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Columnist Ronda Rich to visit Albany, Blakely

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

ALBANY, Ga. -- Ronda Rich wants to make one thing perfectly clear -- she is swinging through Albany next week, not sashaying.

"Oh, I'm definitely swinging through town," the Dixie Diva humor columnist said with a laugh. "If I were sashaying, I would be moving slowly and trying to attract attention."

Rich, a syndicated columnist for 53 southern newspapers including The Albany Herald, will speak at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The event is free and open to the public.

The next day, Rich will travel to Blakely for a special appearance with the Early County-Blakely Chamber of Commerce.

Rich makes "between 80 to 100" public appearances per year and says she enjoys the opportunity to interact with her readers.

"I really enjoy meeting the people," she said. "They welcome me into their livings rooms weekly and are like friends to me. We connect."

Rich's columns contain characters such as Claudette, Merri Grace, her dachshund, Dixie Dew, and, of course, Mama. Her column appears today on the cover of The Herald's SouthView section.

"Folks love my mama because she is unforgettable and irrepressible," Rich said." If she thinks it, she says it and never looks back. Most daughters can identify and all of them have mama stories they want to share."

During her presentations, Rich gives her readers insights and background into her stories and her five books.

"I'll tell some stories from the books and also answer questions," Rich said. "I'll give them some background that they don't get every week in my column."

Rich, who still lives in her native Gainesville, is a graduate of Brenau University. After graduation her first job was as a sports writer for the Gainesville Sun. She later worked for USA Today, and as a writer and in Marketing with NASCAR.

"Being a sportwriter were some of the funnest years of my life," Rich said.

Since then she has appeared on dozens of television shows including "The View," "The Other Half," "The Best Damn Sports Show Ever," CNN and has appeared in many magazines, including "Cosmopolitan," "Southern Living," "Redbook" and "Woman's Own."