The Twentieth Century Literary Club met April 22 at the beautiful home of Amy Heine. Upon arriving, ladies were greeted by hostesses Amy Heine, Lois Heine, Lynn Shelfer, Olivia Meador and Pam Ames and then treated to a tour of the newly redesigned and decorated home. Amy’s home was of special interest, because at one time it was the home of past club member Eleanor Jones. The members were excited to be making new memories in this special home.
Following a blessing given by DeAnna Smith, a delicious meal of mixed green salad with citrus vinaigrette, homemade shepherd’s pie and warm croissants was served with water, tea or moscato lemonade followed by a seasonal Easter Oreo pudding cup. A creative bag of white chocolate “Bunny Bait” was the perfect favor for the evening.
President Jolaine Konstantinidis chaired the business meeting, shared warm Easter and birthday wishes to members, and expressed gratitude to the hostesses for the wonderful meal and evening. Following roll call and the reading of the minutes, the Scholarship Committee shared that the club’s recipient will be announced at a later date. Pam Ames explained that the November meeting will be held on Nov. 18 this year at a site yet to be determined.
In line with the year’s theme of “The Heroic Women of World War II,” Shelly Baumann presented the evening’s program on Hedy Lamarr, known at one time as the most beautiful woman in the world. Hedy Kiesler was born in 1914 into a life of wealth and privilege in Vienna. Her father always encouraged her to develop an inventive, problem-solving mind. She quit school and joined the theater at age 16. Her beauty and talent attracted Austrian arms dealer Fritz Mandl and they married when she was 18; afterward he insisted that she end her career and concentrate on being his wife. The marriage ended shortly thereafter and she set off for Hollywood, arranging to sail on the same ship as MGM producer Louis Mayer. He offered her a contract if she would learn to speak English and adopt a last name that did not sound German, as the situation between Germany and the United States was worsening. She arrived in Hollywood and began her career. Inventing was a hobby for her, and she even worked with Howard Hughes on an instant fizzy soda cube.
On Sept. 17, 1940—while the British were evacuating children to Canada—the convoy was unbelievably torpedoed, resulting in the death of 77 children. Hedy began attempting to develop a remote-controlled torpedo to use against submarines; she began working with George Antheil, a composer and pianist who also was talented at breaking codes and synchronizing. Hedy’s original idea was that if a radio transmitter and receiver were synchronized to change their tuning simultaneously, they could not be jammed. In 1944, the Navy rejected their invention. However, it was used successfully in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis and later in cellphones. Hedy Lamarr felt frustrated because her intelligence and her many inventions were overlooked because of her beauty. In 1977, she received the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Viktor Kaplan Medal in 1998 from the Austrian Association of Patent Holders and Inventors. Hedy Lamarr continued inventing until the end of her life. She died in 2000 in Casselberry, Florida, at age 85.
Books suggested for reading are the Three Red Princess Mysteries: Flower Net, Dragon Bones and The Interior by Lisa See and The Rule of Law by John Lescroart.
The annual club picnic will be May 20 at Connie Bateman’s home. Club members are to bring salads, and officers are to bring desserts and beverages.
Ladies present were Pam Ames, 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, Lynn Shelfer, Olivia Meador, DeAnna Smith, Linda Waldron and Linda Williams.