Good morning. My name is Arlene Nickels. Some years ago I was working as a secretary at Monsanto in the Department of Medicine and Environmental Health. One day at lunch, one of the Toxicologists, an Englishman named Peter, and I were having a philosophical discussion. Peter told me, with the way you think, you ought to be at the Ethical Society. I had never heard of the Ethical Society, but the next Sunday I visited. I was hooked. But I didn’t join right away. I wasn’t sure if this place was a “fit” for me. I was a divorced middle-aged woman with a flock of kids; not college educated. Didn’t have much money. Who would want this person?????
One Sunday morning Donna Kniest came into the Adult Forum and said she was in need of a Sunday School teacher. I had experience teaching Sunday School at the United Church of Christ, and I still had a child of Sunday School age. What better way to learn what the Ethical Society Sunday School teaches children than to teach. So, along with Dick Lockard, I taught Sunday School till the end of the church year. I was not yet a member.
To get to know more people, I participated in the Ethicurean Dinner Program, which was open to prospective members. I met wonderful people; Corinne and Fred Hammer, Mildred and Ralph Smith, Eleanor and Walter Hoops, Margarite and Alan Ranford, and others. They assured me that there was indeed a place for me here.
One day Mildred Smith phoned and asked if working on the First Sunday Lunches was something I would enjoy? I thought, this is something I can do. I said yes. Jane Arrigo and I worked on the First Sunday Lunches together for a whole year; nothing fancy, mind you, just simple sandwiches, and Hodges chili one winter Sunday.
This place; the leaders, the members, the ladies of the TWA have been enriching my life for almost 40 years. Thank you so very much.