Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wren's Nest, Everybody Wins! and Volunteering


Did you know that July 20 is the anniversary date marking the first Uncle Remus story ever published?
 I grew up loving Uncle Remus and Br’er Rabbit and in fact they are the only stories I remember my dad reading to me.  Back in the day before our well-developed highway system, our family would drive through Eatonton, Georgia to stop for breakfast on the way to our summer vacation spot.  I would always be so excited to see Br’er Rabbit waiting for me there. 
 We happen to live about ten minutes away from the Wren’s Nest and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never been over to take the tour until recently.   The house itself really stands out because of everything you see around it.
 The day we were there it was incredibly hot and I appreciated how dark and cool the house was once inside.  It’s interesting that most everything inside the house has been left as it was when the family lived there.  Even the sheet music on the piano is the same piece of sheet music that was played in the family home.
On the tour I learned a lot about Joel Chandler Harris and in some ways I felt so sad for him.  He was illegitimate, born in 1845 and I can only imagine at the time how difficult that might have been for someone living in a small town like Eatonton.    He dropped out of school and after quitting, Mr. Harris went to work/live on a plantation and it was during those years he heard so many African folk tales which he ultimately wove into the stories we know so well today.  It made me proud to learn how he wrote and advocated for civil rights and justice for all. 

My favorite part of the visit was the storytelling.  Most of you know that my work involves volunteering – a lot of it, and I was excited to invite the Wren’s Nest and a storyteller to come to our Everybody Wins! Power Lunch Kickoff event.  
 I’m hoping to be able to inspire a lot of new readers to volunteer and help inspire at-risk students in the coming school year.  
I believe in the power of a story and the power of volunteering.

[l]et us remember the large numbers of citizens who, day in and day out, through acts of volunteerism large and small, bring hope to so many of the world's disadvantaged. Kofi Annan

Today I'm linking up with The Tablescaper for seasonal Sunday.

11 comments:

  1. We used to Drive through Eatonton on the way to the beach each summer from NC and my dad would always stop for us to have a peek at that statue. I love those stories since my dad read them to us as a child! However, I have never been inside the house. I must put it on my to-do list! I think YOU are a special lady for all that you do! :-) Happy Sunday!...hugs...Debbie

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  2. Another great post! I enjoyed watching the video. I always enjoy the Uncle Remus stories. I have to tell you that many years ago, I had a little girl in my class who was struggling with reading. For some reason she latched on to a book with a collection of the Uncle Remus stories. I was teaching third grade that year and we were preparing for a special program for the parents. This child learned the story of Br'er Rabbit and read it in dialect to an audience of about fifty adults. I've never forgotten the joy and pride I felt for that child at that moment. The power of a story!

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    1. Sarah, you are so right. Thank you for sharing your story about the little girl. Amazing.

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  3. Such interesting things to see, so close to where you live. I, too, grew up on the stories of Br'er Rabbit - even in Canada!
    As for volunteering - well, a society without volunteers is one that just can't move forward. It's about way more than just working for free - it's a commitment to community, to one another and an acknowledgement of our mutual dependence.

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    1. So true Pondside. The world needs more volunteers.

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  4. I have been to this wonderful place a couple of times. Wonderful. sandie

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  5. Yes, very true, the world needs volunteers. My 82 year ols mom still volunteers in a hospital for less means people and for the last 20 years and all those ladies make a difference in the life of others. Thanks sweet Sarah for sharing the story about the little girl, I love special stories like this one.
    Thanks for your sweet visit to Victoria's bithday bash, and for the sweet comments. Happy Sunday.
    FABBY

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  6. Jojo,
    Great post! Interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. I need to visit this place~looks so interesting. Volunteering is so important not only for what one can do for others but the joy it gives the person volunteering!

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  8. This was so interesting Cheryl! I found an old hardcover Uncle Remus and Br’er Rabbit books at my Mohter;s when i was going through her things and it brought back memories of reading those charming stories as a child.

    I also volunteer quite a bit, and enjoy every minute of it!

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  9. Neat post! Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - the Tablescaper

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