Letter from the Publisher: Winter 2019-2020

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t’ do that than the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

My earliest memories involve travel. My father was born and raised in New York City to first-generation immigrants who found refuge in America during the First World War. His worldview was limited to the sounds and smells of the city and the books he read. He understood that education was his way out and earned a PhD as a petroleum geologist. The movie, Lawrence of Arabia, forever changed his life—impacting the lives of all of us: He loved the story of announcing to his wife that they would raise their family in the Middle East. On the way to fulfilling this dream, they moved to Houston, Texas, where he worked for ESSO, embarking on a nomadic career that took the family to Northern Africa. I remember sand storms in Libya (Ghibli), gold markets in Jordan, the traditional horse shows in Morocco, and the souks of Tunisia. It was a simpler time. My sister and I played “cache-cache” with the Arab children. We spoke colloquial Arabic and French, did not have television, and read constantly. We fearlessly explored every place we traveled, unescorted, with a freedom that is hard to imagine today. Our mother was drawn to everything aesthetic. While my sister and I were making friends from country to country, we were also in tow with this amazing woman and her insatiable appetite for art. We visited museums and galleries and attended the theatre. From the Van Gogh Museum’s opening Amsterdam in the 1970’s to tours at the Louvre, I came to understand her passion.

Our Publisher’s Letters often reference Robert Frost’s line: “Two roads diverged in a wood . . . and I took the one less traveled.” Reflecting on my upbringing, my parents’ diverse interests—living abroad, exploring different cultures, gravitating toward everything aesthetically beautiful—were examples of their taking the road less traveled, fulfilling dreams and discovery throughout the world…

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