Local News

Chapel Hill residents say Edwards was warm, gracious

Posted December 7, 2010 5:29 p.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2010 6:39 p.m. EST

— People who knew Elizabeth Edwards in Chapel Hill thought of her as a local, not as some untouchable public figure.

On Tuesday, they paused to reflect on a woman they knew as warm, kind and gracious.

"She can stop and talk. She doesn't just walk by you," said Mildred Council, whose Mama Dip's restaurant was a few doors down from a furniture store Edwards opened last year in Chapel Hill.

Council said Edwards last ate at Mama Dip's about a month ago.

She said she was touched by a message Edwards posted Monday on her Facebook page in which she talks about how grateful she is for the life she has.

"I felt so blessed because she understood life," Council said. "She wrote this thing on there and understood what life is, and so, I thought that was gracious."

Edwards' store, the Red Window, has been closed for several months. Still, people recalled its vibrant feel.

"When you went into her store down there, she was very gracious, very warm, very inviting. 'Come in. Take a look around,'" said Jennifer Bell, a hair stylist who works at a nearby salon.

When Edwards opened the store, Bell said, she came into the salon to introduce herself.

"My customer was sitting in the chair and jumped up and ran into the hallway. She was so excited to meet Elizabeth Edwards," she said.

In May, Edwards participated in a story-telling show in Carrboro, called The Monti. Producer Jeff Polish said that she talked about her parents and the profound influence they had on her life.

"She was pure dignity. I just really feel that she was a class act who conducted herself with so much dignity," Polish said. "She was a first-class person, no matter what has gone on in her life, no matter what anyone has said about her or about her family. I just think she is Grade A."