SCN’s National Memoir Conference Henfest 130 strong—like relaxing and writing with a group of girlfriends

“Who’s the designer for your blouse?” asks Martha Fleming from San Antonio, Texas.

“Gosh, I don’t know. Go ahead and check the label,” I say, holding up the the inside collar for her inspection. It’s “Connie’s Moon Light.” I bought it at the St. Louis Art Museum boutique right before I left because I thought its crushable fabric would pack well.

Martha has one similar to it and tells me how I can dress it up or down…with black velvet trousers, for instance, and describes an outfit she wore to a wedding.

“Thanks, I need these tips. I’m groping towards some new style or look in my life,” I say. “I’ve sort of been in hiding.”

This all takes place quite easily and casually in the vendor area of the conference. I realize this is what I’ve been missing in my new life in St. Louis. In fact, this has been missing in my life for quite some time, what with the years of commuting after my sister Julia’s death and all.

Throughout the day what I feel over and over is this sense of hanging out with girlfriends who are as ready to give nurture as to receive it. I like the feeling of being held in this community of strong women.

My sobriquet for Texas women? “They can do anything and make you like it while their doing it.”

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