Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Friday, September 5, 2014

Joanie, We Hardly Knew Ye

I loved Joan Rivers since I was a young girl.  I adored her crackly voice, exaggerated hand gestures, and sharp wit that could cut through the toughest steak without a knife. My Irish Catholic Mother would have preferred a different role model for me.  But I loved Joan.

I remember when Joan (she probably wouldn't mind that I called her by her first name) would sit in for Johnny Carson.  During high school, Dude and I would stay up to watch The Tonight Show on sleepovers.  I was always thrilled when my girl, Joan, made an appearance. Dude won't admit it, but she had a HUGE crush on Johnny Carson.  But that's another show, Oprah.

One of the best documentaries that I have ever seen was called Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.  The film examines Joan Rivers' unstoppable drive and passion for her work.  One scene that resonates in my mind is of Joan's file cabinets filled with thousands of  jokes that she had written over the years on index cards.  

Another great moment is when the camera focuses on Joan perusing her open datebook with few engagements penned in. She speaks with raw candor about how insecure this blank book makes her feel and her struggle to stay relevant to her younger audiences.

Joan Rivers' life had its ups and downs.  She was a trailblazer for women comedians.  She started a multi-million dollar jewelry business that was sold during the early days of QVC.   She worked tirelessly for her charitable causes, especially God's Love We Deliver, which was very close to her heart.  Joan carried on with her head held high after her husband's suicide and filing for bankruptcy.

Joan Rivers was a survivor and one tough cookie.  
I think that's what I admired about her most.

"Life is very tough if you don't laugh. It's tough."  

~Joan Rivers

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. I agree she was a wonderful trail blazer for young female comedians. However, I really lost all interest after she continued to alter her looks via plastic surgery. I did not want my young daughters and those I mentor to think that is what life is all about. She will be missed for her crazy sense of humor, but I pray women would be more kind to themselves and accept what God has given them. Just my two cents!

    1. Agree with your sentiments. Used to love Joan and her wit but with age, which she did not seem to embrace willingly, also came a sharpness that was not pleasant.
      Just my one cents worth.

  2. Beautiful post. So sweet and sad at the same time.

  3. I agree Katie. Joan was so full of life and energy. I just know she was planning on making it to 110. It's scary how a little procedure can go so wrong. I thought she was pretty fab....though brash at times she did say what some of us were thinking and too afraid to say. I just admired her guts, humor and smarts. Definitely a loss. Wonderful post!

  4. For some reason, I'm really feeling this loss of someone I didn't know. Perhaps because her death came so suddenly and I feel for her daughter and grandson. I enjoyed watching her on her tv shows and on QVC (she also sold her clothing line). She was spunky and a survivor. When someone would ask her to speak for a charity, her response was always, "when do you need me?" I thought she was great.

  5. I am sad, Katie. I will miss her Fashion Police so much. And, I too have watched her from the days of Johnny Carson. Did you know she did so much for dogs in NYC?

  6. I am teary as I am reading this...she was so funny you actually cried. This was a nice post...I hope all of us keep on laughing well into our much later years of life.

  7. What a great tribute! I admire her for a more practical reason . . . she stayed stylish and didn't turn into a frumpy old woman. Surgeries aside, her clothing and hair were always beautiful and a great example to all of us ladies to not settle into a rut. She had friends of all ages and cherished her younger fans, which kept her current and loved by everyone!

  8. What a lovely tribute. She was stylish, funny, and relevant till the end. I thought of her as someone who was ageless, not due to the plastic surgery, but because she kept current with the culture. I am sad as well that she is gone. I feel for her daughter, grandson, and friends and family who loved her and will miss her.

  9. She was a fighter and she used her wit to keep going. How sad that her life had to end so abruptly. xo Laura

  10. Joan Rivers was one of a kind...thank heavens for her honest wit and generous spirit. I will miss you Joan (on QVC, Fashion Police, etc.) and your humor; especially about the famous who believe their own publicity and take themselves so seriously. She had little patience for that spoiled group. Prayers to her family and friends... Cheryl Ann

  11. I simply LOVED Joan Rivers. Yes, she was at times over the top, even at times outrageous. However, her indefatigable approach to not allowing any obstacle to impede her, was truly remarkable. Also, who can fault a woman who loved her child (and her grandchild) so deeply, so completely?
    A star has disappeared from the sky....

  12. Katie, What a wonderful, sweet tribute! I LOVED Joan Rivers & will miss her very much. My heart goes out to her daughter & grandson whom she seemed so close with. RIP Joan. Thanks for the post dear Katie. xoxo Dawn

  13. What a shocking and sad loss. I think that one of the most telling things about Joan is her deep friendships with the very people she poked at with her jokes. Time after time in the past few days we've heard what an incredibly loyal friend she was. Including being best buds with Charles and Camilla! Go figure!

  14. I agree 100% - loved her! Trailblazer for women, hard worker, loyal and funny.
    -linda, ny

  15. Joan sure left her signature, to laugh.
    loved her too.


J. Crew

Recent Posts