Home»Notes from the Road»In Memoriam: Sallie Brady

In Memoriam: Sallie Brady

SB

Sallie Brady, a friend and a contributor to this site, died unexpectedly last week. Sallie was a wonderful and gifted freelance writer and editor. She had a brilliant smile, a warm and engaging manner, and some of the best media gossip imaginable. Days before something hit The New York Post’s Page Six, you could hear it from Sallie, fact-checked and cross referenced via her bevy of friends, informants and Cassandras at the major magazines in New York.

Always dressed up in a fashion that suggested the high gloss 50’s rather than the dressed down permanent Fridays we seem to be in now, Sallie was a shot of old fashioned glam. With her fuzzy sweaters and pearls, she had the sorority look long before “Mad Men” made it chic all over again. Like many people I’ve known who seem to be the most authentic, died-in-the-wool, hardboiled New Yorkers, she was born and raised in the Midwest, in her case in Cleveland.

She worked at many magazines including GQ, Brides, House Beautiful and This Old House, and had lived a New York life that seemed ambitious for someone twice her age, with tales that would have made Dawn Powell sit up and pay attention, if not Dorothy Parker. Some came from her days haunting the fabled Lion’s Head on Christopher Street, where newspaper guys, novelists and other wastrels would drink and talk and then talk some more. Think of the likes of Breslin, Hamill, and Frank McCourt. She was acquainted with a lot of people, as one can be if you’re young and smart and social in the city.

We’d see each other at press events in New York, Sallie arriving sparkling and smiling. If you knew her, you’d watch her do her thing and then wait for her to stand next to you and hear her breathy, sotto voce rundown of everyone in the room. It was always worth the wait. She knew every Holly Golightly making the scene and the backstory to the poseurs, the influencers, and the most interesting people in the room.

We traveled together a bit – back in the late 90’s, we did the Coast to Coast walk across England with a small group of like-minded masochistic Anglophiles. Sallie usually lagged behind but she was a trooper, even as her every step seemed an agony, as if the physical act of walking across a field instead of in search of a cab were something new to her. The sight of her in hiking boots made me wonder if she might have done better in her usual white heels. We roamed through the Cotswolds another time, gathering material for stories on antique dealers and auctions and collectibles, subjects in which Sallie because something of an expert for Art & Antiques and Forbes Life. Here she was more sure-footed, fearsome with cagey dealers, quick to show umbrage – there was an Irish temper lurking there — but equally quick to reward someone with a smile if it was warranted.

 She wrote the Letter from London column for me and raced across that city covering antiques fairs and shows, crashing one night at The Dorchester, the next at One Aldwych and maybe Dukes the night after that. It was a glam life and she knew everyone, as they say, this 47 year old woman who traveled with her favorite pillow that had been stuffed into the overhead of more than one first class compartment. At home, she buckled down and worked hard, her companions a succession of small white dogs and a beloved Irish husband, Jimmy, from whom she was recently widowed. She was a delight and she will be missed by many.

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33 Comments

  1. Bob Titley
    June 5, 2013 at 10:13 am — Reply

    Everett,

    Thank you for remembering Sallie in this way. She will be missed all over the wrold.

    Bob Titley

  2. Sharon A McCoy
    June 5, 2013 at 10:19 am — Reply

    Thank you for the loving tribute to our Sallie. I will miss her quick wit and warm ways.

  3. June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am — Reply

    I’m sorry to hear about Sallie, Everett. A heartfelt eulogy.

  4. Joan Scobey
    June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am — Reply

    How much Sallie would enjoy your brimming memoriam.

  5. Katherine Johnstone
    June 5, 2013 at 11:01 am — Reply

    We always loved working with Sallie, here at the French Tourist Office. She was a consummate professional, a delight to travel with and a wonderful person. Her death is tragic. She is missed.

  6. June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am — Reply

    You really characterized Sallie as I remember her. Gone way too soon and so undeserving. She really stood out. thank you for the tribute. She was a sweet and classy person.

  7. Bill McCoy
    June 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm — Reply

    Every one of your words is true and right. An excellent remembrance.

  8. Brigitta Kroon-Fiorita
    June 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm — Reply

    Thanks Everett. Wonderful eulogy. I will miss her.

  9. Yves Gentil
    June 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    Thanks Everett. so sad

  10. June 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm — Reply

    Thanks Everett for your glowing eulogy for such a sweetheart of a person; beyond my tears and emotion, Sallie is smiling from above.

  11. Diane Zweiman
    June 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm — Reply

    Everett, what a lovely tribute. She will be missed.

  12. Leslie Elman
    June 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    Beautifully said and so true. Not only did Sallie know everyone, she was generous with introductions as only a 21st-century woman with old-school smarts and style could be.

  13. Paul Chibeba
    June 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm — Reply

    Thank you Everett for this wonderful tribute to a very much missed, wonderful lady.

