Tag Archives: Steve Rubin

Steve And Toni Rubin Say Goodbye (Y’All)

35 years ago, Steve Rubin’s medical and surgical supply company was considering a move from Long Island to Norwalk.

Steve and his wife Toni lived in Douglaston, Queens. They began talking about moving to “the country.” Their friends thought they were crazy. They sort of did, too.

“We both grew up in New York City,” Steve says. “For us, Westport was the edge of the earth, before it cracks off.”

But fresh air, and a produce stand on North Avenue, lured them in. The Rubins rented the big white Rippe house, next to 7 acres of corn farmed by a guy named Buster.

“We truly felt like we lived on a farm,” Steve recalls. “We fell in love with this place.”

Toni and Steve Rubin.

Toni and Steve Rubin.

The 1st folks they met were Betsy Wacker — from Welcome Wagon — and her husband Watts. George Underhill, from the town tax office, soon became a good friend too. All 3 introduced the Rubins to many aspects of their new home town.

Steve’s company never moved to Norwalk. He spent 5 years commuting to New York.

Then, 23 years ago — at age 47 — he suffered a heart attack.

The Rubins’ Westport friends responded immediately. Meals poured in. People drove him to the doctor. They did whatever they could for the couple.

Steve Rubin

Steve Rubin

The heart attack led Steve to retire from his stressful work. He got a job with Westport’s Parks & Rec Department, manning the Compo gate.

He organized workers for the Compo Beach playground construction project. He joined the Y’s Men. Toni created the Respect program, for children with special needs.

“It snowballed,” Steve says. “It was like we’d lived here 100 years. This town has a magic effect. It makes people feel like natives.”

The Rubins’ activities grew. Steve spent many years as the voice of Festival Italiano. He did not stop until the last raffle ticket was sold. “I made a whole bunch of new friends there too,” he says.

Perhaps his most important contribution began the day he complained to Gordon Joseloff about “some safety issue.” Joseloff — at the time the moderator of the Representative Town Meeting — urged him to run for the legislative body.

Earlier this month — almost 20 years later — Rubin resigned from the RTM. In an emotional farewell, he announced that he and Toni are moving to Charleston, South Carolina.

Steve and Toni Rubin's t-shirts say it all. He adds, "I could not have done any of this without my wife and best friend."

Steve and Toni Rubin’s t-shirts say it all. He adds, “I could not have done any of this without my wife and best friend.”

The impending move is “bittersweet,” Steve admits. After a couple of years of consideration, the lure of warmer winters and a lower cost of living was too good to pass up.

“We don’t want to wait until, god forbid, we’re too old to do it,” Steve says.

The Rubins don’t know a soul in Charleston. But, he notes, “We didn’t know anyone when we moved here. We did it before, and we’ll do it again.”

Steve adds, “we’ll love this town forever. There are so many great people here. It seems like Westport is filled with mensches.”

Steve Rubin in the Memorial Day parade.

Steve Rubin in the Memorial Day parade.

The Rubins leave knowing they’ve made a major mark on their adopted home town. Their name appears on the quilt at Town Hall, the library River of Names and brickwalk, the Wall of Honor at the Staples football field and the Longshore pool wall mosaic.

They’ll miss the many activities they’ve participated in, and enriched: the Memorial Day parade. First Night. PAL fireworks. Downtown trick-or-treating.

They’ll miss Compo, Longshore and Saugatuck. “We’ll even miss the Post Road and Main Street,” Steve laughs.

They’ll miss Westport a lot. But not as much as we will miss Steve and Toni Rubin.

Antarctica, Or…

…Compo Beach?

Compo Beach snow

Yep, it’s Compo.

The parking lot, actually.

Alert “06880” reader Steve Rubin took this photo earlier today.

“The snow here was brought from all over town for melting,” he says. “Some piles are 20 feet or so.”

Beach stickers go on sale next month.

Our Next Great Holiday Tradition

Christmas is 364 days away.  But — perhaps inspired by today’s “blizzard” — Al DiGuido and Steve Rubin are already looking ahead.

Al noticed that Westport doesn’t have an “official” Christmas tree — nor any “official” ceremony marking the beginning of the holiday season.

The Saugatuck River Bridge, all lit up this holiday season.

But, in a letter to the Westport News, Al — founder and driving force behind Al’s Angels — proposed that his organization work with the town to make the Saugatuck Bridge lighting the “official” holiday season lighting for Westport.

Al said:

It would be incredible if we could close the bridge down for several hours on one magical night.  Local restaurants could provide hot chocolate, donuts and other holiday treats — actually on the bridge, when we throw the switch.  Area vocal groups could provide holiday music.

I know Santa and Frosty would definitely make an appearance too.

While other towns may have “trees,” no one has a bridge like ours.  As Westporters, we love the differences in our town.

Let’s celebrate them!

He urged interested Westporters to contact him: adiguido@yahoo.com.

RTM member Steve Rubin seconds the motion.  He says:

What a grand idea!  What a better honor for the Cribari family!  What a true fun tradition for Westport!

The official name of the span is the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge.  Born in1918, he directed countless numbers of cars as a police traffic official.  Few people loved Westport and its history more than “Crowbar” did.

To continue to light the bridge from Thanksgiving to New Year’s would be an exciting Westport happening.  It would encompass the entire holiday season for all.

Illuminating the bridge and nearby donated trees has become a Westport institution.  Al DiGuido and friends started this tradition about a decade ago with other proud Westport residents, including myself.

Taxpayers’ funds have never been used.  I think anybody driving by or across this bridge when it glows with lights would be happy to kick in a few dollars if requested to continue this tradition.

There you have it:  The next great new town tradition.

And — this being Westport — the time to start working on it is yesterday.