The Twentieth Century Literary Club met at the gracious country home of Heather Prevatt on Feb. 25. Ladies were welcomed by hostesses Jolaine Konstantinidis, Michele Keen and Heather into a home beautifully decorated as a continuation of the Chinese New Year celebration that lasts two weeks and had just ended on the 19th of the month. Appetizers and assorted beverages were offered as everyone visited.
Following a blessing given by Irene Pooser, a wonderful dinner of Chinese chicken vegetable soup, spring rolls, Chinese pork dumplings and cucumber and hummus bites was enjoyed by all. A delicious dessert of apple dumplings was the perfect ending for the meal. The color red, oranges, spring rolls and dumplings all symbolize good luck in China and were present in the evening’s presentation. The hostesses shared that they were wishing everyone a Happy New Year with health, happiness and good fortune.
President Jolaine Konstantinidis chaired the meeting and opened by expressing gratitude to those who shared hostessing duties with her for the evening. A lovely card from Betty Aaron was circulated. Betty and Phyllis NeSmith became Honorary Lifetime members of the club this month, joining Frances Pooser and Dorothy Sellers to be honored as such. The roll call, minutes and updated treasurer’s report were read.
Our annual scholarship check is due by the end of March to the Education Foundation. Scholarship committee members Olivia Shelfer, Debbie Hackney and Amy Heine will begin their deliberations when applications are received.
Michelle Potter then presented her program on pilot Jacqueline Cochran following the year’s theme of The Heroic Women of World War II. Cochran was born in Florida as Bessie Lee Pittman in 1906; her actual place of birth and childhood situation vary by sources. There is agreement that she eventually became one of the most outstanding pilots in history and important in the outcome of World War II. Around 1920, at a very young age, she married Robert Cochran and had a son who died at the age of five. From the time the marriage ended she chose to become Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran and became a talented hairdresser, eventually moving to a prestigious salon at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. Eventually she established a very successful cosmetics business with the guidance of her second husband, wealthy Floyd Bostwick Odlum.
After riding with a friend in an airplane, she quickly developed a fascination with aviation, learning to fly in three weeks and earning a commercial license within two years. Her true obsession was in racing; she set more speed, distance and altitude records than any other pilot in history. As World War II began, she became instrumental in the organization and training of women pilots, freeing male pilots for combat assignments. She received numerous awards for her efforts including the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat award given in our country. Her efforts truly made a difference during World War II. After the war, she joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was given three awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross before her death in 1980.
Books suggested for reading were “Coming Home” by Rosamunde Pilcher, “Lost Lake” by Emily Littlejohn, “Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny, “The Manhattan Series” by Willa Thorne, “Where the Crawdad Sings” by Delia Owens, “We Were the Lucky Ones” by Georgia Hunter, “The Mrs. Entwhistle Series” by Doris Reidy and “Educated” by Tara Westover.
Ladies present were Connie Bateman, Shelly Baumann, Rosanne Collins, Ruth Dunn, Debbie Hackney, Amy Heine, Lois Heine, Michele Keen, Jolaine Konstantinidis, Cynthia Mizell, Pat Moore, Michelle Potter, Irene Pooser, Heather Prevatt, Sylvia Reinhart, DeAnna Smith, Linda Waldron and Terri Womack.