Girlfriend Wisdom author to speak in Vermillion

Girlfriend Wisdom author to speak in Vermillion Jody Houghton, nationally known for her book, Girlfriend Wisdom will be in Vermillion for a "Celebrating Women" festival on Saturday, Oct. 18.

This event will be held in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Nook 'n Cranny, a gift and home d�cor business in Vermillion, according to store owner Gloria Christopherson.

"There is enormous interest in the poem and concept of When My Friends and I Are Old and Start to Wear Purple, and we are so pleased that Jody Houghton will be joining us for this event," said Christopherson.

According to Houghton in her book, "My long time friends Faith, Hope and Charity have many years of life experiences and adventures to share. We have been together through many stages of life, and now that we are in our 'wisdom years,' our motto is LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE! I like to say, 'Life is a great big canvas ? throw all the paint on it you can! My business motto is 'Creating a Life, While Creating a Living,' a goal to blend family and personal life with heartfelt work."

Houghton discovered the poem by Jenny Joseph, When I am an Old Woman, at a mother-daughter banquet at her church in the early 1960s. As entertainment for the luncheon, a wild and crazy older woman boldly arrived in a purple dress and big red hat. Over the years it became clear to Houghton that this poem said more than just the words on a page.

The heart-felt joy, the screams of laughter, and the "You Go Girl" attitude, is the emotional power that fuels the essence of this writing.

Houghton's whimsical characters have illustrated the heart of the purple theme since 1982.

"Women love the color purple. I have included it in my product line from the beginning, featuring it on greeting cards, T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, prints, key chains, magnets and anything that will hold still long enough for me to attach it to!" Houghton said. "Purple has been used to represent positions of honor, yet with its combination of blue and red, it brings forth both passion and serenity. It's a magical color! Little girls love lavender and pink, us older 'girls' love purple and red!"

"Celebrating Women" will be held in Lacotah Hall at the Coyote Student Center on The University of South Dakota campus on Saturday, Oct. 18. Vendor booths and registration will begin at 10:30 a.m., with the official program starting at 11:30 a.m. with a "Sisterhood of Purple" brunch.

The program will conclude at 2 p.m., with vendors operating until 3 p.m. Advance registration is requested by contacting Christopherson at the Nook 'n Cranny, 19 W. Main, Vermillion, SD 57069, phone (605) 624-4611, e-mail:

The early registration fee of $30 per person includes an autographed copy of Houghton's book, Girlfriend Wisdom, the "Sisterhood of Purple" brunch, Houghton's speech, and special gifts from vendors and Vermillion retailers.

Paid registrations received by Sept. 15 will be considered early with a cost of $30. Registrations received Sept. 16 or later, if space is still available, will be $40.

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