Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Monday, April 30, 2012

Classy Lassies

Even when all I really want to do is write, sometimes life beckons me away from the back room and my laptop. It certainly did this past week.

Last Tuesday night the Colville Branch AAUW (American Association of University Women) hosted its annual Scholar Recognition night. Our theme this year was "Your Vote Counts." Jackie McGregor and Sharon Ketchum (see top photo, left to right) dressed in suffragette outfits and read excerpts from Alice Duer Miller's 1915 tract, "Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times." I also read a brief piece from that book, which is free on The Gutenberg Project.

Alice Duer Miller studied mathematics and astronomy at Barnard College. She became known as a campaigner for women's suffrage and published a brilliant series of satirical poems in the New York Tribune. These were published subsequently as Are Women People?. These words became a catchphrase of the suffrage movement. She followed this collection with Women are People! (1917). Her name appears in the very first issue of The New Yorker as an "advisory editor". Classy lassie, indeed.

Then yesterday I enjoyed a Sunday sojourn to Spokane. A friend and I dined at the Davenport Hotel Tower's Safari Room and took in the Spokane String Quartet at the historic Fox Bing Crosby theater. Kendall Feeney (bottom photo, grinning to the right of me) performed as the featured pianist. Kendall went to a special accelerated sixth grade class with my son, Steve Elders, in Long Beach, California, back in the 1960s. She is a member of the piano faculty at Eastern Washington University and director of the EWU Contemporary Music Ensemble. She's nationally recognized as a leading pedagogue of the Taubman approach to piano playing.

The highlights of the program were "Carolina Reveille," modern variations on the basic motif of the old 1922 song, "Carolina in the Morning," and "Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67," by Dmitri Shostakovich.

A few days with such classy lassies has renewed my spirits so that I can continue to read stories for Not Your Mother's Book: On Travel, and solicit contributions for the other volumes in that series, especially for On Women. Dahlynn McKowen, who herself is class personified, has posted a June 1 deadline for the latter and an August 1 deadline for the former.  See submission guidelines here:

And for more tips on writing for this series, see the current WOW Principles newsletter here:

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