Another Reflection

When your staff writer called at the beginning of December to ask me for an interview for your weekly "Reflections" article, I was delighted.

I am a fervent admirer of good journalism, which I believe your paper stands for, having been for over 40 years an avid reader of the New York Times.

My own life and careers as fashion designer and journalist in Vienna, my native city, and in New York City in my own couture salon, makes me newsworthy as an example that older people can be still very active, at least very creative, and even start a new career, in my case: writing.

When this article appeared on Dec. 20, I was shocked by some points which gave a distorted reflection:

I thought the headline was rather macabre; I don't think that the obituary of my first husband, whom I divorced so many years ago, as appropriate headline material for my story.

The implication that my second husband married me, when my business was already flourishing, is incorrect: I married Harry Exton when we were both poor as church mice at the beginning of the struggle to establish my later very successful business. I was also not "forced" out of business but rather I closed my shop when business was financially at its best. In my opinion, this is a good lesson for every entrepreneur: to know when to stop.

Furthermore, I had many physical handicaps to overcome. I was 1 1/2 years in a wheelchair in great pain after a mugging which broke my hip; but, I was never paralyzed.

In spite of my age, I came out of retirement, inspired by my old craft: journalism, to write again my "Alphabet for Positive Living." The little volume I wrote and designed shows also that a chronologically old person can defy stereotypes and stay positive and creative. This is the message I wanted to give in my book.


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