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TRAVEL ALERT

A good book is a great travel companion. Fit a paperback in the pocket of my carry-on and I can fly away even if I'm grounded in some waiting area by circumstances beyond my control.
After I've exhausted all conversation, had a refreshment, been to the bathroom, checked out the passing parade and read all other readable material available (EXIT, NO SMOKING, GATE 3, FLIGHT DELAYED), I settle down and lose myself in the pages of a book.
One delay kept us such an interminable length of time that I could have read "War and Peace" if only I'd thought to pack it.
I am just finishing a trilogy of books by the Delany sisters which I began on a trip in 1996. The books are "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years," "The Delany Sisters' Book of Everyday Wisdom" and "On My Own at 107."
These books were just like peanuts to me; I could not just take one. Their fascinating story spans the century. Since their first book was published in 1993, it has sold millions of copies.
Sadly, there will he no more books written by A. Elizabeth and Sarah L. Delany with journalist Amy Hill Hearth. Dr. Elizabeth "Bessie" Delany died in 1995 at the age of 104 and the surviving sister, Sarah, died at her home in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on Jan. 25. She was 109.
If you have not read their wit and wisdom, or seen the play "Having Our Say," there is a TV film on their book scheduled for this April. Be sure and look for it and for the book, which is out in paperback, just right for traveling.
Editor's note: In 1994 after 25 years in the Caribbean, Jessie Bostwick O'Mara and her husband, Joe, retired to the Florida Gulf Coast from St. Thomas, V.I. She is a former fixture of the Admissions Office at the University of the Virgin Islands and a proud UVI alumnae. About her penchant for travel she says, "I was a compulsive tourist from the moment I opened my first passport and saw all those empty pages waiting to be filled."

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