Farewell fruitcake lady
November 10, 2006 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Marie Rudisill, of "Ask the Fruitcake Lady" fame, and Truman Capote's aunt, passed away last week. (Leno's farewell.)
posted by jaimev (8 comments total)
Actually she passed away last year but they just now found her wrapped in foil in the back of the cupboard.
Sorry: .
posted by hal9k at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

My favorite writing on her is under lock and key over on the Oxford American site so I'll just excerpt a bit of it here:
    Her performance is camp. But her outré Southern pedigree comes honestly. Marie is the sister of Truman Capote’s late mother, Lillie Mae Faulk Persons Capote, who committed suicide in 1954. Capote called Marie “Aunt Tiny.” She helped raise him. And like her nephew, who was a Johnny Carson–era Tonight Show favorite, she now employs cathode rays to her advantage. But, as was the case with Capote, Marie will not, upon her passing, be remembered by the demi-monde for the flame and spittle and slur captured in television appearances. Marie Rudisill will be remembered as the author of a slim 1989 volume, Sook’s Cookbook: Memories and Traditional Recipes from the Deep South. Using plantation daybooks from the early 1800s as her primary sources, weaving in character studies of friends and neighbors and relatives from Monroeville, she wrote one of the best cookbooks to hit Southern shelves. It’s a portrait of place. It’s a portrait of people. It’s full of recipes for green olive jambalaya and watermelon rind preserves and poinsettia cake. Sadly, it’s now out of print. I love that book, but my recollections of Marie will be more personal. After I helped her with a book-deal negotiation, Marie phoned. She was, at the time, eighty-nine. And she was effusive in her thanks. “I’ll do anything for you,” Marie said, her tone raspy, her timbre bright. After a three-beat pause, she added, “Except sex.” A hail of cackles followed. And soon after, a dial tone. - John T. Edge, OA #53
Good on you Marie, and best of luck trading tales with Julia Child in the great kitchen of the afterlife.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2006

I love his description of his relationship with Sook and their annual tradition of baking fruitcakes in his story "A Christmas Memory" (Capote reading "A Christmas Memory" -- available here).
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on November 10, 2006

For all of you out there wondering why people from the South are so much cooler than you are, I would suggest watching a couple of this lady's segments from the Tonight Show (ignore the extremely large-chinned Yankee introducing her). They do not make them like this anymore, and the world is a poorer place without her.

posted by ND¢ at 10:34 AM on November 10, 2006

. . .
posted by Atreides at 10:47 AM on November 10, 2006

Off topic, but related -- Truman Capote auction pulls in $242,000.
posted by ericb at 11:07 AM on November 10, 2006

The Fruitcake Lady was only funny if you were somehow under the impression that old people were actually born old, and are a different species. I mean, then you're, supposed to be like, surprised that an 89-year-old woman talks dirty, and all. But when you realize that an old person is just YOU, only all wrinkly, and somewhat surprised to have woken up one morning, looked in the mirror, and seen this old person looking back at him or her, then you think, "Well, why shouldn't an old lady talk dirty?"
Old age happens real fast, and I promise, you'll be swearin' a blue streak when it hits you.
posted by Faze at 1:05 PM on November 10, 2006

Sounds like someone's old.
posted by Atreides at 10:49 AM on November 11, 2006

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