Fifth World Art by Robert Neff


by Robert Neff

DrivingTheDivas is about two sisters, 91 and 92, and two drivers who have had numerous cross-county adventures over the past two years are not about to stop. The divas have raised families, are great conversationalist, enjoy the spirits, socialize, speak their mind and have iPads.

DrivingtheDivas started with the cross-country adventure of two sisters, 89 and 90 years young and their two younger drivers. The circuitous path was from Florida to Napa and back to attend the Halloween wedding of the older sister's daughter.

This was the first of many adventures.

  • Interactive Book: The rough manuscript was submitted to Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Robert Neff and reached the second round. There are plans to circulate the Driving The Divas and My Condo Seniors story concept for publication.
  • Web Series: In December 2014, will publish the "25 Days to Napa and Back" as a series. 
  • Movie Documentary: The draft was screened and was well received. Plan is to submit the documentary to a film festival; however, much work is needed to finalize the submittal. There are two drafts, One is based upon the 25 days to Napa and back. The second is their subsequent adventures.

There has been a spin-off storyline on Twitter called "My Condo Seniors." The hashtag, #CondoSeniors, is used to provide updates on their quips, quotes and conversations.

About Driving The Divas

Driving the Divas is the cross-country adventure of two sisters, 89 and 90 years young, traveling from Florida to Napa to attend the wedding of the older sister's daughter. They asked two younger friends in their condo to "chauffeur" them there and back.

The older sister is referred to as Diva #1 and the younger sister as Diva #2. The personality differences quickly became evident. The two drivers are known as Driver #1 and Driver #2. Driver #1 quickly assumed duties as the Divas' personal chef. Wherever, there was an available kitchen, the Divas were volunteering him to cook. Driver #2 documented the trip on social media and photographed the adventure.

This was the sister's last cross-country trip to visit old haunts and discover places on their bucket list. This circuitous cross-country path had an ever changing itinerary that included museums, cities, national parks, Clinton Presidential Library, Wal-Mart Museum, Sedona, Yosemite and stops to visit family and friends.

The two sisters have traveled these roads many times and seen time move across the roads, nation and the world. They fondly recalled every time spent along the route. They were avid back seat drivers who had their maps in hand to point out points along the route.

This odyssey started in late October and continued through the November 2012 Presidential election. This provided for lively conversation and interaction with family and friends.

During the trip, the Divas recount their lives with humor, empathy and bravado. Much of which was shard on social media by Driver #2. The story is rich in content, imagery, history and photography. Their lives became an open book and readily shared their political thoughts, hardships, what life was like, the fight for women's rights, and, of course, talked about raising their kids.

The Divas grew up during the depression and left Minnesota after high school for San Diego during World War II. They talked candidly about working during the war and their time in the house they had rented with three other young ladies. Both sisters have lost their husbands and now are the family matriarchs. I was able to witness the differences between the two sisters and their bond that is coupled with comedic moments and reflection.

The story is told by one of the Driver #2, who is a photographer and used social media and his images taken with the iPhone and camera to share the conversation and document the twenty-five day adventure. This turned into a history lesson for the two drivers, kids, grandkids and social media followers.

Scene: Cheeky Conversation

Diva #2, who is 89 and sitting in the back seat, had misheard what I had said. She replied, "I had a boyfriend in that town." I paused and was baffled by her response, but I quickly remembered she has hearing aids and had not heard what I had said.

But now I was curious and decided to see where this conversation would go. So I asked, "So Diva #2, How many boyfriends did you have?"

She responded using a cheeky tone, "Quite a few."

I was a bit surprised by her candor. I turned and looked back to see her chuckling. Then a big grin slowly formed while her eye smiled at me. After a few moments, her head turned to look out the window and what I imagined were fond memories.

Scene: Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

I sat at a round table with Diva #2's daughters and friends of the bride. After the first toast, Diva #2 s daughter wanted to hear about our trip with the ladies. I started with the story about how many boyfriends their mother had.

