When three generations of women, grandmother Celia Ford age 75, daughter Theresa Allen 50, and granddaughter Pamela Simonson 25, began collecting sayings that had been passed down in their family for a book project they began a little less than a year ago, they never imagined the 252 page work, "Pearls of Wisdom From Three Generations", a collection of sayings and prayers, published by Thelemaque Publishing, would appear as number two on the Karibu Nonfiction Paperback Best Seller’s in May 2004.
"I am as shocked as anyone our book made the bestseller's list", stated Ford, the elder of the trio.
"Some of the sayings are things my grandparents used to say to us when we were little", continued the now 76-year-old retired Registered Nurse and native New Yorker.
The threesome decided to collect meaningful expressions and prayers after realizing they were exactly twenty-five years apart. They also included sayings by famous people, song lyrics, and quotations that were meaningful to them.
"We wanted to do something special other than get our nails done or go to the Olive Garden", stated Allen, who is also the founder and past Dean of the Long Island Christian Bible Institute.
“First we decided to write a poem, which is included in the book”, chimed in her daughter, Simonson, a classically trained opera singer and Director of Music at a Maryland elementary school.
“Then we decided to do something more meaningful and lasting that would be significant to other women also”, she continued.
The diva soprano explained the project took on a life of it’s own and as a result, her grandmother, mother, and she have been invited to be featured guests, keynote speakers, and workshop facilitators for many events since Pearls became a part of their lives.
Their hope was to bring the rich legacy and history of family to the forefront of the community, in ways all generations can appreciate. Charlene Henry, Director of the Black Authors Foundation, Inc. praised the project by stating,
“Expressions from three generations of women in the same family contained in one book are a testament…displaying a mix of commitment, courage, and strength.” Located in Largo, Maryland, Henry continued with,
“The book affirms that people differ from one generation to another, yet remain the same…because they were shaped by the previous generation.”
The book store whose numbers showed Pearls to be on the Nonfiction Paperback Best Seller’s list is Karibu, pronounced KA-REE-BOO, which means “welcome” in Swahili, is a specialty bookstore with a philosophy to empower and educate people by providing complete access to books by and about people of African descent.
Karibu reigns as the nation's largest Black bookstore chain and leader in this new and dynamic niche market providing a “comfortable space” for customers to get information, celebrate Black history & accomplishments and meet authors through a diverse selection of Black literature.
Ford, Allen, and Simonson have appeared at four of the chain’s five Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC locations. The book may also be purchased at the Karibu website www.karibubooks.com.