Story Four: Two years ago at the "every couple of years" reunion, I recounted the Jewelia story to my group of 13 girlfriends from San Marino HS.  It didn't take the collective minds long at all before it was decided to adopt and tweak the Julia concept to become part of our tradition.  Our reunion was being held in Guerneville that weekend and it coincided with the Diva Convention (..quite an amusing coincidence since unbeknownst to us the Diva Convention is a gathering of Lesbian woman and here we were all of us going about being our usual goofy selves with NO clue what we had walked into)!  Well, one of our girls found a shallow pewter bowl that reads "Diva" in the center.  Saturday night, our final night together,  the dish was presented to our gathering with the concept that it would be sent from one girl to another when something was going on in one of our lives (whether good or bad) that should be recognized by our group.  The idea was furthered by the suggestion that when the dish travels, it should be filled with something that would be special for the recipient whether representative of her or of the girl sending it along.  The dish travels at the suggestion of one or another of us via email since we don't all keep in close touch but there's always an overlap of friends who know when one of us needs it.

As to the background of our group, we became friends in 1976 as we entered our junior year at San Marino High School.  One gal thought it would be fun to start a Tri-Hi-Y group and so in ways I can't recall, we gathered ourselves and began what continues now.  For reasons I don't remember we were required to have a name for our group so we chose "The Unmentionables", thinking that we were really quite something!  We weren't the most popular girls in school so several of our members coined the term "rotic" to describe our weekend evenings.  "Rotic" is a romantic evening without the man -- we still use that term to this day! We had lots of slumber parties and shared a particular penchant for green M&Ms! We were very connected with each other's parents and to this day see them when we return to San Marino to visit our own families.  Our reunions are like big slumber parties -- most everyone in their flannel nighties sitting up to all hours gabbing, followed by more of the same in the morning except now we drink lots of wine and champagne instead of Tab! After graduation we all graduated from various colleges, started a variety of careers, all but one married, we've welcomed 28 babies, suffered through 3 divorces, and lost 4 parents, celebrated our milestone birthdays (18th, 20th, 30th, 40th and 50th) and shared our lives without reservation or hesitation.  I can't remember anyone's wedding when at least one of us wasn't included in the wedding party and many of us serve as Godparents for one another's children.  We value our friendships dearly and realize the uniqueness of our group.  During our last gathering someone remarked that in this time when people are so mobile making it very hard to find others who share your background, we have this wonderful little group that continues on as a virtual village, caring for one another as though we were still in the same town. There are 6 of us in Southern California, 2 in Northern California, 1 in Tennessee, 1 in Texas, 1 in Georgia, 1 in Maryland and 1 in Virgina.
In a larger than anticipated nutshell, that's how our Diva dish came into being.

Katie

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I really enjoyed this book. I can't help compare it to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book series in the fact that a group of women/girls share an object that brings them closer together. I also liked the idea that women that were almost polar opposites could come together and set aside differences to be part of the group.

For the most part I like how the book worked, featuring one women for each chapter, mini biographies of their lives and how they interacted with the group. I just wish each chapter was written more from each of their points of view more so than quotes sprinkled into a narration about them. I think it would have been more powerful it it all came right from their mouths. I do realize to link all the women together and keep the story moving their had to be a higher narration though.

I really liked Priscilla Van Gundy, who only joined because her husband asked that the women allow her to join when they bought the necklace from him. She didn't want to at first and then eventually realized she should give it a try and had a most wonderful experience. I really liked seeing how all the women knew each other and how they ended up being in the group.

I also was very pleased to see they did more with the necklace than just wear it, they had several fundraising events and also got great joy out of sharing the necklace with people they encountered in their everyday life. The people that got the chance to wear it were so excited and there are even testimonials of their experiences with the necklace!

This is a wonderful feel-good book about women that enhanced each others lives and helped their community in the process. I'm less than half their age but I still enjoyed it and could identify with it.

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