Melinda was the keynote speaker at “Monumental Memories,” a regional meeting of the Red Hat Society in Washington, DC, at the Gaylord Resort, on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 7 pm. The theme of her talk was, “You’re Never Alone.”
And at the end, Melinda put up this photo of a wall in Northampton, MA, taken by Susan Kravitz. It’s real–not photo-shopped!
In the audience that evening was Sylvia Mackey, an old college friend of Melinda’s featured in Chapter 4, “Good for What Ails Us.”
Football fans in the audience immediately recognized the name John Mackey–Sylvia’s husband–as a star tight end for the Colts (when they were in Baltimore). In her talk and in the book Melinda recounted Sylvia’s struggle (“Seeking Ways to Find People“) to regain a sense of normalcy by adding new consequential strangers to her convoy after John was diagnosed with Pick’s disease–a rare and progressive form of dementia.
Over 600 women were there from all over the country. They applauded Sylvia and loved the wall photo, too, especially when Melinda donned her own leopard-trimmed red fedora. You’ll find more Red Hatters in the Consequential Stranger Collage.