Portrait Chair: Harper Lee and Sigourney
David and I bought this chair from three friends, Sigourney, Connie, and Ann who ran, for a while, a well edited antique shop called Amici. Sigourney was the co-founder (with Connie) of Nashville’s Antiques and Garden Show. Today she is better known as the author of Patient Siggy. We always go to her home for Christmas Eve dinner. Usually my favorite photographs of the year are the photos her husband Jim sends us from that party.
When we bought this chair we were told it was a portrait chair. We use it as a kind of side table. For a good long while it held the books of all the writers who had signed petitions in support of the publication of The Wind Done Gone.
One of the very few good things about the Suntrust law suit was it drew me into a correspondence with Harper Lee. She sent a letter to the court on my behalf. I remember thinking,” I must be in real trouble if Harper Lee is going to leave her house to try to come see about me.”
When the suit was over, I sent her a thank you note and a julep cup. Much to my surprise she wrote back thanking me for the cup and telling me that I had changed things. In a later letter she wrote that as one aged there were still surprises but not all of them were good.
One of the good surprises of the middle of life for this writer is getting letters from one of the great ladies of American letters. It was a very good thing to see the copy of To Kill a Mockingbird in the portrait chair with all the books of writers who had supported me strongly.