The stories were endless.  And funny.  And fascinating.  And sometimes even true.

The lessons were generous.  And important.

The friendship was a gift.

Joan Luther was the first lady of restaurant PR in Los Angeles, her reign encompassing celebrity reports for Hedda Hopper to the latest incarnation of Joe Pytka’s Bastide.   She knew everyone.  And everyone knew Joan.  She launched an entire industry and tutored many of those that now call hospitality public relations their career, including myself.

Joanie was always willing to share – a conversation, an update,  a juicy tidbit of gossip, or a word of advice.  When in her presence, one listened, admired, and respected.  I was fortunate to enjoy her company and wisdom often, whether solicited or “offered.”   Her raspy voice would take my call immediately – every time, with no topic off limits, and no limits on her time or commitment.  Her passion inspired, even during the most difficult of circumstances.  Her friendship was always sincere.

Joan refused to retire.  Instead, she provided a rare glimpse into the life force of a woman driven by the love of her profession.  And her beloved Scotties.

Thanks for the memories, Joanie.  There will never be another you.