Letter From New York, June 21, 2011

Or, as it seems to me…

Twilight is settling on New York City; it’s a Monday night as I begin writing, the end of one of those beautiful days that are perfect – not too warm, not too humid, sun blessed with light warm winds. I walked home, past at least a dozen restaurants with their sidewalk seating jammed with people yearning to soak in the grand beauty of the day.

As I walked, I wondered what I would write about this week. Certainly I was thinking about the weekend – I spent Saturday with an electrician who was fixing the damage done to my electric wiring when lightening hit a tree near the house when I was out in California. I was lucky: the house didn’t burn down and it might have. Mostly I was thinking I was lucky.

I thought, as I walked south down Broadway, past all those New York restaurants with sidewalk seating, about how nice a city New York can be. It was a lovely day and people were being lovely – it was hard to have a fault in this day.

Walking down Broadway I thought how blessed I am with friendships. Last night I had dinner with my friends Lionel and Pierre; we have shared many things and they always take great good care of me. I thought of my friend Maura, who has come to New York, working with me at Odyssey and what a journey we are both on, trying to help figure out how to help Odyssey grow and prosper because each of us believe fiercely in what Odyssey is doing. It’s doing great things and we’re attempting to help it understand its future. There is my friend David Fox who once described me as his newest oldest friend. He had surgery today and was manning the phones by the afternoon. Wow! I would have taken the whole day off; surgery is a good excuse for a get out jail card. I thought of Mitch and Mitchell, new friends David and Bill, my brother, my sister, my sweet sister-in-law, more names than can be counted in any missive…

I am an enormously fortunate man. I split my time between New York City and a sweet little cottage on a creek in the Hudson Valley. I work on interesting projects and am intellectually engaged in my life. I listen to jazz and smile and think about a lot of things while tapping away on the laptop in my lap.

Gay Pride, which just happened in Hudson and which is about to burst upon New York City, underscores this is a huge time in New York State for gay issues. Gay marriage is in front of the legislature as I type. Governor Cuomo is pushing to have it approved; rallies pro and con abound. I remember ten years ago having a conversation at a wonderful breakfast at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel with my friend Medora who asked me what I thought about it and I told her I was amazed it was a topic of conversation in my lifetime.

My friends Gary and Angel are getting married in September. They will do the official deed in Connecticut, which has approved gay marriage, but will celebrate it in New Jersey where they have a home. Wow! This is happening in my lifetime. Who would have thunk?

I am amazed at the changes in society in my lifetime. Not just gay rights – let’s think about the changes that have happened for African-Americans in the last fifty years. This country has absorbed so many different groups of people. That’s one of the amazing things about America – it has absorbed so many from so many lands. We have always felt a little challenged about absorption but we seem to work it out.

So all I am saying is that we are at an interesting crossroads in our life, as we always are. America is changing, as it always has. Learning how to embrace those changes are the essence of what has made America great.

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2 Responses to “Letter From New York, June 21, 2011”

  1. Nathalie Dumas Says:

    Mr. Tomber, I am just looking for the list of tools you gave to us on JUne 24 at the Catholic Media Convention, CPA. It was so interesting! Can you send me the link for that please?
    Thank you.

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