"One, a black woman in New York
City, was one of the first runners," Pat
Kery explained. "It had been a long time
since she had run in competition and she
found it terribly hard to get away from
work. She was really nervous about getting
in trouble for leaving her job. We had to
make all sorts of arrangements for her
and almost began to get tired of it but it
was all worthwhile. She saw the torch coming and burst into tears.
"Tears were running down her
cheeks the whole time she ran—from 3rd
Avenue and 22nd Street to the press conference at Cooper Union. Seeing how
meaningful it was to her made it more
meaningful for us."
In Alabama, according to Kery, a
woman convinced the men on the Birmingham Track Club team not to participate.
"We were left in the lurch, so Peggy Koker-
not, a marathon runner in Houston, flew
in and ran 16 miles to get the torch
through Alabama," she said.
When the runner in New York City
got lost, relay coordinators had to send a
team of high school girls home because
they didn't want them running through
the streets after dark. The city coordinator,
Dorie McCaffery, and her friends pitched
in and ran all through the night to keep
the relay on schedule.
The route has taken runners from
New York to Massachusetts, Connecticut,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
Each runner in the relay has signed
an official declaration written by Maya
Angelou, poet-playwright and IWY Commissioner, entitled, "To Form a More
Perfect Union." The scroll, a 1977 Declaration of Sentiments to equal the 1848 version, was hand-lettered by Ida Fidelman,
a secretary at Redbook magazine.
The kerosene-burning torch and the
scroll will be given to the Smithsonian
Institution after the Houston conference.
Who gets the credit for the Torch
Relay? Kery credits the women who ran
and the women who helped them. Sey
Chassler says, "This project has been Pat
Kery's all the way—she created a miracle
in getting it together."
Eighteen women served as state coordinators: Susan Nunnely, Alabama; Lu
Albrecht, Connecticut; Bruce La Budde,
Georgia; Jill Kelley, Louisiana; Ruth Koe-
nigsburg, Maryland; Pat Griffin and Sally
Ogilvie, Massachusetts; Dorothy Burdeson,
Mississippi; Betsy East, New York; Dorie
McCaffery, New York City; Sandy Petway,
New Jersey; Laurie Arentz and Nora Lynn
Finch, North Carolina; Nikki Franke, Penn
sylvania; Ann Dickert, South Carolina; Dr.
Virginia Curry and Patty Barrett, Texas;
and Ann Lockett, Virginia.
In Houston, runners are invited to
join Olympic gold medal winners Wilma
Rudolph and Donna deVerona, to run the
last three miles of the relay. The starting
point for the three-miles run is Fonde
Recreation Center, 110 Sabine (near
Houston Ave. and Memorial Dr. intersection). The torch will arrive there at 10:45
a.m. Friday for a 45-minute run to Overlook Park, the gathering point for runners
for the final mile.
"There was a lot of pressure from a
lot of people who would have liked to be
the last runner," said Kery. "But we felt
it was inappropriate to let a celebrity take
the spotlight away from all the unknown
women who have participated in this. We
wanted to let all the women who have been
involved be represented at the end."
To represent all those uncelebrated
women, three Houston runners were
selected to run the last stretch of the relay
and deliver the torch to Jones Plaza:
Michele Cearcy, a student at Wheatley High
School; Sylvia Ortiz, a junior at the University of Houston; and Peggy Kokernot,
Houston marathon runner who also ran
the torch through Alabama.
The IWY Torch Relay seems to have
captured the hearts and imaginations of
American women because it captured the
spirit of the National Women's Conference.
As Lenore Hershey, IWY Commissioner
and editor of Ladies' Home Journal,
stated: "These meetings aren't for confron-
tation-we're having them to celebrate the
advancement of women. The one thing you
can't do is run backwards."
(see photos page 27)
2437Vg university boulevard 522-2350
The University of Houston
Program Council and Student Association, Dept. of Women's Affairs
present rm£ oo.respondENTS, A READER'S THEATER
Performing "Give 'Em An Inch"
an exploration of women and equality, the controversies of
"woman's role" echo through century-old writings, virtually
^distinguishable from the aigumentspf today.
Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 pm
Seminars to be held Friday rrrorning
NonStudents: $2.00 - Students: Free
Of particular interest
to the student of speech,
drama, literature, women's affairs .. .
DAILY BREAKTHROUGH NOVEMBER 18, 1977 PAGE 7