Archive for October, 2009
I know we talk about the influence of Brer Rabbit all the time. And all the time you guys are like, “Okay, crazy. I’m sure he’s all over the place, just like I’m sure the groundhog’s winter predictions are 100% reliable. Idiots.”
But! Today we have (more) proof. Behold Erin McKeown’s song “The Rascal”–
Lain and I had the privilege of seeing Erin the other night at Eddie’s Attic, and she was absolutely terrific. When she played “The Rascal” — hey! That’s similar in meaning to “trickster!” — there was some firm under-the-table kicking. Yay for references!
On Sunday, October 25th, a chunk of the ceiling collapsed inside the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts. This is my worst nightmare.
The New York Times devoted one paragraph to the news, and I gasped no less than two times while reading it.
While it’s true I’m a big baby and easily scared, this is like a timely, direct line to what frightens me. Happy Halloween! (Perhaps I’ll go as a piece of front parlor plaster this year and pretend to fall on unsuspecting “guests of the museum.” Topical costumes are always crowd pleasers.)
But for real, this hits a tad too close to home. As part of our tour of the Wren’s Nest, we point out the huge gap in the floor between the “new” (1884) addition to the house and the original structure. We chuckle! It’s breezy in winter! Brrr! Haha, structural inadequacies!
And let’s not forget this doozie.
That is a piece of wood, holding up our hallway. Now it’s an enforced piece of wood, which is only slightly more comforting.
Remember that time part of the foundation was missing? Me too! It was terrifying!
In short, as much as I empathize with the Emily Dickinson House and wish them the best, most of my thoughts can be summed up here — thank goodness our restoration took care of 97% of our issues, because otherwise I would have just peed myself.
Emily Dicksinon Homestead Photo: Nealy-J
One of the cool things about an Associated Press article is that you don’t really know where it’ll end up. In the El Paso Times? Sure. What about the Monterey County Herald? Why not! Say, the York Daily Record? Hell yes.
Please tell us what you think about the article. Keep in mind I have already heard every possible joke about being “spunky.”
Photo: Dorie Turner for the Associated Press
B-Side Radio interviewed our fearless leader and (equally not-threatened-by-fear) docent Jeri for their latest show, “Found.” Listen to the podcast here — our story comes in at the 21:30 mark…
…and is great.
Because of our location, we weren’t able to curl up and listen to this chat when it first aired. Sadly, that privilege was only for the highfalutin’ city folks of Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Austin, and Syracuse. (Dandies listening to XM/Sirius were also entitled to the honor.)
In fact, we don’t even know when it did air, though our educated guess is “recently.” Luckily for us, the podcast works just as well and our listening experience was a delight. Hope yours is too!
P.S. Thanks to Katy Shrout for being a great interviewer, as well as the mother of the 4-year-old who generously lent us her red wagon for the Decatur Book Festival. It had cup holders!
Photo: Trebor Scholz
Keith Eggener of Design Observer gives us this thoughtful post on capitalizing on the historic homes of the famous, focusing on the Missouri homes of Mark Twain and Walt Disney —
“People go to Hannibal to walk the streets where the real children who inspired Huck and Becky walked; they go there ready to believe that an otherwise unexceptional white wood fence is the one Tom painted, or, at least, the one that inspired Twain to invent his story. Disney’s stories, on the other hand, are pure fantasy….”
Items discussed: history’s exploitation vs. its preservation, marketing dead public figures vs. live ones, how the Mark Twain Boyhood Home is like a snow globe.
Items not discussed: how Walt Disney’s recreated boyhood home — called “The Happy Place” — is not all so different from the story, “Brother Rabbit’s Laughing-Place.” Coincidence?
Photo: Keith Eggener
Have you taken a gander at our online store yet? It’s new, up, and running, and we’re pretty proud of it.
But hey, what’s that? Local celebrity bloggers the Asian Cajuns are in our store too? How did they get there?! Answer: THE MAGIC OF THE INTERNET!
While our friends Lauren and Catherine are not for sale, the shirts they’re wearing sure are. We asked them to model the critter tees for a few reasons:
b. They have a fashion blog! A popular one at that. If their endorsement of the tees isn’t a ringing one, I don’t know what is. Their endorsement is especially helpful since we’re shy in a 7th grade wallflower kind of way — we’re sure there are people out there who would like us, if only they knew we existed. Maybe now a few new folks will find their way to our land of tricky rabbits and surprise machetes.
c. Sometimes we just get sick of seeing our faces all over this thing. Just kidding! We’re totally self-obsessed! But we still like variety.
Even if you’re not in the mood to shop, I encourage you to hop on over to the store. You might just enjoy our descriptions of the items. They took hours — hours! — to compose, and the effort shows. I think.
A few weeks ago I was inspired to start editing the Joel Chandler Harris Wikipedia page when I read an article based on erroneous facts about Harris quite obviously culled from Wikipedia, everyone’s favorite encyclopedic punching bag.
Wren’s Nest Blog Original Gangstas might recall this is not our first encounter with the Joel Chandler Harris Wikipedia page. Way back in 2007, one ambitious editor included some, uh, fan fiction —
Harris’ page hasn’t been vandalized again, but it has remained far from complete. The criticism and praise of Harris were irrelevant, and the actual information on his life was minimal.
So, I decided to edit and expand the Joel Chandler Harris Wikipedia page as judiciously as possible, drawing from diverse, respected sources.
For a long time I felt uncomfortable editing Wikipedia on a topic where I have such an inherent, genetic bias. But, I realized a few things once I started editing:
- Editing Wikipedia is a lot of fun.
- No matter how many times we link to the New Georgia Encyclopedia article and no matter how questionable the source, folks are going to use the Wikipedia page.
- Short of a Disney release of Song of the South and my subsequent interview on Oprah, this is probably the broadest way for us to execute our mission effectively.
- My work is only the start!
Please take a look at the article and let me know what you think. If you’re feeling limber, I encourage you to help edit the article where you see fit.
I’m not quite done — particularly with the journalism section — but it’s a start at least.
Categories: Disney, Joel Chandler Harris, Marketing Tricks, Nonprofit Management, Song of the South, Technological Advances | Tags: Disney, Joel Chandler Harris, new georgia encyclopedia, original gangstas, Song of the South, wikipedia,
- Our friend of the ensanguined fore-top
- Molasses-Haired Humorist
- Naughty Boy of the Savannah Morning News
Amazing insight into JCH’s life courtesy of Stella Brewer Brookes and her tome of greatness, Joel Chandler Harris: Folklorist.
Categories: Awkward Introductions, Birds of a feather, Cruel Games, Failed Attempts at Looking Reputable, Joel Chandler Harris | Tags: Joel Chandler Harris, Pecanne Log, Redheads, Savannah Morning News, Thomas Wheatley,
Today when I opened our mail, the first thing I saw was this advertisement on the back of a magazine:
My first thought was, “OMG! This must be a Russian Mail Order Bride catalog!” The glee that filled me at this prospect was, in truth, unnerving.
Fortunately, no — this was a copy of Sova Russian-American Magazine, which is not a Russian Mail Order Bride Catalog, but instead a magazine for Russians living in the United States.
Writer Michael Borovsky had sent along his (quite substantial) article on the Wren’s Nest.
And that’s just page 2 of 8. I even made the cut on page 6. Good thing I showered that day.
Brer Rabbit has been quite popular in Russia for at least a few decades. Award winning artist Latif Kazbekov published a version of the Brer Rabbit stories in 1992 with beautiful illustrations.
Now, if only someone could translate the article for me. In eight pages my dimples must be mentioned, right guys? Guys?