Monday, December 31, 2012

Part Two: The Party... And then home again, while The Bad Plus plays at the Vanguard tonite!

 Sarah gives a toast for a happy, healthy and productive New Year. She's doing great with her one kidney.

Sam Newsome on soprano sax. When Sam knew he was good enough to go professional, he got a job teaching music at a Long Island university so he could support his wife and daughter.

Christopher O'Riley, host of radio show From the Top, belts it out on the piano. He played a jazz riff from the Bad Plus's Reid Anderson, from Minnesota, which is where he met Ethan and drummer Dave King.

Ethan plays some Duke Ellington. To his right is Jonathan Sharp and his wife Shannon. He owns a tee-shirt company for children.

Thanks to psychologist Lisa for these three great photos.

Just finished writing all my thank-you notes. I got everyone's email address and wrote something like:

December 31, 2012
Dear "Amy,"

Thank you so much for your generous, tax-deductible donation of $100 to our support group New Directions here in the Philadelphia area.

Your donation will ensure that we will continue our life-saving programs and events.

Thanks for attending the amazing gala last night.

Please retain this note for tax purposes.

Warm holiday wishes,

Ruth Z Deming, MGPGP
Would you believe we raised in excess of $3,000?

I carried the cash home in a paperback novel... and the checks in a small envelope

Sarah met warm and wonderful Kitty (left) when they were both 16 and attended a smart people's academy in Annapolis, MD.

Michelle lives in Cleveland, Ohio, my old stomping grounds. She works in real estate but her real love is her house in Sagamore Hills, her boyfriend Chris O'Riley, and their cats, including white-haired, blue-eyed Elliott.

A contingent of boxers, like 16-yo Chris, gave new meaning to the diversity of the party. What a sweetheart he is. He's applying for his first job.

Maria Venier is a fourth-grade teacher, winner of a featherweight boxing title, and frequenter at the boxing gym where John, 22, works out. Pat Russo, an ex-cop and extraordinary philanthropist, runs the gym and has received many awards.

Sam Newsome takes a bow after performing on his soprano sax. You should've seen his cheeks puffing up as he played. He learned amazing breathing control so he could make that instrument wail.

He also donated two copies of his latest CD - The Art of of the Soprano - to New Directions.

The 6-yo daughter of a saxophonist friend of his was killed in the Newtown CT shootings.

Sarah said someone told her it's good to photograph a person with a plant in the background.  I said, Yes, or against a piano.

Photo: Great party last night! Thank you to everyone who came and who gave so generously. With all the online donations we raised about $2,500 for my mom and New Directions Support Group

Deming at 67. Still has all her teeth and half of her hair. And one happy kidney sewn in last April 2011, thanks to Sarah Lynn Deming.

You never know how people are gonna turn out. Sarah was the governess of young Arielle in the front row when she was growing up in a Brooklyn brownstone with an elevator and an "endless pool" in the basement. Its dressing rooms had fluffy white terrycloth towels.

Now Arielle is a student at the London Film School. She wants to make movies. And she will!

Next to her is a yoga teacher Phyllis Berg, who sat ramrod straight during the musical performances.

We also see tall Cathy (short for Catrinel from Romania like my friend Rodica Milahis.) Sarah admired Cathy's shoes, which had unusual heels on them. That's Cathy's boyfriend Tim next to her. I was wearing my pink diabetic socks from the Sox Lady in Furlong, PA.

This is Arielle's boyfriend, whose name I can't remember. Let's call him Max, as in Max Roach, who was part of the Miles Davis band.

Ethan saw him and said, "Man, what are you doing here?"

Max is a drummer, and a very good one, said Ethan.

Mr Personality: Michael Quinn. I spent a lot of time cooing over Michael Quinn. Told him he should call himself by one name, like Prince or Madonna.

When I worked at Art Matters, I interviewed Robert Woodward, aka "Peanut Butter." Look what that talented man is up to now... doing murals for SEPTA for a $150,000 grant and using Tyler Art School students to help. Wonder if he's still stepping out with Susan Rosenberg.

Memory speak!

We were cooing over Quinn's outfit. Everything was given to him. In the brownstone where he lives on the bottom floor, he's friends with everyone, and is designing a wedding for the couple on the second floor. They'll be married in Yosemite! Sarah pulled out a card Quinn made.... fabulously inventive.

You must visit his house

We all stayed up until 3 am. I couldn't believe it was so late. AND I haven't even mentioned the food that Sarah made in two days for the guests. I behaved myself and had no dessert..... almost

She made a puff pastry filled with jelly and topped with whipped cream. Is your mouth watering now?
We breakfasted on the floor of the living room. The coffee was delicious. I drank mine from dainty cups, part of a service that my mom bought years ago from a woman across the street.

Sarah made a fabulous pumpernickel bread. Where'd you get the recipe? I asked.

It's yours, Mom.

Actually it tastes better than mine. She added 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup honey.

We ate from an assortment of incredible cheeses. My fave was a Bleu Cheese that melted in your mouth. We also finished up the shrimp cocktails - ooh! hot hot sauce b/c of chipotle -  and the marinated flank steak. 

Michelle was the last to wake up. My sister Donna was the first. Her first words to me were "I wanna go home." We left at 1:45. We all toasted in the New Year - only 2 more hours until 2013 from my living room here on Tarbell Road - or is it Cowbell, I forget -the fireworks are starting outside

Chris O'Riley, host of the syndicated radio show "From the Top" is also a magnificent pianist. I was in the other room and suddenly I heard GOLDBERG VARIATIONS on the pianoforte.

Can you imagine the honor of being in the same room as all these talented musicians?

Plus, I was sitting next to Adelaide!  Diva Mestre puts on one-woman shows in New York.

My pensive sister and Michelle, who answers some important real estate questions for Donna, who is hoping for a buyout of her Hatboro, PA condo from the state. Two floods this year had two feet of water in the living room. One of the tenants saw fish swimming through her downstairs.

Alas, time to go home.

Donna drove. Here we are trying to find the Verazanno Bridge.

Luckily, we only went 20 minutes out of our way, and made it home in two hours.

Grids on the Goethals Bridge.

The Jersey Turnpike is undergoing massive construction to improve traffic to and from NY.
Almost home.

Check emails, open mail, check blood sugar, make salad for dinner, send out thank-you notes.

Said Happy New Year to Scott at 8 pm before he walks to the train station to work on New Year's Eve.

As for me..... reading time!

Am gonna find these Willeford books thru interlibrary loan on Ethan's recommendation.



  1. I am so happy to hear that the great fundraiser was a success! Congratulations and Happy New Year! May it not only be a healthy, happy year filled with adventures for you and yours, but a prosperous one for New Directions and a year in which you reach and help more people.

  2. after my article on the newtown shootings was published in a local paper, i thot we'd get more people. well, we did. a couple people sent emails but they googled 'depression support group' and found us on the web!

  3. Excellent! I am glad! Wish I had gotten a few more readers for my last post relating to this. Thanks for commenting on FB, Ruth.

  4. iris, send me your link about CT and i'll post it when i do my next blog post later tonite. thx