Contributor Two Contributor Two
I Can Tell You Stuff
Contributor Two Contributor Two
About this issue’s theme — the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat — my question would be: This is about shopping, right?

I’m on it!

There are two of us among our ranks who totally understand the concept.

Callie Phelps, David’s really fabulous and talented daughter (he has two), and I have practically become best friends. And in the most bizarre and interesting way!

Both of us have had great victory in finding that one thing our hearts desired, and then realizing the defeat of not having it.

It started when she friended me on Facebook and, as I’m sure she did me, I perused her pictures and comments.

One thing that stood out was that she shops at Gaslight Antiques! I shop at Gaslight Antiques. She prefers Building Too, I prefer Building Too (For what it’s worth, it’s the more interesting of the two buildings; it’s more retro and less antique-ey.)

Furthermore, she posted a picture of a purple sink, and lo and behold, I had taken a picture of that very same purple sink. It was just the coolest thing, but for me, getting it home, hiring a plumber, buying matching towels and shower curtain, and trying to convince my friends of its fabulousness was just too much work! Tori Taff would love it. Landy Gardner would love it. I’m pretty sure Janet Paschal wouldn’t and Gloria would probably gag! (Bill wouldn’t even notice.)

Then there’s the chandelier! On another visit to Gaslight, I found a hot pink one! It kept calling out, saying: “Buy me! Buy me!” Instead, I took a picture and sent it to Gloria, texting: “I bought this for your birthday. Shall I send it to Indiana or what about over the piano in your Nashville condo?”

Gloria texted back: “Put it over your own piano!”

OK now, stick with me. Pink chandelier … green chandelier. Hold that thought! The Phelps live in a big charming, southern farmhouse, way out in the country. It’s full of antiques, along with what I call “interesting stuff.” “Eclectic … fun stuff.” Like, for instance, right smack over the piano, you guessed it … A GREEN CHANDELIER!

I suppose at this point I should say something philosophical about how we are all different, yet “precious in His sight!” Consider it said! And it’s absolutely true!

Newsflash and picture from Lily Isaacs: “Don’t tell anyone this, but my grandchildren are smarter than I am.”

Me: “Trust me, Lily, I’d never tell a soul.”

Seems like I’m always running into Homecoming Friends these days.

Russ Taff and Solveig at a party at Anne and Ian Cron’s house. Author Ian was the much-loved speaker at Family Fest last year, by the way.

I’m often running into Ann Downing. We seem to show up at the same awards shows and tapings. Sometimes we don’t have a chance to talk; she always has a crowd around her. From what I can see she’s always … what? “Carrying on?” “Holding court?” Whatever you call it. She’s definitely “Animated Ann!” Hands going a mile a minute; her audience giggling and laughing and THEN … all of a sudden everyone quiets, heads lean in and it’s obvious Ann is telling some spellbinding story or truth she can’t keep to herself.

On Facebook, you can see she knows half the world and her posts are positive and encouraging. Her pictures are always interesting. In fact, what triggered this blurb is this picture of her new boots.

I just realized Ann is one of the first people I met when we moved to Nashville 43 years ago. My husband was an executive at the Benson Company and she was singing with the Speer Family. About that same time, she married Paul and they formed the Downings.

I went to Ann’s house a couple of times for parties. One was at Christmastime, and we had been told ahead of time that her homemade custard was to die for. True! And served in a silver punch bowl big enough to baptize a baby!

That’s pretty much it for this time, although I have one more picture. I had lunch with Mary Ella Phelps, Callie’s grandmother, the other day and we talked the legs off the table. We share a sadness for the loss of our precious and talented daughters, and that connects us, but make no mistake — our stories are full of joy and celebration … and girlfriend talk.