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Madison Avenue Maxi Hits The Hamptons

Originally Posted: December 04, 2007

Elke Gazzara and Maxi. Photo by Eileen Casey

Sag Harbor - Elke Gazzara gave a reading at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. from her new book, "Madison Avenue Maxi." Accompanied by both her actor husband, Ben, and their adorable sable-covered miniature dachshund, Maxi, Gazzara relayed that she just wants "everyone to know the love of an animal, whether it's a dog, cat, bird, or whatever animal you want." During her husband's illness and hospitalization in California, and through her own medical scare, Gazzara grew strength and comfort from the unconditional love and affection of Maxi, and wanted to honor their treasured canine with a book revealing the travels, trials and ultimate joy Maxi has brought both she and her husband.

The event was sponsored by the Gazzaras' good friend and neighbor of 25 years, Christine Namer, who is involved with "Save Sag Harbor," and felt this first time book signing and reading would be an opportunity to draw people to Sag Harbor to appreciate the availability and character of events put on by small, local businesses involving members of the community. Catered by Sag Harbor Food Pantry Director, Lillian Woudsma, the evening also offered donated hand-made dog cookies made by Namer's sister.

When the real star of the evening was only one years old, Gazzara's daughter gave Maxi to her mother and step-father. Reluctant at first to incorporate a dog into their lifestyle, Gazzara stated "we can't imagine what we would have done without her." Maxi is now ten and seemed quite happy with all the attention perched comfortably on Gazzara's lap.

Ben did the first reading from the book (of the first chapter), and became emotional relaying the scare Elke had with her own health issues while he was away, and what solace and vigilance Maxi provided to her.

Gazzara went on to relate "that when my husband was in the hospital, I would sneak Maxi in, in fact, I would lie, just to get Maxi in to see Ben." Recounting the difficulty of writing a book that took her three years, Gazzara confirms that "the book was written with love for and about Maxi." When asked if animal rights involvement was a new calling for her, Gazzara replied that "I am really enjoying this, and will be doing readings in Los Angeles as well, as I have become active with animal organizations that provide companionship to the sick and elderly."

Gazzara's handmade dog attire was also on display and for sale, with proceeds to benefit the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF).

Gazzara was the first in a series of "Guest Appearances" that will be taking place at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street, Sag Harbor. Kramoris, who has been in business for 32 years, was "thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase artists in our endeavor to Save Sag Harbor, and bring attention to the vitalness of local businesses." Other authors scheduled in the series include Lucette Laguado, Atina Grossmann, and Tom Clavin.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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