Victoria’s Secrets: My extended family

Victoria's Secrets
Taping “Dan’s Papers Palm Beach Roundtable” at The Colony Hotel with (l. to r.) Dan Rattiner, Jane Hanson, Bill Boggs and Jane Rothchild.

It’s very special when friends become extended family.

Launching Dan’s Papers Palm Beach has transplanted me into a new world and allowed me to make new friends there who have become like family. They embraced me, making me feel welcome and giving me joy to be there.

In addition to writing my weekly column, I host my Power Women podcast. This week, I interviewed old and dear friend Judge Judy Sheindlin, who is like family, about our growing up in Brooklyn and her new, entertaining streaming TV show “Judy Justice.” Listen to the podcast at podcasts.schnepsmedia.com/2022/02/17/judge-judy-sheindlin/.

I’m also now hosting a TV show, “Dan’s Papers Palm Beach Roundtable,” with Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Jane Hanson. The show will soon be streamed across all of our media’s websites that reach nearly 10 million page views every month.

We have had such fun doing it and I’m so grateful to Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman in Westhampton for becoming the sponsor of the series, which we are taping at the beautiful, elegant and iconic Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.

But, of course, it’s the guests who make the series great!

Taping “Dan’s Papers Palm Beach Roundtable” at The Colony Hotel with (l. to r.) Dan Rattiner, Jane Hanson, Bill Boggs and Jane Rothchild.

This week, we interviewed my favorite friend, the indomitable and brilliant writer Dan Rattiner, the founder of and now contributing editor for Dan’s Papers.

He and I bonded when Josh and I bought Dan’s Papers in September 2020. 

I had admired him for decades from a distance and when we closed on the purchase, my first request to the seller Richard Burns was, “Can I meet or talk to Dan?” I wanted to tell him, “I will take good care of  your baby.”

Dan had created his paper as a 20-year-old kid living with his parents who owned a pharmacy in Montauk. Rather than work there, he decided to start a community newspaper.

Our lives were almost parallel in that he wrote every story, he sold every ad and he distributed it locally in Montauk, now 63 years ago. 

Ironically, I started The Queens Courier in my living room in 1985 with John Toscano, a retired political editor from the New York Daily News who had started a weekly newspaper in Astoria, where he lived.

On Ted Vassilev’s boat with artist Clarence James, Ted, Adele, Chris, Dan and Derek.

We wrote every story, took every photo and sold every ad. John’s son Louis delivered every paper.

I vividly remember our first issue in May 1985. After hours of working with the typesetter/designer, we finally drove to Long Island City at 1 a.m. to watch the paper come off the presses. 

As we entered the massive press room, smelling of ink and chemicals, we took our layout boards into the camera room. We watched as they “shot” each page, creating a plate that was then transferred to the massive presses. It felt like time stood still until they brought us the first run of our “baby.”

To my shock and dismay, the picture of a newborn baby we had chosen to represent the birth of our first issue was printed as a black blob. I immediately screamed out over the din of the presses, “STOP THE PRESSES,” and they did!

Fortunately, the baby photo was in the back seat of our car. We retrieved it and ran back to the camera room, where the printers reshot the photo, made a new plate and replated the presses. About an hour later, they said, “Well, lady, are you satisfied?”

With a proud smile on my face, I said “yes,” and then off went the rumbling, noisy presses running at full speed!

Donna Schneier (c.) with Dan and Chris at the Antique and Art Fair. 

By 3 a.m., I was home sleeping with a smile on my face.

We did it!

Fast forward, and I was so excited to learn that Dan totally has the same sense of fervor and passion for community journalism that I do.

On our first call, we immediately bonded and, to my delight, he invited me to his and his wife Chris Wasserstein’s charming Easthampton home perched high on a hill overlooking Gardiners Bay.

We have since become fast friends, and I am happy that Dan is still involved with the paper, writing a weekly column and more for our Dan’s subscription newspaper filled with his genius ideas and thoughts. 

He visited me while staying at his Manhattan friends Adele Fuchsberg and Dr. Derek Enlander’s home in Palm Beach.

I met Peter McCracken, a top real estate broker in Shelter Island for Corcoran, at a Palm Beach restaurant. 

While there, Jane and I invited Dan to join us for a taping of “Dan’s Papers Palm Beach Roundtable,” where we were also interviewing iconic broadcaster extraordinaire Bill Boggs, who is an author, lecturer and raconteur, with his partner, Jane Rothchild.

Jane had been a producer of The $10,000 Pyramid TV show after beginning her career with Johnny Carson. She is now with Brown Harris Stevens, living in Easthampton, Manhattan and Palm Beach, that I now call the “Golden Triangle.”

During the interviews, we all laughed as they each recalled special memories, but nothing topped Bill’s graphic and dramatic telling of John Belushi’s visit/interview on his TV show. 

What fun it was to do this interview and five other shows, as well. Stay tuned — more to come!

You will be able to stream the shows across our media outlets, as well as iTunes and Spotify. 

To my delight, our newest media outlet, Dan’s Papers Palm Beach, has been a great success in this picture-perfect piece of the world and has introduced me to many new friends that feel like family in my adopted city. 

What a joyous time!

Eric Lemonides, co-owner of Almond, with Dan and Chris.

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