STAMFORD, Conn. -- On any given day before school or after, you’ll see Newfield Elementary’s favorite crossing guard, Roosevelt Mitchell standing on the corner of Pepperidge and Harvest Hill Roads.
You’ll know it’s him because he’ll be the tall man with the big smile on his face, holding a stop sign, waving to everyone driving by while talking to parents and children from the school and many of the neighbors as well.
“He's a wonderfully kind gentleman who takes his job seriously, but also puts a smile on anyone's face who crosses his path,'' said Jeanette Christian, a Newfield School parent. "He always has a kind word, a wave, or a friendly greeting. He's truly a gift to our school and neighborhood.”
Roosevelt, who resides in Stamford with his wife, better known as "Momma Gretta,", is blessed with five children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and he is very proud of them all.
Before moving to Stamford, Roosevelt lived in South Carolina. He moved to Stamford in 1957 and worked at Pitney Bowes as a machine operator. He has been at Newfield School for 10 years and he loves his job, which is obvious when you see him in action.
A kind soul, Mitchell is a person who enjoys bringing happiness to others either by giving a compliment, sharing a story or just saying hello. “I try to do something nice for at least one person every day,'' Mitchell said. "If I can do that, then my day is complete.".
He believes everyone should do this, that it gives us “purpose." I like his way of thinking and I couldn’t agree more.
Roosevelt keeps a pocket folder in his car that is filled with heartwarming letters from kids, various photos, holiday cards and even a copy of a story a Newfield School parent wrote about him in her blog a few years ago.
He enjoys talking about each piece of memorabilia, remembering the children by name and how old they were in the photo and where they are now. It’s as if they are all his extended family.
“When the little ones come up and give hugs or high fives, or when they think of me at the holidays with cards and things, I really enjoy it. It means so much,'' Mitchell said.
So next time you drive down Pepperidge Road, keep an eye out for him and don’t forget to wave. I promise, he will make your day!
Robyn Blosio Bova is a Realtor with Higgins Group in Stamford and a volunteer with Backyard Humanitarian.