Friday, April 16, 2010

Young Visitors to Andalusia

On this beautiful spring morning we are expecting the arrival of a group of 113 first graders from Blandy Hills Elementary School. Children love visiting Andalusia. There is so much for them to see and experience here. When school groups come we tell the children a little bit about the place and why it is important. Many of the youngters, however, are more interested in hearing about the wildlife and exploring the barnyard than learning about the famous author who lived here. Nevertheless, we hope to create a memory for the children so that one day they might be inspired to read O'Connor's fiction. Welcoming children to Andalusia goes back a long way. Even when Flannery O'Connor was alive, teachers would sometimes bring their classes out here. Flannery and her mother would greet these young visitors and welcome them to the farm. Before the children left, "Miss Flannery" made sure each child received a peacock feather as a souvenir of his or her visit. Some of these folks have returned to Andalusia as adults and have shared with us their memories of Flannery O'Connor and what a gracious host she was. While we can't hand out feathers to each of our young visitors (we give them coloring sheets instead), we hope that everyone who visits the farm - young and old alike - will receive the same warm welcome.

- Mark

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