    I had the pleasure of travelling with Sallie as we followed in the footsteps of the Brontës; she walking barefoot along steep cobbles in Haworth – ditching the heels for just a moment to pay tribute to the heroines of the sisters’ genius.

    An incredibly talented writer and sweet, friendly person.

    • June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm — Reply

      I only met her a few times but she was unforgettable. A quick-witted, glamorous lady whose friends and admirers (see above) were as legendary in the business as she was. Paul Chibeba, Sharon McCoy, John Lampl, et. al…all in the same first class as Sallie. You know she’s smiling at you all from an ethereal first class transit lounge.

  14. Leah Talatinian
    June 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm — Reply

    Such a lovely tribute, indeed, her warmth is what I will remember most about her.

  15. June 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm — Reply

    Sallie was a lovely & warm person, just as Everett’s beautiful words suggest. Very sad news.

  16. CLare Bradshaw
    June 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm — Reply

    I think Joan is right – she would have loved this, Everett. I can hear her giggle now.

  17. June 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    Such a lovely tribute, Sallie will not be forgotten in England either, at all the best hotels in town – and beyond. Thankyou Everett. This is a reminder to live each day the very best possible way we can.

  18. June 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    A tribute worthy of its subject. Bravo and thank you, Everett. The moment you hear where Sallie’s first story on Heaven will appear, rush to let all of us her fans know. It is certain to be superb.

  19. June 6, 2013 at 6:20 am — Reply

    Everett What sad news! I remember Sallie well from our Coast to Coast trek so many years ago. She was a very special lady. Thank you for sharing your tribute to Sallie.

  20. June 6, 2013 at 9:21 am — Reply

    A wonderful tribute to an amazing person, who will be missed by many also in England.

  21. June 6, 2013 at 10:11 am — Reply

    A very moving remembrance, Ev.

  22. Mariana Field Hoppin
    June 6, 2013 at 11:53 am — Reply

    My dear Everett,

    You have outdone yourself in your eloquent and amusing tribute to Sensational Sally one of everyone’s all time favorites.

    Please know how much I miss you and so many others since I hung up my spurs in 2010. Retirement is grand!

    With tremendous admiration for you and Gail,
    Mariana

  23. June 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    Very beautiful tribute Everett…

  24. June 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm — Reply

    I think we were all pretty shocked by the news. I go back with Sally probably longer than most, to the early days at Condé Nast/GQ, so it was especially nice to see this tribute to her life and work – thank you.

  25. patti nickell
    June 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm — Reply

    What a glowing tribute to a woman with her own special glow. One of my fondest travel memories is of Katherine Johnstone, Sallie and me shutting down more than a few bars across France. You’ll be missed, Sallie.

  26. Ed Wetschler
    June 7, 2013 at 9:23 am — Reply

    I just read this for the fifth time. Sallie was an immensely warm and likable person, and Ev, you’ve captured her perfectly.

  27. Chris Dee
    June 9, 2013 at 5:53 am — Reply

    Thank you Everett. I was involved, as host, in the Antique tour in the Cotswolds referred to and I remember Sallie very clearly as full of fun; because she seemed to me everything a New Yorker should be and because she took the trouble to write (an actual letter, with ink and everything I mean) after her visit. Some people you only need to meet once to remember affectionately for a long time and Sallie was one of those people.

  28. June 10, 2013 at 8:48 am — Reply

    Very moving, very fitting. Thank you Everett.

  29. June 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm — Reply

    What a lovely tribute to a lovely woman. I had the please of visiting Berlin with Sallie a couple of years ago. A wonderful and caring spirit.

  30. June 20, 2013 at 11:26 pm — Reply

    Everett, I met Sallie (and you!) tromping around the Cotswolds. And adored her from the minute we met. Over the years, at Art & Antiques or any of the other magazines I edited, I had Sallie write for me as often as possible. I loved to talk to her and hear her laugh and drop her voice when about to impart saucy gossip. God, how I miss her as I know you all do. I’m still devastated. Reading your words was wonderful for me. You nailed it. The world has lost some of its shine with her. In that, there is no doubt.

  31. June 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm — Reply

    What a beautiful tribute Everett..thank you for sharing this. Sallie would have loved it. I just returned yesterday from London where we were to have traveled together to Art Antiques London, our annual fair in Kensington Gardens. I cannot tell you how she was missed by all of her colleagues and friends, who still cannot process the news. She is remembered so lovingly by everyone she ever touched all over the world.

  32. Maria Lisella
    June 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm — Reply

    Hit your link from John Mariani’s newsletter this morning to find this. So glad you wrote it, what a wonderful, endearing profile. That is just as I remember her with her pearls and 50s glam…sweet to the core yet sharply observant. Liked her alot, very classy dame.

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