and he said, “son, this world is rough
and if a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
and i knew i wouldn’t be there to help you along…
but ya ought to thank me, before i die
for the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
cause i’m the son of a bitch that named you sue”*
the concept of “being a good man” is somewhat of a moving target. it’s kind of like defining what makes a good song or a good meal. but, in the same way, there are universal truths. things like gumption, honesty, ambition, passion and playing like you have nothing to lose are constants in those who are good at being good men. they are the drivers behind the charisma that attracts us to the broad spectrum of icons like Brando, Bruce, Lincoln, Kennedy, Newton, Michelangelo, Alexander… just as pulse celebrates the ideals that make our lives better, this month we do so in the embodiment of the men we look up to—the man’s man every guy wants to be, and every girl wants to be with.
the men we’re featuring are as different as the career paths they’ve chosen—sports, development, the arts, philanthropy—but the common knowledge each shares is anchored in hard work, a strong constitution, dedication to family and, somehow, looking great while doing it.
director yance ford took a scalpel to the cloak of silence his family has worn for 26 years since his brother william’s murderer was acquitted. the result is strong island. ford’s documentary retraces the crime’s impact on his family and how it affected every piece of their lives, especially when an all-white grand jury declared no crime had been committed. ford’s film is raw and has been stirring the conversation about race and (in)justice since it was released last year. but it’s the courage of ford’s conviction that led to the film’s cutting honesty. to get there, ford had to take a knife to his own fears and in his interview with addie morfoot for our portraits section, he inspires us by sharing his process and probity.
ford’s wisdom is echoed by a foursome who testify to the concept of following through to the end at all costs. MMA champ chris weidman started his career as an underdog and that continues to drive him both in and out of the ring today. tripoli patterson was mostly known as an east end surfer but the art bug caught him and his eponymously named gallery is currently one of the most successful in the hamptons. as captain of the team, carlos mendes led the cosmos through the club’s resurrection and a hell of a lot of wins. and steven dubb joined his father at the helm of the beechwood organization to help the developers become one of the largest on long island. in addition to accomplishing success early on, these guys also stay tight with family and give back to their communities. they spurred our dapper driven, the central theme of this issue and in it they impart the life lessons that guide them.
february, our chilly second month of the year, is also a good time to fantasize. one way might be getting on plane, or at least planning to real soon. for a special section on travel, our favorite travel writers were dispatched in all directions around the globe and reported back on a ripe jet set of compelling exotic destinations—is there any better distraction during a deep freeze than projecting yourself to a foreign place?
other diversions abound in this issue and, since it is 4 degrees as i type, something like -20 with the windchill, i can’t blame anyone for wanting to stay indoors close to the fire. therein is our salve: curl up with our pages and plot your moves for when the chill thaws.
and i think about him, now and then
every time i try and every time i win,*
* “A Boy Named Sue,” Johnny Cash