All three looked at one another and the oldest said, "That is nothing! We have read her letters from her younger days. Our mom and aunt lived in San Diego during the war. Men were home on leave or being shipped off to war. They lived in a house that had five young attractive women. They were not saints!"

At that point, the daughters started dishing on their mother. Everyone at the table turned and started listening to the girl's stories.

January 1942

Diva #1 was 21 when she left a cold Minnesota for California. Her mom packed food for three day train ride. When she stepped off the train in San Diego, she felt the 70 degree weather and saw her first palm tree.

The Adventures

#DrivingTheDivas Do Valdosta

On April 9 and 10, there was another adventure with the Divas. We drove to Valdosta to attend Diva #2 granddaughter's graduation from Valdosta State University. Ride along on our adventure via my Storify article!

Driving The Divas to Washington DC

On this #DrivingTheDivas trip to Washington DC, the primary objective was to visit Arlington Cemetery, where Diva #1's husband was buried. The Divas had two other goals, visit National Shrine (Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception) and Virginia's Wine Country.

Adventure 8

Smartphone images

Atlanta > Chattanooga > Alabama > Fort Walton Beach > WaterColor > Seaside > Apalachicola > Port St. Joe > Cedar Key

Adventure 9

Pro Images
Smartphone images

Salt Lake City > Yellowstone > Grand Tetons > Jackson > Sundance

On the road and online, unlikely #CondoSeniors foursome bonds like family
by Leonora LaPeter Anton
Times Staff Writer
Tampa Bay Times

Who are the Driving The Divas?

Driving The Divas are four friends whose ages range from 52-92 years old. They live in a condo in St. Petersburg, Florida. There are two divas and two drivers. When Driving The Divas are traveling, the Driver #2 uses the social media hashtag, #DrivingTheDivas.

Who are the Divas?

The Divas are two sisters who are 90 and 91. The older sister is Diva #1 and the younger sister is Diva #2. They have ipads and drink beer.

Who are the Drivers?

The two drivers are younger guys who live in the same condo. They have been adopted by the Divas and their family. The Divas refer to these two guys as their drivers and playfully call them the "boys."

Driver #1 is 72 and an Italian chef whose mother ensured all the boys knew how to be Italian cooks. He has cooked so much for the Divas and their family that he is referred to as the Divas' Personal Chef!

Driver #2 is 52 and is a photographer who documents the adventures using social media.

Driving The Divas in Pastry Shop, Solvang, California

Who Are My CondoSeniors?

The condo residents are a mixture of middle-age residents and retired seniors. The latter are are referred to as my CondoSeniors.

The list of adventures continues...

  1. Adventure #1: Oct-Nov 2012, 25 Days to Napa and Back
  2. Adventure #2: May 2013, Jacksonville for Wedding
  3. Adventure #3: June 2013, Atlanta and Nashville visit
  4. Adventure #4: Aug 2013, 717 South for Dine Tampa Bay
  5. Adventure #5: 25-30 Sep 2013, Atlanta
  6. Adventure #6: 9-10 April 2014, Valdosta for granddaughter's graduation from Valdosta State University.
  7. Adventure #7: 4-12 June, Washington DC. See the images from the Samsung S5.
  8. Adventure #8: July, Atlanta and Florida Panhandle
  9. Adventure #9: 26 Aug - 3 Sep, Sundance and Yellowstone
  10. Adventure #10: Nashville and Atlanta for a Wedding
  11. Adventure #11: XMAS Cruise 2014, Royal Caribbean Cruise — Port Canaveral to Labadee, Haiti
  12. Adventure #12 Charlotte to see Diva #1's great grandkid. Then to Colunbia, South Carolina BBQ Trail, returning via Route 301 through South Carolina, Georgia and Florida
  13. Adventure #13 Amerila Island, Florida

Copyright for Condo Seniors and Driving The Divas was approved by Library of Congress in 2013.

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