NPT "A Word on Words" Interview with Rosemary – Listen Now

You have reached the website for Rosemary Hamilton. Author of "Only When I’m High," The Runways of a Southern Belle.

In her memoir, Rosemary Hamilton takes us down the runways of her life in search of The Truth.  What she goes through to find it, well, trust me…. you’ve never gone this far with a Southern Belle before.  

As she exposes a life defined by labels, titles, and the expectations of others, pieces of all our lives emerge:  the families that influence us, roles that define us, divorces that haunt us, and our spirits that save us.

A sufferer of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), her inability to focus takes her on an extended vacation in the mid-seventies when she accepts an invitation without really reading it:

"A normal person would’ve known that those private rooms in the brochure were padded, and the mint juleps at five—-poured from pill bottles.  It was an honest-to-goodness, looney bin."

While on this, the longest, darkest runway of all, a "Yankee" therapist strips her of all titles and labels, only to give her a new one—SBD (Southern Belle Disorder).  When she learns that her pedestal has stood on rocks of stigma, she takes off her tiara and chisels away!  As a flight attendant she chips off a pretty big chunk; as a comedian she chips off more; she moves to Harlem and chips off the rest. There, a crash course on the long-term effects of hypocrisy and discrimination forces her to examine the stuff she has carried since childhood.

"Beneath a New York blizzard I found my apartment.  But when the snow melted, I looked around and the only white thing left was me.  That’s when I added yet another label to the ones I already carried.  It was ‘White Girl,’ and there was not another one in sight…."

 Be warned.  Inside, there are emergency landings that will knock the tiara right off your head!