Friday, November 25, 2011

N is for “New Friendships,” By Nora Scechy

Nora joined our class several years ago and we all were blessed by her presence. Although she calls herself a "rookie," she is an established writer, having completed and published her life story, a memorable and delightfully readable book which you can see here:   Nora's Website

Nora is not currently attending class, but we still consider her very much a part of our group.

“He alone has lost the art to live who cannot win new friends.”
S. Weir Mitchell

When I signed up for a memoir writing class, I had no idea this was an ongoing class which had begun several years ago. I had some weird misconception that I would be joining a bunch of rookies like myself. This said, I soon realized that I was in the company of a friendly and intelligent group of writers under the guidance of a dedicated and encouraging instructor, Ms. Bonnie Mansell. Looking around the room, I was happy to recognize two familiar faces: Margaret Takacs, a dear Hungarian lady I have known for many years, and Shirley Mark, who volunteers with me at Downey City Library.

I liked the arrangement of the long tables, which gave plenty of room to spread out books and papers; and I liked the fact that the students had in front of them their names printed in large letters on cardboard plaques. I was barely seated when Judy came over to me, introduced herself, and supplied me with helpful handouts and notes from previous classes. At break time, Ray showed me where to get coffee, tea, or a cold drink (supplied free of charge), and he showed me where the restrooms were. Kacie invited me to play a board game with her. Everyone in this group showed me unexpected kindness.

We were given a class assignment to write “A Movie of My Life.” As each story was read, the class listened attentively. They clapped at the end, asked questions and made encouraging and sometimes humorous comments. When it came to my turn, I was nervous about reading aloud for the first time. I was soon put at ease when, at the end of my story, the class smiled and clapped, and Ms. Mansell commented that she thought I would be an asset to the group.

After only a few weeks, I feel quite at home and accepted by these talented and kindly seniors. I have made new friends and realize that I have not lost “the art to live.”


  1. From Charlotte ~

    I miss the class so much. Nora really hit the nail on the head.

  2. Nora, with every name that you mentioned: Margaret, Judy, Shirley, Kacy,and Bonnie,I felt the welcoming affection that gives wings to our words in our memoir group.
    We miss you.