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Washington Woman

Motorcycle Mamas [Washington Woman magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
September 2003

Think motorcycling is just for men? Think again.

According to the Motorcycling Industry Council, women motorcycle riders make up the fastest growing segment of motorcyclists. The average age of women riders is 38, up from 26 in the mid-1990s. Celebrities such as Cheryl Crow are making biking glamorous, too. Mostly, though, the typical motorcycle rider is the lady next door.

Fifty-seven percent of riders have some college education; most are married and have families. Knowing more women are climbing aboard motorcycles is good news to Matt Kirn. Last year, he opened a franchise of the international motorcycle rental and tour company, Eagle Rider, Inc., in Fairfax, VA.

Based in Hawthorne, CA, Eagle Rider specializes in Harley rentals with two-dozen franchises throughout the country in hot spots like San Francisco, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Kirn’s Eagle Rider is the first in the D.C. area and is attracting large numbers, of biker buffs of both sexes—including businesswomen, mothers and even grandmothers.

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Pat Williams: Graceful Care [Washington Woman magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
May 2003

As the population ages, grown children are faced with having to care for their elderly, sometimes sickly, parents. Thanks to Pat Williams’ Graceful Care and her staff of 60 trained caregivers, there is help. And hope.

When a friend introduced forty-something Pat Williams to octogenarian Dorothy Stone in 1994, the two women became fast friends.

Stone, it turned out, had just been widowed after 60 years of marriage and was feeling sad and lonely. Their mutual friend thought Williams, who then owned the VIP Travel Agency in Reston, VA-could plan a fun and interesting vacation for Stone.

At their initial meeting, though, Williams realized it wasn’t a trip that Stone needed. It was companionship. So, in 1995, Williams sold the travel agency and founded Reston, VA based Graceful Care: assistance, care and companionship for people who can no longer perform certain tasks or who need loving attention.

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Marcia Talley: Murder, She Wrote [Washington Woman magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
May 2003

It is a breezy, fall afternoon, and Marcia Talley is seated on the patio of her Annapolis home, sipping hot coffee and talking about murder.

Fifty-something Talley is not a serial killer, of course. Far from it. She has spent much of her adult life working as a librarian for the federal government, raising two daughters, and caring for Barry Talley, her husband of 3 5 years who is the Director of Musical Activities at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Nearly four years ago, though, her life changed when she landed a book contract with Dell Publishing, a division of Random House. The New York publisher commissioned her to write a three-book series about the capers of Hannah Ives, a smart, sassy, breast cancer-surviving sleuth.

The first installment, “Sing it to her Bones,” hit the bookstores in 1999 and won Talley awards and accolades. The second, “Unbreathed Memories,” came out in 2000, winning more awards and more accolades. Part three, “Occasion of Revenge,” was published in August 200l.

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I Was Made for QuinTango [Washington Woman magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
October 2002

As the grand chandelier in the East Room of the White House slowly dimmed on Monday evening, January 11, 1999, the five musicians of the Northern Virginia ensemble QuinTango sat nervously awaiting their cue.

Each artist took a deep breath as an announcer on center stage welcomed the visiting President of Argentina, Carlos Menem, and his hosts, President and Mrs. Clinton, to a state dinner entitled, “An American Celebration of Tango.”

“The musicians and dancers from the tour two great countries capture the fervor and joy of this elegant and passionate art,” the baritone announcer told the audience, which included Madeleine Albright and dozens of prominent politicians and dignitaries. Also attending were actor Robert Duvall and partner, Luciana Pedraza, who performed a tango for the guests later. “Now, ladies and gentlemen, we welcome QuinTango.”

With that, a bright light focused on the musicians, clad in black, wearing glittering jewels. They lifted their instruments and, for the next 45 minutes, played to several ovations. That light has continued to shine on the group founded in the winter of 1996 by Joan Singer of Alexandria, VA.

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Susan Jane Gillman: Kiss My Tiara [Washington Woman magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
Book Review
June 2002

What do women want?

Two things, says author Susan Jane Gilman. One: some smart, no-nonsense advice about how to navigate the world, and two: to laugh.

“Ideally, we want both these things at the same time,” Gilman writes in the introduction to her paperback hit, “Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a Smart Mouth Goddess, (Time Warner, $12.95).

“Face it,” she continues, “today’s world is full of contradictory messages and expectations for women. Why else would platform sneakers have been such a hit with us?”

And so goes the book, acclaimed by fans and reviewers as, “a hip and irreverent guide to power and attitude.” Indeed, with topics ranging from “PMS is a Power Tool,” to “Every Idiot We Date is One Less Idiot we Risk Marrying,” Gilman serves up a hearty helping of advice for contemporary women that is likely to inspire many—and infuriate a few.

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We Are What We Eat [Washington Woman magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
Cover story
October 2000

If you are like most Washington women, you try to eat right, get enough exercise, and stay in good shape. But it isn’t always easy. Schedules are hectic, work is demanding, and kids can take up any spare time—which makes it tough to find a moment to prepare healthy meals.

And just what is the perfect meal, anyway? It seems that studies contradicting each other are published almost weekly. Coffee is bad for you, then it isn’t. Eggs are the enemy. But maybe not. Vegetables are the perfect food. But is organic really better?

How does the nutrition-conscious woman handle this conflicting information?

“Consider all of the information available,” says Faye Berger Mitchell, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in private practice in Chevy Chase, MD. “And don’t make sweeping changes in your diet based on one report.”

To that end, the following is a roundup of recent nutrition reports to help guide you.

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Great Handmade Gifts: Gifts to Grow On [Washington Woman]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Washington Woman magazine
December 2002
Cover story, page 10

The Birth Of A Business

The idea for Great Handmade Gifts came to me shortly after my husband Mike and I had moved our family from Old Town, Alexandria to western Fairfax County in the summer of 2000. We came in search of good schools and a house big enough to hold our two children and our two businesses (I have been a freelance writer since 1993, Mike has been a freelance illustrator since 1980). We got all that plus three community pools, two tennis courts, tons of tall trees and lots of nice neighbors.

By Christmas I was miserable.

I missed the energy and excitement of being near a city. I missed being able to plop my kids in the stroller and walk to a nearby coffee shop or bike down to the river. I wanted to go home. Only, I was home.

My oldest child Anna, then five, had just started kindergarten and it had taken her several months to feel settled. When I grumbled about wanting to move, she gave me a look that said, “Please, Mom. No.”

I knew, even without even her abject plea, we were staying put. It wasn’t that our new life was terrible. It wasn’t what I was used to. I knew I’d have to adapt.

Opportunity came knocking that holiday season when several neighbors started delivering plates of Christmas cookies. I thought, “How nice.” Then, I started to panic: I wanted to reciprocate their kindness, but having me bake would not be a treat. Trust me. Then it dawned on me. Mike had given me beeswax the previous year so we could roll Hanukkah candles. That was the answer! The kids and I would make candles for all the neighbors, in lieu of plates of cookies I’d surely have burnt.
For the next week, Anna and Dylan, then 2, helped me roll and wrap the waxy creations in tissue paper and ribbon. It was a big hit—and the experience got me thinking. Perhaps I could make candles and sell them in stores? I’d call my company Great Handmade Gifts, sell the art and crafts of others—like my husband—go to craft shops and shows, and put up a website to sell our wares online. The whole company seemed to form itself in a heartbeat.

But what this a good idea?

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More Washington Woman Articles

"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.