Publicist Recalls Pair of Magical Encounters With Harper Lee

Against all odds, Jennifer Reynolds convinced the reclusive author in 2005 to accept the inaugural ATTY Award

This all happened a decade ago, so it can’t be taken as a complete assurance that Harper Lee was in full possession of her faculties when she agreed to the release of the To Kill a Mockingbird prequel-sequel. But boy oh boy, does it ever seem to suggest that could very well be the case.

Jennifer Reynolds, founder of Rose Valley, PA firm Reynolds Ink Public Relations, explains how back in 2005, she created an award for law firm clients and somehow convinced Lee to come to town to accept it. A year later, she and her husband, business partner Chris (pictured) got together with the author once again, this time in New York:

Chris and I met Lee for lunch in New York on her 80th birthday. (She took the bus from the East Side to Central Park West.) We learned that Oprah had sent her 80 yellow tulips and wanted her to do a TV interview. She said no, but did write an essay for Oprah’s magazine. She had recently attended a 90th birthday party for Horton Foote, screenplay writer of To Kill a Mockingbird. There she had seen Robert Duvall, and was tickled to greet him with “Hey Boo!”

When lunch ended, we drove Lee home to Yorktown. Turning to take the book and garden flowers we had brought, she said “OK, Jennifer, I’ll take my loot now!”

Read the rest of Reynolds’ recollections for her local Digital Media First outlet here.
[Photo of Chris and Jennifer Reynolds via:]