Sunday, May 14, 2017

100 Years: Commemorating the Birth of Dr Arthur Zampella

From Negatives Found in a Box Left Behind: Like Fragments of Worthless China
The hands of time have turned a year once more, and I find myself marking the passing of time. Not at the start of another summer, but rather, at the anniversary of my father’s birth. May 15th, marks 100 years since Erminio and Filomenna Zampella welcomed Arthur Dante Louis Zampella into a world that he was destined to make a better place.

That fact he has been a focal point in my world in the decades since his absence is a testament to the profound impact that he had on my life. My dad is the one person in my upbringing that had absolutely faith in my abilities. At various milestones in our time together, he was always my ardent supporter who saw things effortlessly when I could not. He had ultimate faith in me, even when I expressed self doubt. Several days before he left me, he shared with me that one day Idylease would be under my stewardship and all the dreams and aspirations I had for the property would become so. When things looked bleak in my endeavors to realize his prophecy, his words kept me moving forward to its rightful conclusion.

My father represents the legacy that has been drawn over my life. But while a legacy can carry tremendous responsibility, it can also be an unexpected safe harbor—think of a child from a story, who is heartened to find that the older hero-kid is the one who has snuck up behind, to protect him.

Whatever we know about the fate of the dead, it is the tradition of Christians to pray for them and to commemorate them at regular intervals.

I have even come to know my father deeper in his absence. It is not unusual for fate to place me in the path that some inexplicable force brings people to me that knew him at various times in his life. I would venture to say, he has willed certain things to be and I take full advantage of these opportunities. Knowing him thus has given me a way and a role of knowing him in a way that my siblings, did not.

For them, he is the soft-spoken, country doctor—walking slowly in his white bucks, sitting at the kitchen table at night opening mail and reading the Sunday Times. This is the comfortable version of what they chose to remember.

I remember this father, too, and in the 25 years I knew him, he provided an astute example of fathering that I have never lost the memory of or the significance of his gift of making the world a better place: The phone ringing in the dead of night, and my father dressed within minutes with his shirttail hanging out, ready to head out on a medical emergency. He would tell me to grab his bag. He never asked if I wanted to go with him, but rather it was unspoken and understood that I should accompany him.

Sometimes, we would find distraught family members that had been robbed of a loved one. I know that these calls bothered him deeply. Even at an early age, our conversations on the ride home were about the fragility of life.

I saw him in situations that my siblings never saw and for inexplicable reasons, they refuse to acknowledge this. Vivid memories of valiant efforts and fighting to save lives with a defibrillator and adrenaline needle injected directly into a patients un-beating heart. There were triumphs and there were disappointments. It was a metaphor for life and something he wanted me to understand.

My father would often make house calls: at nights, on weekends. When he died, I found drawers full of unpaid bills from dozens of patients, of all backgrounds and standing in life.

I hope that my siblings will tell their children these stories of their grandfather. Perhaps knowing him more fully, they do not have my desire, interest or self awareness to recall in such detail.

The Apostle Paul’s disappointment of bearing witness to the resurrected Christ he had never seen was such, that he spent the rest of his life inhabiting and reconstructing. I like to think my desire is akin to his; I collect details as though reassembling broken china.

If nothing else, I can be custodian of those shattered fragments.

Richard Zampella
Idylease
May 15, 2017


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why I Like Old Things

“Once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever.”

Richard Zampella
Restored American Empire Dresser leaving my workshop at Idylease and resting in it's rightful place in the Historic Landmark located in Newfoundland, NJ

I like to surround myself with old thing. They have character. There’s something to be said for having a sense of history. Old music, old movies, old cars and old furniture to name a few. Old things are just more interesting

There is something special about old things. The incredible craftsmanship, the quality materials, but most precious is the history behind them. If these things could tell stories, imagine what they might share. Everything has a story. Often, many old things end up in the trash. Well, it’s said that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Surrounding yourself with traces of history is a way of connecting to the past. Old things also tell the story of another time. They have an innate history.

I also like to restore things that are forgotten. I like the idea of preserving objects for future generations. Perhaps with the hope that one day someone like me will appreciate that something from another era survives.

As a preservationist, I am a proponent that the past can also educate. Architecture as an example, is a direct and substantial representation of history and place that can teach us about our collective past. By preserving historic structures, we are able to share the very spaces and environments in which the generations before us lived.

Historic preservation is the visual and tangible conservation of cultural identity. There is something about running your hand down a banister that previous generations have held in their hands for centuries. It gives you a intrinsic sense of place and time and a perspective on where you fit in this impersonal world. Old things ares. a part, a small part, but an important part of a much greater story.

