Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wonder Woman

I was thinking today of the powerful women it has been my good fortune to know in my life. There are so very many. I have been blessed with many wonderful male friends, but I seem to have always enjoyed the friendships and company of women. Certainly their influences in my life are immeasurable and ongoing. My mother Jane Lambie was a 'power woman'. She was highly educated, taught music as well as physical education and English. She supported a military husband, raised three children to love arts, books, and all of her kids have pursued varied interests with success. Her optimism and joy are with me. My Grandmother Jesse was another music teacher, and highly educated at a time when most women were not. Even her mother, my great grandmother, had a college education.

Debbie Lagomarsino is a power woman as a teacher and community volunteer, world traveller, musical director, president of the world organization Up With People. Debbie has been a musical director for countless organizations that, on the short list, include San Luis Obispo Little Theatre, Cuesta College, Pioneer Players, Paso Robles High School. Debbie taught in the local elementary schools as well as overseas in Jakarta and Saudi Arabia.  She has provided music and volunteer fundraising support to every women's and community organization on the central coast of California. Debbie continues to shape other's lives in positive ways she doesn't even realize. Yup, some power women are pretty humble.
Debbie and John

Anet Carlin is a power woman, heck she's a power woman if she's in a room filled with power women. Anet is a drama teacher, producer, director, and has founded theatre companies anywhere she stops long enough to pour a cup of tea or think of a new project. I suspect if stopping world hunger was something I wanted to devote my life to, I'd begin by enlisting Anet as my partner. She could produce any project successfully. 

And then there's Sarah Greenman. If there was a therapy group for overachievers anonymous she'd be giving testimony at every meeting. Sarah's an actress, director, award winning playwright, doula (look it up), certified masseuse, designer, blogger, mother, and is certainly helping some couple in their birth process as you read this. She's one of those women that is too busy, and wildly successful at every new project. If you have something that needs getting done and done correctly, give it to a power woman like Sarah.
Sarah and son Walker
Cynthia Anthony has been an inspiration to me for nearly twenty years, and I have known her in several capacities. A professional actress after college, Cynthia became a founder of the CAT theatre company in Paso Robles. She's an incendiary actress equally at home in a farcical comedy or in a heavy dramatic lead. Cynthia was the Managing Director of no less than three other local theatre companies, putting each on their feet professionally and creatively. Another of her favourite charges was marketing director of a California opera company.  She is still raising three children who are in creative artistic professions.

Cynthia often works in her husband's medical practice as needed,and volunteers with women's organizations in her community. Late in life she decided that her degree in Theatre was insufficient, and she has attended college and completed an on line universitiy program that has lead to a teaching credential. For many years she has been a volunteer, then teaching assistant, then substitute teacher, and  Drama Teacher and director at Paso Robles High School. And we are just scratching the surface of her life experiences.

If hard work, self discipline, and sheer force of character builds Power Women, they don't come any stronger than the Scottish lass, Jacoline McDairmid. She was a flight attendant for many years. Jacoline now works at several jobs simultaneously to support her two teenage children, connect to her community, and provide service to countless women in the north-east of Scotland. You will find Jacoline at the GlenDronach Distillery running the visitors center, conducting tours and serving as a special events coordinator. In the evenings, she teaches Jazzercise classes and aerobics. Jacoline coaches a cross country running team for youngsters, teaching them to set personal goals an helping them prepare for competitions. She cares for her mother, a recent stroke victim, who is courageously going through a recovery process.  And in Jacoline's spare time, which is usually long before the sun comes up, she trains on the roads and byways for miles and miles, and is currently the third ranking senior women's triathlete and runner in Scotland. 

And that's a short list! Vena Norton, Jean Lange, Barbara Bowman, Connie Atkinson, Nikki Bond, Deb Bremner, Benita Gold, Lori Harmon, Ellen Finch, Helen Harrison, Kaylinda Mabry, Polly Carrick, Rita Edens...I can't begin to approach a comprehensive listing. These women influence their communities. Their energy seems endless to the casual observers, but every success, usually, is an act of love. These are Power Women who influence you, inspire you, and make your life better than it could have possibly been without them. All 'power women' seem to have a host of folks who can make similar claims about how their own lives are influenced by them. Well done ladies...well done.


  1. I'm humbled to be on that list. You really nailed it on the three I know and loved reading about the others. Sounds like you've found some amazing ladies to hang with in Scotland. I'm so glad,

  2. Hi John,
    Glad you are sharing your thoughts in the blog-o-sphere way.

  3. Dad, thank you for filling my life with power women to love, to admire and to emulate. Its made all the difference.

  4. Mr. Lambie: I love this! So encouraging to read :)