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The 2003 ASH Autumn Members Meeting

by Francine Kitts

It was autumn in New York—October 18, 2003 to be exact—and ASH gathered for the autumn members meeting at Moran’s in downtown Manhattan. Since our Principal Unprincipled Adventuress was busy planning a wedding, Catalina Hannan and Laurie Manifold were the able hostesses of the evening—and what an evening it was!

Mickey Fromkin gave her traditional toast to the Queen and the evening was in full swing. Susan Rice advised that fellow Adventuress Paula Cohen was not in attendance because she was celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary and that ASH forensic toxicologist Marina Stajic would be featured on a television documentary entitled “Poisonous Women.” We raised our glasses to congratulate our comrades.

The theme for the evening’s toasts was “Friendship.” Sabina Hollis’ clever toast to Holmes and Watson offered a look at the different categories of friendship; Trish Pearlman gave a witty toast to James Dodd, a most determined friend; Margaret Fleesak concluded that Violet Hunter had the best friend of all; M.E. Rich opined that although there were few friendships between women in the Canon, a fertile mind can fill in the blanks; and Maribeau Briggs delighted us with a film clip of Irene Adler, which was in the possession of the great, great, great grand-niece of our beloved Adventuress.

Then Laurie Manifold pointed to a table filled with items from her collection and discussed the rules of her new game, “This or That.” With Sue Vizoskie as her able assistant, Laurie drew names from a deerstalker. Sue picked two items from the table, and the person whose name was drawn got to choose either “this or that.” Thanks go to Laurie for her generous contributions (including the lobster lollipop) and to both Sue and Laurie for a fun-filled game.

As we were admiring our wares, Ab Fab’s own Patsy and Edina entered the room. Elyse Locurto (Patsy) and Catalina Hannan (Edina) performed an absolutely fabulous sketch and had the entire assemblage in hysterics. Amid uproarious laughter, they received a thunderous applause.

In addition to our “this or that” memento, we each received one of Laurie’s beautifully hand-drawn “Violet Hunter” paper dolls and a unique name tag from the talented team of Catalina and Laurie.

After hours of laughter and good company, the evening concluded with the traditional songs led by M.E. and Catalina. If it were not for M.E., who has mercifully mastered a “faster than a speeding bullet” tempo, we’d still be singing “Aunt Clara.”

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