Our 79th Smith Day, Great Escapes, was a wonderful success and fun for all. From the “Paris & Milan” room (women’s clothing) to the “Blackwell’s Bookstore” (books), wonderful finds and bargains galore were available to the astute shopper. As always, the Bakery (“French Quarter”) and the luncheon (“A Hillside in Tuscany”) afforded delectable treats. And the “Silk Road” (Silent Auction) was full to the hilt with treasures.
With winter, the Smith Club’s festivities move indoors, and so it was with our labyrinth exploration on November 18 (2010). Eighteen of us met at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, where a nearly full-sized labyrinth printed on canvas was laid out on the floor. Following our “walking” of the labyrinth, we were fortunate to enjoy an hour’s discussion led by M.J. McGregor, friend to many in the Smith Club although a Macalester graduate herself. M.J. supplied numerous visual aids focusing on the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres, where the world’s principal labyrinth was laid into stone in the nave around the turn of the last millennium.
M.J. taught us about the Chartres labyrinth’s history as well as about the development of the labyrinth in general. Many ancient civilizations had labyrinthine forms that were used for meditation, entertainment, and religious pursuits, such as those the Syrians created and those of Roman design in Herculaneum. Fascination with the Chartres labyrinth led M.J. to write her doctoral thesis on experiences people have had when walking it. In that vein, each of the attendees commented on her experience or on thoughts she may have had while walking. As usual with Smithies, it was a thought-provoking discussion. We then adjourned to the Woman’s Club for a delicious dinner and lots of conversation.
On another note, our fall Smith Day event (see the Smith Day link at left) was a great success again this year, enabling our club to subsidize two Praxis internships and make the annual contribution to our endowed scholarship fund which, by the way, is working its way back up to the more than $2 million value it had achieved before the economic slide. Heartfelt thanks go to Smith Day co-chairs Pamela Coleman and Cybel Monson, as well as to our entire group of workers and donors. Peggy Martin hosted a fun wrap-up meeting at her home later in the fall, and when polled, the group emphatically voted to have another Smith Day next year! Even better, we have our co-chairs in place already.
More activities are coming up in the next few months, like a creative, fun beading evening. Bring your old beads or buy new ones to create a fashionable concoction for yourself or someone else. The main attraction, of course, will be just spending an evening with the interesting and, in my view, quite enlightened women from Smith and their friends and family members. We always welcome non-Smith guests to our club meetings and activities. We’ll announce details of this and other events by e-mail, so watch your messages. If you don’t use e-mail, contact me (Betsey–see contact info in Officers link to the left) so you’re sure to be included.
Betsey Whitbeck ’71