Preserving historic buildings―whether related to someone famous or recognizably dramatic―strangers or longtime residents are able to witness the aesthetic and cultural history of an area. Old buildings maintain a sense of permanency and heritage. There is no chance to renovate or to save a historic site once it’s gone. And we can never be certain what will be valued in the future. This reality brings to light the importance of locating and saving buildings of historic significance―because once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever.

About Richard Zampella

Richard Zampella is a preservationists that own and operates Idylease, a former resort hotel located in Newfoundland, NJ. He is also a documentary film producer who has produced and edited several films with writer and director, John Mulholland. His productions include skillful use of archival materials such as film footage, photographs, periodicals and correspondence, narrated by actors including Len Cariou, Sam Waterston, Frank Langella and Liam Neeson.  Production credits include Sergeant York: Of God and Country, Inside High Noon and Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen which was awarded a Crtics’ Pic by the New York Times.

His upcoming projects include a documentary on author/screenwriter Elmore Leonard, the release of the Director’s Cut of Inside High Noon and a BluRay of Margaret Mead’s New Guinea Journal written, directed and produced, written and directed by Craig Gilbert, the creator, writer and director of the landmark PBS series, An American Family.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Skipperdee’s Gets the Nod as Best Ice Cream on Long Island



Yup, it’s official. Skipperdee’s has been selected as the Best Ice Cream on Long Island. The store was nominated for this year’s Bethpage Best of Long Island in the “Best Ice Cream” category and was awarded the top honor on February 21, 2017.

 Together we brought this title to Point Lookout, the place we call home. The official announcement was made after 780,243 votes were cast and tabulated. The public has spoken to name Skipperdee’s Best Ice Cream in the Food section!

Skipperdee’s is located at 26 Lido Boulevard located in Point Lookout and is a celebration of all things sweet and fun. Drop in for a scoop of ice cream in flavors like sweet and salty pretzel or carrot cake, or warm up with an espresso, cappuccino, or other specialty drink. Or stop by for afternoon tea, where they serve hot cups of tea alongside finger-sandwiches and desserts. Bakers work tirelessly to whip up cupcakes and other baked goods like macarons, while classic candies like Goobers and Chuckles await to delight kids young and old.

Richard Zampella worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. He has managed the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel and served as Food & Beverage Manager of the The Essex House Hotel on Central Park South. For 15 years he worked 65 floors high atop Rockefeller Center at the Rainbow Room under legendary restauranteur Joe Baum. In 2010, he created the concept and design for Skipperdee’s Ice Cream Shop in the seaside hamlet of Point Lookout, NY.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Transmultimedia 2016 Video Retrospective



Richard Zampella is a documentary film producer who along with Writer/Director John Mulholland has created content for Warner Home Video and Paramount Pictures. Among their production credits are Sergeant York: Of God and Country, narrated by Liam Neeson. Inside High Noon narrated by Frank Langella and Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen narrated by Sam Waterston. The later was chosen by the New York Times as a Critics’ Pic in October of 2013.

In early 2017 both Mulholland and Zampella have begin post production on a brand new documentary which explores the life and works of Author Elmore Leonard and his place in the American literary pantheon. The documentary discusses how he started, why he wrote what he did, how he arrived at his lean, terse minimalist style of writing.

Get social with Richard Zampella at: facebook.com/RichardZampella.nyc

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Elmore Leonard Documentary Begins Post Production

Elmore Leonard
Image(s) courtesy of: "The Elmore Leonard Archive, Irvin Department , University of South Carolina Libraries"​


Documentary Writer/Director, John Mulholland has wrapped production on his new feature documentary on "Hollywood's Favorite Writer" Elmore Leonard, and has begun post-production on the film.

The documentary is produced by Richard Zampella , who shot the interviews and will be editing the film with Mulholland. Central to the film, adding depth and resonance, is more than half-an-hour of never-before-seen interview footage with Leonard in which he analyzes and discusses how he started, why he wrote what he did, how he arrived at his lean, terse minimalist trademark.

Elmore Leonard is an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. Among his best-known works are Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Swag, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, and Rum Punch (adapted for the movie Jackie Brown). Leonard's writings include short stories and original screenplays that became the films 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T, as well as the FX television series Justified.

