2014 calendar already crowded with conflicts

Bought my new paper calendar, opting for an artistic look at birds from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and am starting to pack it with important dates. Friends’ birthdays. Homeowners association board meetings. Standing hair appointments that are sacrosanct.

I have these going back to 1979 when I started with a literary calendar with tasteful ink drawings of famous writers. There are years I focus on art, or places I have been. Or places I want to go. Or people. Or nature. Or cats.

Every so often I pore over a yearly calendar and can’t believe I have forgotten so much that was significant enough to jot down. Dinners, vacations, times with people who matter all are jotted down in a word or two. Work appointments, addresses and phone numbers dot the pages.

The notations are not enough to re-create a memoir, just enough to jog memories, good and bad.

Can an electronic calendar do that? I think not. Cold, impersonal dates of meetings and appointments don’t capture a person’s work life or personal life. How will historians get anything out of that?

Meanwhile, I’m starting to jot down future events that might be worth a column. Or simply be fun.

I’m grateful to live in Las Vegas, where there are plenty of interesting things to put in this calendar.

Look at Jan. 11. My calendar already shows a conflict. Two things of interest, both of which I’d like to attend, but at the same time, so I have a difficult choice.

Do I go to “First Ladies First” at Caesars Palace, where five of Nevada’s former first ladies talk about life under the spotlight when their husbands were governors?

Or do I opt for a book signing by Bella Capo, the first and only woman to head the Crips gang?

I have two rival choices, both appealing in their own way. Both involving interesting women, some tougher than others.

“La Bella Mafia,” and no, Bella Capo is not her real name, tells the story of how she was sexually and physically abused starting at age 4 and later ran clubs on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Her ex-husband threatened to kill her. She has founded an abuse victims’ support group called La Bella Mafia. The authors are Morgan St. James and Dennis Griffin.

That’s a world I don’t know, and it would be interesting to meet her at her book signing from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mob Museum downtown. Hers is a story of survival in a world I never entered.

Women from a world I do know will be at Caesars Palace from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Augustus Ballroom, and I suspect they may be less shocking but possibly more enlightening, at least for me.

Kathy List, Bonnie Bryan, Sandy Miller, Dema Guinn and Dawn Gibbons will be introduced by the current first lady, Kathleen Sandoval.

It’s the first time these unique women will have been together in a public setting as featured speakers. The event is organized by Marlene Adrian, president of Women of Diversity Productions, as part of Nevada’s Sesquicentennial. Adrian is the creator of Nevada Women’s Legacy. More information is available about this and other events at www.nevadawomensvirtualcenter.org.

The women’s legacy project aims to document women, past and present, from the state’s 17 counties through video interviews, oral histories, documents and memorabilia. “First Ladies First” is the inaugural event.

Adrian said 688 of the 700 free tickets available are already taken, but the event will be videotaped and perhaps screened later.

Depending on how candid the former first ladies (including two ex-wives) choose to be, they could make news. At least I hope so, as a believer that history should be warts and all, not just the prettified version.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at 702-383-0275