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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
7:30 PM Wed, Jan. 23rd

Column: Pedestrian pedigree professor to wax poetic at P.E.O. event

Philanthropic Educational Organization. At 14 syllables, it's a bit of a mouthful.

Acronymically, though, it boils down to a more manageable P.E.O., which is a 143-year-old society devoted to the advancement and enhancement of women through scholarships, grants, awards and loans.

Its stated goal: Motivating women to achieve their highest aspirations while helping them to "reach for the stars."

In furtherance of that worthy endeavor, P.E.O.'s Prescott Chapter Y has scheduled an authors' luncheon and book signing event for Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Adult Center of Prescott on Rosser Street.

Participating authors include Harold Minuskin, a Holocaust survivor; Beth Kendrick, a writer of women's fiction; and, uh, me, who's into column writing.

Minuskin, a Prescott resident who is a semi-retired NASA researcher, describes the dark era of the Holocaust and the ensuing insurgency against the Nazis in his book, titled "My Children, My Heroes - Memoirs of a Holocaust Mother." The book, he explains, was "written from my translations of my mother's memoirs and my own recollection of living with partisan fighters and families in the forests of Byelorussia."

Kendrick, a lawyer turned writer who is a resident of Litchfield Park in the Phoenix area, authored a novel titled "My Favorite Mistake." She provided this promotional insight to the P.E.O.:

"This is the part where I'm supposed to brag about all my illustrious accomplishments, but honestly, I'd rather talk about my dogs and brag about some of the things I HAVEN'T done: I've never been to prison, court-ordered rehab, or splashed across the cover of a salacious weekly gossip tabloid with my 'ladybits' on display. I'm a Leo, a middle child, and a formidable Trivial Pursuit opponent. I read everything I can get my hands on - from the classics to the comic books. And," she advises, "I don't drink coffee because, frankly, I'm high-strung enough without adding caffeine into the mix."

And me? Well, I'm the possessor of a pretty pedestrian pedigree who often lapses into literary inanity when it comes to column writing. In many instances, in fact, my shallowness knows no depth. But I do like to play up good things as opposed to bad ones, thinking that there's enough of the latter for others to feed on without my help.

And speaking of good things, I received my first royalty check last month from AuthorHouse, the publisher of my "In the Rearview Mirror" book of bygone columns that became available for sale this past December. The return address on the envelope excited me, and it was with trembling fingers and "baited" breath (I'd just had salmon for lunch) that I tore off the perforated strips to reveal the contents. It was a check for $4.95! I decided to celebrate by taking wife Pat to Sonic for hot dogs and lemonade. Aw, shucks, we opted instead for CHILI dogs, as we fashion ourselves as big spenders. Meanwhile, as far as book sales go, you might say that I'm off and, uh, crawling as sales perform much like a North Korean missile.

The Sept. 22 authors' luncheon at the Adult Center of Prescott is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, followed by the book signing with the authors from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $25 per person, and for reservations contact the P.E.O.'s Ann Baugh at 636-8766 or