There were better places than Grabtown. And worse.

“They used to write in my studio bios that I was the daughter of a cotton farmer from Chapel Hill. Hell, baby, I was born on a tenant farm in Grabtown. How’s that grab ya? Grabtown, North Carolina. And it looks exactly the way it sounds.

“I should have stayed there. The ones who never left home don’t have a pot to pee in, but they’re happy. Me, look at me. What did it bring me?”

— Ava Gardner, quoted by Rex Reed in “Ava: Life in the Afternoon” (Esquire magazine, May 1967)