Publisher's Letter: The sad side of love
This month’s issue is devoted to romance. This is because Valentine’s Day occurs in February, and like St. Patrick’s Day a month later, commercial forces have turned it into a season—a season in which all those tangibles associated with romance, including (but not limited to) jewelry, flowers, pretty frocks, cruises and Champagne, become displays of affection. Oops, we forgot candy, which is almost as routine as flowers, although Dorothy Parker put it in perspective: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”
Obviously, this is a happy issue, filled with glamorous photos and tributes to that magical emotion we call love. But equally obviously, that is not entirely in step with real life, for part of love is often disappointment. Some of our great love stories did not fit the idyllic notion. “Gone with the Wind” was about more than war. It was also a poignant love story between Scarlett and Rhett, and it did not end with them living happily ever after.
We have to remember that for every great love story, there is also a companion sad story. Beautiful women or men with movie star looks and boundless charm rarely spend a lifetime with the first person attracted to them, and they often leave behind a trail of heartbreak that some people never overcome.
Few writers have captured that reality more poetically than F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose works are filled with lovely phrases describing the joy/sadness of romantic relationships. His classic work, “The Great Gatsby,” is a story of love unfulfilled. Fitzgerald scholars say it was inspired by Fitzgerald’s relationship with a beautiful girl when he was still a teenage college boy at Princeton. The problem was that she was wealthy and he was not. It was a decade before he translated those emotions into fiction, but he sure got it right. The same for his youthful friend Ernest Hemingway, whose popular “A Farewell to Arms” stemmed from a relationship a dozen years earlier with an older nurse who cared for him after he was wounded in Italy in World War I. Aviation was young at the time, so we didn’t have the phrase shot down. Hemingway quaintly wrote that the girl “gypped” him. So boys and girls, the next time you get gypped, don’t get suicidal. Get literary.
Fitzgerald, who made good money fast and spent it even faster, would appreciate Eric Barton’s piece on a treasure hunter on page 36. The man literally struck gold when he discovered a shipwreck off South Carolina. He had some bizarre legal obstacles, then disappeared for a time with his girlfriend, and now languishes in jail because he can’t explain what happened to all the money, and his backers are upset. But at least he got the girl. A memorable paragraph from “Gatsby” may apply to him. Poor Gatsby not only did not get the girl, he got murdered in the effort.
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Last month’s issue featured a beautiful fashion spread, but we did not include much info on the boat where it was shot. We thank Richard Ford, founder/director of Horizon Power Catamarans, who hosted the event aboard a state-of-the-art PC60 Series Catamaran.