By Ian Karr
When you live in a town as long as I’ve lived in Chappaqua (17 years), you tend to take certain things for granted. It’s the natural progression of life that one day blends into the next and the things that once seemed special don’t elicit the same reaction anymore. If that sounds familiar to you, I have one suggestion…edit an issue of Inside Chappaqua magazine.
When Grace Bennett first approached me about helming the June issue, I was flattered, excited and a bit daunted. While writing is a big part of my job as a Director at IKA Collective, I hadn’t tackled anything with a table of contents since college. Grace has covered hundreds of topics over the years and I wondered how I could come up with something fresh. Especially after growing somewhat jaded about our town.
Like most things that take you out of your comfort zone, I found the process of editing this issue incredibly eye-opening and rewarding.
I thought of my friends in different ways…as potential authors. Who had an interesting voice? Who could actually write? Who would be able to meet a deadline? They say a good friend will help you move, but a best friend will help you move a body. I can now add that a great friend will allow you to edit their work.
I thought of all the English teachers I had spirited disagreements with, and realized that I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. It’s amazing that, after all these years, I still remember some of what they pounded into me about telling a story in 700 words or less. You’re entitled to think otherwise.
But mostly, I thought of our town in ways I haven’t since I moved here. Joe Giannettino’s piece reminded me that we are practically walking distance from some of New York’s most beautiful and enjoyable outdoor activities. Eric Kratz’s article on coaching reminded me how dedicated we are, as a town, to instilling in our kids a passion for sports, fitness and teamwork. Mark Bomback’s essay on moving here from Hollywood and Stephen Barron’s tips on how to cook the perfect rack of Texas-style ribs reminded me that Chappaqua attracts transplants from all over the country…and that we have incredible talent here. And Dan Levitz’s interesting take on his enviable commute reminded me that a lot can happen in a short trip through our quaint little town.
I also had fun asking my radio partner, Jackie Martling, to offer up tips on joke telling. It really is an art, and he’s the best in the world. In the nearly eight years we’ve been doing Jackie’s Joke Hunt, we’ve told or heard over 10,000 jokes. I remember exactly six.
In the end, I came through the experience with a rejuvenated love for New Castle. Our community spirit may not always be on display, but it’s definitely there, making this one of the best places to raise a family, build great friendships…and edit a local magazine.