Monday, December 10, 2012

WRC's Magical Time Luncheon

I had no idea I would love Kitty Kelly so much.  She was simply divine - warm, friendly, and spoke to you like you were already her best girlfriend.  Actually, when I walked in, I went right past her as she looked so different from her publicity photos - much more fresh, current, and dare I say, younger than I expected - really pretty.

Where did I see Miss Kitty?  At the Women's Resource Center's Magical Time Luncheon at Marina Jack.  The luncheon was a pre-Renaissance event leading up to their Renaissance Luncheon this spring.  Kitty was there speaking about her new book, Capturing Camelot: Stanley Tretick's Iconic Images of the Kennedys.

A little about the book....Photographer Stanley Tretick was a dear friend of Kitty's and left her a treasure trove of photos when he died.  He was a major photographer and took many photos during the Kennedy years in the White House, including the iconic one of John John under the president's desk.  In fact, when Stanley was ill, she had the photo framed and hung it on his wall so all who came into his room knew he was that photographer.  An interesting aside, Stanley died almost the same exact time John Kennedy, Jr. died in that plane crash, and his ashes are buried about 100 feet from the eternal flame in Arlington.

Kitty is going to continue to reintroduce and celebrate Stanley's famous photos in her next book, Let Freedom Ring, featuring 250 of his photos on the March on Washington.  She promises to come back to Sarasota to speak about that release.  Yay!

During the Q&A, Kitty said she doesn't know who she will write about next, but her books are all "unauthorized" biographies, not "authorized", like the one Paula Broadwell wrote about Gen. Petraus!

How did the WRC get such a big-time author to speak at their luncheon?  Kitty is a 30-year friend of WRC Executive Director, Janice Zarro.  They met when they both lived in Washington, DC and were members of the International Women's Forum.   Speaking of DC, all proceeds from this book go to the District of Columbia library system.  I like that.

Now, Marina Jack is an interesting place to have a function.  The valet is just as bad as the Ritz.  Long wait coming and going and it really isn't convenient to self-park.  Their banquet room is a little tough to have a function in, as it is long and narrow, with a bit of an L shape.  Kitty did work with this very well though.  She got down off the stage and walked out into the audience so more people could see her and feel more connected to her.   A kind of weird thing - it was self-serve ice tea in plastic cups for your drink.  You literally had to get up and go get it at the ice tea station. Hmmm....I don't think I have ever seen that at a luncheon before.  Not that it is a horrible thing to have to serve yourself or to drink out of plastic, just a little odd for a ladies' luncheon.

Now the positives....the food was really quite good.  Honestly, I was expecting it to be just fine, as I have never had a bad meal there, but it was really quite delish.  Even the dessert, which was cake, was good, and I am not particularly a cake fan.  Guess what - I ate the whole thing!  Of course, the other positive thing is a great view of the marina - so pretty.  I guess you take the good, you take the bad.  Hey, wait - isn't that the theme song from the Facts of Life?

All in all, a terrifically fun luncheon for a terrific organization!  Can't wait until Kitty comes back to town!

WRC Executive Director, Janice Zarro and Kitty Kelly

WRC board president, Renee Hamad

Flori Roberts and Barbara Ackerman

Gayle Guynup with Kitty's book

Scott Anderson, Betty Schoenbaum, and Marsha Panuce

Gila Meriwether and Diane Slattery

Jamie Aymerich and Becky Bolletti

Norma Savin and Heather Dunhill

Helen Kelly and Jane Smiley

Lydia McIntire 

Audrey Coleman

Alexandra Jupin and BJ Creighton

Annette Scherman and Anne Folsom Smith

Stephanie Shaw and Peggy Abt

Cliff Roles and Wendy Dewhurst

Alicia King, Laurin Ripley, and Carolyn Spizzirro

The entree

The dessert

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