 views.

Featuring a pair of mesmerizing dancers, it’s one of the best of the “official music video” genre.

It’s also got another important Westport connection. Director of photography Todd Rawiszer is a fellow Staples alum. He and Drew met in high school.


Elliott Siff died peacefully earlier this month, at his Westport home. He was 90 years old.

Elliott grew up in Whitestone Queens. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from  Cornell University Engineering School, where he was elected to the honorary societies Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma.

He served on the Advisory Council of the Cornell Engineering School, on which he was the first undergraduate faculty member. He was founder, chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer of Alcide Corporation. Elliott also was chairman and president of Belmar Corporation, a real estate holding company.

In 1962 he founded and ran VI Products, Inc., an aerospace company involved in the development and manufacture of gyroscopes and stabilization systems.  His gyroscope, the smallest in the world, was used in the Apollo spacecraft landing on the moon, and in Israeli torpedoes during the 6-Day War.

In 1975 Elliott created the Ladder Works, which developed, manufactured and distributed his invention: the stowaway step stool. He also founded Meditec Systems, a company based on an ambulatory intravenous system he invented.

He held 22 patents on electromechanical devices, gyroscopes, housewares, medical devices, and chemical and pharmaceutical products. His publications in the aerospace field include a reference textbook, An Engineering Approach to Gyroscopic Instruments.

His obituary calls him an “entrepreneur, inventor, author, poet, champion tennis player, Renaissance man,” who was “elegant, highly intelligent, with a wonderful sense of humor, strong, gentle, and totally devoted to his family.”

He is survived by his wife Marlene; sons, Brad (Meryl) and Brian (Michelle), and grandsons Jordan, Jackson, and Adam. He was predeceased by a grandson, Noah.

Contributions in Elliott’s name can be made to Cornell Engineering.

Elliott Siff


Tom Lowrie spotted this intriguing tree at Baron’s South. We usually feature animals — or at least flowers — in “Westport … Naturally.” But this is one more wonderful bit of nature.

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)


And finally … on this day in 1999, Lou Bega released “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of …).”

Bar mitzvahs and weddings have never been the same.