On Wednesday, November 7, Gold and Wise, the Homestead's chapter of the Elder Wisdom Circle ventured out to Manhattan. The occasion was a launch party for the newly-published book The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life. Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, a combination wine shop and bookstore located at 5 West 19th St., hosted the event from 6-8 p.m. Doug Meckelson, founder and president of the Elder Wisdom Circle and co-author of the book, greeted guests and spoke briefly before Diane Haithman, his co-author, a veteran staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, read excerpts.
Attending from the Homestead were the EWC group members Eugenia Lockwood and Ellen Courtright. Isabella Kymer, an original member (who thought up the name Gold and Wise) and third member of the EWC, was not able to make the trip. Also attending were Mary Ellen Quinlan, Coordinator of Volunteers (who is quoted on page XVI of the Introduction); Danah Petit-Lombardi, Coordinator of Activities; Michele Warner, RN; Betty Mitchell, daughter of the late Fran Bischoff another original member whose words appear on the same page of the Introduction; and Kathy Maroko, Volunteer/Facilitator for the group. Jake Lighten, the Homestead Administrator, met up with us prior to the event at the Portfolio Restaurant, across from the bookstore, where we women were enjoying a delightful meal.
Abby Max Limousine's owner, Peter Argiros, who drove the stretch, white limousine, was extremely helpful to us financially and physically assisted with the loading and unloading of our two wheelchairs. We are very grateful to Bob Haverstick from "Never Too Late," a senior dream foundation, whose organization covered half of our expenses. We would also like to thank all those who contributed to our Bake Sale which raised $200 to help defray the cost of the trip.
Eugenia Lockwood felt that "it was a dream that something like this could actually happen! It was a very enjoyable afternoon and evening. It's something that may never happen again... but we hope it will, with the next book!" Ellen Courtright wanted to "sincerely thank all the people who helped make this special event possible." She stated, "Every step of the way was so carefully planned so that we, in our wheelchairs, felt comfortable from beginning to end. No detail was left undone." Jean (Eugenia Lockwood, who can always be relied upon to end the Elder Wisdom Circle letters with a positive comment) added, "Nice things do happen."
The EWC can never adequately express our sincere and deep appreciation to Mary Ellen Quinlan and Danah Petit-Lombardi for working tirelessly for months and never giving up this trip. Their valiant efforts made what might have been viewed by some as almost impossible, not just possible but elegant, comfortable, memorable and a downright fun time for all! Thank you, Mary Ellen and Danah, for making our dream a reality!
Annie's Book Stop, located in Wantage Plaza on Route 23 in Sussex, will be hosting a book signing on Tuesday, December 11. Come meet Jean, Isabella and Ellen; they will be happy to sign your copy of The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life.