Hot News January 2013

Posted by Carole Stuart on January 02, 2013 | Permalink

HOT NEWS  January, 2013




“And now let us welcome the New Year,

Full of things that have never been."

Rainer Maria Rilke



A brief look back… at 2012 and a hopeful look forward to 2013




A disaster never before experienced by those who live in the Metropolitan New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Staten Island and nearby states. It destroyed many homes and businesses in places close to water where there was no power. Many homes are still uninhabitable.


 How weird it was in New York City where the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was flooded with seawater.  Apartments at the Battery were disabled while at the same time the Upper West Side was another world entirely, untouched.  My view south from our apartment building, lucky not to lose power, was total darkness that persisted for more than a week.


“Sandy” brought forth the spirit of community and charity.  Friends who were displaced camped out in apartments that were not damaged by the storm. Just plain folks volunteered to help neighbors in any way they could --packed boxes of disaster relief goods ranging from diapers and soap to canned goods and blankets and baby toys. The New York Food Bank in the Bronx, The Community Food Bank of New Jersey are only two of many organizations, that were filled with volunteers. In the Bronx, at the end of one half day more than 1300 boxes were packed that would help 3000 people. That was just one day and one organization.  Many people got themselves to where help was needed – Staten Island, The Rockaways, Long Beach, The Jersey Shore… to lend a hand. 






Good people I knew died this past year - some I’ve already mentioned but are worth noting again.


Mike McGrady,

whose international best seller, NAKED CAME THE STRANGER Barricade published. A brilliantly choreographed hoax written by twenty-four newspaper reporters from Long Island’s Newsday, each writing a sexy, funny chapter in a book that became an international best seller.   He was also the  co-author of two books with Linda Lovelace: ORDEAL and OUT OF BONDAGE


Donald Smith,

in recent years started the Mabel Mercer Foundation that each year produces a week of cabaret music that has boosted the careers of performers like Karen Akers, KT Sullivan, Barbara Carroll, Steve Ross, and Andrea Marcovicci to name just a few.


In an earlier career Donald was a brilliant publicist.  Years ago Citadel Press published THEY HAD FACES THEN, an oversized coffee table book illustrated with photos of the most famous stars in Hollywood written by John Springer, also a top PR man. Donald arranged a party at the now gone Rainbow Room. There was non-stop music, dancing on the famous revolving dance floor and lavish food and drink. The hosts were Henry Fonda and Joan Crawford.  The cost: only $1500.  How he managed that, we never found out.


Donald was loved and charmed by many who were eager to sing a few songs and hope to become famous.  Many did.



Helen Gurley Brown,

whose SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL made history and was republished by Barricade Books along with SEX IN THE OFFICE, was not only a legend but a great gal.  She and her beloved husband, David Brown, were the nicest people and great sports.  We also published David’s THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IS THE BEST OF YOUR LIFE.  Both of them would willingly travel to towns far from New York City to promote their books.


Patrick (Bob) O’Connor,

who many knew as Pat, and was Uncle Bob to a large, loving family, was a legend in book publishing, having worked at Washington Square Press, Pinnacle Books, Popular Library, New American Library and Warner Books. (He certainly got around.) He published Ayn Rand, (Father) Andrew M. Greeley, Lincoln Kirstein and Janet Flanner among many others.


He wrote as well and in a memoir told the story of taking up skiing at the age of about 65.  A friend convinced him to try.  He described going down the easiest hill on skis as wide as ironing boards.  By the time he reached the bottom, he was hooked.

He soon became a ski instructor and for years took up winter residence at Killington in Vermont where, as he described, he specialized in teaching the old and infirm. 


He was funny, and smart and generous.  At his memorial his family talked about “Uncle Bob” who never forgot a birthday, sent cards and whatever else he thought might be of interest to a long list of friends and relatives, and was  a frequent visitor to his extended family of nieces and nephews. He was a poet too. His “No Poem for Fritz” was published in 1978 by Colorado Quarterly





Moving from the past to the present, I wish a big welcome to the babies of friends, and relatives and pals, some recently born, others a bit older. Their smooth faces and bright eyes and ready smiles should make us optimistic about the future. I only mention first names of the parents to honor their privacy, even if many are on Facebook for the world to see.


Jeff and Rachel welcomed twin boys Jack Thomas and Benjamin Marshall who are growing rapidly and keeping the family very busy.


Amy and Michelle‘s Conrad is not so little any more but is very cute.


Holly and Dan’s darling Talia Jeanne will always remind me of her grandma, Jeanne.


A bi-coastal baby girl made doting grandparents of Joan and Skip.


Matt and Dawn’s Sebastian and James are close cousins to Arianna and Billy’s son Benjamin – all west coasters who add to our extended family full of lively boys.


This list of children closes with my niece Carla’s twin boys, Daniel and Benjamin, growing and thriving and my daughter Jen and son-in-law Brad’s family of three boys, Dylan, Justin and Jackson whose little sister, Sloane completes their family.



Until next time, a poem by Patrick O’Connor from the above mentioned book:




                                                          GOING BLIND


Father Lynch, that wise and holy man, used to say

In the dark depths of the Saturday confessional:

“If you continue to masturbate you will go crazy.”

He was absolutely right.

God rest his soul…





My best wishes for a Happy New Year !


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