I was a little girl when Designing Women was originally on the air, but even then I knew that I wanted to be Julia Sugarbaker. That class, the wit, the power, and oh, those speeches. There was just something about that woman. (Perhaps this also explains my deep and abiding love for all things southern.) As I got older and watched the repeats and eventually bought the first couple of season to watch over and over again, I realized that while Julia Sugarbaker was a remarkable character, she wasn't nearly as remarkable as the woman behind her, Dixie Carter. Dixie was an accomplished stage actress, and was on television shows from 1974 until just last year. She too was a force to be reckoned with.
Dixie Carter passed away on Saturday. I found out Sunday morning on the news, and was so stunned I immediately sent a text to Crystal to share the news. I'm sad for her friends and for her husband, Hal Holbrook, who was on Designing Women as her boyfriend and eventual husband. Annie Potts (Mary Jo) had the most wonderful things to say about her friend. (You can read it here.) It's the kind of thing that you hope people will say about you when you go.
I just wanted to pay tribute to her here, in the middle of my vacation stories, because I feel like I was totally influenced by her class and style (even if I was always a little more Suzanne than I ever was a Julia).