Remembering A Class Act

Scrapbooking is perfect for remembering certain events or milestones, celebrating and honoring special people in our lives and for documenting our history. I’ve been putting this blog post off for a while now since it was a painful subject but I eventually needed to put words to what I was feeling and honor someone special in my life. So here it goes…

In November I was fortunate enough to see the movie That Evening Sun starring Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter. They play a married couple in the film as they are in real life and when I saw them together on screen they radiated a deep love. I enjoyed the movie greatly but was slightly disturbed to see Dixie’s character die and to see how her husband mourned her. I thought to myself, I don’t like seeing my idol die and then I thought for a split second how would I react to this news one day in real life? I thought about it after the show some more but really dismissed it thinking I have years before that will happen. Little did I know that a few months later I would find out exactly what it was like. On April 10, 2010 Dixie Carter sadly past away leaving us with her final performance in That Evening Sun where oddly enough art imitated life.

Just minutes before I got the news of her passing, I was watching an old episode of Designing Women. Since they have just started to release the series on DVD my husband and I have been thoroughly enjoying watching the old episodes. He had never see them and wanted to watch them to see where my love of Dixie came from. Over the years I have dragged him to many plays, shows and events to see Dixie, so it was nice to introduce him to Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women.

I have loved Dixie Carter since I was a little girl. She captivated me on Designing Women. I loved her as Mrs. Phillip Drummond on Different Strokes as well. There was something about her that was real, relaxed and comfortable which is why I was drawn to her in the first place. Her elegance and spunk reminder me of my own grandmother and I think that is why I was drawn to Dixie so much.

Dixie Carter was the true epitome of a Southern Lady. Her charm and elegance was one of the most memorable things about her. She was beautiful inside and out. You could actually feel her warmth when you were watching her on screen and that was amplified when meeting her in person.

Since her death I decided to reread her book, weirdly enough entitled Trying to Get to Heaven: Opinions of a Tennessee Talker. I found it inspiring, informative and again disturbing. She makes references to dying and going to heaven. The most troubling thing she mentioned was taking hormones to help with osteoporosis. Apparently taking such hormones could lead to uterine cancer; which did cause Dixie’s death. I actually listened to the audio version of her book in which she narrates herself so hearing her words in her own voice really got to me.

Hal and Dixie had a rare and true love which was captured on and off screen. After the screening of That Evening Sun I attended I had the honor to meet Mr. Hal Holbrook. He was such a gentleman and gushed about Dixie, which showed how genuine their love and connection to each other was.

She was a one-of-a-kind beautiful soul that will be missed. But at the same time I’m sure she will live forever in our hearts and memories through the wonderful and unforgetable Julia Sugarbaker and the countless other characters she played over the years. Rest in peace Dixie and thanks for the laughs, the funny moments and the sweetness you brought to this earth. Thank you, Dixie, for sharing your unbelieveable talent and thank you to her family for sharing a part of her with the world!

Today Dixie would have been 71 years old. She was a beautiful soul that will be greatly missed by everyone. I hope you are knocking ’em dead up there and having a piece of birthday cake while you look down on us!¬†Thanks for being you and everything you mean to me.

In the words of John Wallowitch sung by Dixie – “It takes a life to realize what life is all about and life is all about this moment.” Make sure to capture these moments, preserve them, honor them and most importantly cherish them.