Visit with Paula Deen
Many of you may remember my blog about Paula Deen’s fall from favor last summer. I thought the attacks were highly vicious and unfair. Political correctness gone amuck. If we are all held publicly accountable for things we said 30 years ago, we’d be in sad shape. I knew at the time Paula Deen was no racist but the media decided she was and blew it all out of proportion. I was sad for her. My heart ached.
I didn’t know her and didn’t really know how to get hold of her. So, you may remember, I wrote an “open letter” to her last year. In March I went to Hilton Head and so wrote to her, presumptuously, that I’d love to drive to Savannah to meet her. No agenda, just show support and try to be an encouragement. It wasn’t possible at the time.
Last week I drove to Nashville with my daughter and her four children to visit dear friends who have moved there. It’s a long drive but the kids were so very good. My daughter was like a woman possessed! She was determined to get to Nashville in eight hours. And we did!
It was a fun trip. This is a 3 generational friendship…I have know these folks for 40+ years. I met them when I was living in Pennsylvania and expecting my oldest. The Lembrights are special to us – and well worth the 8 hour drive. Their daughter and 3 kids were visiting from California. We kept the kids busy and exhausted. One day we took all 7 kids to Franklin to eat at Maridee’s – it will never be the same! Fortunately my friend spent 30+ years as a first grade teacher so knew all about “crowd control”.
While waiting for lunch in Maridee’s I got a text from my business partner’s granddaughter who said, “Exciting news. Call me”. I planned to call after lunch. She then rang me on my phone so I took it. She told me Paula Deen was going to be in Pigeon Forge, TN to do a cooking show and she had contacted Paula Deen’s people. She mentioned my name and they said they’d love to have us come to the show on Sunday night and meet her.
Not a celebrity hound, I was a bit reluctant. But made arrangements to drive to Pigeon Forge – had to rent a car since my daughter had to drive on back to Virginia with the four children for a Monday event. (Did you know one-way rentals are outrageous. Hertz wanted $1000!! I used Enterprise for considerably less.) I was not happy with her driving alone but she is more than independent and capable. As they left, I “threatened” the kids to be good on the drive home!
I arrived in time at Pigeon Forge along with half the population of the East Coast! We were met by her delightful assistant who took us to a back room to wait for Paula – she was doing a “meet and greet” plus she is having difficulty with her eyes and needed some rest. Her Aunt Peggy came as did her good friend “Bubbles” and two very nice business associates who handle her food products. Such nice people! Sometimes the people around a celebrity can be really obnoxious. They couldn’t have been warmer or more delightful.
Paula eventually came we we had a good visit. She loves my aprons!! She is adorable and exceedingly gracious – as is her husband, Michael! She is as cute in person as she is on TV. We all fell in love with each one we met.
The show was great fun – we had a blast. And were able to meet with her after the show. Not sure where she gets her energy!
Please pray that she be able to get the rest she needs and her eyes heal – completely.
As I have said so many times, God loves to restore. And He is restoring Paula after a terrible episode in her life. With her new venture, I pray she will enjoy every success!