Pat Montandon asked me to write about the round table luncheon I was invited to: This is the long version, the short version is on my Facebook page.
Green Horn arrives on Green Street
In the 70s, while living in Hippysville, I launched a business called Self Enhancement.
During those days, it was not hip to be aware of the image you project, but what the heck, I pursued it anyway. And not only that, I needed to provide for my sons.
So, while my mind was in Hippysville, my image was becoming ‘acceptable’ to a different mindset than what I found in Hippysville, (other wise known as Santa Cruz).
I gave talks, taught classes at five different junior colleges, worked with individuals on choosing the best color for that person’s skin tone, produced fashion shows, wrote columns and even had a television talk show in Santa Cruz.
During this time, which, off and on, continued until the late 80s, I had a bit of a following, and it was at the peak of this time, I contacted the well-known and well-connected Pat Montandon. She lived on the Green Street you see on the headline here and I was the Green Horn; ambitious, but didn’t really quite have a grasp on self-promotion.
Pat kindly answered my letter about how our lives were connected through similarities and advised me that in life we must, “take the bull by the horns”, and get what we want out of life.
She also followed the letter up a few weeks later with an invitation to her home on Russian Hill in San Francisco.
The invitation was engraved and came with a tissue paper cover. I was impressed.
Transportation issues during those days made me use all the creativity I could muster to get there. My car was not working, but buses were, so beginning at dawn, I boarded a Greyhound in Santa Cruz, and from there, it took other means of travel, and I don’t remember how I got to San Francisco. However, I landed on a busy street. Where I was, was another mystery, so I saw two men getting into a pickup and I asked them how to get to Russian Hill.
“Oh, come on, get it, we’ll take you there.” The driver, a grumpy, arrogant man said. The other man said nothing.
I told them I needed to find 999 Green Street where a woman by the name of Pat Montandon lives.
“You know her?” Grumpy asked
“Well, I have an invitation to her place.”
“Well then, let me tell you who I am,” Grumpy said. Then went on to tell me that he was a head of some big hotel in the maintenance division.
I was appropriately impressed (I needed the ride) and the other man was quiet, but I caught a side-glance of him rolling his eyes at the bosses comment.
I arrived and walked into the lobby. I asked a man how to get to Pat’s apartment.
“You go to the elevator and push PH.” He pointed to the elevator. Now what does PH balance have to do with finding Pat’s apartment I asked myself?
“I don’t know how to do that,” the Green Horn said.
“Yes you do. Just go into the elevator, find PH and push it.”
“Okay,” Green Horn answered meekly, realizing that meant pent house. I was late. I was nervous. You think funny when you’re nervous.
A woman greeted me and ushered me into the room.
I saw five women seated at a round table. The only women I remember were Marcia Brandwynne (a television personality), a very tall and beautiful woman named China and Pat. There were two others.
Pat was known (and still is) for her themed round table luncheons, which were, as she once said, (not her exact words) opportunities for herself and others to learn how other people make their way through life.
Pat asked us to name the one person in our lives who influenced us the most. Right away, I thought of my mother, just before she said, “You don’t have to feel obligated to name your mother.”
But when it was my turn, I told how my mother always taught me to face my fears. “When you walk on a dark street, instead of being afraid, tell yourself with every step, “God is with me. God is with me. God is with me.”
After the lunch and discussion, we were treated to the stunning view of the city from the pent house windows. I felt small and large at the same time.
Most gracious hostess, Pat Montandon, gave me a day to remember.
How I got back to Santa Cruz from San Francisco is lost in memory; for those days were turbulent and most challenging. It wasn’t easy.
But I remembered what to say with each step, thanks to my mother.
Later, Pat invited me to two big Christmas parties. I’ll tell you about those tomorrow.