A recent post on a favorite blog just took me back. If you will allow me the indulgence of recollection, I’d like to share my memories on a brief three months of perfection.
It was the summer after my junior year of college. As an interior design major, I had drooled for years over Charles Faudree’s work. He is a cousin of an uncle, and uncle made the necessary call, and my internship was established. I made arrangements to stay with my cousins in a small town just outside Tulsa, but not far, so I could make the drive in each day. I felt like the luckiest interior design major in the entire country: I had an internship with Charles!
Years before, we had actually been to Tulsa to see his “Chateau Debt” (as he fondly called it) when I was probably only 14. I remember walking through the front door, and feeling like Annie the first time she walked into the Daddy Warbucks mansion. On coming home, I insisted on painting my room a Pratt and Lambert butter color, and swooning over Ralph Lauren’s sage green Charlotte floral, the closest thing I could find to a Bennison fabric on a 14 year old’s budget. (I have a picture–I’ll try to find it to post.) So, yes, that was me. A fourteen year old in love with interior design and chateaus and toile.
I can’t even begin to describe the months of my internship. I don’t remember my first day, but I do remember walking into house, after house, after house, of perfection. Nothing out of place. Dreamy antiques all over the place. Sarah Brightman, Frank Sinatra and classical music in rotation on the shop’s stereo. Meandering over to T. A. Lorton to smell the candles when it got slow. Riding in the truck to deliver furniture, to the lamp shade shop. Cleaning out the fabric room, ordering fringe for my first custom made silk pillows. Walking into the shop one day to see Charlotte Moss sitting in Charles’ office, collar popped in crisp perfection. Every time I turned around, there was more fabulous.
Charles continues to remain an inspiration to me, not only for his design work, but for his heart for humanity, and his divine sense of humor.