Thursday, April 26, 2012

Photo(s) of the Day: A Lovely Literary Lunch

From left, me, Christina Koomen, Samantha Smeltser, Rachael Garrity and Betsy Gehman
Lunches with literaries is and noble tradition that people who write for a living savor and today I got to savor a truly special one at a small tea room in downtown Lynchburg.

Betsy (left), Rachael and me.
My colleague and friend Rachael Garrity and I loaded up the car with us and Christina Koomen (all writers of one kind or another) to visit Betsy Gehman, my longtime friend in Lynchburg and a woman of significant accomplishment in the world of letters. Betsy's companion and friend is a delightful young woman named Samantha Smeltser, who may have had the sharpest brain at the table. I was simply astonished at how this 23-year-old followed closely the conversation of people who are 90, 70, 65 and 50 as if she had grown up with each of us. No reference--cultural or historic--was outside her sphere of knowledge and understanding.

And the conversation fairly crackled. Betsy and Rachael have extraordinary backgrounds in letters and Betsy was also in show business for most of her youth (big band singer, national TV and movie performer, Broadway, etc.).

The tea room was a nice touch and is owned by a British lady who knows exactly what to do. Lovely lunch with beautiful people.

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