Monday, June 26, 2017

Wilma and Estelle

I was wandering the halls of the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, a.k.a. the GA, when I heard a couple of women in a conversation with someone about where to eat in the center. I caught up with them to ask them if they had learned anything useful, and I had the privilege of meeting Wilma and Estelle - two delightful ladies who belong to a UU church right here in New Orleans. They asked if I would like to join them while they tried to find the food court.

Wilma bragged about being 81 (and if I do say so myself, she looked pretty youthful, wouldn't have guessed it). She whispered to me that Estelle is 95 but didn't want people to know, then added, "I don't know why I'm whispering. She is deaf as a post." Estelle certainly didn't look 95. Both were decked out, definitely not the typical Midwestern women I am used to being around. Jewelry, makeup, coifed hair, although how they managed the hair in this climate is beyond me! Every morning, I fix my hair in the hotel room, think it looks great, and by the time I have arrived at the restroom at the Convention Center, I all but scream when I look in the mirror! What happened?

So anyway, Estelle, Wilma and I meandered towards this hypothetical food court, which seemed ever out of reach. Estelle walked over to a table where a man sat alone. She yelled, "HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!" Then she and the gentleman started talking at the top of their lungs to one another. Wilma suggested we have a seat, because she knew this was going to take a while. She said the guy is deaf, too, so it would take them a bit to get through their conversation.

Wilma gave me her history while we waited for Estelle to return. She was originally from New York City (I detected the accent), then moved to Urbana, Illinois, home of the University of Illinois, where she and the man she married were both educated. Her husband became a college professor, had taught at Indiana University in Bloomington at one time, then DePaul University in Chicago. He retired from there and they moved to New Orleans for their golden years, a place she obviously dearly loves. Her husband passed several years ago.

Finally Estelle was done with her conversation, then brought her friend over to our table to meet both of us, and after much shouting, introductions were complete.

The three of us continued our wandering towards the food court. It became obvious that it was too long a walk for Estelle, so my new friends headed back, while I went on towards the court. We parted, said we hoped to run into one another at the Sunday morning service, and we were on our way. I do so regret that I didn't get a picture of my new friends. Maybe I will run into them today, in the midst of the 4,000 people who will be attending the service this morning. If I do, I will get a picture if they will allow - and something tells me they would LOVE to have their picture taken.

I enjoyed meeting them, and I think the feeling was mutual.

Prologue: I didn't see them Sunday morning. Since Wilma, obviously a sharp shopper, told me there would be bargains in the bookstore right before the convention closed, I went there in the hopes of running into them. But alas, they were not to be found. But I got a few good bargains. :)