Raw from the Road, May 10, 2018
Beauty and Wisdom, Revisited
My grandmother was a powerhouse of a woman and southern to her core. She was small in stature but, she was a giant.
Every person she met on her journey was blessed and she was my biggest cheerleader in life.
I celebrate her life every day in everything that I do because I am constantly trying to continue to make her proud.
Thank you for celebrating her beauty and wisdom.
(Granddaughter of Elizabeth, Beauty and Wisdom)
This is so timely since mother’s day is just around the corner. I recently received multiple orders for my first book, “Beauty and Wisdom” and at first I thought, ‘That’s funny, all these orders are from Alabama?”
Then, I received the most heart warming email from one of the granddaughters of Elizabeth, who I photographed for the book… and then, another email and another email… it was so lovely! I connected with 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters of Elizabeth (Pictured above).
Sadly, they informed me that Elizabeth had passed in 2014. She was in her nineties when I photographed her in 2009. I met Elizabeth in one of my favorite photographing locations…Brantley, Alabama.
It was truly a real life Steel Magnolias situation with women coming in with flowers and fruit and talking about what they would make for homecoming and about the new pastor in the church. It was wonderful.
I sent out notices to all the ladies in the book, but I’m guessing some of the notices were not read or overlooked.
It brings me so much joy to connect with these women in Alabama who I have never met and to know that Beauty and Wisdom memorialized this beautiful Southern Lady, whose photograph has been seen all over the world in magazines and onlineand will be seen on a billboard in Washington state next year.
Here is one of the emails I received from her granddaughters:
Dear Ms. Kaye,
I was recently doing some online research on the small Southern town, Brantley, Alabama. While viewing some of the images, i came across a photo of my beloved grandmother, Elizabeth Henderson seated under the hair dryer out at “Miss Sheila’s” Beauty Parlor. I had never seen this photo and after some investigation discovered your blog. To my huge surprise, I then discovered that you had written a book and had photo exhibitions that included my Grandmother. I was so excited to see her image, and read your beautiful words and thoughts about her. I have spent the last couple of days reading every article, interview, press release, and mere mention that I can locate on Beauty and Wisdom. I immediately ordered the book and anxiously await its arrival. Sadly, we lost Grandmother December of 2014. We were shopping, one of her absolute favorite things to do, and she had a heart attack. Luckily, she was with us in Birmingham, Al, when it happened and we were able to get her to some wonderful physicians that literally saved her. She rallied for a few days. Everyone had time to travel the hospital and spend time with her and talk with her and say all the things we wanted to say. We were given a gift of time. She began to decline and she made the decision that her time had come to an end and she would go out on her terms. We were all with her until the end. She told me that she never dreamed that she go out shopping! She was always a Southern lady, a true steel magnolia that left this world a better place. After speaking to the family, we are all convinced that she never knew about your book or your photo exhibits that included her. I can honestly tell you that she would have been absolutely tickled pink!! She would have loved it! If there were any memories of my Grandmother that you had to share, we would love to hear them. Thank you for this, thank you for appreciating her and her wisdom and thank you for seeing her beauty! I look forward to receiving my book.
The other emails I received were equally moving, sharing a little something about Elizabeth.
It’s this type of thing that answers my ‘why’ and brings it all home…
These ladies are thanking me, but it is I who feel eternally grateful… for their beautiful and wise grandmother who allowed me to photograph her in the middle of her ‘hair appointment’ and show the world her strength and the power and beauty of an overlooked generation. And now, for these family members who have so sweetly reached out to me… wow… just wow…
It’s reassuring in this sometimes nutty world, to witness a family like theirs… close and loving and supportive of each other and honoring their grandmother as the matriarch.
Thank you Southern Ladies…. Ya’ll are amazing!
The second edition of Beauty and Wisdom is now SOLD OUT and I’m so happy I had them available for these lovely ladies and just in time for Mother’s Day. Perhaps someday I’ll create a 3rd edition or maybe a large publishing company will want to publish it as a large coffee table book…the one I had envisioned and always dreamed of. If you would like to see more of this photographic series just click
on -> Beauty & Wisdom
Happy Mother’s Day to all women…. For we are ALL mothers and matriarchs in some way.
Thank you for continuing to share YOUR beauty and wisdom!
Love and Light,
In Loving Memory of Elizabeth Henderson, Beautiful and Wise