Friday, August 31, 2012

Caryl shares: The Unsolitary Life of An Artist

To some, Rose Burlingham’s first life might seem idyllic . A native of New Jersey and the oldest of six children, she moved to New York City in her 20s looking for a Patti Smith kind of life. A painter and creative free spirit, she eventually married into a distinguished family and had two children—a girl followed by a boy. The family lived in a lower Manhattan loft where contemporary artists Elizabeth Murray and Richard Serra were her neighbors, Even then, she had an aching sense of displacement. “As an artist, I wasn’t happy being alone in my studio. I always thought I should be doing something else,” she recalled recently.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Second Look: Mary Fisher, Carol Gilligan and Ann Romney

“TWENTY YEARS AGO this month, Mary Fisher (above) took the stage of the Republican National Convention at the Houston Astrodome and delivered a 13-minute primetime speech that was seen by many as a sharp rebuke of her party’s negligence in the face of the growing AIDS epidemic.”  So wrote my friend and superb wordsmith Dan Shaw in an enlightening profile in New York Times last Thursday. Will Tuesday night's lineup of female speakers at the Republican convention in Tampa Bay be able to inspire a depressed nation? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

September Brides: Some are old; some are new

Thirty years ago this month, we were planning our own weddings. We were to be married a day apart (September 11 and September 12). That’s Maryl (right) wearing a Mary McFadden gown; Caryl , the matron of honor—(now you know who married first )-- is wearing an antique lace dress. Caryl would marry at the Tribeca loft she and her husband-to-be had just bought the past spring, and Maryl and her intended would exchange vows at their Victorian cottage on the Jersey shore. So why are we telling you all this?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Maryl returns: Back to and from College

My daughter Svetlana and I just returned from a little road trip this week. You can read about it below or on Huffington Post. The site's editors thought it was worth sharing with other parents of college-age students. College is a great learning experience for parents as well as the student. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Second look: Sue Simmons

Here at Second Lives Club, we hate firings of all kinds but we really hate public firings.  It’s bad enough to lose a job you love or a job you need—not to mention, a job you are really good at-- but it seems worse when it happens publicly. My mother read in the New York Times that I had been fired from my editor-in-chief job at Real Simple. I myself found out from the New York Post when a media gossip columnist from the New York Post called for my comment. (I declined. Call me now, Keith Kelly, I've had some second thoughts.) That’s why I felt so bad when I read last June that Sue Simmons, the co-anchor at New York’s local NBC news station, had been kicked from her chair after 32 years. Now, however, I'm happy to report there are signs of A Second Life. But first let me fill you in on her first life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Caryl weeds out: One thing I thought I'd never be

Roof garden at the Palace on the Ganges, Varanasi, India
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and, as an adult, I moved to Manhattan where I raised my daughters. If you asked me where I might have migrated in my second life, I’d have said maybe a beach in the Hamptons or, in my wilder dreams, the ghats of the Ganges. I can picture myself as a beachcomber or a world traveler but never in a hundred lifetimes would I have imagined myself as a country gardener in upstate New York. That’s why I was so surprised when the multi-talented and accomplished green thumb Catherine Morrison profiled me in The Sunday Gardener. Full disclosure: I have been helped enormously for the past few years by horticulturist Meg Crawford of Twin Ponds Nursery. Meg, who has entered a new chapter of her second life, passed on her private clients to The Valley Gardener, Tricia Paffendorf, who is returning to work outside the home (literally) now that her sons are in school. So take a look at my garden, the product of six women (counting me) who know how to make things grow--especially themselves.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A New Diet for our Second Lives

In her first life, Ruth Gantman was a wife twice, mother once and an English teacher who wanted to teach film. She put herself through NYU Film School where her course work culminated in her winning a student Academy Award. She spearheaded a TV and film program at a high school where she was teaching. But it was the construction of that TV studio that sent her “home to die,” which of course she didn’t. Instead it started her on a new midlife course where she found her second life. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Caryl questions: The Her in Blogher

A more informative headline for this post might be Ronnie Citron-Fink's Life Well-Said, to borrow the tagline from  Ronnie is a blogger extraordinaire. She will be among the more than 5,000 women converging on New York City today for their annual conference on blogging.   This growing--both in numbers and power--cohort will attend workshops and parties and snag swag from commercial sponsors.The sponsors aren't the only ones courting the bloggers' influence. Among the speakers this year are: Katie Couric (she needs to promote a new show premiering on ABC this September); Martha Stewart (she needs to resuscitate an aging magazine looking for younger subscribers); and, by satellite, Barack Obama (he's running for re-election and needs the female vote.)  Maryl and I will also be attending.