Family life is and always will be many things to many people, but the powerful connection and bonds forged within our family units–and for me and many that includes our friendship circles, too–is the common denominator. Family is love. Cherishing family, and the children I raised, grown and flown they may be, will always be central to any love I feel, and more so in challenging times.
I also like to recognize the larger family who touch us all–our local and county officials, caring neighbors, health care personnel and first responders who provide resources and actual lifelines in this most unusual year, and every year. Such community resources include the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, now planning a 30th year celebration feeding Westchester, and the Mount Kisco Child Care Center which advocates so successfully for families. You can read about both these terrific organizations here too.
Please enjoy all the stories, photography and artwork; our freelance contributors work hard to assemble the mix of stories you find every time, and I have a lot of fun sharing them on the web too, with some help from the Play Nice Together team, and always feel humbled by all the excitement around that. I have a feeling, for example, Lyssa Weiss’s savvy weight loss strategies, as conveyed by Ella Ilan, will be eaten up, with zero calories incurred. Our blogger series continues too highlighting writing by talented writers Kat Nemec, Rich Monetti and Deb Raider Notis.
A huge thank you to Congressman Mondaire Jones for carving time out of his packed schedule to speak with our writer Jennifer Sabin and for later visiting Chappaqua for an Inside Chappaqua & Millwood cover photo shoot by Carolyn Simpson. I loved the opportunity simply to greet and meet him, and his district director, Joan Grangenois-Thomas, too.
I also want to thank the lovely John Diaconis for a personal tour of the historic Miller House, and for sharing his inspiring story, our Inside Armonk cover story, by Christine Pasqueralle. Gratitude to Donna Mueller for the photographs of John and his family, and also those of Drew Bordeaux, a mega talented musician/artist, both solo and with his bride and fellow artist Tammy (story by Stacey Pfeffer), and of Adam Stone and his comeback team! at the Examiner Media (story by Andrew Vitelli). Also, please don’t miss the following story gems (and photos by Carolyn too): Stephanie Spiegel of Centerpeace (story by Shauna Levy), Ian and Lauren Karr (story by Ronni Diamondstein), and Wendy Craft and Evan Echenthal (story by Anna Young). We are also thrilled to include stories by Robin Chwatko. These include one of Emma Freeman’s rising star. And a second highlighting the offerings at the amazing Armonk Tennis Club.
So bottom line: please enjoy all the stories presented by our hard-working contributors–you will find wonderfully warm and accomplished people and families to ‘meet’ and in the print editions, inviting page designs by art director Lisa Samkoff.
Finally, we hope you will read Ronni Diamondstein’s touching tribute to Lawrence Otis Graham; the reminisces and thoughts conveyed come from many corners of New Castle and beyond.
Wishing you well and time to enjoy spring’s glorious holiday and milestone celebrations.
These being ‘double editions,’ wishing you much joy this spring at your Passover or Easter gatherings, perhaps, and/or for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too. As an aside, you might wish to take some of those celebrations ‘outside’ on your deck or patio, so do check out Marianne Campolongo’s feature about trends in backyard living too! We are continuing a quarterly schedule and will see you again in mid-August! Truth be told, I have a little trip planned, and some memoir writing to do with the precious extra time, too. Stay well.
P.S. Sometimes a single person you’ve never met can make you feel awash with love and appreciation. A celebrated resident ‘vaccine fairy’ for example, reached out to help me with my vaccine appointment. She has helped innumerable others. For anyone who’s having trouble making an appointment to get a COVID vaccine, Christina is happy to help! She has booked almost 600 appointments for eligible NYS residents. Please email her at email@example.com.
P.S.S. The Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center’s “Memory Keepers Story Hour” (see below) continues with three additional April virtual presentations. They always hit close to home. April 5, 2020 marks two years since my own survivor father’s passing. I have told his story in bits and pieces on social media, and hoping to convey a more complete tale of ‘Poppy’ one day, too. Please consider registering for one of these events.
Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center Spring 2021 ‘Memory Keepers Story Hour’ Continues
A virtual online platform created by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center and that features Holocaust Survivors, Liberators, and GenerationsForward speakers–a second and third generation group that includes children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors–continues through April with Kathy Grosz-Zaltas on April 15; Wendy Sandler on April 22, and Michelle Gewanter on April 29. All virtual events begin at 7 p.m. To register, email Millie Jasper firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom log-in information or call the HHREC at 914 696-0738. The Memory Keepers Story Hour series launched in 2020 supports the HHREC mission to teach the lessons of the Holocaust, to promote the right of all people to be treated with dignity and respect, and to encourage speaking up and acting against all forms of hate, bigotry, and prejudice. Its Bureau includes 26 Holocaust Survivors, three Honorary Holocaust Liberator Speakers, and 36 GenerationsForward Speakers who tell their stories from a “next generation” perspective, adding new meaning to the survivors’ powerful stories. Visit www.hhrecny.org for more info.