The insurance agent called Vicki Fox at Homeland to inquire about her car accident from the previous Friday.
The call was a case of mistaken identity, but Vicki had three things to say. First, she didn’t have a car. Second, she had canceled her insurance.
“And third, was I hurt, and could I collect on it?”
Vicki can inject a one-liner into any situation, but she also has a heart for helping others. In her career, she has been a court reporter for 25 years and a businessperson whose initiatives helped women find their true purpose and overcome life’s obstacles.
Vicki is a native of Long Island, New York, who majored in sociology at State University of New York-Stony Brook. She moved to Central Pennsylvania when her then-husband was studying at Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. Casting about for a satisfying career, she met a woman who called court reporting “the best job in the world” – skilled, independent, in the thick of things.
“It was always like watching a play,” she says. “Some trials are really good and interesting, and some are really boring, but there’s always something interesting going on.”
For many years, she worked in the court of federal Judge Sylvia Rambo. Even though court reporters are supposed to blend into the background, Vicki sometimes provided comic relief. There was the time her stenography machine started gobbling her pearl necklace.
“Your honor, we have to wait a minute,” Vicki interrupted the court. “My machine is eating me.”
Vicki was also a teacher of Kundalini yoga and a ballroom dancer who gathered a devoted group of friends about her. On her 55th birthday, she found herself in a time of reinvention, so she threw a “rebirthday” party, and 38 women came.
“I like to create community,” she says. “That’s why I think I’m here.”
At that party, each woman was asked to name one thing she could do for herself, and one thing for the care of the earth. Some cried as they opened their hearts. That night, Vicki had a dream of talking to someone, and “no joke, I woke up and heard ‘Women of Intention: Ordinary Women Making an Extraordinary Difference. If you don’t keep holding those meetings, all those dreams are going to die.’”
“So, I did,” she says. That was the start of Women of Intention. Vicki organized regular events with top speakers, giving women safe spaces for exploring desires, motives, and barriers to success.
One of Vicki’s favorite speakers is voice coach Claude Stein. The “wannabe singer” has attended his Natural Singer workshops at the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies many times and also brought him to the Harrisburg area. Through Stein, non-singers learn how to unleash their natural voices, and professional singers learn to express their artistry.
Vicki seeks out opportunities to act as a bridge between people. Organizing her 40th high school reunion constituted “the most hours I ever spent on anything and the most rewarding because people started connecting who hadn’t talked in 40 years.” One pair of former best friends found that neither could remember the cause of a long-ago argument that had severed their relationship.
“They rekindled their friendship,” says Vicki. “I got so many lovely emails saying, ‘Thank you for reconnecting me with my past.’”
Through it all, Vicki finds her own ways to keep worry from bogging her down.
“I like to dance and sing because to do either of them well, you need to be in the moment,” she says. “You can’t be thinking about anything else. In a dancing lesson, all you have to do is listen to the music and feel your partner as he’s trying to lead you.”
Vicki is the mother of two – a daughter in Chicago and a son in Minnesota – and the grandmother of five. As a Homeland resident, she attends Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra concerts and enjoyed a ride on the Pride of the Susquehanna paddleboat on a beautiful June day.
She is discovering her inner artist, producing masterful paintings in jewel tones that mimic stained glass. A colorful giraffe, intended for her 1-year-old granddaughter, was created at a Homeland painting pizza party.
“The most popular things around here are pizza parties,” she said. “You can get everyone happy. All you have to do is have a pizza party.”