Friday, February 1, 2013

FARMER’S DOZEN: DEBORAH ROBERTS

 Akin to a baker's dozen, my Farmer's Dozen is a quantity of a dozen or so questions - a series of questions with fellow designers, authors, tastemakers, friends and Southerners alike.


Middle Georgia can boast many a delightful character as a native son or daughter. From Flannery O'Conner to Senator Sam Nunn, we Middle Georgians are proud of those who have made their marks on the home stage as well as the world's.

I believe that the red clay of Middle Georgia stains not only our clothes and cars but stains our souls - as a reminder of the fertile lands from which we were raised. Peaches and pecans flourish in this soil and one Georgia peach in particular has made a name for herself - and no I'm talking about the Elberta. I'm referring to Deborah Roberts - ABC News correspondent, philanthropist and activist, fashionista, doting mother, loving and supportive wife and friend.

I want to welcome Deborah to the Farmer's Dozen my dear! Thank you for all you do for us in Perry and for hosting this ol Farmer boy in New York and even writing a story for A Time to Cook - you are one of Middle Georgia's prized daughters for sure!



 FARMER’S DOZEN: DEBORAH ROBERTS 

1. I know you are from Perry (because we always have to make that distinction that I'm from Kathleen). How has small town Southern living influenced your professional life as a news correspondent? 
My values are present in all that I do at ABC. The way I approach people and what I write in my scripts is governed by my upbringing and beliefs. I try to bring a calm sense of decency and humanity to my work



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2. If you were a color, what would you be and why? 

Well I am already, of course. But I’d love to be yellow…and radiate warmth and happiness.


3. What are some of your favorite heirlooms? What do you love about them? How have you incorporated them into your decor? 

I actually don’t have many heirlooms in our home. But I do have a small serving bowl that my 87 year-old mother used when we were growing up. It has strawberries painted inside, and while it’s not very expensive, I cherish it. It reminds me of the potato salad or collard greens Mom once served in it. I actually had it repainted by an artist when it faded after a few years. I also have an old off white embroidered linen dress that Mom wore in the ‘50s. It’s tiny. I can almost zip it after a little fasting…I hope to one day slip in it and take a photo!  


4. What's your favorite room in your home? 

I love my bedroom. It’s cozy, with green trellis carpet and an antique desk in the corner. But best of all it has a fireplace. We light it during cold winter nights and just lie there looking at the dancing flames.   


5. You have such a heart of gold, a true passion for people. What do you think led you into broadcasting?   

I am a bit of a ham, truthfully, and always loved talking. But when I learned about videotaping during a high school production, I knew I wanted to be in that screen. I felt I was born to communicate.  


6. Where is your favorite get-a-way?  

I adore the Cayman Islands. The beaches are beautiful and warm tropical air is invigorating.  But I truly am in love with Paris. We went there on our honeymoon and I always feel happy when I think of little bistros and a stroll down Rue St. Germain with my husband. What’s more romantic than that?




7. You always look elegant and fashion forward. Who are some of your style icons? Has the south influenced your fashion sense? 

Who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn and the way she effortlessly wore pants or elegant dresses? I have also been influenced a bit by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. She has encouraged us all to take risks and to feel true and honest about style choices. And she and I both look good in sleeveless dresses. : )  I am not a conservative dresser. I love fitted dresses and I’ve been known to show legs too!





8. You shared such sweet, sentimental words about Southern cooking in my new book, A Time to Cook (forthcoming Spring, 2013). When it's a cold day in New York, what is your favorite Southern comfort food? 

There’s nothing like good Southern grits and eggs for breakfast on a cold morning. It just makes me feel comforted and happy. A bowl of hearty lamb stew, made by my husband, along with a slice of corn bread is always a great treat!


9. The last time I was in New York, you threw the most fabulous book party at The Corner Bookstore. What do you think New York's take is on Southern culture? What do you think the "draw" is? 

I think New Yorkers love our gentility and our warmth. I often have cab drivers ask where I am from, with the assumption that I can’t possibly be from New York. I hailed the cab too politely, one driver said. Or when I say thank you for stopping, they often are taken aback. Sometimes people tell me lovely stories about having visited the south and wanting to go back. They like the slow, gentle pace that we exude.

 


10. Who inspires you? 

I am inspired every day by my mother, who taught me to look for the decency in every person. And Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us of the power of words and determined actions.


11. What did you call your grandmother? Share a story about her... maybe something you've inherited from her.  

I actually never knew either grandmother.  They were both deceased when I was growing up.  I am sad that I never had that memory.


12. Favorite scent? 

I love clean, citrus scents like Eau d’Hadrien from Annick Goutal, which I discovered on my honeymoon, or the Bvlgari lotion.  I wear lotions not perfumes since they are faint and soft.  People often ask what I’m wearing.  They aren’t overpowering. 


  

13. What's on your coffee table right now?

I haven’t been home long enough recently to remember.  I think it’s a book from Cameron Silver from the hot Los Angeles consignment shop called Decades.  He just sent me his new book about fashion through the decades.

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  2. Hello James.
    What a delightful visit with Deborah Roberts. I've always admired her work. Her warm and welcoming attitude is what gives the South it's good name. How wonderful that you are good friends. My best to you both.
    Lisa Porter

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