Silver Alley Event Hall was the setting for the Twentieth Century Club’s February 20 meeting. Members of the Yearbook Committee shared hostess duties. Following the call to order by President Jean Hamil and invocation by Cal Arnold, members responded to the roll call by naming their favorite book that has been made into a movie. The overwhelming response was the epic book/movie “Gone With the Wind”. The business meeting included an announcement that Alexis Williams, daughter of member Irma Williams and granddaughter of member Barbara Williams, has accepted the club’s invitation to serve as their Yamboree queen candidate in the upcoming race.
Raye White introduced the day’s program, author and screenwriter Jenny Wingfield. Ms. Wingfield was born in Fountain Hill, Arkansas, grew up all over Louisiana, attended Southern State University (now SAU) in Magnolia, Arkansas, and taught language arts and French in Ashdown, Arkansas. She is the daughter of a Methodist minister and much of the material in her critically acclaimed novel The Homecoming of Samuel Lake came from her personal life. She currently resides in Upshur County and is working on a novel.
Ms. Wingfield stated at the beginning of the program that she “always wanted to write”. While living and teaching in Ashdown, she decided she should write what people wanted to read and, it seemed to her, people wanted to read about celebrities. But, there were no celebrities living in Ashdown so she expanded her search to the ArkLaTex area and discovered that Sandy Duncan lived in Tyler. She tracked down Sandy’s family and arranged an interview with her mother. When she tried to sell her article to Scene magazine in Dallas they told her they would be interested….if the interview were with Sandy Duncan, herself. Fortunately, with the cooperation of Sandy’s mother, Ms. Wingfield obtained her interview and sold her story, beginning her writing career. For the next couple years she used her ingenuity to track down celebrities in creative ways, interview them, and have her stories appear in a number of publications. Meanwhile, she was self-studying screenwriting by reading movie scripts and books. Her career as a screenwriter was launched and some of her credits include the films The Man in the Moon and The Outsider, as well as Hallmark Hall of Fame's A Dog Named Christmas, which was the winner of the 2010 Genesis Award. Along the way, she began writing her novel The Homecoming of Samuel Lake but set it aside for a number of years before finishing it and having it published in 2011. In her closing remarks, the author attributed her successful writing career to her determination to be successful and encouraged those with career dreams so persevere until they are a reality. A question and answer session followed where among other things, members learned that most movies are filmed in 4-6 weeks and once screenwriters have sold their scripts they have minimal input into the final production.
At the conclusion of the program, members were treated to a preview of the club’s upcoming project “Tasters Salad Luncheon” on April 17 at the First Methodist Church. Each member had provided one of the three salads they plan to prepare for the luncheon. Each salad was presented in a glass bowl on a table featuring an animal print tablecloth and red roses. Members served themselves from the wide selection of vegetable, fruit, grain, pasta, gelatin, and meat salads as well as peach tea.
Committee hostesses included Bridgett Fowler, Bettye Lou Smith, Abby Stewart, Raye White. Project chairman Melinda Smith assisted the hostesses.
Those attending the meeting in addition to those mentioned above included Annette Breazeale, Mikie Clark, Merle Cross, Sandy Dean, Betty Finney, Janice Gage, Annette Herrmann, Cindy Murry, Mary Ann Patterson, Rolinda Shipp, Rebecca Skinner, Jeannie Smith, Barbara Williams, Irma Williams, Margo Carter, and, special guest and friend of Ms. Wingfield’s Sharon Priddy.