Joan Rivers’ Passing Is Personal For Many of Us

By Debra Zimmerman Murphey — The Content Edge

Joan Rivers’ face may have defied gravity, but, sadly, her body did not defy mortality. In what still seems like a shocking turn of events when you consider how vital and mentally fit Rivers was at the age of 81, we are reminded that trailblazers eventually leave us and we owe it to ourselves to understand what they taught us.

Many colleagues and friends might be interested to learn that my husband Maury Tobin’s deceased mom, Ellen, was the first cousin of Sandy Arthur, who was half of the former talent-mining and development duo Irvin and Sandy Arthur, a husband-and-wife team. The entertainment entrepreneurs extraordinaire lived in Beverly Hills, Chicago and New York at various points. They cumulatively managed bookings and clubs and ushered in new talent, particularly comedians and musicians. Irvin represented greats such as Steve Allen, Ellen DeGeneres, Dick Gregory, Peggy Lee, Bill Maher and Barbra Streisand.

But what’s noteworthy now is that Rivers once worked as a secretary for Irvin while she was striving to jettison her career. Irvin, however, found her sense of humor off-putting. He knew she was determined, but there was little means of forecasting that her tenor of jokes would ensure her comic fame for decades, spanning bouffants to extensions. Years ago, Maury conducted some interviews with Irvin and after Rivers’ death, he dug through his audio archives and found an interesting bit from Irvin about Rivers. LISTEN to it here.

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Could Maryland Face a Branding Crisis if the Chesapeake Bay Continues to Decline?

Being a PR professional informs my perspective on a lot of issues, but living with my wife near a tributary in the Chesapeake Bay system has been a rare education. It makes us wonder how the region can both protect and benefit economically from this resource and also, on a larger scale, how brands and marketing are nourished.

Everyone knows that Maryland is famous for its blue crabs – a delicious food enjoyed by many and perhaps the linchpin of the state’s identity, culture, commerce and quality of life. As news reports have emphasized a decline in the crab population over time and higher market costs, there’s an increasing awareness of the fragility of their habitat as well as a focus on how Maryland addresses this problem.

In my interview with biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, we learned about the importance of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), which is vital for the health of the Bay and the survival of the blue crab. This chance encounter near our dock happened while DNR scientists were sampling SAV in the Port Tobacco River as part of a multi-year National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study managed by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

WATCH our video to learn more.