Archive of ‘life’ category

Remembering Harvey Hurvitz Feb. 25, 1941-June 28, 2016

DSC06842I was so sad to get the phone call from my granny this morning that her next door neighbor and friend Harvey Hurvitz passed away. Harvey was a wonderful neighbor, friend, father, husband and grandfather. He was brilliant and also hilarious. I was fortunate enough to hang out with him many times over the years at family gatherings and at various venues where my aunt JD Danner’s band would play. He was a fan of live music and the occasional glass of Maker’s Maahhk [Maker’s Mark bourbon as he called in his wonderful Boston accent].

He loved old country songs and today my aunt JD told me he loved Neil Young’s music. I never knew that. She had even learned “Heart of Gold” for him. When I covered stories for the newspaper in Boca, he’d often read the stories and tell me what he liked about it. One night, we had a truly memorable conversation about “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” after I had interviewed Kim. He was amazed by the show and hooked on watching it for a while, which I thought was curious but Harvey was full of awesome surprises.

He was an accomplished financial adviser for for Wells Fargo Advisors in Boca Raton and attended Boston University for his education. Harvey lived his life authentically and I loved how real he was. I always loved when he’d say “He or she is outta their mind!” He was usually right.

So rest now, our dear Harvey. One day I hope to see you in heaven and sit down with you and have another great conversation about life. I will never forget you or how you helped me and brought me comfort when my grandpa died. You agreed with me on what a great man he was. Now I hope to bring your family comfort as we mourn the loss of you, another truly great man. They don’t make ’em like you anymore, Harvey. I am so blessed to have known you.

Love always,

Joanie Cox-Henry

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Remember the lives lost in a vigil for Orlando at The Wynwood Yard in Miami

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Hate will never win. We must not let it conquer our hearts and minds. There will be a vigil for Orlando tomorrow June 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Wynwood Yard, 56 N.W. 29th St., in Miami. Organizers of the event are asking attendees to bring a candle to light in honor of the victims and their families.

Speakers include Tony Lima, executive director of SAVE, and Victor Diaz-Herman, executive director of Pridelines Youth Services. The vigil will include a musical tribute by Keith Johns, community artwork by Jenny Perez and a moment of silence led by Rikki Kamensky.

For more details on the event, click here.facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

My personal tribute to my beloved boss and friend, Pam Doto

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How do you say goodbye to the one person you never wanted to leave? Pam Doto was much more than an editor to me. She was my mentor, my friend, at times my shrink, and in the end, family.

When I got the phone call that my beloved Pam had passed away on April 16, I felt as if every star in the universe was extinguished. I went into a state of total shock and I remain that way as I write this. Dear God, why did you call Pam home so soon? She had so much left to do here. I just wanted to tell her one more time how much she meant to me.

There are not enough words in the world that could properly do justice to this incredible, vibrant woman who loved her family, friends and animal friends fervently and earnestly. Pam lived her life with passion. She was a proud Sicilian woman with an adventurous spirit and a set of survival skills that would make MacGyver jealous.

She loved to rescue animals, but she was also quite skilled at saving humans. She definitely saved me, more than once. I first entered her newsroom on Green Road 13 years ago to interview for a job reporting community news in West Boca Raton. I was 23 and like most 23 year olds, I thought I knew it all.

I was fresh from the tabloids and Pam warned me that the salary in community news was a far cry from what I was earning slinging gossip stories about J.Lo and Tom Cruise.

I insisted that I wanted to pay my dues as an authentic community news reporter and that the money didn’t matter as long as I was doing something I felt was meaningful. It was the smartest and most rewarding career move I ever made.

Over the 13 years we worked together, Pam allowed me a variety of opportunities to spread my creative wings and really grow as a writer. With her, my “Life In The Fab Lane” column was born. I later edited Boca Piquant magazine, launched a city edition of that publication, created my own beauty magazine and got to contribute to the sassy, feminist-geared publication Queen B as well as South Florida Parenting magazine.

She encouraged me to write more hard-hitting investigative pieces on subjects such as Scientology and the changing face of the American family and she inspired me to really focus on issues in the community. When raises couldn’t be given, she raised our spirits. Working for her brought me a sense of pride and joy money could never buy.

