From the Publisher March 2017

Max & Joanne Friedland

In the early 1980’s my family and I lived in Santa Monica, California. Most Sunday mornings, children in tow, we’d walk to our local diner, Rae’s for our usual two plus two plus two. My love affair with hole in the wall eateries must have started with this establishment, which has served up burgers and breakfasts since the early 1950’s. The heavy traffic along Pico Boulevard and the hyperactive curiosity of our four-year-old made this outing an act of faith. The storefronts fascinated him and I was repeatedly implored to describe the magic that went on behind their plate glass windows.

One Sunday Max junior stumped me. Above the freshly painted exterior of a new store hung an eye-catching logo with words “The Westside’s 1st Cellular Telephone Emporium” printed below. The window proudly displayed a multitude of electronic components, adaptors, cables and a selection of cumbersome looking shoulder strapped valises containing a handset that looked like a cordless house phone on steroids.

Never could I have guessed that strange looking device would soon take over our lives and that I would never see my son again without one in his hand. This technology has metastasized its way into every corner of our human experience. As I write, images of Amazonian tribesmen in leather loincloths carrying cellphones come to mind. Um…I wonder what their service is like in the jungle?

This lengthy and rather self-indulgent preamble is composed as an introduction to our special section cover story, Unplugging Camp pages 24-30. For all the advantages cellphones, and other electronic devices have brought, they come at a steep price. I am not only referring to the cost but to the effect that it all has had on children and their need to develop healthy socialization skills. An “lol” will never be an adequate substitute for a cheerful slap on the back. Summer camp operators have realized this and are now offering weeks of digital detox for our nose-on-screen kids.

Finally DAVID magazine wishes to express our sadness at the tragic and untimely passing of 59-year-old racecar driver and two-time breast cancer survivor Gil Ben-Kely on Sunday, February ١٢, ٢٠١٧. He died from injuries sustained in a crash at the Las Vegas Speedway where he worked as a racing instructor. In the October ٢٠١٦ issue of DAVID, writer Lynn Wexler spent time with Gil, capturing in print his passion for racing, his love for family, and his battle with male breast cancer. We at DAVID value the relationships we build with the people — and their stories — that we feature each month in the magazine. Gil will be remembered and missed for his sincerity, vulnerability, kindness and joie de vivre. Our hearts go out to his wife and two children. RIP Gil.

If I don’t happen to see you around town this month, I’ll certainly see you in the racks.

Max D. Friedland

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