Resolution #1


erman Rush (cover and page 33) disproves Mark Twain’s crusty theory that “the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” The spry 81-year-old Ojai resident is a jackrabbit of a man, bounding through the fields of life as if there were a carrot perpetually dangling in front of his nose.

Producer, author, collector, Hollywood insider… Writer Ivor Davis lists a few of Herman’s accomplishments, but his interview focuses largely on the unique relationship Rush shared with “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” Frank Sinatra. He also dips into the octogenarian’s well of experience looking for the elusive answer to the eternal question: What is the secret to longevity? He discovers, thankfully, that pizza, junk food, and trampolines are all part of the equation.

Around this time each year health takes center stage. From November’s feast to December’s gluttony and January’s resolve to turn back the clock, we share these few months with an angel and a devil—our shoulder-sitting companions who at once whisper the health benefits of fudge (“Don’t forget, chocolate increases blood supply to the brain!”) and slap our wrists as we pour another drink (to decrease the risk of heart disease, of course).

Yes, getting healthy is the most common New Year’s resolution. It’s also the most commonly broken one: research says that 60 percent of new gym memberships go unused and that after an early January surge attendance is usually back to normal by mid-February.

There are, however, times in life when the importance of health becomes unambiguous and entirely unrelated to six-pack abs. Take local artist Tesi Sanchez-Halpert (page 13), who had a stroke when she was just 48 and now uses her whimsical welded sculptures to raise awareness about the issue. In life we experience few moments of real clarity—junctures where existence is stripped to its naked essence—and the impetus is often related to death: the threat of it or the loss of a loved one.

The other prime mover is life itself. Two weeks before the champagne corks of 2011 popped, our family grew by eight pounds, six ounces and the immediacy of eating, breathing, and sleeping took over our lives once again. To our new son, aka little brother, nothing beyond health is terribly important. The rest of the Top 10 New Year’s resolution list is meaningless. And truth be told, nothing outside of our familial bubble matters much to me right now either.

Thanks again for tuning in. As we move into 2011 we’ll continue to shape Ventana based on your input, so keep the emails coming.

Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!


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