At first, I resisted writing these more involved investigative pieces, but then I realized Pam always had my best interests in mind and she wanted me to get out of my comfort zone as a writer. It was scary, but necessary.

Ironically enough, I came full circle with my love for community news this Christmas when my role as a reporter shifted from entertainment back to being a community reporter in Delray Beach. For the first time in several years, I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do and I owe it all to Pam.

Pam was the sort of boss who was very fair and allowed you to grow in your position, yet she treated you as an equal. There was always mutual respect and at the very heart of everything she did, she encouraged authenticity—to be true to yourself and the true mission of journalism.

Every time I wanted to give up, Pam reminded me why I became a journalist in the first place. She had a love for journalism that was infinite. That was something I deeply admired. She talked me out of quitting journalism three times. Her advice always resonated with me.

Pam loved peace, her partner Jen, debating politics, rocking out to Led Zeppelin, especially John Bonham, Heart and The B-52s and the great outdoors. She fought for what she believed in and she worked relentlessly to save as many people as she could in her newsroom from the inevitable lay offs. Those lay offs took a toll on her heart and soul. She truly cared about everyone who worked for her. And that is something you just don’t see anymore in a corporate environment.

I don’t want to imagine the world without Pam in it. It’s just a bunch of boring blank pages. She filled our lives and our papers with something extraordinary.

This past Christmas, Pam gave me a beautiful crystal angel as a Christmas gift. I adored it the moment I opened it but I didn’t quite understand the gift until now. I always called Pam my angel. She saved my butt more times than I can count and I learned a lifetime of lessons from her. She will forever be my angel, now watching over all of us from above.

I would do anything to be able to walk into her office again and grab a little piece of wisdom and see her smile. I would always stop into her office with Kari Barnett to catch up at the end of the work day. I always looked forward to our conversations about cats, handbags, L. Ron Hubbard, office shenanigans and whatever crazy nonsense was going on in our own lives. When her door was open, so was her heart and she always took time to listen. She made us feel appreciated and we always went the extra mile for her because Pam was worth it.

So rest now, my beautiful angel. Thank you for bringing me hope when I was hopeless. Thank you for all you did over the years to keep our ship afloat. From time to time, send us a sign as you’re watching over us from above. Give a kiss to Shani McManus and my grandpa for me. I know Shani is probably already giving you a hard time for getting up there so soon. FPG may be a community news company, but in my heart, it will always stand for “Forever Pam’s Group.” Man, do I wish heaven had visiting hours. I can only imagine the concert Pam’s having up there right now with Bonham and the boys.

If you are missing Pam too and would like to do something special to honor her memory, be kinder to each other and the planet. Rescue an animal in her name. Do something bold and adventurous outdoors and respect nature. Cherish this very moment. Be true to yourself. And always…follow your heart. I know she would’ve wanted that.

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Dear 2016…please be awesome.

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Dear 2016,

Please be a year of hope, good health, success and dreams coming to fruition. Looking back on this year, I have to say, 2015 was one of the best and worst years of my life. More than 100 people lost their lives to terrorism in Paris. My beloved cousin Angelo Ruisi went to join his wife Nina in heaven, my paternal grandmother died, major layoffs occurred at my job and throughout the publishing industry, and there were personal troubles in the lives of so many people I love. More than 795 million people in the world continue to go hungry each day. Many terrible things happened this year that were beyond my control. But that’s just it—none of us are in control. It’s truly all up to God and what He has in store for us.

Each year, people are born; people die. New love is found; old love is lost. There is laughter, tears, hearteache and hope. In between all this, is simply life. I pray 2016 brings you more laughter and less tears. I pray this is the year you judge less and listen more. I pray it’s the year you realize what you already have is more than enough. And I pray this is the year, you step out of your comfort zone and realize your true worth. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, let’s make New Year’s revolutions. May you have adventures, may you learn and grow from the mistakes of last year and may this very moment be the greatest one yet. In fact, I hope today is the best day ever. I do believe there’s a revolution waiting to happen in all of us. May the possibility of peace on earth continue to fill our hearts and minds.

Thank you for reading my blog and Happy almost New Year!

xoxo,

Joanie Cox-Henry

 

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