Publisher’s Message – August 2018
My heart is heavy as I sit down to write this month’s message, as the iconic Harriett Lake passed at the age of 96 last month. Harriett was quite simply a living angel among us, and I knew we were all fortunate to be living during her time. The first time we ever spoke was a quick phone call from her, as she wanted to thank me, and The Park Press team, for the work we were doing focusing on “The Positive News That Matters” in our community. She had picked up one of our first issues on Park Ave., and said she wanted to let me know that she’d do anything to help me. She said, “Honey, we haven’t met in person yet, but I know you, and so do many of my friends.” I said, “Well, gorgeous, that’s true, and I’m so grateful for all you’ve done, and continue to do for our great city!” She then asked if she could subscribe to our publication, and also wanted to add five other subscribers. She gave me the addresses, and then said, “How do you want me to pay?” I said, “Oh, that’s not necessary, the great Harriett Lake’s money for subscriptions is not good here.” She busted out a laugh, and said, “You are one of the few people who have ever turned down my money.”
A year or so passed, and I showed up to a fashion week event that was being held Harriett’s daughter Shelly’s art studio. On my rounds, Shelly, who is a creative genius, and I had become casual friends. I wasn’t in the studio for more than two minutes when Shelly greeted me and said, “Mom knows you’re here, and she wants to see you. Come this way.” I turn around a corner, and Harriett’s commanding the professional photographers, and with her typical fashion flare she was “dressed ABOVE the 9’s.’ There is a long line of attendees waiting to take their photo with her. Upon seeing me she turned and said, “Hello gorgeous, come give me a hug!” Ok, typing that just moved me to that very moment. Whew. She made me feel so good, and I felt so honored. She then asked if she could have a picture done with me. I said, “Certainly, I’ll go get in line.” She said, “Darlin’, you’re at the front of the line!”
Harriett’s husband, Hymen, made a fortune in real estate, and Harriett dedicated herself to making a positive difference to approximately 189 different charities and hospitals. Some aligned with her passion for the arts, and she used her love for fashion to enable even more charitable giving. Her name will continue to live on, and so will the efforts of her generous and loving philanthropy. She was an angel among us, and Central Florida is such a better place because she was ours.
As always, thank you for reading The Park Press, and we look forward to the great things to come.