Archive for March, 2007

Song of the South: Coming Out of the Closet?

Written on March 28, 2007 at 9:19 am, by Lain Shakespeare

uncle remus

So for the moment, the Wren’s Nest’s copy of the November 10, 1946 edition of the Atlanta Journal is gracing the front page of Yes, that’s it above. No, I can’t figure out how to get rid of that white space on the side.

The powers that be have decided to string along rabid Song of the South and Joel Chandler Harris fans a little bit more at Disney’s shareholders meeting earlier this month.

Disney CEO Robert Iger:

“The question of `Song of the South’ comes up periodically, in fact it was raised at last year’s annual meeting. And since that time, we’ve decided to take a look at it again because we’ve had numerous requests about bringing it out. Our concern was that a film that was made so many decades ago being brought out today perhaps could be either misinterpreted or that it would be somewhat challenging in terms of providing the appropriate context.”

For clips of the movie, go here.

For the AJC blog with, so far, many opinions, go here.

For the AP article, go here.

Song of the South Clips and Essay

Written on March 27, 2007 at 4:12 pm, by Lain Shakespeare


Disney’s Song of the South: Hollywood’s Scapegoat is the best and most comprehensive post I’ve read about Song of the South on the internet.

If you’ve never seen Song of the South, the post includes several clips from the film. I’ll put them here at a later date, but in the mean time read the essay and see part of the film for yourself.

Wren’s Nest For Service

Written on March 27, 2007 at 12:54 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Some of y’all received an invitation from the Wren’s Nest recently. Some of y’all didn’t.

In case you were feeling left out, behold! Here’s your invitation to the Wren’s Nest Writers and Bloggers Spring Cleanup Day, presented by the Duck and Herring Co.

Catchy, isn’t it?

First, the heading (which is, incidentally, a sneak preview of the tenor of our new website):


Too small, you say? The image is a little blurry?

Tough! It’s only a sneak preview, after all. You’ll have to wait a little longer for the real thing.

Next comes the actual invitation, and it goes a little something like this:

Writers, Bloggers, and other miscreants–

We’ve got your loophole for your week’s good deed! The Wren’s Nest, home of author Joel Chandler Harris and Atlanta’s oldest house museum, is aching for some fine spring-cleaning.

Join The Duck & Herring Co. at The Wren’s Nest on Saturday, April 14th at 12pm to meet other wordy folks, put faces to names, and revel in the glory of a beautiful spring day on 2.24 lovely acres, complete with amphitheatre. Come prepared to get down and dirty in our backyard.

Good beer, good food, and reasonable music will be yours—free, of course—to enjoy throughout the day. Consider us your friend who asks you to help move furniture in exchange for a slice of pizza and some Bud Light—except our beer is better and there’s the opportunity to meet other totally awesome writers. Plus, instead of feeling guilted into something that makes you want to cross your arms and glower, this time around we’re inviting you to hang out and have fun.

Bring your work gloves, beach balls, and any inflatable pools you have lying around. If you want to wear your beer helmet, we won’t hold it against you.

You have kids? Well, their legs ain’t broke. Bring ’em along if you’d like! Let us know about it, and we’ll have some root beer available.

Beer, by the way, will be provided by Twain’s. Considering Joel Chandler Harris and Mark Twain were friends, I’d say this turn of events is pretty darn appropriate, if not a little too endearing for its own good.


Anyway, Twain once said, “Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company.” Come to the Wren’s Nest on April 14th, writers and bloggers, and you’ll find both.

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Wren’s Nest Logo

Written on March 23, 2007 at 12:54 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

I’m an expert on about three things: (1) convincing children to hop in cold water; (2) discerning flavors of custard-style yogurt; (3) parallel parking.

Everything else you hear come out of my mouth is usually unqualified guessing. Which is why I need your help!

The Wren’s Nest has assembled a crack-team of marketing experts who are creating a logo, a brochure, a website, and — as some of you may know — a few email blasts. Obviously, we want these things to be worthwhile.

So here’s where you come in:


It’s a rough draft. What do you think? What would you change? What do you like? What do you hate?

Brer Rabbit in Translation

Written on March 21, 2007 at 2:50 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Today I’ve been scanning in images from old books we’ve got here at the Wren’s Nest. I think some of the coolest are from different countries. Funny how the image of Brer Rabbit changes in the translation.



John McCain: Keeping Me Busy

Written on March 18, 2007 at 7:40 pm, by Lain Shakespeare


John McCain referenced the “Tar Baby” on the campaign trail a few days back. Uh oh is right.

My google alert for “Joel Chandler Harris” has gone nuts over the past few days with bloggers reporting and debating McCain’s use of and subsequent apology for the phrase “tar baby.”

During a news conference, a CNN reporter asked McCain if he feels that “tar baby” has racist overtones.

“I hope that it’s not viewed that way,” McCain said. “It was a situation where if I kept going on that I would then be overturning court decisions. I don’t think I should have used that word and it was wrong to do so.” [Link]

Awesome. Whatever the opinions on the issue, I couldn’t be happier that folks are blogging about this. I’ve compiled the three most telling recent posts (more…)

The Wren’s Nest is Free Today

Written on March 11, 2007 at 10:42 am, by Lain Shakespeare

Feels like I was just here.

Maybe that’s because I’m wearing the same clothes as yesterday or maybe that’s because I left this place like six hours ago.

Whatever it is, it’s Sunday and I’m here.


Phoenix Flies?



Admission is free today! We have storytelling at 1 pm with Ms. Woodie! Tours start on the half hour! Last one is at 2:30, so get here before then.

If the eight bucks admission had deterred you before, let this be your day to come to the Wren’s Nest. You won’t leave disappointed. Bring the grand/kids, bring your parents, bring the neighborhood. I’ll see you here.

Ghost Hunt 2007, Part II

Written on March 11, 2007 at 1:43 am, by Lain Shakespeare

That’s right folks. It’s Saturday night at the Nest. Ready the coffee and the girl scout cookies. It’s time to hunt up some ghosts.

For the uninitiated, we’ve done this twice before in the past couple of months. It’s terrifying. Read about our November and January hunts.

Tonight’s guests are the good people from Ghost Hounds. Stay tuned for live updates / me-shaking-in-my-boots throughout the evening.

8:40 pm – The Hounds are here, and we’ve all been introduced. I do not remember anyone’s name, unfortunately. It’s like my brain goes ———— right after someone says, “And our next Ghost Hound’s name is.”

Every time this gets me. Every time!

Our nameless warriors are taking some preliminary photos with the lights on before things get serious.

Current status–not too skeered yet, but expecting the worst.

9:14 pm – The Ghost Hounds are under my feet. (more…)

Autographed Walt Disney Photo

Written on March 2, 2007 at 5:51 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

walt disney

I found this picture while rummaging through our attic upstairs.

It’s Walt Disney, seated on the left, with some of the cast of Song of the South. His signature is faded, but you can see it in blue in the bottom left.

The film was released at the Fox Theatre in 1946, and the Wren’s Nest hosted a few press conferences for the event.

Seriously, you could spend weeks in our attic and still find stuff like this. Most of the memorabilia has to do with obscure family members and descendents of Joel Chandler Harris. But every once in a while you’ll find something neat.

Cradling More Than Just the Tar Baby

Written on March 1, 2007 at 5:32 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Of course this is very figurative, but you will indeed see an actual cradle on your tour of the Wren’s Nest. Whose cradle, you ask?


Well, mine actually. It’s the only thing in Joel Chandler Harris’ room that has changed since 1908, and (more…)


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