by Rick Reynolds
Back when I first started writing for Inside Chappaqua, my daughter was still drawing with chalk on the cul de sac outside our Chappaqua home. All grown up now, she’s majoring in art and riding for a collegiate equestrian team in the central valley of New Hampshire. It’s been a long while.
Anyway, during that time and within these pages I’ve written about such dark and sordid subjects as puppies, parenthood, holidays, sharing, gardening, knitting, and cookies, to name just a few. And I hope I’ve made not merely a few lives a little more tolerable in the process. I’m here to tell you, all the above are survivable!
It’s not that I’m overly critical.
I just have little patience for the “glass-half-full” people–or their “glass-half-empty” counterparts. Call me literal, but I just see the half glass. (Not literally, of course: not a half glass filled to the gunwales, but a whole glass half full.) So, in a world of “halfs” and “half nots,” I’m a “half,” deadlocked precisely midway between unvarnished reality and gauzy optimism.
And what’s wrong with a half a glass anyway? It whets your whistle, and it’s enough to get your pills down. Moreover, with our latest market meltdown, I’d like to think “half” is the new “black.” Half is better than none and more sustainable than “all.” And promoting “half” avoids platitudes. For instance, for those who say, “When one door closes, another one opens,” I was the one who wanted to pick the lock on the closed one–seeing the new door as a trap.
As a Bell School student, I dreamt of becoming either a theoretical physicist or a bank robber. Having little talent for either, I re-imagined myself a theoretical bank robber with a hankering for art. Thankfully, Stanley Tucci, the renown art teacher at Greeley (and father of the famous actor by the same name), fanned the embers of my artistic half, wisely telling me I could always become a bank robber later on if I really wanted it badly enough. What a difference one teacher can make in your life!
With Mr. Tucci’s encouragement, I went on to study fine art, minoring in communication design as a lifeline. This armed me with the skills to try and make the unsightly half of the world half attractive. After college I moved back to Chappaqua and ran a marketing communications/corporate events firm for 25 years out of NYC and Armonk.
And then with, yes, a new door opening–one I picked–I took a position as a marketing director at a thriving national timber frame homebuilding firm. Bucking the downward trend in new home construction, I’ve used print advertising to great effect, and while many of our competitors have hunkered down and gone under, our shops are busy turning out beautiful, energy efficient, heirloom quality homes–knock on wood. The patient is still alive! Customers want to buy, especially locally, if they can find you.
But I’m digressing. Where was I? Oh yes. Writing for Inside Chappaqua.
Sure, the good publisher and editor had scratched her head at some of my submissions, wondering if one can make half sense, or half nonsense, and still have any validity whatsoever–and I credit her with hanging in there. I certainly hope that, with this “economy of half” in which we find ourselves, advertisers will see that a small town print magazine is worth much more than the paper it’s printed on. It’s imprinted on our fabric. It’s community. When we lose that, we’ve lost half the battle–the only half worth writing about.
Chappaqua alumnus and 35-year resident of Chappaqua, humorist Rick Reynolds resides in southern New Hampshire with his wife, daughter,
and 2 dogs.