Julia Reed spoke at Verse and Vino 2018 – the big annual fundraising dinner for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. I was sober – no vino for me – so, it wasn’t the booze that made me fall in love.
Down-home glamour that kicks: that’s how I’d describe Julia Reed. She has a laser-like way of cutting through the detritus of cultural fluff and hitting our hearts with powerful and funny reflections. Ms. Reed is, as my mom would say, “put together.” Her southern roots show though in her ability to wax a yarn but with good hair and a refined style. She can poke fun of quirky Southern culture because she knows it – and respects it. Her analysis also allows us to reflect on the darker parts of southern life like racism, class division, segregation, poverty, and the legacy of underfunded public education to name a few. Her humor and disarming manner builds trust and then she leans in and whispers a truth in your ear that might cause a stir at a cocktail party…but leaves you changed forever.
Well, I was hooked. I’ve been following Ms. Reed on Instagram and of course we’re now best friends (in my mind). I actually think I want to be her when I grow up.
A few finds – y’all check out this write up at One King’s Lane that provides insight to Ms. Reed’s style that comes through the decor of her New Orleans apartment. In the article Ms. Reed says,
“No house or apartment is complete without a ton of books,” Julia says. Her living room library is brimming with cookbooks and decor books. “A great many of my friends are writers, so I have all their books. There’s no way I could ever name a favorite book, but it makes me feel very happy to have them around.”
Ms. Reed also writes for Garden & Gun magazine. I’ve spent too much time going through her old stories. This one from 2014 is a hoot. She describes a funeral in New Orleans where the corpse was, “sitting upright, on a platform erected for the occasion, decked to the nines in a big black hat and a hot-pink feather boa, a cigarette holder in one manicured hand and a Waterford crystal flute of champagne in the other.” Ahhh – to have a life where you’re invited to funerals like that.