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.