Column: Writing on the Wall

I am woman ­— thankful, and (surprisingly) humbled


First, I would like to publicly thank the East Rockaway Chamber of Commerce and its board members for naming me Woman of the Year (well, two years really — due to Superstorm Sandy, the event was postponed from last November and combined into one 2012-13 event. Lucky me!) Unfortunately, the East Rockaway Yacht Club was flooded (again), and after residents and members of the Chamber and its businesses somehow pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, it was rescheduled five months later and changed to Rocco’s Catering Hall on Main Street (delicious food!)

What a fabulous night it was! I had the privilege of having my work family and my real family sitting side by side, a rare occasion where each can see you through the others’ eyes. I did make a speech (which included saying “yes” to the dress and “thanks” to the Spanx), and my pubisher, Cliff Richner, made one as well, much to my surprise. And he had some nice words to say — must have been saving them for a special occassion! I appreciated the strong Herald showing, as well as that of my family, friends and supporters. It was an honest room — just love and good wishes, the way all occasions should be. Thanks, Leg. Fran Becker, for stopping by and making the evening not about politics or popularity, but about longtime friendship and community.

I felt guilty enough when Debbie called me last Fall to tell me that she and the board chose me for this honor — but felt truly unworthy after Hurricane Sandy not only created destruction, but brought forth heroes and strengtha in people that I don’t think even they knew they had. Debbie reassured me that my job was, and is, to report on the storm, its ravaging and its aftermath. It’s my storytelling — the telling of others’ tales — that propelled them to chose me, and the Herald’s support of our local businesses. And besides, when I gave her the chance to change her mind one last time, she said, “No, we can’t do that — we’ve already paid for the plaques!”

For those of you who have been inquiring — and many of you have — my hair is about three-quarters of the way gray, and I’m loving it! It’s revitalized me, and somehow made me more true to myself ­ — but I won’t be giving up makeup anytime soon — I’m not that crazy.