Editor’s Letter – April 2014

Once again, we’re proud to present our annual horse issue, but – also once again – with a twist. Since this is our power year, we’re calling it “Horse Power,” which allows us to play with wheels, driven people and all kinds of metaphors.

The horse and the automobile haven’t always gotten along. We can think of no better way to crystallize this than to look back at “The Magnificent Ambersons,” Orson Welles’ flawed, controversial masterwork based on the Booth Tarkington novel of a wealthy turn-of-the-20th-century family done in by the machine age and false pride. Though the film may seem nostalgic to us – as the horse-and-buggy era was for Welles himself – its lessons on the limits of technology remain fresh in the Age of the Internet.

So, too, does the example of “The Iron Horse” himself, New Rochelle favorite son Lou Gehrig. At a time when sports are often associated with scandal (and maybe it was ever thus), the former New York Yankee first baseman and captain still shines as a man driven by his compassionate inner values, who exemplified them on and off the field, even in the face of a terrifying death from ALS.

There are lots of driven people in this issue, people spurred to success who came early to their calling, like Sarah Jessica Parker, who has a new shoe collection available at Nordstrom; and IBM pilot Terry Callaghan, who’s one of the few women in the world who can fly choppers and planes; and those who found their mission later like equestrian sculptor Marcia Spivak of Wilton.

But mostly you’ll meet people, as you’ll see on the WAGwit page, who are driven by a complex array of desires – personal, professional, familial and humanitarian – like Jane Fonda; Sabrina Forsythe of the Pray Achievement Center in Greenwich; Timothy J. Rooney of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway; and our cover guy Scott Hakim of Old Salem Farm in North Salem. These are scions of prominent families who continue to write their own chapters in those families’ histories.

As I look back over this issue, two stories haunt me. One is Audrey’s piece on Bhutan – land of the horse, the thunder dragon, the dakini tigress, the black-necked crane and the hungry goat. Orson Welles – who saw technology as a mixed blessing – would’ve loved Bhutan, a country where the environment takes precedence over the economy, which is measured in “Gross National Happiness.”

The other is Mary’s piece on Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, who are on a silver-anniversary tour of their home design stores, like the one in Greenwich. But the two are about a lot more than sconces. Former lovers, they remain business partners who continue to socialize with each other, together with their new partners. They’ve been cited not only for their work with the LGBT community but for establishing a company, based in North Carolina, that’s a model for the workplace.

Seems they measure success in terms of “Gross National Happiness,” too.

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