Learning from Experience

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Walking through the allée of Little Leaf Linden trees outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: JH.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Well, after all that belly-aching about No Snow, we finally got a taste of it late Monday and into yesterday morning. Just enough to make me wish it had rained instead. A little more than an inch on the cars and sidewalks and none in the road, and now it’s almost all gone except for nooks and crannies.

Although more is predicted for later this week, which is always a big Maybe or more often Maybe Not. The latter is all right with me. The former is the gift for the kids.

Passing a school recessing yesterday, the snow is, as we would expect, a great gift and a lot of fun as long as it lasts. And who can blame them: remember those snow days – especially when there was so much they’d close the schools for the day (or days) and you’d stay home, and go out and play in the snow. Heaven.



Meanwhile, back at the social calendar: The New York Botanical Garden — planning ahead — hosted an exclusive kick-off for NYBG’s signature gala, The Conservatory Ball. Steadfast supporters and ambassadors who help to make this event a success enjoyed a lovely luncheon at the beautiful Majorelle Restaurant here in Manhattan.

Always highly anticipated, New York Botanical Garden’s The Conservatory Ball will take place on June 6, 2024, celebrating the summer exhibition Wonderland: Curious Nature. Proceeds support The NYBG’s preeminent botanical research, children’s education, and horticulture programs.

For tickets and more information, click here


Douglas Dockery Thomas, Maureen Chilton, and Deborah Royce.
Enrica Arengi, Alexandra Lind Rose, Gillian Miniter, and Danielle Hirsch.
Julia Recaman and Lynda Lopez.
Julie Lanning and Sharon Jacob.
Gillian Miniter, Jennifer Bernstein, and Serena Miniter.
Ivy Getty, Serena Miniter, and Bosilika An.
Adam Rathe, Arielle Patrick, Isaac W. K. Thweatt, and Lynda Lopez.
Kim Burns and Fallon Sullivan.
Lizzie Asher and Isaac W. K. Thweatt.
Lynda Lopez, Julia Recaman, and Elaine Textor.
Monique Lodi and Adam Rathe.
Julie Lanning, Friederike Biggs, Sharon Jacob, Jennifer Bernstein, and Sterling McDavid.
Sterling McDavid, Raymond Vargas, and Lizzie Asher.
Mai Hallingby, Barbara Robinson, Douglas Dockery Thomas, Barclay Collins, Deborah Royce, and Julia Weld.
Sarah Barnett, Julia Recaman, Monique Lodi, Kamie Lightburn, and Bridgit Hepworth-Ancrum.

Meanwhile down in Palm Beach, now that the season has begun … nearly 400 guests attended MorseLife Health System’s record-breaking 40th Anniversary Celebration at The Breakers. Themed “A Star Is Born,” the dinner dance was chaired by longtime supporters Sondra and David S. Mack and celebrated MorseLife’s four decades of dedicated service, community impact and excellence in senior living and healthcare. The evening also served as the official kick-off for the award-winning organization’s 40th Anniversary Campaign.

The event was the most successful in MorseLife history raising $2.4 million according to Keith Myers, President and CEO of MorseLife Health System.

Sondra and David Mack, with Sutton Foster.

“I have the honor of announcing that Sondra and David have made an incredibly generous lead gift to launch our Campaign to fortify our future.  We are indebted to the Macks for their leadership and this transformative gift, and to all of you — who have ensured the continued growth and development of our campus, the services we provide and the highest quality of care for seniors in our community.

“I’m proud of the MorseLife legacy built upon compassion, dedication and vision that my father and his friends fostered when they founded MorseLife four decades ago,” said Mr. Mack. “I passionately believe in this organization and champion our achievements so much that my friends call me ‘Mr. MorseLife!’ We’re all amazed at how MorseLife has evolved over the last four decades; imagine what it will be like 40 years from now. I truly believe my father would be so proud of what we have achieved.”

Myers announced other exciting MorseLife programming news, related to the organization’s Holocaust Learning Experience initiative. This signature education model aims to teach youth how to be upstanders in society who advocate for diversity, inclusion, equity and human rights.


L. to r.: Pam and Ed Pantzer; Marsha and Richard Goldberg.

“I am excited to share tonight that MorseLife has just been designated as the sole provider of this programming for more than 2 million students in grades 5-12 in 74 Florida public schools. In light of recent headlines, the Holocaust Learning Experience is more important than ever — underscoring our commitment to provide impactful learning opportunities through lessons learned from the Holocaust. Once again, MorseLife is serving as a vanguard, leading the way in this critical programming for children throughout the state.”

