I sat at one of my favorite spots in town, Frank and Albert’s for lunch.

In a corner of their sunroom. One of the spots that surely is reserved for me during business days, as the staff knows that I work and type on my phone or laptop as I eat my salad of the day, alone with a glam of chardonnay.  Surrounded by a heavy foliage full of roses, and the beautiful geometrical won grid designed after Maestro/Architect and Visionary Frank Lloyd Wright,  I had a one-n-one chat with one of the loveliest personas in town.

Interior Designer, artist at heart and fabulous writer, our Barbara Kaplan

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Here I am with our dear Barbara Kaplan during the annual VYTal Affair annual gala to benefit our Valley Youth Theater where my husband Gary and myself were Honored. This was days after the editorial was published and I can be so thankful to her for capturing most of my life in one page.

The conversation slotted for one hour, lasted more than that, much more. She had told me, few weeks back, very kindly (as she always is), that she had been requested by the magazine Editor-In-Chief the lovely Betty McRae, and the publisher to write a story/interview, in one of her columns on TRENDS Magazine.

The cover of the magazine. On the cover; Phoenix Theatre celebrates 100 years. Centennial Chairs: (R) Sandy Mcgruder, Michael Barnard (Producing Artistic Director), Maja Langbein and Nan Howlett (R).

The magazine is produced by Trends Publishing under the vigilance and creativity of Publisher Bill Dougherty. Who has become institution and a true Icon in our community when it comes to everything of high society and fabulousness (If.You.Ask.Me),  the editorial was called for. Yep! An editorial about me, and a my life.


I even got an introduction in “La Dolce Vita” (The Sweet Life) established column by Bill Dougherty, the publisher, who has a sarcastic humor about our friendship. I treasure his friendship very close to my heart. He had seen this town and state flourish and be where it is today. Thank you Bill (sorta’)


Listen to this, … I got myself ,…A one page interview!

She mentioned she is writing now a “Heart to Heart Inner-View” interview  during a luncheon where we ran into each other, and then the e-mail came thru my inbox.

We later sat inside and close tot he bar to record the candid moments

As you know,  my schedule is quite busy these days as I am head-on (should and all) to chair in solo, but with a wonderful committee the annual ARTreagous gala. One that will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Scottsdale Musuem of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), and one that I decided to change to names to Starry Night, and even program by starting the Herberger Arts Awards and us our own local talent through the celebration.

By the way, shameless pitch on my own blog,.. You should join us,…this is hew web site to purchase tickets; https://scottsdalearts.org/fundraising-events/

Since the interview was requested via email, I called.

I absolutely had to have a face-to-face with her, as I am a believer the interviews should be done face-to-face as you get the essence of the other person, in addition to get their energy as an inspiration to write. So, I asked for lunch!

A man for all seasons
The editorial itself, so appreciative to the team at TRENDS. I am now a one page kinda guy in this very admired and loved local publication.

The time flew by and I realized that I had a meeting to get to, so we spend few more moments together, walked inside the bar and took one final picture together. She asked me, with that Barbara tenderness, if I wanted anything off the record, and I said;

“No, I am the same person I was and I think will be. This life is a passage, and we are here to learn. Nothing I am should be shameful, I already went through that when I came out”.

The editorial hit the stands and my friends and family called.

Yesterday I had coffee with my brother-from-another-mother Rodney Riley, at Neiman’s Marcus’es (I love that) new Cafe, and the staff pointed fingers on me;

-“That’s the guy who gives back!”

Said one of the waiters. To someone who came here with almost nothing, that recognition means the world to me. Today, I am giving back to this community that received me with open arms.

Thank you Arizona.

Always in style,

Oscar ~

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