Recently, in a less-than-perfectly-scientific but, nonetheless, perfectly “grace”ful facebook inquiry, Inside Press Publisher and Editor Grace Bennett asked for community feedback regarding the level of interest in, and continued enjoyment of, Inside Chappaqua magazine. The response was immediate and heartfelt–you like us, you really like us! I have to say, the Sally Field moment felt absolutely wonderful.
There is something very special about a community that comes together to support its own. From shopping local to becoming involved in community matters to reaching out to those in need (or admitting a need and asking for help!), our town is so much more than leafy streets and handsome homes. We are proud that one of our famous residents, Hillary Rodham Clinton, coined that resonant and oft-repeated phrase “it takes a village.” Modesty aside, we’d like to think we had a hand in inspiring her thinking.
Certainly, it felt that way during the horrific Metro-North Railroad incident of early February. Initial social media posts indicated that “an accident” had occurred, and that delays to the evening commute were likely to follow. People began to reach out to family and friends, seeking to reassure each other of whereabouts and safety. Before long, however, it became all too clear that this was no small accident; instead, the February 3rd, 5:45 evening rush hour train from Grand Central Station direct to Chappaqua became the express train to a brutal nightmare for many in our area.
Even as news helicopters circled the air above, information was starting to circulate our communal information airways. And it wasn’t good. Six people were killed, many others sustained injuries. Then, we started to hear names and the abstract–as awful, as unfathomable as that was–became specific. People we knew, people in our very own community, were among those who died in the crash. We shared our grief; with each other and, respectfully, with those families, friends and colleagues who mourned. We tried to make sense of a senseless thing, even as we asked what we could do and wondered how to make sure something like this would and could never happen again.
This issue of Inside Chappaqua was conceived to celebrate Spring Awakenings; the new and noteworthy, the fresh and forward, the energy that turn turn turns things in this renaissance season. In that spirit, and as planned, we have some truly wonderful articles to entertain and inspire you.
Our gorgeous cover comes courtesy of local artist Peg Sackler. We chose it both for its rich representation of spring‘s lush beauty, and because we’re proud to highlight an exciting new local collective, the Northern Westchester Artist’s Guild or NWAG. Please do turn to page 11 to read more about this creative and talented group of artists.
And, while we’re on the subject of groups, what could be nearer and dearer than our very own Chappaqua and Millwood Chamber of Commerce. There’s a new board with fresh vision and energy, and we’re as pleased as can be to bring you the complete story inside; just turn to page 15.
What else brings a community together? How about recreation and sports? Most would agree there’s nothing quite like spring sports to encourage both players and spectators to enjoy themselves. The days lengthen, the air turns soft and the play’s the thing! Frequent contributor Dan Levitz gives us his best pitch on Chappaqua Men’s B League softball. Page 18.
Speaking of sports and community, we’ve also got a very special tale of two local high school teams that came together for a shared love of football. Without giving too much away here, let’s just say that a couple of otherwise competitive teams put good sportsmanship first and foremost, and then saw some collective dreams come true in the process. Turn to page 23 to read all about it.
As for the rest? Flip our pages and enjoy. We’re great to curl up with on your comfy home couch, equally at ease out and about in town, perhaps as a coffee companion in one of our inviting shops! Our hope springs eternal that you’ll continue to like and appreciate our articles and, as always, we invite you to email us your thoughts; we love to hear from each and every one of you!
As we spring forward this season, we owe it to ourselves and each other to remember to live each day for the gift it is, and to remember our neighbors and community in our thoughts and deeds and prayers. Let’s continue to be that village it takes.
All my best,
“We tried to make sense of a senseless thing, even as we asked what we could do and wondered how to make sure something like this would and could never happen again.”