Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Ladies Circle

It would seem that the time has come to attempt to tell the story of 'The Ladies Circle' of Saltaire.  One of the last great members, Virginia O'Brien, recently passed, leaving Carol Mihaly as the last surviving member.

I must be very careful of the language I use to describe 'The Ladies Circle', for fear of offending.  I am loath to even name names, as, those that are included may take offense, as well as those that are not mentioned as members.

'The Ladies Circle' was a group of wives and mothers of my parents' generation, who sat together on the beach and discussed local matters.  This is where things get dicey.  As I recall, the group was predominantly very socially conservative, and religious.  It was always rumored that they discussed the behavior and demeanor of other residents of Saltaire.  Of course, I don't know what they actually discussed, as I certainly wasn't a member.  The closest I got to hearing the conversation was when I stopped to say hello to the Ladies, but they always stopped talking when I walked up. Perhaps they were always talking about me.  The general impression was that one did not want to be a subject of the conversations.

Now this gets into very dangerous territory.  Who were the members of 'The Circle'?  There was certainly a core group, consisting of Virginia O'Brien, Carol Mihaly, Pat Corrigan, Rita Connoly(?), Claire Marcus, Harriet Aherne...Then there was a group on the fringes, including my mother.  Who else?  This is why we have a blog.

Everyone should feel free to add names to the list, although the person who provides the name will be exposed.  Were they core members or on the fringes?  And what was really discussed.  Personally, I am afraid to ask, but it is our history.

Addendum- Grace Gallagher, Joan Gowan and Mary Fontantals were definitely on the list, and all still alive.


Frank Connolly said...

My mother, Ann Connolly, was most definitely a member. And Rita spelled her last name Connelly.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that as a lifeguard, surfer and frequent patron of the SYC in the late '70's and 80's, this group of ladies was feared by all. All knowing, all seeing - they would send glares of displeasure toward pretty much everything we were doing.

Carol Campbell said...

My Mother, Dottie Campbell

from Carol Campbell

Brian Scott said...

Marion Scott was right with them.
As I remember they all sat in a circle.
We called it "the circle of death".

Brian Scott

BigE. said...

Circle of death.
The viscous circle.