150 hear author speak at women's luncheon

WINDER - Book author and syndicated columnist Ronda Rich brought her Southern humor to about 150 professionals at Monday's Women in Business Luncheon.

Rich, whose columns are syndicated in 42 Southern newspapers, presents weekly comments on Southern topics with columns like "Possums Need Love" and "Gone Grits in New York City." At Monday's luncheon she discussed her rise from sportswriter to author and columnist.

"The greatest gift a writer can have is to be born into a dysfunctional family," Rich said. "I have been well-blessed."

Rich put her experience as a Gainesville native and 11th-generation Georgian into her best-selling book, "What Southern Women Know," that launched her career as an author.

During a televised interview with Dick Clark, Rich compared Southern women to kudzu.

"We are practically indestructible, we thrive in Southern soil and we refuse to be controlled by men," Rich said, adding, "It's more than the drawl, y'all."

An afternoon signing books in a small Southern town gave Rich the inspiration for the book "The Town That Came A-Courtin'." That day, almost everyone in town attempted to match up unmarried Rich with the town's bachelor mayor.

On a serious note, Rich touched on her calling to create weekly humor.

"It is an enormous task to make people laugh and feel joy," she said.

Rich also authored "My Life in the Pits" about her years as a writer and publicist on the NASCAR circuit. She has opened for Wynona Judd and appeared with Barbara Walters on "The View."

The Barrow County Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Women in Business luncheon the second Monday of each month.