Pursuing a story depicting clergy leaders on an Inside Chappaqua cover was a spiritual endeavor. I have attended several of the town’s interfaith Thanksgiving services–sponsored by the Chappaqua Interfaith Council–and have been in awe witnessing New Castle residents from multiple faiths “joining hands to give thanks” (the title of Ronni Diamondstein’s fine article). The sermons are inspiring and the music can be quite beautiful. A great feast follows and area food pantries also greatly benefit. A sense of hope for the entire world takes hold! I’m also thrilled to help promote the upcoming “Northern Westchester Food Festival: Feeding the Hungry” at Temple Beth El, as it’s shaping up to be a major event here.
Speaking of major events, the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, spearheaded by the amazing Dawn Evans Greenberg, was brought to its magnificent fruition October 5 by a particularly determined group of grassroots volunteers. I, for one, was delighted to see Chappaqua bursting with pride over a turnout of thousands to an event that essentially celebrates books and reading by and to kids. So many local, regional and even national media took note! This particular media was proud to give the festival major early boosts in a complimentary cover spot in June and a cover story in September. See pages 12 and 14 for additional coverage. I sensed something “big” brewing, and proud that we rose to the occasion in a hometown pub. Dawn and the group are abuzz now with talk of an adult books festival for the spring–and involving the downtown merchants in a big way too. They have my support!
This issue also compiles several new, New Castle “Voices,” Michall Jeffers’ take on the always delightful and yummy Feed Me Fresh event for the Mount Kisco Child Care Center, and a short profile of Gary Portnoy, co-author of the world famous Cheers jingle. So enjoy.
Looking ahead, we’re planning a holiday edition that will have many articles addressing health and wellness. I’m particularly excited about it ‘cause I have a Guest Editor, Beth Besen, leading the way. She seemed like a great fit for the Holiday issue; she’s an experienced copywriter with a diverse background, a full time Chappaqua mom (which, as she says, often means wearing the Dr. Mom hat) and, now, a grateful cancer survivor.
To wrap up this letter too, I want to extend a special thanks to David Streich, a talented designer based in Mount Kisco, who took so much time to enhance the images from my “Travelling with Hillary Clinton” presentation. After its debut at the Chappaqua Library early in the summer, I was invited for an encore by the Women’s Club of Larchmont; its members packed the Larchmont Avenue Church in September (see above!) for an animated discussion and fun reception after. Grateful as well to photographer Bill Bramswig for trekking to Larchmont to shoot! Bill also shot the clergy cover–his 12th shoot for us!
Finally, I’m delighted to include a revived Travel “department” in this issue and highlight the beauty of the exquisite U.S. Virgin Island of Saint Croix–and all its opportunities too. Retirement doesn’t seem that far away anymore, so who knows?
Photo styling credits: White Badgley Mischka dress from the new M Boutique in Chappaqua; and hair and makeup courtesy of Cathys’ Hair Room in Chappaqua. Thank you!