Rosa T. Beard, 84, started the Rosa T. Beard Debutante Club in 1963 and has been holding cotillions annually since 1965.
1. What makes a lady a lady?
There are a lot of things that go under that. A lady should always be impressive, but yet quiet in her demeanor. I like integrity in all people, really, ladies especially.
2. What do you consider unladylike?
Unladylike young ladies are usually boisterous, impolite. Ladies should always listen to the other person's viewpoints. They should address people with a pleasant (greeting) and not just walk up and walk off and say nothing. Their language must be appropriate, of good taste - no vulgar language. I don't like gum-chewing.
3. What modern invention has changed girls for the worse?
I really don't feel the new technology is the cause. I think young ladies and young men have not taken the spiritual side of life seriously. When we were able to talk about it in the classroom and kind of guide them in the classroom, it was quite helpful to my students.
4. How are cotillions different now from how they were in the past?
It was easier to do then. The young ladies were eager to get and use the information that was passed on to them. The difference was, they were very intelligent, very able to learn and they wanted to. With the changes in technology and the broadening of access to information, it's very difficult now to really reach the part of development that we think would make them ladies, and it wasn't then; it was a joyful thing and they enjoyed it.
5. Do you think there should be a similar club for young boys?
Yes, I think so, and there is one in Macon. They have the botillion. And we need that in Augusta. There have been attempts at one time in the 1980s but they let it go.