The evening also featured a magical, intimate performance with Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster. Accompanied by her pianist, bassist and drummer, Foster charmed the audience singing classics such as “Que Sera, Sera” “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Too Marvelous for Words” among others. The dance floor then filled with guests who wanted to celebrate the event’s success.


L. to r.: Jill and Sandy Sirulnick; Simone and David Levinson.

Guests included Phyllis and Bill Mack, Tami and Fred Mack, Pam and Ed Pantzer, Susan and Morris Mark, Susan and Richard Friedman, Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan, Enid and Leonard Boxer, Barbara and Richard Rothschild, Eileen Berman and Jay Bauer, Terri Sriberg and Donald Ephraim, Stephen Levin, Lawrence Herbert, Jean Sharf, Judie and Larry Schlager, Michelle and Joe Jacobs, Marsha and Richard Goldberg, Jill and Sandy Sirulnick, Penny and John Wallerstein, Beth and Marc Goldberg, Robbi and Bruce Toll, Lori and Bruce Gendelman, Susan and Ben Winter, Ann and Robert Fromer, Stuart and Sharyn Frankel, Mindy and Andrew Heyer, Wendy and Larry Levy, Simone and David Levinson, and Ellen and Ed Wolf.

MorseLife Health System remains devoted to its mission to providing the most enlightened and compassionate continuum of care to seniors on their campus and throughout Palm Beach County.

For more information about MorseLife Health System, to become a donor or to attend other events this season, please email events@morselife.org or call 561.242.4661.


L. to r.: Richard and Susan Friedman; Michelle and Joe Jacobs.
L. to r.: Susan and Morris Mark; Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan.
Jean Sharf and Lawrence Herbert.
L. to r.: Ann and Bob Fromer; Phyllis and Bill Mack.
L. to r.: Keith Myers and Stephen Levin; Mitra and Michael Margolis.
L. to r.: Linda and Gary Lachman; Andrea and John Stark.
L. to r.: Janie and Arthur Indursky; Lori and Bruce Gendelman.
L. to r.: Marjorie and Roy Furman; Richard and Barbara Rothschild.
L. to r.: Beth and Marc Goldberg; Ben and Susan Winter.
Judie and Larry Schlager.
L. to r.: Martin and Marlene Silver; Steven and Francine Katz.
Arthur and Janet Hershaft.
L. to r.: Stuart and Sharyn Frankel; Robbi and Bruce Toll.
L. to r.: Stephen and Marjorie Fiverson; Nancy and Jeffrey Lane.

And for those of us who are what some people think of as “book obsessive” (like me): Down in Philadelphia last month nearly 3,000 bibliophiles descended on the Trinity Memorial Church to browse books and ephemera from 26 dealers from around the country at the second Philadelphia Rare Book Fair.

The fair is organized and orchestrated by Eve and Edward Lemon. The Lemons also put on The Empire State Rare Book and Print Fair which took over St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City last October.


Ryan Miller of Guster performing “Empire State” live accompanied by New York Philharmonic harpsichordist Paolo Bourdigon, the Associate Director of Music at St. Bart’s, at The Empire State Rare Book and Print Fair last October.

The book fair in Philadelphia opened with a ticketed preview night (which also featured wine, canapes, harp music and first access to the books). The next day the fair was opened to the public for free on Friday and Saturday.

Attendees had the opportunity to listen to a series of talks. Local historian Steven Ujifusa discussed his new book The Last Ships from Hamburg, literary scholar Max Chapnick spoke about his recent uncovering of hitherto unknown short stories by Louisa May Alcott, the 19th Century American novelist and short story writer who wrote the unforgettable Little Women as well as its sequel Little Men. Also participating in the fair: University of Pennsylvania’s Kermit Roosevelt, the great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and a distant cousin of FDR, who talked about book bans in modern America.


Trinity Memorial Church in Philadelphia was the scene for the second annual Philadelphia Rare Book Fair.
There was also the very popular — standing room only — panel on careers in rare books with Allie Alvis, Curator of Special Collections at the Winterthur Library; Darren Winston, Head of Department for Books and Manuscripts, Freeman’s Auction House; and Kelsey Scouten-Bates, John C. Haas Director of The Rosenbach.

The Fair’s Director Eve Rachel Lemon was “delighted to see so many people — especially younger people — interested in rare books. The success of the Fair marks how Philadelphia is truly a literary city. We look forward to an even bigger fair next year at the Philadelphia Armory.”






Photographs by CAPEHART (Morse)

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