Friday, September 24, 2010

Bluegrass on the Way!

It's hard to believe that our annual bluegrass concert is coming up in eight short days. This year, the music will be provided by Heart Pine (gotta love that name for a combo from middle Georgia). This fundraiser, which has been held at Andalusia every year since 2004, draws a pretty big audience. Nevertheless, one has to wonder if Flannery O'Connor would have endorsed such an event going on right outside her front door. While the music being performed may not have been exactly to her taste (O'Connor preferred Scarlatti, Haydn, Chopin et. al.), I think it would have delighted her since bluegrass springs from the same soil as so many of the characters in her novels and stories. It is as real, raw, and gritty as a Hazel Motes sermon. And who knows...maybe Flannery might have even pulled up a lawn chair and started tapping her toes to the catchy rhythms of the double bass. The concert runs from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2nd. Please check out our website for more details.
- Mark

Friday, September 17, 2010

While I was away...

The days continue to be dusty and dry here at Andalusia. Though temperatures remain high for this time of year, the lower humidity makes it considerably more comfortable. Officially, summer lasts a few more days. However, fall is most definitely on the way. A sure sign of this is the number of pecans that have fallen in the backyard. Another sign of fall is the plans that are underway for our Bluegrass concert coming up October 2. While I was away on a short staycation this week, a permanent light standard was erected behind the nail house to illuminate our parking area for this concert and any other nighttime events we might host in the future. During my absence a class of Georgia College students was out at the farm almost every day filming a documentary about Flannery O'Connor and Andalusia. Also, a group of biology students from the college continues to study the pond and its ecosystem. Don't be surprised if you visit us and happen to see students wading in the water taking samples and recording their observations. With an above-average daily attendance of over 30 visitors, I think you can see that it's been pretty busy out here at the O'Connor farm this week. We're never too busy, though, to welcome new friends. If you've never been to Andalusia, we invite you to come and visit us during these balmy days of early fall.
- Mark

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peacock Plaque

At the Decatur Book Festival last weekend, Cindy Horton, Curator of History and Education at Stone Mountain Park, gave Craig a very interesting artifact. Some of you may know that after Flannery O'Connor died her mother gave away a good number of her peacocks to various institutions such as Our Lady of Perpetual Help Free Cancer Home in Atlanta and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers (Georgia). Some of the birds in O'Connor's flock were also donated to Stone Mountain Park. To commemorate Regina O'Connor's generous donation, the park had a plaque made that reads:

Flannery O'Connor's Peacocks
These peacocks, from the flock of the late distinguished Georgia writer, were presented to Stone Mountain Park by her mother, Mrs. Edward F. O'Connor, January 8, 1972

It is this very plaque that Ms. Horton gave Craig and which we are pleased to add to the collection at Andalusia. Thank you, Cindy, and thank you Stone Mountain Park for this unique gift!
- Mark

Friday, September 3, 2010


Early this morning, an anonymous donor dropped off two roosters at Andalusia. We don't have names for these birds yet nor do we know the species. All we know for sure is that they are quite striking in their black and gold plumage and their bright red comb and wattles. They are presently checking out the area around the aviary, seeing what there is to eat - which is quite a bit since I just emptied the remaining cracked corn on the ground there. I am happy to report that our new Andalusians are quickly adapting to their environs. We hope that their stay with us will be longer and happier than that of their compatriot, Rito, who met his untimely demise last fall when he became supper for a hungry fox or coyote.

In a totally unrelated matter, we will once again be represented this year at the Decatur Book Festival in downtown Decatur, Georgia. Craig leaves this afternoon to go up there to get ready. If you are in the area stop by our booth (#524) and learn about all the new and exciting things that are happening at Andalusia. If you can't make it there, consider a visit to the farm on Saturday. The day promises to be sunny and pleasantly cooler. Even if you can't be with us, have a happy Labor Day week-end and remember we will be closed on Monday in observance of the holiday.
- Mark