Maria Hess on The Bucket List, Mike Castle and Women in Business

The stories for this December issue were planned in August. As you’re reading this, we’re thinking spring.

So while we were planning in August, Typhoon Saola was killing 11 people and displacing 150,000 in the Philippines. People were dying in suicide bombings in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. Some were barely paying for gas and food. Yes, August was a spectacularly depressing month for so many people across the globe, and it took some work to stay positive. Thus, The Bucket List.

The concept is simple. Do the meaningful things, and do them now. This is our list—it’s not the only list—and I thank Drew Ostroski, Mark Nardone, Kelly Carter, Louise Bolin and Katie McCabe for their contributions. (We whittled the list down to 50, but could have easily written more.)

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This month’s cover was created by guest designer Leslie Mann, whose credits include O: The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine and Rolling Stone. Nate Williams did the fabulous illustration. It was a joy to work with such talented folks. Our hard-working cover committee—Charlie Tomlinson, Jack Morris, Christina Kelly, Monica Weber and I—tweaked and tweaked and tweaked, and Leslie and Nate kept smiling, smiling, smiling. Total pros.

“Rebuilding the Castle,” Bob Yearick’s poignant piece about former Congressman Mike Castle, is a standout. Bob captures the regret that Mr. Castle feels at this stage in his life, yet the reader never doubts the integrity that this respected political leader has maintained.

Mark Nardone was busy. He wrote the “Women in Business” piece, which showcases great leaders who are changing workplaces for the better. He also penned “All You Need is Love,” an artful story about restaurateur Matt Haley. We thank Mr. Haley for his honesty. I have to believe that his story will help others who battle similar demons.

I don’t have enough space to thank in detail everyone who helps make this magazine great. Please allow me to express my gratefulness to longtime freelancers Bob Yearick, Matt Amis, Pam George, Eileen Smith Dallabrida, Amy Kates, Theresa Medoff, Christine Facciolo and Roger Morris. A special welcome to new contributors Celia Cohen, Doug Rainey, Geneva Fonda, Dan, Bilodeau, Joanne Cannon, Shari Short, Andrea Miller and Fay Jacobs. John Manser, our indomitable copy editor, is our savior. We’re grateful for his persistence, intelligence and humor. John, I think it’s my turn to buy the coffee.

We have the great honor of producing this magazine. Our job is to acknowledge the realties of our world, but mostly to celebrate our privileges. And there are many.

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I wish you a joyous holiday season. Stay positive in 2013. And get cracking on that Bucket List.

Please enjoy the issue.

Team Notes

Mark Nardone 
Judging the homemade gravy contest at Vendemmia da Vinci in October was the very definition of a fun challenge: 22 contestants, 22 unique sauces, not one of them less than delicious. It was a great way to spend a beautiful day in Riverfront Park. Congratulations to all, and milli grazie to Mike DiFonzo for the invitation.


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Louise Bolin 
I love the time from Halloween to Christmas because it’s full of crafts and precious time spent with friends and family. But the thing I always struggle with is bringing something new to Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner. I was inspired this month by Roger Morris’ Into the Drink article, “Rolling with the Punches.” I think I might make a little milk punch! Have a good punch recipe? Email me:

Drew Ostroski  
Working on this issue’s Bucket List feature was a treat for many reasons. It caused me to reminisce about all of the cool things that I have done in our state, but the story also reminded me of how many things that I still need to do.



Ron Dubick
My family and I have been enjoying Charcoal Pit burgers for many decades. I would like to add that they go especially well with chocolate malts and side orders of french fries.




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