A Nostalgic Luncheon Event

Last Tuesday, May 17th, I was invited to speak at the Lively Saints luncheon held at the fellowship hall of the Mercer Island Covenant Church.

What a phenomenal occasion for me to speak at the hall where Mannig, the heroine of Between the Two Rivers, celebrated her U.S. citizenship party!

The forty plus guests and staff at the senior citizen gathering enjoyed a specially prepared lunch. The decor was mostly yellow—yellow tablecloths on the round tables, yellow miniature dahlias in vases. Yellow was a memorable color for Mannig during her childhood. Every time she faced adversity, during the Armenian Genocide and after, she pulled herself up by remembering her happy and careless days twirling in a yellow dress in her family’s parlor while her mother played violin.

The Fellowship Hall itself also made me nostalgic. In that very location, now remodeled and expanded, we enjoyed Mannig’s greatest achievement in her journey of seventy-nine years: she had just passed the (then) grueling examination to become a United States citizen. The year was 1982. The epilogue in Between the Two Rivers describes this event.

To conclude my presentation about my book at the Lively Saints, I showed a video clip taken at Mannig’s citizenship party. Seeing Mannig in motion, all dressed up in a flowing blue skirt (to represent the tri-colors of the American flag), a red rose pinned to her white blouse, made the audience ooh and aah. When she spoke about her gratitude for the United States, she opened a flood-gates of tears.

All in all, it was a nostalgic day.

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