Tag Archives: Pane e Bene

Paying It Forward, One Dinner At A Time

Sure, Westport is filled with families with school-age children. They may not all have come from Manhattan or Brooklyn, though most did.

But they’re not the only Westporters. Many more people grew up here, stayed or returned, and still live here even after their own kids have grown.

Those folks remember another group of Westporters: the parents of the boys and girls they knew back then. Those men and women are now in their late 80s and 90s.

They too still live here. But many of their sons and daughters do not.

One 60-something resident looks up to that “Greatest Generation.” (And they earned the title not just for helping win World War II. After moving here, they poured their energy and talents into making Westport a great place for us to grow up in too.)

That man — who asked for anonymity — has taken it upon himself to invite some of those older Westporters out for dinner.

They often live alone. Most no longer drive.

He and his wife always pick them up. They head to Pane e Bene, Horizon, Rizzuto’s, Rive Bistro — nice, friendly places with good food.

They have a leisurely meal. They reminisce about old Westport, discuss current events (locally and around the globe). They talk about their own kids (who, in the case of the older folks, are the host’s contemporaries).

“I remember the first time I made enough money to take my parents out to dinner,” the man says.

“It was a rite of passage — and a not insignificant way to say ‘thanks’ at that young time in my career.” Both his parents have since died.

Now he enjoys spending quality time with his parents’ old friends and acquaintances.

“It’s so much fun. I’ve known these people all my life. They were the mentors of my youth.”

He adds, “They are as sharp as ever! And the battles we have over paying the bill are hilarious!”