By Shoshanna McCollum
They say a diamond is forever, and that silver is symbolic of the tide’s ebb and flow. So in conceiving how Fire Island News might celebrate our 60th anniversary of publication, this collaboration with Fire Island artist Kenny Goodman came together quite naturally.
All summer long Fire Island News has been touting its 60th Anniversary Reader-Contributor Photograph Contest, but up until now no one was sure what the prize they were vying for even looked like. The wait is over as Mr. Goodman finally unveiled the shiny beach bauble, and we could not be any more delighted with it!
Those of you familiar with Kenny’s handcrafted sterling jewelry line know his pendent designs called “Sail the Sea.” This was our starting off point.
“I designed this piece in honor of one of my favorite stories ‘The Little Prince,’” he explained.
French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéy’s classic 1943 poetic novella metaphorically writes of a stranger in a strange land. While we were not aware of Goodman’s inspiration behind the lone sailboat guided by the light of the moon, his story only reinforced the legitimacy of our selection.
“Kenny, can you put a diamond in it?” we asked, not sure what his answer might be. His following understands Kenny is something of a purist in his craft of jewelry making, and is not known for his incorporation of stones. However a diamond is the stone symbolizing 60 years, so we had to ask.
“Why not?” he answered.
Beyond the stone, Kenny went a step further, adding his own special touch, the Roman numerals LX are inscribed on the reverse, with a very subtle diamond symbol. It may not overtly say “Fire Island News, 60th Anniversary” but we know what it means.
The one-of-a-kind commemorative pendant that will be given to the winner of our reader-contributor photo contest is crafted with a genuine diamond of good color and size, handsomely boxed, with an estimated value of $1,500.
A limited number of cubic zirconia replicas are available for sale at Kenny Goodman’s studio while supplies last. This editor absolutely loves hers, and Fire Islanders who enjoy a bit of bling will appreciate it too.
After more than 25 years in business Kenny will be closing the doors of his Ocean Beach jewelry studio at the end of the summer, which is no small feat in this big box store consumer world we have become. And a small paper staying afloat on a barrier island for six decades in a mass-media environment is also in its own way a jewel from a different era. This paper and Mr. Goodman have weathered many storms together, and with one small precious object enduring friendship symbolized is also immortalized.