Books & Brunch with Author Joy Johnson
October 8, 2016
$10 per person
They may be old and they may be burned out here and there physically, but four retired wacky widows are coming to your community. Fictional characters in comedy-mystery novels who meet daily at Table 12 in Meadow Lakes Retirement Community the “girls” will bring their Table 12 here Saturday, October 8th at Emanuel Lutheran Church. The series is being made into a musical by two Omaha composers and being pitched as a television series called Table 12 in Los Angeles.
Joy Johnson, from Omaha, will present a program about her books, jokes and characters. There are eight books in the series: The BOOB Girls: The Burned Out Old Broads at Table 12, BOOB Girls II: Lies, Spies and Cinnamon Rolls, BOOB Girls III: Sandhills and Shadows and BOOB Girls IV: Murder at Meadow Lakes. Book five is The Secret of the Red Cane, in honor of all women who grew up with Nancy Drew who is eighty years old now and a BOOB Girl herself. BOOB Girls VI, is titled From the Eye of the Moose and is a take-off of the old Abbott and Costello scary movies. Ten Little Puritans, BOOB Girls VII.and BOOB GIRLS VIII: Learning to Love Willie was released this year. Book IX,The BOOB Girls in Training BRAS is in the works. All the books have laugh-out-loud components.
The first book will premiere on stage in Omaha later this year as THE BOOB GIRLS: THE MUSICAL.
“I have a soapbox in the books,” Johnson told us. “I think older women, the seasoned Nancy Drews in our lives, are beautiful and not just spiritually or emotionally but physically. Just look at us. Our faces are chiseled by tears and laughter. Our hair is blown thin and white by winds of experience and there is so much knowledge and wisdom in our heads they can’t hold it all so it trickles down through the rest of our bodies and that’s why we get thicker as we age.”
One Burned Out Old Broad who was a BOOB Girl fan was comedian Phyllis Diller. Seven years ago Johnson received a card. “It had a bright red stiletto on the front and inside it simply said, ‘Thank you for writing this delightful book. Phyllis Diller.’ Believe me, I checked the address and it was Hollywood. The next morning I wrote to her and asked her to endorse the books. She wrote back right away and said, ‘Use these words. The BOOB Girls are the GOOD Girls. It’s on the cover of every book.”
Will there be a ninth BOOB Girls adventure. “Definitely,” the author said.
“Characters in the books are characters indeed. Maggie Patten is a retired rancher from the Sandhills of western Nebraska, Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield is a retired socialite, Dr. Robinson Leary a retired black professor and Mary Rose McGill represents mature housewives. New BOOB Girls, including a spy and a gypsy appear in the books as well as a retired homicide detective named Marge Aaron. “Say it fast and it’s margarine so she’d butter be good,” Johnson quipped. The comedy-mysteries show us there is life after retirement and laughter can be found, even in widowhood. All the BOOB Girls are both – retired and widowed.”
The author, a humorist and international speaker has one wish for her audience - to “laugh so hard tears run down your leg,”
Prior to writing the series, Johnson co-founded Centering Corporation, North America’s oldest and largest bereavement resource center and, along with her late husband, Dr. Marvin Johnson, and was also founder of Ted E. Bear Hollow, Omaha area’s center for grieving children. She was an internationally recognized speaker on grief before writing the novels. She is also a native Iowan, being born and raised in Creston, Iowa, where she learned to write by working in high school and college on the local newspaper, The Creston News Advertiser.
“Laughter is not a defensive mechanism,” she says, “it’s an offensive ‘mechanism. We can attack our grief and sorrows with a good laugh. And as one of the characters says, ‘Laughter is exercise. It’s jogging on the inside.”
Tickets are $10 will be available at the door, or in advance by contacting Emanuel Lutheran Church at (712) 323-9665. The event is hosted by the 125th Anniversary Committee at Emanuel. Proceeds will benefit the Igumbilo Lutheran Girls School in Tanzania. This effort provides capacity-building educational opportunities for young women who often do not have equal access to other educational opportunities within Tanzania. Yet, it is women who are the proven sharers of such education, resulting in wider economic development of their families and communities. This project provides scholarships to the neediest of students and educational resources such as laboratory equipment, mosquito netting, laptops and textbooks.