Author’s Coffee Part II: On Thursday, February 22nd, Vera Blum hosted Authors’ Coffee at which SUWC member Ulla Morris-Carter talked about her book, Rivers of My Life. And what a life it has been! Ulla related in vivid details her memories of growing up in Dusseldorf, Germany, during the Second World War – the death of her father, nights spent in bomb shelters, and being sent away as a young girl to safety in the countryside. Those in the large group attending the talk marveled at the vividness of those childhood memories. Ulla read excerpts from her book, and described her travails after moving to Cairo to pursue new opportunities in the 1950s, her marriage to American journalist (Joe Alex Morris of the New York Herald Tribune), the birth of three children and subsequent moves to Lebanon and Greece. In 1979, during the Iranian Revolution, her husband, then working for the LA Times, was shot and killed in Tehran. The tragedy sparked Ulla’s move to the U.S. Meanwhile, Joe Alex Morris is remembered in an annual memorial lecture awarded at Harvard by the Nieman Foundation to an American overseas correspondent. Ulla has copies of her book if you are interested in purchasing a copy. Her contact information is in the Redbook. Thank Ulla for sharing your story with us.
Author’s Coffee is a great opportunity to meet wonderful writers. This section is led by Teresa Judd and Andrea van Niekerk. Please read the Preview newsletter for more details and RSVP information. Enjoy a cup of coffee and hear authors read, share thoughts and discuss their books.
Thursday, March 15th, at 1:30 pm, at the home of Susan Z.
We will be privileged to hear from Professor Robert C. Gregg on his book Shared Stories, Rival Tellings. Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered kindred religions-holding ancestral heritages and monotheistic belief in common-but there are definitive distinctions between these “Abrahamic” peoples. Shared Stories, Rival Tellings explores the early exchanges of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and argues that their interactions were dominated by debates over the meanings of certain stories sacred to all three communities. Professor Gregg shows how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interpreters–artists as well as authors–developed their unique and particular understandings of narratives present in the two Bibles and the Qur’an. Gregg focuses on five stories: Cain and Abel, Sarah and Hagar, Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, Jonah and the Whale, and Mary the Mother of Jesus. As he guides us through the often intentional variations introduced into these shared stories, Gregg exposes major issues under contention and the social-intellectual forces that contributed to spirited, and sometimes combative, exchanges among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Thursday, April 19th at 1:30 pm. Location pending.
Professor Jim Campbell from the History Department will talk to us about his latest book. Professor Campbell works in the field of public history, studying how societies tell their histories and how those narratives change over time. In particular, he works on the history of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, focusing on Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. In interviewing a local resident, Florence Mars, on her role in the movement (now featured prominently in the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum), he discovered an extraordinary photographer reminiscent of Eudora Welty. Her photographs will be published for the first time in a collection titled Mississippi Witness, of which Professor Campbell is co-editor.
Mid has been a member of the Stanford Women’s club for so many years we have lost count. She came to Stanford for the first time, in 1962, for a summer session. When her family returned in 1966, they bought a ivy covered “fixer-upper” home on campus. Her husband did most of the repair work himself. She wasn’t expecting to stay as they had previously moved every few years including Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and Western Reserve.
Mid was raised on a farm in Illinois and went to a one room school house for grades K – 8. She grew up with five sisters and one brother. She recalls how they had a wash house and once a week was laundry day. They boiled water to clean the clothes and used a wringer washer before hanging everything to dry on clothes lines. In the winter, the clothes would be frozen stiff.
She remains close to her family. Every three years they have big reunions with all of the siblings, spouses, children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Incredibly, all her sisters, except one, are still living. Her big sister, Lillian, is 102. Sadly, one sister passed away a couple years ago at 96 and her only brother died in a farming accident when he was 49.
In 1970, Mid met Dallas Manning in the Stanford Mother’s Club. They are still good friends sharing interests in crafts and cooking. For years, they were part of the Medical Faculty Wives (now defunct) that used to make beautiful quilts of embroidered scenes at Stanford and raffle them off for Medical School scholarships. Dallas remembers commenting that the quilts would look better framed with fabric rather than appliqueing the squares and lo and behold, she was recruited to do the framing. They also had fun together making things for the annual Mother’s Club boutique. Mid and Dallas co-chaired the children’s table at the annual Chrysanthemum Tea held at Syntex. Another highlight was an annual fashion show with football players as models.
Among other talents, Mid makes a great jam. She brought her apricot jam recipe to the Mother’s Club because Dave Packard always gave them apricots from his orchard. He left the Mother’s Club in his will and they still receive many lugs of apricots each year. Mid directed the process for decades and only recently stopped overseeing the jam making.
Mid also volunteered with the Bechtel International Center for a long time. She remembers preparing hot lunches, with dessert, that would sell for 50 cents. Groups of international students and scholars would meet Americans for 8 weeks of discussions on different topics.
Mid and Dallas’ friendship represents the best part of our club. The reason to belong is to meet interesting people, find common interests and enjoy spending time together. Thank you to Dallas and Mid for sharing these memories with us. Happy Birthday 100th to Mid!
Our February program, co-sponsored by the Humanities Department, will take place Tuesday evening Feb. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m in the Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa. Bruce Cain, Stanford Prof. Of Political Science and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the Great West, will share “A Trump Retrospective: MAGA at the One Year Mark”. The talk begins at 7:00pm with time for questions and answers. Light refreshments will be served before and after.
There is no charge. We need an estimate of attendees so please RSVP to Lou Ann Glader at email@example.com or 650-858-1335. Friends and family are welcome. Looking forward to seeing many of you at this very interesting evening.