On camera interviews include:

Author, James O. Born, Producer & Writer, Wendy Calhoun, Retired LAPD Sergeant, Cheryl Dorsey Writer, Kate Dries, Author, Rachel Howzell Hall, Author, James W. Hall, Elmore Leonard Children, Peter, Chris, Kate and Jane Leonard, Elmore Leonard Wife, Beverly Leonard, Author and Sports Writer, Mike Lupica, Author, Alphie McCourt, Family Friend and Leonard Advisor, Bill Mertz Family Friend, Eliza Mertz, Author, Friend & Bookstore Owner, Otto Pendler, Virginia Tech Film Studies Professor, Stephen Prince, Bailbondsman, Mike Sandy, Author & Leonard Researcher, Gregg Sutter, Washington Post Columnist and Author, Neely Tucker and Producer & Writer, Graham Youst

Director John Mulholland & Producer Richard Zampella's last film, "Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen"  received a New York Times Critic's Pick which opened in theaters in New York & Los Angeles in 2013 and is currently in distribution nationwide.

Monday, January 9, 2017

On the 25 Year Anniversary: Dr Arthur Zampella

Arthur Zampella, MD
Arthur Zampella, Robert Lax and Barry Ulanov Editors of the Columbia Review in 1938

Arthur Zampella Columbia University
Marks, Zampella, Dr Powell, Warsaw, Ferayorni: Members of the  Pre-med Society at Columbia University in 1938

My dad worked as a tour guide in Rockefeller Center while he was a pre-med student at Columbia University. He knew John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who would ask him about his studies. As a child he would stand me before the tablet in Rockefeller Center and read to me the credo he believed in from a man he knew.

“I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.”

Life is a series of moments – and as time passes some moments are indelibly seared in our memory. Some moment we can plan for, but the ones that hit us on idle Wednesday are usually the most unexpected and significant.

The last time I saw him at the age of 25, I remember wishing he were young and vibrant like the photographs I had seen of him as a young man.

For all intent and purpose, I was raised by the grandfather I never had. Arthur Dante Louis Zampella was born to Filomna & Erminio Zampella in Jersey City, NJ in 1917. I was raised with an appreciation of a different era. The influences of fashion, music and history were from a different time. Something I would not fully appreciate until I grew older.

Time has a way of making you forget some things, but I can recall that moment 25 years ago as if it were yesterday. Standing beside his lifeless body and knowing that whatever life force that made the man I adored stir... was no longer with me or within him.

I dream sometimes that I see a figure in the distance on the grounds at Idylease. I think it is him as my mind is prone to play tricks on me. As I approach, it is not him… but rather a stranger. A painful reminder that he is no longer with me. He did not leave me willingly.

As I sit at Idylease on this eve of this anniversary. The words he spoke to me two days before he left
are still with me. "One day you will own Idylease and your vision for the property will become true."

Most people I speak with that have lost a parent often tell you that there is no such thing as closure, or “getting over it”. Closure would mean forgetting the past and moving forward, For me, the loss itself reinforces my compassion, especially when I see others lose a loved one. Even though you may fill that void, you will never touch, or talk again. It becomes a part of who you are – like where you grew up or remembering reading a good book or a seeing a play.

We should always tell those close to us how we feel about them, even if they have heard it from us before. Tell them why you love them, speak with them like it’s the first time – and the last time.

Moments matter.

- Richard Zampella
On the 25th Anniversary of the Death of
Arthur Dante Louis Zampella

Monday, October 24, 2016

Richard Zampella Announces Skipperdee’s is Nominated for Best Ice Cream on Long Island

Best Ice Cream on Long Island


POINT LOOKOUT, N.Y. (Oct. 19, 2016) – Voting has officially begun for Bethpage’s Best of L.I. contest! Richard Zampella, owner & operator of Skipperdee’s in Point Lookout is pleased to announce that his store  has been nominated in the Food Category for the Best Ice Cream on Long Island. Only 15 Ice Cream Stores on Long Island received this distinction in 2016. The contest allows voters to pick a first place winner in each category. The contest allows each individual to vote one time per IP address per day. Please see the categories, nominees, and direct links to vote below; the voting period ends on Thursday, Dec. 15.

FOOD: http://tinyurl.com/hx9ey3f
Best Ice Cream on Long Island: Skipperdees

For the Food Category voting page, visit: http://queenscourier.secondstreetapp.com/l/Best-of-Long-Island/Ballot/Food

Help us take home first place!

About Skipperdees

What do you get when you cross an ice cream shop with a bakery, confectionary, coffee house, and toys? You get Skipperdee’s a celebration of all things sweet and fun. Drop in for a scoop of ice cream in flavors like sweet and salty pretzel or carrot cake, or warm up with an espresso, cappuccino, or other specialty drink. Or stop by for afternoon tea, which takes place each weekday afternoon, where they serve hot cups of tea alongside finger-sandwiches and desserts. Bakers work tirelessly to whip up cupcakes and other baked goods like macarons, while classic candies like Goobers and Chuckles await to delight kids young and old.