Ms. Johnson is also a two-time book award winner and an international author. Her latest book is Awakening the Genie Within. Bettye is also the founder and facilitator of Writers Night Out Forum, which meets the first Monday of each month at Yelm’s Blue Bottle.
ABOUT LAST EVENING’S HONORS
Internationally acclaimed local author Bettye Johnson was honored last night in a Lifetime Achievement Evening celebrating Yelm-area citizens in a first-of-many such celebrations hosted by Blue Bottle owner Michelle Jones and Jean Isaacs.
Ms. Jones told the Yelm Community Blog, “Our objective is to honor into the future people who are alive – rather than doing farewell parties!”
The evening’s program opened with the gratitude expressed to Ms. Johnson by Emcee Mary McCann, followed by a toast, accolades, and stories.
Harpist Mary Abrahmson played an interlude as the guests arrived, followed by Bettye’s arrival in a chauffeured-driven limo, wearing her signature hat with a red rose.
Musical Tributes included Soprano Mayra Pena’s outstanding solo of Mi Chiamane Mimi from Puccini’s LaBoheme, which moved Ms. Johnson and the entire audience.
An encore duet of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Ms. Pena and harpist Abrahmson was very touching.
The evening continued after a short break and a wonderful light feast with Cara Clare, Steve Bartlett and Stephan Abuan’s rendition of You Are the Sunshine of My Life.
Blue Bottle owner Jones selected Ms. Johnson for this first evening of lifetime achievement because of her authors’ nights being held at the Blue Bottle, bringing new people and recognition to this local business. Indeed, a lady who has just come to an authors’ night and met Ms. Johnson for the first time last Monday was so moved to attend.
While our local newspaper and official dignitaries did not attend, this was truly a community event with a partial list of the audience that spoke to the Yelm Community Blog Host:
Elected Democratic Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) for the Lackamas area, precinct 31 Victoria Harper
Elected Democratic PCO precinct 130 & 1st Vice-Chair of Legislative District 2 Jackie Reid
Local author Renee Webb who was inspired by Ms. Johnson to write her book Journey to My Master Teacher
Newly-appointed Timberland Regional Library Yelm Librarian Mike Wessels
Local internet website MastersConnection.com owner Stephany Ray
Local internationally-recognized womens scarf designer Joelle LeScornec
Yelm-based web designer & documentary filmmaker Guustaaf Damave
Former Drew Harvey Theater Director Nancy Hillman photographed the participants
Ms. Webb summed up her experience about Ms. Johnson saying,
“Bettye Johnson is so for the advancement of women – she is a radiant example of a woman going down a path to living a dream.”
Ms. Johnson responded, “Yes, I am 80 years young… Frankly, I’ve got plans for my future.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO BETTYE JOHNSON!
AND, THANKS TO MICHELLE JONES FOR THINKING TO HONOR OUR AREA CITIZNES WHILE THEY CAN ENJOY THE ACCOLADES!
See the wonderful picture collage courtesy of Blue Bottle & Jean Isaacs.