Bruce E. Cain
SUWC kicks off the New Year with an Italian Wine Party on Sunday, January 21. We will all raise our glasses to honor Lucky and Walt Harrison, for hosting many past wine tastings. Our club has been fortunate to have Lucky as a member for more than 50 years. Lucky served as co-President with Margaret Green in 2004-2006. She drove to Stanford, from Schenectady, New York, in 1965, with her husband and four young boys. They moved into their house on San Francisco Court — the site of many good tastes and toasts. Lucky recalls it was an exciting time when Stanford was growing quickly and there were 300 new families on campus. Her street had more than 30 kids. At the invitation of her neighbor, Barbara Hultgren, she promptly joined SUWC and the PTA.
Lucky has been especially supportive of children in many ways. Before getting married she taught first grade after getting a Master’s degree at Cornell, thanks to a surprising Ford Foundation Fellowship. She served as a docent at the Cantor Art Center for over 35 years including the ten years when the museum was closed after the 1989 earthquake. Docents visited schools to teach art. Over fifty years ago, she started having a Fourth of July parade in her neighborhood, featuring children on their decorated bikes and trikes and followed by treats and drinks. This parade still happens annually and draws families together. And in case you wondered, her parents named her Lucille. She got the name “Lucky” at a sleep away camp when she was ten. Her favorite wine is a Sauvignon Blanc.
Happy 101th Birthday to Margaret Weissenbuth!
Some things are so good they are worth repeating! Join me in wishing Margaret a very happy happy 101st birthday. She is pictured here with my daughters Allison and Rachael and her neighbor Linda. Her home was filled today with family and friends.
Margaret was born December 30th, 1916. This incredible woman joined SUWC when she came to Stanford in 1950 with her husband Mitchell Weissbluth, a physicist that helped create the first medical linear accelerator. Two SUWC members Haillie Spurr (1946) and Eda Luck (1947) have been in our club longer. Margaret taught elementary school children for many years until she retired in 1983. In the summer you may find her at the Stanford Campus Recreation Center pool where she has been swimming since it opened 1962. Helen Lieberman and Margaret are both charter members of SCRA. Margaret welcomes visitors at her home on Pine Hill Road. She enjoys SUWC club activities as well as Scrabble, crosswords, going out to lunch and daily walks. You can find her contact info in the RedBook to make a date with her. She inspires us with her curiosity, knowledge and energy.
May friendship warm your heart and homes. Your volunteer board led by Presidents, Ellen and Ronna, wish all joyous holidays. Continue reading
Florence joined our club in 2013 after being introduced by Joan Mansour and Betty Cohen. She enjoys being part of the French Conversation, Great Decisions and Chop Chop (hands-on cooking) sections. After studying painting and photography in Paris 25 years ago, Florence moved to the Bay area with her family 12 years ago. She describes her paintings as full of life and joy. She shared “My enchanted gardens are filled with beautiful flowers and fruitful seeds. I also represent emblematic animals like roosters, peacocks, owls or butterflies. I am passionate about bringing joy and hope through painting into our troubled world.” Besides her studio work, she has been painting about 80 murals at low income schools, from South San Francisco, to East Palo Alto, San Jose and more, in the past 7 years. If you stop by Cafe Borrone you will see her latest paintings exhibited in December.
Music as been a popular section for decades. Trudy Roughgarden joined SUWC in 1972, and as a pianist herself, was attracted to this group. From 1987 – 2009 she co-chaired with Sylvia Whitcher and now she leads it on her own.
Trudy shared the music section is influenced by world events. She remembers meeting in 2001 shortly after 9/11 and how they were consoled by lovely music. All performers generously donate their time and club members host at their homes.
Recently, the music section had an especially nice event with guests from Japan. Talented SUWC member Junko Nakauchi played the shamisen, Saeko Araki sang and Suzu Kajiwara danced.
Following the performances there was a beautiful fashion show with commentary about the history of the kimono and the different types of kimonos by Kyoko Shiratori. Guests also enjoyed a short talk by Zen monk Jiun Akamatsu.
If you are interested in learning more about Japanese music and dance more please contact Junko. Her information is in the RedBook. She teaches Nagauta-Shamisen at her home and can also connect you with Japanese Traditional Dancers.
Please see the club’s monthly newsletter to learn about the next meeting of the Music Section. Thank you Trudy for all the you do to share music with us.
One of the best reasons to join SUWC is all the interesting women you may meet from our community. Many have lived and traveled around the world including Molly Agras. Molly has been a member for more than 40 years. Her friend Sunny Scott describes her as a “power house of inter-connectivity.”
When her husband joined the Medical School Faculty in 1972, Molly came to Stanford via the U.K having left Great Britain in 1956. For about five years, she served as President of the Medical Wives’ Club which dissolved in the late 70’s. Molly has been an entrepreneur for most of her life. She owned and managed “Courtyard Collection” in downtown Palo Alto, from 1977–1995, where she sold imported furnishings, art and textiles. A particular focus was the flat woven rugs called Kilims. She recalls fondly that there were many small businesses being run by local women. Molly traveled the globe including Europe and Eastern Asia to collect goods. Her talent for interior design led to more work after the shop closed.
Later in life Molly found a passion for jewelry making. She calls her style “classic ethnic” where she incorporates tribal silver with incredibly beautiful beads from many countries. Molly personally invites you to come check out her lovely pieces at a benefit being held at Sunny’s campus home (610 Gerona Road) on Friday & Saturday, November 3 & 4, from 3-5 pm. All profits support worthy causes including the Ecumenical Hunger Program and other not for profit organizations.
If you know another interesting member that you would like to see profiled, please contact Audrey Gold.