Archive for March, 2008
Lately, I’ve been busy planning our latest restoration efforts–fundraising, researching, meeting with experts, consolidating budgets, and looking through old plans.
I’ve come to find out just how lucky I am. The Wren’s Nest is in decent shape thanks to our last restoration that occurred between 1985 and 1992.
Here’s what the house looked like before–
And here’s what it looked like last spring from a kind of similar angle–
(Note: the stairs are wider now, as they were in Joel Chandler Harris’ day)
Part of my job has included sifting through big boxes filled with pictures, plans, receipts, assessments, and stuff. I figure you might be interested in the pictures part.
Thankfully, our restoration won’t be nearly so drastic as before. They had a mess on their hands.
This was the library.
And this is the library now.
This photo of the hall looks like it was taken when restorations were underway–
And what it looks like now–
Our dining room–
And today’s dining room–
Finally, the bathroom–
Looks like they were well underway here.
You’d be surprised at how many people try and use that toilet. Seems clearly marked to me.
As promised, here’s my mom and my aunt playing hooky to unveil the Brer Rabbit statue at Lenox–
Cool dresses. Where can I get one?
Left to right: Brer Fox, Linda Harris, Joel Chandler Harris Jr, Annette Harris, Brer Frog, Brer Bear.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Joel Chandler Harris’ hometown of Eatonton, GA.
This is Brer Rabbit in front of the Uncle Remus Museum, a few blocks south of the main square. His head is kind of funny-shaped, like a cobra’s.
The Uncle Remus Museum is also kind of funny. The museum is more or less two former slave cabins attached to one another. It’s supposed to be a cabin that Uncle Remus would have lived in (or told stories in) had he not been so darn fictional.
Admission is $1. This executive director thinks it’s well-worth the fee.
Up the road a piece is the town square, where a very similar, less filthy Brer Rabbit lives.
This was where we found out that I am taller than Salman Rushdie.
So I’ve got that going for me.
About twenty miles north of Eatonton is Madison, Georgia. Madison is home to beautiful antebellum homes that were spared during the Civil War. Madison is also home to a few monuments to Brer Rabbit and his Critter friends.
These guys used to be at Lenox Square. They were created in
the 1960s 1959, and my mom got the day off school to help unveil them.
They were moved here, to the headquarters of the Uncle Remus Regional Library System, when they built a new parking deck at Lenox. Or so I’m told.
Today Eduardo installed our Credit Card scanning system thing. After many hours of painstaking research, we settled on a Hypercom T7 Plus.
Here’s a short list of things Eduardo had to break in order to get it up and running–
- Our phone lines
- Our internet
- Our spirit
Was it worth it? Probably not. We suffered for SEVEN MINUTES WITHOUT INTERNET, after all.
And fair warning–if you ask to pay for something over the phone via credit card, Eduardo will personally drive to your home or place of business and kick you in the shin.
(But not too hard!)
He will then hand you a Br’er Rabbit sticky-note that kindly explains how we are not equipped to do that. Sorry.
On the other hand, we won’t be sending anyone to the ATM anymore. Wahoo!
The other day our local NPR affiliate stopped by to record one of our Ramblers, Akbar Imhotep, for their Atlanta Sounds feature.
You can listen here. And don’t worry, they keep it brief!
So, the folks at Edith Wharton’s historic home in Massachussetts have recently completed a $13 million renovation. Wow.
It’s too bad that nobody bothered to pay the rent!
The Wren’s Nest, once in not-so-dissimilar dire straights and currently sitting smack dab in the middle of the foreclosure capital of whatever, feels the Mount’s pain.
The Mount is trying to raise $3 million before
March April 24. They’ve got a little over half a million in the bank at press time, which is neither a small feat nor $3 million.
If you’re into that sort of thing, you might want to consider helping bail them out. Even though Edith Wharton isn’t my favorite female author from the 20th century with the initials EW, saving her home seems like a worthy cause.
Thanks, Asian Cajuns.
Did you know that Margaret Dumont grew up at the Wren’s Nest? I didn’t.
Ms. Dumont happened to be Joel Chandler Harris’ goddaughter, and spent several years here in the late 1890s. I believe her bedroom was our current storytelling room.
Groucho Marx told reporters that Dumont was successful because she didn’t understand any of their jokes. I’ve heard that that too, however, was a joke.
It’s easy to get confused about history. There are all sorts of dates and events to remember, and sometimes it can be really tough. But it’s important to be sure you’ve at least got the gist.
For example, the Emancipation Proclamation was a biggie. A biggie that took place 145 years ago and changed quite a few things in this country, to put it mildly.
(Miss Nannie, being awesome and free.)
Recently, Miss Nannie was asked, by an adult, if she was a slave. Nannie politely (and incredulously) replied that no, no she wasn’t.
The Wren’s Nest wants you to know that not all questions are good questions.
Didn’t receive it? Just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’ll add you to our list.
We try not to be bothersome with our marketing efforts, which is why we only send out our newsletter quarterly. I hope nobody is feeling suffocated!
Yesterday the Wren’s Nest got it’s own Facebook page. If you are a member of Facebook, it is now possible to become “a fan” of the Wren’s Nest.
Do I know what that means, exactly? No, no I do not. But I love it. Here’s what it looks like, partially–
If anything, it’s cool because we have a photo album chock full of snarky commentary and behind the scenes shenanigans.
Since the Wren’s Nest happens to be one of the most super-competitive house museums around, we will need to have as many fans as the Atlanta History Center and MODA combined. After that, we’ll conquer the Atlanta Braves, Facebook-style. Get on it, blog-faithful (please).
If you join Facebook specifically to become a fan of the Wren’s Nest, let us know. We will bestow you with a medal of some sort. Probably bronze.