In April of 1990, I started working at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan. I was the Director of a parenting project that conducted parenting classes in eight public health centers. I knew very little about parenting (I had no children, but I did have a set of parents). So I hired parenting experts and I took care of the planning, budgets and managing staff.
While at WSU, I became fast friends with a cartographer (map maker) whose real passion was art. Diana Gamerman painted and built sculptures from found objects. She was a white non-practicing Catholic and was married to a white non-practicing Jew. Floyd, my husband, and I were black non-practicing Protestants. During her spare time, Diana was a contest junkie. She was ALWAYS entering contests and frequently winning things like trips to events, dinners and small appliances.
During this phase of my life, I traveled quite a bit and accumulated frequent flyer points. Whenever I invited Diana to travel with me, she jumped at the chance to visit the art museums in other cities and just for us to spend time together because the trips always turned out to be an adventure.
One Spring, I was invited to make a presentation to a group of parenting professionals in Lexington Kentucky. I invited Diana to go with me. Floyd felt he could better spend his time working and making money than going with me to listen to a day of speeches or spend the day in the hotel waiting for me to return from the conference. Read more