Carl and his brother, Alan, BA’31, owned and ran Zibart’s Bookstore. Grace was hopeless on a computer or behind the wheel, but she was a peerless writer and a great friend to aspiring writers. She seemed to know everyone on a first-name basis–Allen Tate and Robert “Red” Penn Warren and Al Gore and David Halberstam, sculptors and chefs and nuns.
One of the first friends I made after I began work at Vanderbilt in 1986 was Grace Zibart, then editor of The Vanderbilt Lawyer and associate editor of Vanderbilt Magazine. A native New Yorker, she had been assistant fashion editor at The New York Times before she married a Nashville boy, Carl Zibart, BA’29, at the close of World War II.
There are a dozen more volumes in the corner, too, their covers curled and forlorn, spurned in favor of books I found more readable. I will be married nearly another 30 years before I reach the age Carl Zibart was when he cut himself some slack and stopped reading past page 100. I don’t think I have his fortitude. Cervantes and Rushdie are going into the Goodwill box; Friedman stays. The need to understand more about the Mideast isn’t going away anytime soon.
All because of Grace Zibart. I truly doubt that any of those books would have been written, and I know for a fact that the article would not have been written, if not for Grace. So when you wrote about Grace and Carl, you touched me. And I thank you.