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The Carnation – a symbol of Gamma Phi Beta since 1888.


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Gamma Phi Beta: “Founded on a Rock” at Syracuse U – 1874

I recently sent off an email to a friend from my Colorado College days, asking how she was doing;  her quick and kind response was, “Bless you, dear sister!”  The wording caught me off guard.  All of a sudden I felt a little pang – sad that I’d never had a “real” sister.

Andy, on the other hand, has a sister, Helen – though Helen doesn’t have a sister either.  A little of life’s ironies.   Today’s Andy’s Corner is all about having a sister AND a skateboard scooter.  And it’s about memory.

Despite never having had a real sister, my CC Gamma Phi Beta sisters are pretty special.  Our group of about 25 (we all pledged between 1962 and 1964) has kept in touch for all these years, and many of us have travelled to such Destination Spots as Santa Fe and Vancouver and Charleston, and, yes, Glen Ellen to attend our biennial reunions, often with our mates but more often without them.  Our annual newsletter, going on now for over 50 years, could probably be excerpted and published as a overview of middle American women’s lives from 1966-2018.

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Thanks, CC GPB Diane, for sharing this gorgeous photo of the Grand Lake, Colorado, area

Thirteen of us just got together in Grand Lake, Colorado.  Some of us (yours truly not included) still remember the password needed to get into the chapter meeting, the secret Latin words never to be spoken aloud, and at least a couple of the names of the founders.

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A “Serious Minded Group of Girls”: Mary A. Bingham, E. Adeline Curtis, Frances E. Haven, Helen M. Dodge – circa 1874

Admittedly, I might be the first to gripe about sororities and much of what they stand for, but this special group of women has been great to share life’s journey with (sounds like our post on Ithaca, doesn’t it).  They’re smart, active, interesting, involved – and, despite life’s crazy ups and downs, still strong.  I think the sorority founders, who were looking for a “serious minded group of girls,” would be proud of us – unless, of course, they frowned upon the raucous laughter and empty wine bottles that accompany our serious talks. 🙂

The two food-obsessed Sisters, Diane and I, made dinner one night for our Grand Lake group.  With the star ingredients being home-grown tomatoes, shrimp, chicken thighs, freekah, pita bread, and apples, we created a pretty impressive – and VERY tasty – four-course meal.

Granny’s Tomato Tart was a no-brainer just because of its name – but it’s also beautiful and oh so good.  Diane recommends lightly pressing the tomatoes with a paper towel to remove some of the moisture – before popping the tart in the oven.  Definitely don’t salt the tomatoes until they come OUT of the oven, and consider using store-bought puff pastry if you want a really really simple recipe.   Excellent tomatoes and the gruyere are the key ingredients.

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Granny’s Tomato Tart

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